Jan 18, 2011 - 9:04 pm
So here we are just 6 months after Bob’s first diagnosis of melanoma - stage 3c and his first tumor & lymph node removal surgery (missing primary). Great hopes for new beginnings, Christmas/family, and News Years 2011. Bob faced his first checkup and retesting during Christmas week while he and I anxiously waited for the results to come back only to receive the dreaded phone call that destroyed what illusion of happiness we had going for us.
I'm sad to say Bob, my husband, has been upgraded to stage 4, the final stage of cancer where it lands in an organ. The PET scan showed another tumor had been located in the middle left side of his brain, near his ear and speech area, about the size of a golf ball. And as a result, brain surgery was scheduled last Wednesday. Surgery was successful, Bob was able to come home 3 days later, on Friday afternoon. He amazed everyone... He will still need the Gamma Knife in a couple of weeks to kill the remaining melanoma cells but should be able to handle that procedure.
It seems as if the “monster” has found its way out from under our bed and is roaming around on its own free will now. Bob’s melanoma had crossed his lymph system into his blood system then traveled across his blood/brain barrier. All we can do now is to try and keep up with it. How? Bob and I are learning how to do this through science, love and griping fear. Bob believes in surgically removing any tumor(s)if at all possible. He believes in the same nutrition guidelines he has been following, no sugar, no enriched flour, less meat, lots of fruits and veggies. If his oncologist has a better treatment plan we will talk it over with him soon when Bob is back on his feet again.
This is certainly not what Bob and I had pictured for our “retirement years”. Bob is probably one of the healthiest people I know. He doesn’t "feel" sick right now but does feel like his life is certainly out of his control. As his wife I am feeling absolutely helpless. How can I really truly help him now? I find myself mentally and physically challenged everyday. I hardly understand everything I am reading and researching just to get a handle on all the material that is out there about this disease. Sometimes the fear can sometimes be absolutely paralyzing.
There are days I can’t breathe.
It’s not like I have never been alone before or have never been on my own, I have survived before. But this time it will be different. This man whom I love with all my heart has guided me in my past sorrows, my life’s disappointments. Who will help me make sense out of this crazy world if he is not here beside me? As stubborn and independent as I am, I have totally accepted Bob's presence, his love and commitment into my life. I suspect that Bob knows me better now than I know myself at this point in our lives, I’m also guessing it wasn’t an easy thing for him to accomplish, or to win me over. I’m also thinking no marriage is perfect but I will tell you that my love for him is.
30 days? 90 days? 120 days? 180 days? 365 days? 730 days? 1,825 days? 3,750 days?
What’s it going to be?
If you don’t know how many days you have left then how do you choose to live them?
Very wisely I would guess.
And can this disease let you keep your sense of humor?