So, we left off where Liz breaks down at Palliative care and I ask the Doc how long I've got. I also tell him that this isn't etched in stone and he agrees. We talk about probable causes, which range from the oil field, smoking, drinking, and my favorite, Genetics. If smoking and drinking were absolute causes of cancer, everyone that lit a smoke would die from cancer. That's not the case, is it? Being a reasonable person I know that ingesting smoke into your body isn't good for it, but it's not the root of all evil, either. Our genetic make up goes a lot farther in deciding what we get as far as diseases like cancer go. It's my opinion and if it's not popular, tough shit.
The longest 9 hour drive I've ever taken. Liz and I talk a bit, but not a lot. I'm hard to understand as it is, let alone when I'm just a bit shocked about my mortality. She's putting on a brave face, but it cracks pretty often and is filled with tears, which just breaks my heart. We talk about what we need to do. Things like funeral arrangements, double checking my insurance since I'm on Long Term Disability, and the biggy....telling the kids.
My older two kids, Sarah and Chance have been out on their own a for a while. Sure, they're young still, but they also know a little more about life than the younger two. I can't talk on the phone so I text them. I don't even try to imagine what is going on with them. I do know that they text back calm. I find out later that it wasn't so calm in reality. I'm sorry I couldn't speak directly to them. I think that always helps, hearing the voice stay calm, having that eases the shock a bit, I think.
Liz and I decide the best way to tell the kids is to just tell them out right. It's how I've done everything else, this should be no different. I abhor people that think holding off bad news is best for young people. Being honest, using age appropriate language, is always best. At least have the respect for your kids to be open and honest with the things they should know.
So, here we are, my shoulders and back are on fire, I'm tired, and certainly not looking forward to telling the kids. Addison is my tender hearted baby. She's very talented, and talks a good stoic attitude, but her heart is the softest of the kids. Declan is 15, how do you tell your 15 year old son you probably won't see him graduate high school? Three or four more years down the road and we can ease off father/son and start being friends. That's the magic of parenthood. While you never stop being parents, you can become friends when they grow older and have lives of their own to live. I love that part for sure
It goes like this. Liz gathers up the kids. I have to lean back in my recliner so I can get some relief and glue my thoughts in order.
"Addison, Dec, the Doctors tell me I've only got about a year left." No stunned looks, just instant tears.
From me too. It's the end of the most difficult day I've had. Not hearing I have limited time, but telling people I love that it's short time.
"It's gonna be okay, trust me. We'll have as much fun as possible. We'll figure out what we want to do together, and how this will work. Okay?" Well, fuck no it's not "okay" and I know that. They know that. It is however, what it is. I think Addison may have wondered all along about my mortality, I'm not sure about Dec. Liz still cries, my tears dry up for now. It has, however, just shattered what was left of my heart. I gave it all to Liz and those kids. Now that's broken
Part of me has this "Well, this ain't gonna get it done" attitude about crying. I don't like it, I hate to cry. But it's also human, so I have tears. Sometimes at weird stuff. Other times when I realize what I might miss down the road. What Liz, Sarah, Chance, Addison, Declan and I will all miss together. That's fucking sad. So I leak. We text my SLP, because she's was a friend of Liz and has become a friend of mine as well as an instructor, she cries. I tell my PT 5 days later. She wells up and cries too. Same with my Lyphedema therapist. As well as the manager of my gym. It's tough, I hate it makes them cry, but I'd rather tell them in person than have them find out from the Obits in the paper. They are good folks, they earned a face to face with me at this time. I wish everyone could.
I tell my FaceBook buds. They followed me on this road from November on. They know a whole lot of the pain, joy, victory and defeats I've run over the first part of this road, they are part of my support group. They give me inspiration. They are part of my family too. So are the men and women I work with in the field. A couple of them know, because they are on FB. Next week I go tell the office as a whole. Well, I'll have to use the damn dry erase board, but we'll have a chat none the less.
So far, the "End of Days" stuff is going pretty well. All I lack are the final arrangements and getting the will and Liz powers of attorney to go. Then it's off to having as much fun as I can.
I believe that will include more bike time, gym time, family time. And once in a while, ME time. I'm already tired of this shit, the family has to be, we all need a break.
Sometimes life will hand you a shit sammich. The hardest part of that is the first bite. It won't get any better as you go, but it's easier to tolerate LOL
Y'all hang tough, go play. It looks lovely outside