There's no shortage of opinions. Some people are urging me to remain hopeful, telling me stories of those rare people who were given 6 months to live and are still alive 20 years later. They are saying to never give up. Some people are saying we should make the best of the time that's left and accept that this is it and that Jim is dying now. They are saying that he shouldn't bother trying to do anything to prolong his life because it will just make his last few months more painful and he shouldn't suffer.
How does someone even make that kind of choice about their own life? How does someone know if they should fight or surrender? The interferon has messed him up so much. It's hard to know if he's sick from that or from the spread of the cancer or from the side effects of all the other drugs he's on in hopes of making him feel better. I want him to live another 30 years, but I don't dare hope for it. I know the odds are against him seeing the end of this year, but I don't dare believe this is it. It's a perpetual state of panicked not knowing, trapped mid "fight or flight" with my heart pounding and my blood pressure soaring.
And in the midst of this, navigating my relationship with his dad and step mom as though I'm walking on glass, trying to guess what Jim wants and doesn't want because he's so weak and tired that he's just not talking, filling out paper work for my time off school, missing our daughter and wanting her with me, but also knowing that having her here right now would be hard on her and hard on me. Jim is staying there because it's close to the hospital and doctors and because the Home Care is all organized, he says.
The house is lonely. I want to climb in to bed beside him but he isn't here. I stayed the night with him last night, but he's having so much trouble sleeping that we decided I should come in the day time so he isn't disturbed by me rolling over or getting up in the night. I want to watch my little girl sleeping, but she's in North Bay. Part of me wants to go up there to be with her and my family and to be in a warm, protective cocoon while I'm hurting this much, but then I wouldn't be near Jim. I need to be able to go to him and spend time with him because I don't knowhow much time is left and because I love him and I want to be there for him...but he just lays there most of the time trying not to throw up, wishing he could sleep but not sleeping. Sometimes he's himself again, but mostly he's not. He's just quiet and unmoving and I want to help some how to comfort him or take care of him, but I don't know what to do and asking him is just bugging him. *sigh* I am useless to him right now. I feel like I need to do something for him, but I don't know what I can possibly do that will make anything better.
I feel like this can't possibly be happening for real, that things like this don't happen, 41 year old men don't die and 38 year old women don't become widows and 5 year old girls don't lose their daddies...but they do. They all do. It's so unbelievable and unthinkable, but it does happen every day and there is absolutely nothing protecting us. We aren't in a safe bubble, even though we felt so safe before. I don't know what, if anything, we could have done to stop this or even slow it down. Maybe Jim could have had his moles checked regularly...that might have made some difference...but how regularly? Once a year would only be helpful if the melanoma started right before the check up. This is spreading so quickly...I wish he had gone to the doctor in August when the mole felt slightly raised, but he didn't think anything of it at the time, and a little over a month later the lymph nodes were already cancerous and enlarged. I'm not sure if that month would have made any difference at all.
My head tells me that he's probably going to die and my heart tells me not to give up hope that he might be the exception, and I'm weary of the battle between them.