What worried us the most 5 years ago before entering the hospital on April 1st, 2012? I remember quite vividly what used to worry me…. Tim worried me. Tim always worried me. He was burning the candle on both ends and couldn’t stop. He was running in circles and couldn’t seem to catch what he was chasing. He was chasing security for those he loved. Yes, he has a little sickness that is referred to as being a workaholic, but the cause of that was driven by his insane desire to provide for me and the girls. Tim ALWAYS worried about the ‘bottom falling out’. He always worried about me. I always worried about him. Funny how that remains the same today, only now we are insanely worried about Skyler and Mackenzie as well.
Pre April 1st 2012, we used to sit and talk at the dinner table about HOW we could make things slow down. How were we going to be able to reign everything in so that he was not spinning so out of control. I would think about it constantly. I remember so many nights after putting the girls to bed, Tim would just collapse on the couch and fall immediately asleep. It was a constant for about 6 months… so very, very, very tired. I thought it was just from working so much, being 41 and having a 7 and 9 year old to keep up with. It is so strange to look back now and know that it was the cancer that was sucking the life out of him… it was the damn cancer. If I think back to the dinner conversations about ‘what can we do to slow this down, how can we do it’… it is so strange how God answers your prayers and it just may not be as you had expected it to be…………
The memory of this time of year is insanely painful. It is so vivid, the memory of the Surgeon telling me that he was certain ‘Tim had cancer and I’m sorry, but it doesn’t look good’. Those words burn my skin, they nauseate my stomach, they scream in face with such a stinging pain. I remember everything going quiet but a strange ringing sound, I remember it getting really foggy and me falling to my knees. I remember the sounds of the screams that were coming from my mouth that I couldn’t stop. I remember Dave being there, trying to hold me, trying to help me up – I remember seeing my Sister’s face and the fear that overcame her… I remember clearly both of their faces and the pain I saw in their eyes. That day was 5 years ago this past weekend. 5 years ago. What a difficult time of the year it is for us.
We do celebrate this ‘anniversary’ though. It tortures us with the memories of the physical pain that Tim endured and the emotional pain that our family was facing and continues to face. Yet it is a celebration of 5 years. 3 1/2 to 4 years longer than I was ‘suppose to’ have my Husband by my side. He IS here. We ARE blessed. It HAS BEEN 5 years.
It is not an easy road that we travel. There is not one day that is easy or even remotely somewhat simple. There just isn’t. Every day there is so much to think about. There is so much to plan. Do we have all of the right medicines? How far out to we have to order them? Who can supply them? Will insurance help us with them? We fill his pill box every week with the vitamins and medicine needed to keep him here. 11 pills every morning, then 7 more throughout the day. A constant intake of a liquid medicine throughout the day to help him not get dehydrated. There is the issue I have with worrying about every-little-thing. If Tim is not smiling, upbeat, happy-go-lucky then my stomach begins to churn and I worry that ‘something is wrong’. How stupid of me – SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!!!!! The worry is exhausting. Every day the girls worry and worry and worry. I had to call Mackenzie last week about softball practice and when she saw she missed a call from me she said “Mommy I saw the missed call and I practically started crying thinking something happened to Daddy’. Ahhhh man, I hate that. I guess I tell you this, about our days, because I truly think if you’re willing to give up the way you knew things to be before or the way you envisioned they should be, to make the adjustments and the changes necessary and to embrace those with open arms, without looking back, without envy for what you may have lost – YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT. You CAN do it. Find the beauty in what you DO have. See the gifts in front of you. They are everywhere.
I gave Tim a book this past weekend, I titled it ‘Unintentional Gifts’, which many of you submitted entries to (thank you!). It ended up being a 42 page book. Skyler and Mackenzie had the first two pages and they wrote to their Father. I did not suggest what they might say and I did not edit anything… it was their words, their hearts pouring out in black-and-white. Watching Tim reading through those pages as the tears streamed down his beautiful face was heartbreaking yet so rewarding. They had a lot to say to their Daddy.
I write today to tell you that no matter what challenge you are facing, what difficulty is in front of you YOU DO HAVE WHAT YOU NEED to get through it. You just have to dig really, really, really deep. You will have to make a lot of sacrifices and hard decisions, but if you remain determined I really think you can overcome almost anything. Don’t accept No or let someone tell you You Can’t. Because you can. Seriously, what do they really know about YOU? The Doctors told Tim you cannot have surgery, this disease will take your life soon – and we said, define soon. Soon for us is a long, long, long way off.
We continue to deal with the two tumors that are in Tim’s abdomen. They torture us daily. They are constantly on our mind in everything, and I mean everything we do. It is always there. We don’t know how or when we will ever be able to get rid of them. At this time, what we do know, is that when we go for Tim’s next scan in just a couple of weeks, those two tumors better have behaved themselves. They had better be remaining completely still and not look any different than they did back in December. Along with that, the fear of something else appearing on the scan is complete and total torture. But guess what Tim says when we talk about it… “that’s okay Denise, we are working with the best people so when we have to deal with it, we will”. See, constantly worrying about me and trying to ease my mind and my worries. That is what he is always doing… worrying about me and if I’m okay. Some things will never change.
Thursday, April 27th: CT ScanFriday, April 28th: Scan Results with Dr. Tejani