Every morning, no matter how ill or how much pain, Henry would get up and go to the office. It was his focus. Good for him to keep his mind off what was going on inside his wracked body. Neither of us knew.
He had refused to go to a doctor for a scope or scan or test. He had had it and I don't blame him. Surgery to deform him with no guarantee? No thanks. Maybe buy him 3 more months but no tongue, no voice, no face?
Our friends would ask me daily "How is he? What's going on? Is he ok? Is the cancer gone?"
My classic answer.... "I don't know. I am his nurse and the internet is our doctor."
The internet is a handy tool for quick solutions to simple problems but try diving into it deeply for REAL answers to real health issues. You can be lost in all of it and come away more confused than ever.
Nothing I could say or do would change his mind to see a medical professional. I ranted, raged, pleaded, begged, bargained.
So on we went. Marching forward thru each day. Trudging along. Blissfully ignorant.
I have decided I am over all of the gloom and sadness and putting it out there. That is not who Henry was nor am I. He loved my blogs but I think even he would say to stop being so sad. One thing my husband was... He was FUN and funny. Four days before he died he said something so freaking funny it had me bent over laughing and crying.
God I miss him so.
But... This one thing keeps me awake for hours in the dark of night. It haunts me.
Actually, grieving these days is not at all about me, it's about what Henry went thru at the end. That is what sends me to bed for days to cry and cry. I can't get past what he went thru. The pain, the chemo, the radiation, the feeding tubes and not eating a BITE of food for over a year... Barely able to sip a drop of water. The swelling, the pain... ALL of it.
Those are the things I hurt about. Not about ME but about HIM.
His left arm swelled up to five times the size it normally was. Both legs swelled so huge that I would describe his feet as giant hams stuck to the ends of his legs with little toes stuck on.
Still he refused medical treatment. He wanted this done HIS way.
Everywhere in the house that he went there was this sticky stuff on the floor. Did one of the kids spill Kool-Aid? I would mop and scrub but at the end of the day it was sticky again. I found out later that it was protein leaking from his pores as he walked, he was so swollen. It had no where else to go so it seeped from him as he took each step.
Still he went to work.
I knew things were changing. He seemed to be dizzy and disoriented at times. I worried about him driving the 1.2 miles from our home to the office. I would walk with him to the car in my pajamas and coffee in hand, as the car would reach the end of the drive, I would follow it down the street. "Please God let him get there safely."
I would whisper silently as the car turned the corner out of sight.
About a week later, he came home and each day, each hour and each minute, things grew progressively worse.
He didn't go back to work. I knew things were bad. Henry not going to the office? It was really bad but he never complained or said a word about how he was feeling.
Each hour he was worse by now...
He asked me for paper and pen. He wanted to write. I gave him a stark white pad of paper and a pen with the company logo on it. He was adamant about writing something... What?
"I need to write this but write how do I write it?" he said.
"I'm not sure, write what you know." I told him, totally confused by what he wanted to say.
He began to write....
He wrote the date, his name and my name and wrote that I was amazing.
Oh God, I can't stop crying about this.
"Why am I amazing, darling? What do you mean "amazing?" I asked when I read what he had written.
He looked up at me and with that sweet smile of his, he told me he would save that and tell me someday and then I would know.
His next question...."Am I dying?"
No, no,no, no.
My heart fell clear to the floor and stopped.
Why did he ask me that?
" Why? Why do you ask me that?"
In the quietest voice I had ever heard, he said.."Because I feel like I'm dying."
Oh God! No.
At that exact moment, I think I knew. Tell him yes? Lie?
"Of course you're not dying, silly. You're going to be fine. Everything is fine." I lied.
Was I lying to him and to myself? Should I have told him yes? Should I have lied?
The answer to this question haunts me. Wakes me up at 2:00 a.m. every morning and sticks in head all thru the day. Should I have told him????
If/when my time comes, someone had better damn well be telling me about it!
I want to know.
To this day, I don't know if my lie was the right thing to do or not.
In my defense... I didn't know. Only God did.
Two days later he was gone. I had called the priest that married us to come to our home to give him his "Last Rites"
As the priest blessed him and prayed over him, I crawled into the bed. I held him in my arms. He took three last breaths and gently died in my arms. My heart died that day too.
Will the tears ever stop? I doubt it.
I can't wait to see my husband again. I need to tell him so much.
I want to tell him how proud I was to be his wife. How happy he made me. How very much I love him. I want to tell him that I am sorry I lied to the most important question he has ever asked of me.
And... I want to ask him about that one question he said he'd tell me about later....
Why did you write that I am so amazing?
I look forward to that day.
PS. To the miserable person that wrote the cowardly letter...
I know who you are.
I want to Thank You.
You see, your intention was to hurt but I have had all the hurt I can. Your words didn't hurt me. In fact they helped me and for that I thank you.
You lit a fire under me.
No more sitting looking at the walls. I am going back to work. I am going back to blogging and making videos soon. I learned one very valuable lesson in losing my darling husband and that is this:
Life is VERY short. Enjoy it.
And that is exactly what I intend to do.
Your cruel words mailed to me were intended to crush me. You can not. I am strong.
After all.... My husband thinks I am amazing!
I love you all. Thank you for being here. You, all of you, truly are amazing.