Monday, February 1, 2010
Snow in late May...Lake Tahoe, the big water
Two years yesterday the nightmare started. As my hubby was wheeled into surgery (a right inguinal orchiectomy), the urologist told me the tests had confirmed the tumor was malignant.
My daughter and I held each other, sobbing, in a waiting room where some other woman yelled about everyday nonsense to her friend. I was angry that her husband’s operation was some minor thing with his ear, so minor she could whine, loudly, about jewelry and leftovers. And toss her empty Starbuck's cup toward a wastebasket and miss.
Well, the three months of treatment that followed (3 x BEP) still make me shudder. While the diagnosis was terrifying, I have to admit the prognosis always was hopeful. But chemo itself can kill, and there were mornings I woke up and was positive he wasn’t breathing. After a collapse at a CT-Scan, I saw him flat on the ground, his arm wearing the yellow Livestrong bracelet flung unnaturally across the tile. It was like my eyes were in someone else's head. I can't explain it any other way. I was sure he had died…and how would I find the words to call our kids?
In all the horror was the hope. We took a “live like you were dying” Tim McGraw approach and planned some trips several months ahead, when he would be well.
One of those places was Lake Tahoe. It was late spring, 90 degrees in Placerville down the mountain, snowing three days later at Echo Summit. Dang, he wore his warm knit hat over that bald head on a good day! Snow was a no-brainer.
But it was here, in God’s country, that the two of finally talked about it, about the darkness and the terror. About him getting to watch our grandbaby grow up. About him giving his daughter away at her wedding someday.
I didn’t have to be strong anymore.
And we let the healing begin.
“I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords,” said Mark Twain upon his first sight of the “big water” on a summer day in 1863.