On your very first day of radiation, you started counting down the number by singing your version of Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall: “Another round of radiation is done, another round is done. The machine turns around, another round of radiation is done.” I, on the other hand, heard the song Another One Bites the Dust from Queen playing in my head. I would even go to sleep singing it.
This cancer journey has brought numerous countdowns.
Countdowns of chemo treatments, radiation treatments, meds to be taken, hours between meds, days between doctor appointments, days to scans, days to reading of scans, years of living with cancer.
That is probably the scariest one of them all:
how much time do I have living with cancer? On one hand you want the answer and the other, you don’t want it. There is a fine line between living in the reality of the situation, and believing a miracle will come our way.
As you have become sicker during the added treatments, it is harder to believe that miracle will happen. In fact, it is hard not to go completely the other direction and start planning on the inevitable happening sooner rather than later. This is not done lightly. It is hard to see you struggling, withering away in front of my eyes. When you stated you hoped all this was worth going through to live longer, that was tough to hear—and yet I understand what you meant.
I want you here with me but not at the expense of you unable to be, well, you.
My hope, now that radiation is done, is that slowly, each day, we will see small improvements. I hope a day comes when I can think I was silly for thinking you wouldn’t be cancer-free.
Until the day we can call me silly, with all my love –
PS This was written prior to Mitch’s passing. My countdowns are different now. Currently my countdown involves the number of minutes, hours, days living without you.