Hoping for Hope

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

(There is much I write in my journal  that never makes it to this website. I may withhold it for privacy, or because the timing is not appropriate. Sometimes I just need to sit with my thoughts; to reflect more deliberately. This morning was one such morning, where a couple of pages of notes reside on my computer and in my heart. What is important to me is that writing is very personal and the Storybooks for Healing program was based on understanding that some thoughts are never to be shared, but are to be heard by the author; and some stories are meant to be shared in order to validate their reality. Once again, my experience here reinforces the value of purposeful writing.)

Cautiously optimistic. This was the first thought today. Dave’s weight was down only a pound this week. He is showing signs of an appetite; food tasting better, stomach growling after a delayed lunch. Can he be on a slow recovery from the effects of the Tarcevea? He didn’t sleep through Sunday night like he had the day before. I’m not sure about this night as he is asleep now. He was awake most of yesterday. Another good sign of recovering? Can I allow myself to hope? Or does this just set me up for disappointment? I note that one little positive change offers a glimmer of hope. It’s hard to wait out the trend to find out if there is a real change. I am quick to report good news. Who else does that send out false hope to? Or is hope ever really false by the nature of what hope is – a desire. Tell me it is so. Let me believe.

We’ve both been very pleased with the support and openness since the family meeting. Denise and Chuck came by Sunday. They wound Dave up like a talking energizer bunny. The topic was music. Dave has a passion for Bluegrass music equal to teaching. Yes, he can hold lecture on this subject as well! I was so delighted to hear him talk about his music because a couple of weeks ago he just outright told me it was too painful to discuss and didn’t want me to bring in his CDs. Sunday turned out to be wonderful. Making new memories…

I cannot stress enough that visits and conversation are exactly what Dave needs right now. I see his energy and animation pick up. He is using his brain. He is on a life review for self and family. We have an inner calmness right now.

But I cry. I cry every day over something. I cry over the anticipated loss when I write. What I see will be gone from me, from family, from friends, from colleagues. The holes I think will be out there. I cry when I see how cancer has changed him physically. His chest is sunken and he breathes quick shallow breaths after the exertion of showering. I burst into unexpected tears when I applied lotion on his dry skin, and the contours of his body have taken on a new shape. I cry when he tells me he loves me and we talk softly about our lives together.

The tears are good and necessary. But they leave me looking older when I dare look in the mirror, and see the deepened lines and residual puffiness that hasn’t gone away for weeks. I don’t like to go out because putting on my make-up is work, hell, sometimes getting dressed is work, and mascara will only get washed away at an unexpected moment. These tears don’t cleanse, they simply express what I can’t always put into words.

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