Three months

Three months ago today, Chad & I waited impatiently in a hospital MRI waiting room.
We were nervous.
We were cautious.
We were hoping for answers.

Three months ago today, Chad and I sat in a familiar examination room, lit with florescent bulbs and the rubbery smell of medical supplies. We waited for the MRI results, laughing about neurological tests and discussing lunch plans.
We were nervous.
We were cautious.
We were hoping for answers.

Three months ago today, we received the answers we’d been seeking.
Yet, that hope quickly faded as Dr. T explained the progression of Chad’s disease through MRI images.
We were nervous.
We were scared.
We were nauseous.

Three months ago today, Chad made the brave decision to forgo treatment and spend the rest of his time with his family.
We were hopeful – that we would have plenty of good, quality time together.
We were scared – that we might not.
We hoped that we would be able to create memories for our daughters that would last a lifetime.

Three months ago today, we drove to Chad’s parents house, shortly after returning from Winston-Salem with the news.
We were nervous.
We were scared.
We were nauseous. No one should ever have to deliver news like that to anyone, much less your parents.

Three months ago today, we started planning.
We scheduled as much Summer fun as we could into the following weeks.
We started planning, at Chad’s insistence, a memorial service. He didn’t want me to do that alone when the time came.
We planned the start of the school year and started talking to friends and family about sharing carpool duty, meal preparation, house cleaning.
If it could be planned, we planned it. Or attempted to.
It’s humbling when you realize (repeatedly) how much of your own life you have no control over.
And also humbling is the frequency, and certainty, with which plans can change. Come together. And fall apart.

Three months ago today, we decided to just be.
Be together.
Be stress-free.
Be present.
Be loved.
Be…with no expectations or assurances. And absolutely no regret.

You see, three months ago today, we discovered, given Chad’s decision to end all treatment, that he had about three months to live.
Three Months.

We crammed in a lot of living into the next few weeks; time with the girls, sleeping in, traveling, eating favorite meals, seeing movies, and visiting with friends.
At the time, three months seemed light years away.
Yet, we both knew it would creep up on us quickly.

We started seeing small deficits (tumor-related difficulties) that we could not deny.
And slowly, but surely, the deficits became larger and harder to overcome.
The tumors grew.
We enrolled in hospice – one of the best decisions we’ve made.
The tumors began to take things from Chad that made it difficult for him to be himself.
And finally, Chad was admitted to the Hospice Home – another wonderful decision, albeit difficult.

Today: Wednesday, September 29, 2010.
Chad is running a fever of 101.8, that seems to have popped up overnight.
He is sleeping peacefully, deeply.
He will open his eyes briefly if I touch him gently on the arm or chest, but there is no other response.
No attempt at communication.
No word sounds.
Only a gentle gurgle deep in his throat.

Three months ago, I could not imagine what this would look like. Or how it would feel.

He is such a fighter, and has been bravely fighting for the last six weeks here at the Hospice House.
He never ceases to surprise me – when I think the fight is coming to an end, he comes back.
And he still could. Again.
I hope for his sake, as much as it hurts my heart to say it, that he is almost done fighting.
This is no life for him.
This is not living.
This is not what he would want for himself, for me, for the girls, for his parents, if he had the ability to force an outcome.

I’ve been talking to him a lot lately; how proud I am and how much I admire his strength and courage through all of this.
There is usually no response from him, but I talk anyway.
I probably talk too much.
I’ve given him my blessing to go – to end his pain – to move onto his next journey.
I don’t know if he does – or doesn’t – need to hear any of this.
But I don’t think it can hurt.
Everyone needs to hear how much they are loved, no matter the day, circumstance or condition of one’s spirits.

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16 Responses to Three months

  1. Candy says:

    I love you Skye. Very, very proud of your both!

  2. Felicia says:

    I just want to say how mush I admire your strength and courage through this. You are an incredible woman, wife, and mother. Prayers and Hugs. Felicia

  3. Brenda L. says:

    Skye, I am sitting here in my office, with tears rolling down my cheeks. You are an amazing woman. Your courage, strength and faith are an inspiration. My heart goes out to you, to Chad and to the girls.

  4. Melinda Frazee says:

    I'm typing this through teary eyes, Skye. What an incredible young woman Annette raised! What an incredibly strong, courageous young man you married! Your young family has had to face more than anyone your age should have to face, and you've gone through it with a strength that I know will carry you through the days ahead. Just know that you are loved–by God, by family, and by friends. Our prayers are with you and Chad as you continue this difficult journey. Melinda

  5. Rob ROGERS says:

    I love and admire you both

  6. Gailh 2005 says:

    Reading this has really touched my heart in so many ways. Life can take you through many rough challenges that you can't often prepare enough for. I can relate to so much of this in similar ways and yet different ways. I want to thank you for giving me continued strength and faith through such words of inspiration.

  7. Heather Faircloth says:

    tears,tears,tears. You are incredible. God bless you with comfort, and one day, understanding.

  8. Scabby says:

    How incredible Chad's love is for you, the girls, and his family. I pray you feel God's love wrapped tightly around you.

  9. Loralee says:

    Chad and you are two of the most incrediable people I have ever met. Your love, strength and faith is an inspriation to all. God is with you as well as the support of your family and friends. God bless you and the girls. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts no matter how hard it must be. I am so proud of your strength and even prouder to be your friend.

  10. Ruth Dees says:

    Skye, I have heard Donna speak of you often and have admired the journey you and Chad have shared so valiantly with others. I must say that you are one of the strongest ladies I have ever witnessed and admired. The strength that it must have taken to tell him 'he can go' only tells more about your character. I know God holds you and your family in His gentle arms and will give you peace. You are loved by many and God bless you!

  11. Aunt Carmen & Uncle Robby says:

    We love you both Skye and are sending strength and prayers your way.God Bless You.

  12. Chris Rainey says:

    Skye, Your family is in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time. I admire your and Chad's strength and courage as you and your family deal with this. I know there are not any words that I can offer that will help with what you are going through, but please know that we are praying for all of you and thinking of you constantly.

  13. Iris Jordan says:

    I can't tell you enough how strong and amazing you are and have been I love you Skye and pray for your peace!

  14. Allisonbjames says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. No words can describe how much they touch my heart. While I honestly wish you were not facing this journey, I have seen just how strong a woman can be. I wish you peace and love and God's continous strength.

  15. Pieter Lourens says:

    I admire your strength hope and faith… May God be with you and your family..

  16. Thatgirl150 says:

    May God bless you and your family and continue to provide you with strength, patience, and understanding.

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