28 December 2006

times in our lives

Until a few years ago, my husband had no recollection of losing anyone close to him. My husband’s mother died of cancer before his 3rd birthday and all he has of her are stories, pictures and a precious scrapbook her family made him a few years ago.

His family is a tangled web; there is a distinct line between is father’s family and his mother’s family. Since his mother was not around, his father’s family was the core of his existence. They helped raise him and his sister. And they also fed him full – with stories of his mother’s family. Stories he later learned were not so accurate. Just two years ago, both of his grandparents on his father’s side died, a few months apart. That was the first taste of death to truly touch my husband’s heart.

When we got married, we ventured into new territory. That time in our lives not only marked the beginning of our life together, but also an unexpected opening into the family he scarcely knew. For nine years now, he has had the chance to love the grandparents he once believed did not care for him, and nurture a relationship with the aunt, uncle, and cousins he had once heard such scandalous things about; he has learned the truths behind the lies, unveiled so many disillusionments. There is to this day disapproval from his father et al. But no more can it dissuade him from these people he has learned to love so much. Instead, they took him as an adult and loved him, plain and simple; no conditions, no demands. In these nine years, I have grown to love them as well. His grandfather, Poppa, in particular has burrowed into my heart; mine died when I was 14.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Poppa was diagnosed with lung cancer. He has beaten previous cancer and outlived more heart attacks than anyone would believe; in his typical way, he takes this latest news with style and grace, knowing he has had far more years than any doctor could have predicted. He still swears his heart will be the death of him; indeed, he had another heart attack Christmas Eve, but, still he lives.

Barely two weeks after his lung cancer was discovered his wife (Giddy) was diagnosed with cancer as well: the same cancer to take their daughter’s life; my mother-in-law. It is a rare type of stomach cancer.

There is a very real and painful possibility that neither of them will survive the year. In addition, all immediate family has been ordered to have tests run related to the stomach cancer. My husband's mother was in her mid-twenties when she died. His grandmother is in her seventies. The cancer is eerily the same in location and size. I must confess I am inwardly battling the possible outcome of my my husband's test. There are things that specifically concern me with him. Yesterday, he received his referral for the specialist and scheduled his consult; it makes my heart race.


Carbon said...

I have a family friend who's family all passed except for her due to stomach cancer. Her siblings, all within the same age group passed away within a couple years of one another, she did not have it though. It was a miracle.

I am so sorry to hear all of that. It must be frightening and frustrating, the waiting and wondering. You'll be in my thoughts and I wish you good news. Hold on tight.

momrn2 said...

Just wondering if the appointment has been had yet? Know you are in my thoughts and prayers as this only adds to what you already find yourself immersed in!!!

Keep me posted!!!