13 September 2007

on cancer and death

I posted about Amy Wilhoite not too long ago--a woman of deep, abiding faith dying of cancer. On Monday, she went to meet her Lord and as her husband said, received "Ultimate Healing". (If you click the link with her name and scroll down, you can read her husband's touching words regarding her last day in two short posts). My heart has ached this week. She was younger than me, and had a one year old little boy and a husband whose love for her was so huge and strong. She had a large family who cared endlessly for her as well. I followed her blog from the first week she was diagnosed and it was a heart wrenching journey to say the least. If I recall correctly, she never actually achieved remission in the year and two months that she fought this cancer.

Her battle reminds me of my mother-in-law whom I've spoken of a few times. She, too, died of cancer leaving behind small children who have no real memory of her. I have felt cheated in some ways that I never knew her. I do believe, having known her brother, sister and parents, that I would have really enjoyed her. I cannot imagine what my husband and sister-in-law have felt over the years.

And these thoughts of cancer and my mother-in-law bring me full circle to think of Giddy, her mother, who is dying of the same cancer. Over Labor Day weekend, Giddy was given 24 hours at most and hospice was coming every day. A week later she was put in the hopice care center as that was the best choice for keeping her comfortable. And now, days later, she is still just withering into a wisp of a person, rarely concious and rarely able to recognize her own daughter. She has not eaten in two or three weeks and her breathing is slow and paced by a minute at times.

These days are hard and emotional and so tiring. We are trying to leave for our trip to Disney later this month and I hardly know how to feel--I'm excited and looking forward to it, yet full of anxiety and nerves. Will we go on the heels of a funeral? Will we have to cancel or return early for a funeral? Some of these thoughts also bring a load of guilt, that I'd even consider such things! I do know we are in need of this time as a family since the summer turned into workfest for my husband while I sat around miserably unable to eat and too tired to tidy (thankfully, right before I got pregnant, a lot of things around here had been in very good shape, but it still adds up fast).

The truth is, the Lord knows her "appointed day" and that is a settled detail for Him. I need not worry or be anxious -- I am just cycling through what would be PMS if not for the very real fact I have a kicking little boy in my belly (and I still have less appetite than I expect, but at least the ill feelings have gone at last).

And so you have all my reasons for being Oscar the Grouch this week. (Oh, all that and two mini-Oscars that live in my house with me. But at least they're cute and loving the rest of the time....hahaha!)

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