March 29, 2010

Weeks 3 and 4 After Diagnosis

Dear Jordan,
These last 2 weeks have flown by, I sometimes wish I could slow time down, and prolong the inevitable. It would be so nice to know we could somehow stay in this happy time, and know that nothing is going to change.

We spent last week Friday with your Aunties Carmen, Nats, Uncles Ian and Neil and Emma and Hannah. It was somehow strange, but comforting to be normal for one night. In the back of my mind I kept thinking of Dad, and if he was tired, and how he was coping. People are afraid to ask, or broach the subject of Dad’s sickness; he however, talks freely and jokes willingly about this stage in his life.

You, Danette and I, went for breakfast with Aunties Marthie and Megan. Hearing them say how big you have got, and seeing how tiny little Quan is growing, really was an eye opener for me. You were, as always, a real charmer.

The human psyche is a strange being. It seems that we have moved from anger, denial and tears, to an acceptance of what is going to happen. That somehow, we realize the inevitable, and we are trying desperately to carry on. I have the business to run, and Dad keeps himself busy with household chores. There are times when for no explicable reason, tears will flow, but they have become fewer and further apart. While we pray for a miracle, and sometimes bargain, somehow we have moved on, to acceptance.

Gran told me of someone dear to us, saying that loneliness creeps up and that it is horrible. The fear of losing Dad has been replaced with the fear of being alone, that no one will ever fill the hole in my heart, he filled when we met. The unknown has always been an issue for me, and as you may well have learned by this stage of your life, I am a planner. The fact that our dreams, and plans are no longer, seems to have created a sense of feeling lost. The fact that the white picket fence, dog and 2 happy little children running around are not in the plan anymore, terrifies me, and that should I decide to give you the sibling you so deserve, I will have to do it alone. That is not to say that Grumpy, Granny and rest of your family will not be there to support us, but to do it without Dad, just seems senseless.

For now, we are thankful that Dad’s infection in his incision is clearing up again, that we can still have our holiday, and that I can hold his hand and talk to him. We are so grateful that you are with us, and that you give us each a smile, a kiss and a hug every morning and that at least a little bit of our dream has become a reality.

We love you forever and always,
Dad and Mom

March 15, 2010

Two Weeks After Diagnosis

Dear Jordan,
This past week has been spent making arrangements for our trip to Mozambique and finding out all the necessary precautions we’ll have to take while travelling with someone who is sick. It’s a bit harrowing to think that something could go wrong in a foreign country, but all things considered we are very close by air to Johannesburg. Dad needs to live this dream of his and the fresh air, white beaches and turquoise seas will do just that I’m sure.

On Friday, we were surprised by Granny, and our friends, Aunties Marthie, Karien and Jahni. I knew they had arranged for you to sleep at Granny and Grumpy’s house, but we never expected this.

Granny desperately tried to set up quickly, but you were having none of it, and insisted on moving the candles around and eating the flowers. Dad and I realized just how incredibly blessed we are to have people like these in our lives. You spent that night at your Grandparents, and Dad and I spent the night eating, talking, eating, watching movies and eating some more. It was truly wonderful.

Family day we bought you some bubbles and various wands, in hopes that you would be thoroughly enchanted,
but your fascination lasted about this long,

before something else peaked your interest.

You were quite content to allow Dad and Greg to continue playing with your bubbles,

while Natalie and I watched you go off to do a little adventuring,
bird watching,
Garden cleaning,

and of course avo picking.
Yet again, you couldn’t get them off the tree and between you and the dogs, the poor tree will have produced 50 fruit and yielded none. You pleaded with me to help you, at first you tried the non subtle approach, of stamping your feet and crying,
and then decided to try the begging approach.
Finally something caught your attention at the bottom of the garden
You stood there for ages, wagging your little finger and hand talking to that bush. It took me back to the days when I believed wholeheartedly that there were faeries and gnomes in the forests at Hogsback. We will take you this year to see those forests and to play in the snow. I still believe that that Hogsback is the most magical place on earth.

Part of me hurts so deeply that you will not know your Dad intimately, that he will not be able to raise you physically, but another part of me is glad that you will be spared this part of our families journey and that you will see these times, the happy ones, and know that you are loved.

All our love forever and always,
Dad and Mom

March 10, 2010

One Week After Diagnosis

Dear Jordan,

One of my friends, Kandis, suggested Dad write you a diary. Your father was never good with words, and because of this, he jots down notes for me to write in this space.

We have chosen to write this diary for you together, because together we made you, together we love you, and together we are a family. We have also decided to put it up for people to see, because without these people, some who we have met, and some who we haven't, the validation of Dad's life would be incomplete. I will have these entries printed and bound for you when this chapter of our lives is closed, and this will be a testament of how much Dad loves you for eternity.

It's been a week since we heard the news that Dad was sick with cancer. It's been a week of ups and downs, times where we cry together for the things we will lose and other times where we all stand back and laugh at Dad for his stubbornness and determination. At times I think people may think us callous because we still dare to laugh, but that is the essence of who your father is as a person. He always says he doesn't mind people making fun of him, because they're leaving others alone.

Dad is still very sore from his surgery and drains and has caught a little bit of flu with his weakened immune system. Not to be outdone, you have developed rivers of snot and a nasty cough. We maintain you've done it on purpose so that you can get away with doing this

instead of sleeping in your own cot.

We received some very good news this week, that Dad's cancer has not spread to his bones, and that although his hips are still very sore, we can treat them for the correct issue. This is the 1st positive diagnosis we've received on his hip in almost 11 years. We took you to the oncology ward on Tuesday for the follow up. Yet again you proved what an amazing little boy you are. There wasn't a sick person waiting there that you didn't walk up to, touch, fake laugh or smile at. In a room filled with such sadness, you made every one of them smile. Dad was so very proud of you and I had to fight with him not to pick you up and strain his wounds.

We have been doing enquiries into going on Dad's dream holiday. Unfortunately you'll be too small to come with, but there are still so many places you and I will see together.

This week we are positive that Dad is getting better, he is already becoming belligerent again and that is a very good sign.

Remember we love you forever and always our special son,

Dad and Mom

March 02, 2010

We sat there, in that cold room government hospital room, joking about the smell of car air freshener, skirting the subject, not wanting to say what was on our minds. The grip of his hand on mine told me he expected what I did.

She came in, looked at his file, checked his X rays, biopsy results and did one further examination. He told her: "don't beat around the bush, tell us so that we know". She looked at him and said: "Cancer can only be cured 3 ways. Surgery. Not an option for you. Chemotherapy. You're not type specific enough. Radiation. Impossible because of where your cancer is. We can manage your symptoms and treat your pain, but that is all. I'm sorry". I felt the grip of his hand tighten, it mimicked the feeling in my throat, constricting, a lack of air. "How long"? he asked.

"Not long".

I don't know what I expected. A rush of tears? Words expressing how unfair this was? Instead, I was met with silence, and his gaze, that implored me to say something. Anything. I couldn't. I had no words. My mind was reeling, but my mouth couldn't say what my heart was feeling.

And then she said these words, words that will stay with me forever. "None of us have tomorrow. This is it. Today is all we have, and today you are alive. Today you can hold your wife's hand, and tell your children you love them. You're going to have good days, and you're going to have bad ones. Make a list, and on the good days, do those things you want to do. Live your life".

All I could muster was a thank you.

Right now, all I can muster is a thank you to my family and to my friends, those I have met and those I haven't. I do not have the words to tell you how loved we feel, how your emails, text messages and phone calls have validated my husbands life and have made these dark days a little brighter.

In all this madness, we all need to really hear what that Doctor said.

Today is all with have. Live your life.