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.
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.