Yesterday, in one of those moments that occur occasionally, when illusion cracks and the resulting discomfort drives, I entered ‘metastatic pulmonary adenocarcenoma’ into the search bar. Within seconds I wished I’d stayed in the world of my own creation. There was no good news there, it was all bleak prognostication.
Five-year survival rate is eighteen percent, mentions of seven months hit me like a bucket of icy water.
I had to call my wife to tell her how much I love her and appreciate all she’s done for me in the fourteen years that I’ve known her. We talked openly and honestly about our feelings around this situation, I told her in deep detail why I felt unable to continue in our marriage.
We had both felt in different ways the seismic effects of my sister’s death. For me it changed the relationship with my wife irrevocably, for her the shock and grief sank deep into her being and began a gestation.
There is a theory that all cancer is caused by trauma, death and fear of death becomes the kernel around which the disease grows. A German doctor claimed healing rates of 95%, with all cancers cured once the correct death trauma was identified. He was hounded and imprisoned, until he was exonerated before his death, but his methods do not involve the comforting mainstream machinery, it is just words and the belief in ones own healing ability has been undermined so much that we feel we must have the IV bags of poison.
My wife is becoming very short of breath, there is an obstruction in her stomach that prevents the food and liquids from passing down, these are not good signs. She bears this with great equanimity, I don’t think I’d be as gracious. I’m crying as I write this because I don’t want her to die. I feel desperately inadequate knowing what she has taught me in our life together. The experience of death in my life has been followed by a complete meltdown in me, and if she dies I won’t have the luxury of a meltdown with the three kids to support.
The petty ‘facts’ of a relationship dissolve in the face of the big fact of death. Nothing that seemed important can survive its onslaught. Everything that annoyed me about my sister, and were insuperable during her life became trivial after her death, and yet, even when her death was certain and immediately imminent, that sense of her as a difficult intrusion remained.
There won’t be a tearful reconciliation with my wife because it would be a lie. Instead I will be staunch and strong in my support of her and the children during this next period of our shared time. I will not permit myself the luxury of a breakdown, I will hold my children close and reassure them that I’ll be there. I will show my wife how deep my love and appreciation for her goes by being the best I can be. I will ask God to guide me and I will listen for the answer.
Miracles are real and eighteen percent is not zero. Anyone reading this please send positive energy whichever way you know, we will feel it and survive. God willing.