Where does it go? The days are flying by, and in a little over a week June will be gone. It's been incredibly busy... and surreal. Never mind the educational workshops I attended for over a week, or VBS where I am working with three-year-olds! A hulking elephant named brain cancer has been lurking everywhere. My 4*th birthday came and went, as did Father's Day.
We celebrated by inviting Mike's parents over for fried chicken and all the fixings. What with the cards and gifts, it would seem to be an ordinary Father's Day. But this year wasn't. Usually my father-in-law is looking around our home for something to do: an air filter to change, help the boys with the lawn mower, check some gadget or another. But this year he didn't. Usually our summertime meals with my in-laws involve him grilling hamburgers and steaks. But this year he didn't. Usually he is asking the boys about what they've been up too. But this year he didn't.
This year he walked in slowly with his cane and sat down carefully. His usual quick smile appeared tired. I don't think he said more than twenty-five words the entire visit due to the expressive aphasia that was caused by the cancerous tumor. I could see how it pains my mother-in-law. She puts up such a brave and strong front, carrying the conversations and going on... because what else can you do? What else can you do when the man you have spent forty-five years of your life with is battling Gioblastoma Multiforme (Stage IV) cancer?
What do you do? What do I do? What do I do when I have researched this brain cancer on numerous websites and they all say the same thing? (And what they say is just heart wrenching.) What do I do when my husband has NOT? What do I do when he is in denial (either by choice of not finding out more - or just by choice in and of itself)? Have he and his mother talked about what could happen in twelve to eighteen months? (They don't talk as much as my family does.)
I try to talk and open the door for conversation with her. And although I feel her strong shell is slowly cracking, I'm not sure she will confide in me. But that's ok. She and Mike's aunts are very close and I know they are there for her. But Mike and I don't talk about it in any depth at all. We just don't. And I guess I just have to honor that. Hello, elephant in the room...
So that's where I am... with a big ol' elephant in the room named brain cancer and he won't go away.