Monday, December 13, 2010

Three Years Feels Like Yesterday

I close my eyes and Butch and I are sitting there, on the hospital bed, across from three doctors. The young one does the talking, telling us they found more cancer in the abdomen - hundreds of tiny patches of cancer. They are too small to have shown up on the PET scan, the $6K test which assured us there was no cancer outside the chest cavity. The radiation and chemo that have performed wonders on the initial cancer haven’t stopped the undetected metastacized progression in his abdomen.
It takes a few minutes for the words to sink in. Butch recovers before me and asks, “How long do I have?” This time, they defer to the oncologist, the veteran of the trio. He tenses in preparation for what he has to say – “Weeks, maybe a month.”
I want the doctors out of the room. Why are these three strangers staring at us at such an intimate moment? Don’t they have sense enough to leave us the hell alone?!?
I start to cry into a shoulder that has provided my support for over 20 years. Butch, in a gesture that typifies the person he is, tells me, “I’m sorry to put you through this, babe.”
Upon learning that he is dying, he worries about me. I am so lucky to have been loved like this for so many years.

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