Just between you and me, Part VI

Part V ended with the words, “…Breathe, HuntMode, Breathe.”

Words are funny things. Some words are heard clearer than other words.

For the first time to my knowledge, Dr. Smith referred to it as a lung disease. Now, of course, it is and he’s probably said it a dozen times, but I didn’t really take it in. I thought I did. Still, seeing it in black and white on my email, I saw “lung disease.”

Both my parents died of lung disease. And, my mother died of this one, Emphysema. They did not call it COPD back then. For my Mom, she finally heard the doctor when he said “Emphysema.” That meant something to her. That resonated with her. She lived five years after that diagnosis. For the most part, she was in good health. She couldn’t walk as fast as me and had to stop to catch her breath, but you tend to put it down to age, rather than what it was. I don’t know if mine will progress the way hers did.

In layman’s terms, she had a tumor that grew across her throat/lungs, causing one lung to collapse, which is when I got the call that I should come home from vacation because Mom was going into the hospital and was given an estimate of four hours to four days left to live.

As I recall, they called that tumor cancer and that it was metastasizing rapidly and would move from her lung up to her brain swiftly and irrevocably. Due to an extraordinary surgery – only 100 people had had it up to the day Mom went in – she lived another two months, on oxygen, with me. We knew it was a short term solution, but at least she wouldn’t smother to death. For anyone who has cared for a parent, it is wrenching to reverse places. It is wrong. It is what it is. This cancer took away my mother’s dignity, something she valued highly. Fortunately, God was kind and it did not go on for long.

It’s one thing to think about dying and to get your Will and Physician’s Directive together, along with your Durable Power of Attorney. I did that back in 2001 after 9/11. It is different when you know what you will die from and how. I could still get hit by a bus, absolutely or any other number of ways, but odds are, this one. I had to update those documents recently and still need to get them notarized. And, here’s the thing. I am still in denial, like a child playing hide and seek, hiding being the curtain and insisting you cannot see them. Intellectually, I think I’ve got it, but my heart runs like a wild thing in the opposite direction.

….Intellectually, I think I’ve got it, but my heart runs like a wild thing in the opposite direction.

More than anything, I value my independence and it is slipping away, first financially and now physically. Scary stuff. And, on the other hand, day to day stuff. Just stuff. You can only freak out for so long before drawing back and saying, “Oh, no. No, no, no. We are not going there.”

And, so, we come to today. Why I started this post some seven hours ago. And, I should tell you, if you’re still with me, it has a good ending. I shall tell you tomorrow because I really have to eat dinner. See, stuff, daily stuff.

Odd, this was to be a fairly short post, sharing reflections of what I learned today and here I’ve spilled out all this chasing rabbit hole details. But, I believe in context. I believe you cannot really understand unless you understand the context – all the who, what, when, how and why of a story.

For Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI ~ just click on each of those numbers. Part VII coming up – stay with me here, this has what I call a good ending (so far!)

5 thoughts on “Just between you and me, Part VI

  1. Hunt, you are making and taking the right steps. I don’t believe you’re in denial at all, it’s more like “I don’t feel that sick” big comma YET. And because you don’t feel so sick you know you still have some bounce back. You also have many things going for you, you have been diagnosed early, you’re aware, you’re gaining knowledge everyday, you have put your game face on to fight it, and you have the desire to live as full a life as possible. It is surprising just much that desire will carry you. Smiling I know. Continue the good fight, and know you have friends in your corner all the time. Take care. Bill

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