It came all too quickly and I wish I could just turn off my calendar awareness sense, but I fear no such luck.
I wrote this post a year ago today. That day is incredibly vivid in my mind, as are the two that follow it. I was late getting to the splash pad because I sat in the church parking lot and sobbed on my husband; JD had tried to get out of bed and screamed out in the most terrible pain, unable to do so. Mom called the oncologist and Dr. Goodman scheduled an MRI for the next day. She also said that she really believed he was relapsing.
The summer had been a brutal one- in and out of the hospital, grand-mal seizures, unexplainable symptoms, lots of pain... lots and lots of pain. But the scans were clean. Time after time they were clean. We held onto hope. Maybe it's a reaction to medicine? Chemo? Something? Anything... anything but cancer. But that day, Dr. Goodman voiced our greatest fear... and was absolutely correct.
The following morning was his spinal MRI. We knew the results before she said a word- you could see it all over her. My heart breaks afresh remembering the way JD bit his lip, fought tears, nodded his head, left the room. We all sat there speechless- afraid to ask questions... afraid to know the answers. We were told that day that there was nothing further they could do, that they'd exhausted the known options at that time. They said we'd look into clinical trials, see if there was anything available anywhere else. We refused to give up- We would've traveled to the moon if that's what it took. JD didn't want new doctors. He didn't want to travel out of state, didn't want to leave his school, his friends. There were no trials that offered anything beside brutal side effects, anyway.
We met the palliative care doctor. I had no idea at that time what she really was.... was blind to the fact that we were simply managing pain.
It was all a quick downward spiral from there. The significant dates from August 26th to October 9th are many. I don't know how to get through these next five weeks... I wish I could just fast forward through them. It's torturous to relive it, torturous to accept that it's been that long- that he's really been gone for this long. It's all just so hard, suddenly so fresh, my heart aching at my loss, breaking for my parents. I find myself all over the place with my emotions- wanting to retreat and hide, return to the hospital, be surrounded, be alone, be distracted. It feels almost like starting over- This is really real, this really happened. Not that I ever forget- it's just real all over again.
I don't want to sugarcoat any more of my grief. Sometimes it's really ugly and really hard. But I'm enduring... we're getting through this. I don't want to throw cheap words around, to say the things that I know are expected just because they're expected. I want to be real, and tonight, this is what real is. I am really really sad, and I miss my brother more than I could ever put into words. I've got to be honest and say that I've often neglected to turn to the Lord in my time of heartache- I've had a lot to work through this past year, a lot of crossroads... and I can say without a speck of doubt that God has met me where I am at, where I needed Him every single time. He's proven Himself faithful and good, ever-present, Love, time and time again. I'm holding on tightly to the verses the got me through a year ago today- and they're still comforting my heart even now. Rest in Him, my friends... the only place comfort is found.