Nancy’s Last Summer

Nancy’s ability to use her right side continues to deteriorate.  Her speech is about the same.  At least the slide is slow.  Perhaps like the tide her condition is about to turn.  The thing Dr. D. didn’t say but is obvious from the MRI, is that her symptoms now are not from swelling due to leaky blood vessels, they are from the increase in the size of the tumor.  The area of infarct is reassuring but doesn’t make up for the fiery ring that encircles it that seems to march on like the forest fires I beheld in the night as a child back home in West Virginia.

Nancy and I spent a few days at the beach.  The first night I booked a villa at the Omni Resort at the South end of Amelia Island.  I wish we had booked the entire week there.  Nancy had stayed at the Amelia Hotel on the Beach with a friend about 5 years ago.  Because of its proximity to the beach she thought it would be easier on her so she reserved us a week there a couple months ago.  We had a beautiful view of the parking lot.  Evidently the place had gone downhill since she stayed there last.  Nancy doesn’t like to be around people because of her inability to speak fluently and doesn’t like looking like an invalid dragging her right side which is much worse.  I told her she looked like one of those rich ladies who could give a rat’s ass what everybody else thought.  That made her feel a bit better.  Instead of staying until Saturday we came home on Wednesday.

This is damned hard for the whole family.  I like doing, so I find solace in fixing Nancy’s meals and even doing her hair and makeup.  If we get a chance to see Kim and Christine again, Scott Pelley’s make-up and hair stylists, boy do I have a lot of questions for them.

Zach seems to be doing well in summer school.  He called the other night to have a philosophical discussion on happiness.  I think he’s seen how I work and the stress it creates at times and desires a more balanced life.  He’s decided that a B average is good enough and that relationships are as important as making straight A’s or a ton of money.  I hope some of the positive things I’ve taught him and not just the negative examples I’ve set have led him to that conclusion.

Luke had a bunch of buddies from UGA visit over the weekend while Nancy and I were away.  Several friends from here in Valdosta along with others from various parts of Georgia slept at the house.  I remember when I was a kid when my parents went away and the mayhem that ensued when my sister and I had friends over.  Luke and his buddies went to church Sunday morning without a single threat from a parent.  Most of Luke’s summer, however, has been taken up with developing a web site in conjunction with Zach.  Zach has taught Luke to write code and instead of ruminating on his mom’s condition, I think he loses himself in developing the website. Nancy and I would feel better if he got out more.

Nancy’s battle, which is truthfully the family’s battle, has brought us all closer.  We have learned things and learned them deeper than we ever would have otherwise. For that, despite the hardship and uncertainty, we are thankful. But we’re growing weary and are ready to see her condition improve.

I shared with you the deal about the RAS. Nancy has given me permission to share an excerpt from the story I’m writing about our journey.  You may find it silly but it segues with mindfulness and gives insight into how one person finds the strength to support loved ones in the throes of a battle such as this.

 (Read A Coping Strategy on this website to see how we faced the challenges ahead.)