Today was another beautiful Idaho day. The mountains to the East looked hazy from a mixture of smoke from the Soda Springs fires, as well as dust from harvest. I love this time of year, watching the combines comb the fields like giant locusts, devouring everything in their paths. In the evenings as the sun sets, it looks like someone painted a large red circle in the sky, and meadow larks call to each other from fence posts.
Our first appointment today was with Dr Kelly, a neurosurgeon. He’s a straight shooter, no nonsense – say it like it is kind of guy. It’s refreshing and brutal all wrapped up in one awful package. He showed us images from last nights MRI, and even though I am no radiologist, it was easy for me to see that the many images before us were bad news.
Screen after screen showed tumor after tumor. One right up by his eye, some to the left, some to the right, one large one pressing down hard on his motor skills area of the brain, it went on and on…
He then said to us that there’s no other way to put it but to say there are far too many tumors and too large a size of tumors to operate on him, and that they are large enough to where they won’t respond to radiation. He then told us that Jan has about a month to live and that if it were him, he wouldn’t waste time on any sort of treatment but rather go and enjoy the time he has left. I turned to Jan with teary eyes to see a tear running down his cheek. My heart aches. Danny reached over and took my hand and kissed my head, as we continued to listen to the doctors continued insights and advice.
We left his office and walked out to where Mommy and Aunty Liz were walking and broke the news to them. I heard the same heart wrenching sobs from her as she hugged Jan tightly with her cheek against his chest, as I heard from her a couple nights ago as she wept at Daddy’s grave. My sweet beautiful mother, oh how her heart is breaking. I want to take all her pain away and handle it all myself. Our lives will never be the same again. We will eventually move on and have many joyful experiences, but there will always be an irreplaceable void in our lives to join the already existing void left from losing Daddy last week.
Yesterday an appointment had been scheduled for us to meet with the radiation oncologist this afternoon, and even though we didn’t really see the use, we went to that appointment. Dr Todd sang a different tune to Dr Kelly. He told us that though this cancer is not one that can be cured, he can buy Jan more time with radiation treatment. That depending on how he reacts to radiation, he can extend Jan’s remaining time from 1 month to maybe 6 to 8 months. Side effects could include increased headaches and fatigue.
The choice is now Jan’s to make. We love him so much and support him completely in any decision he makes. We will be by his side and love him and care for him, and complete every last item that we can on his bucket list! It’s going to wild. Full of continued laughs, teasing and beautiful memories, along with tear filled pillows at night. I am so grateful that I am healthy and strong and can take care of him, and I am grateful for an incredibly amazing husband and family to be by my side through this.