Sometimes I feel like I have so much on my mind and heart that it just comes pouring out when I sit down to write. Other times I feel like an update on Will is needed, but I really don’t know what to say. The latter is the case this time.
Yesterday was the five-week mark since we learned the cancer had spread. These five weeks have been full of ups and downs, terror and joy, laughter and tears.
The sun continues to rise and set and, by the grace of God, Will has been given a new day of life with each morning. Some days are excruciating. He’ll struggle to breath, and I fear that each breath could be his last. So, I lay by his side throughout the day taking in every moment I have with him. But evening comes, the sun sets, and the next morning he is still with us and his breathing is clear. Other days, there are signs of improvement. His arms shake less as he pushes himself out of bed, and he’s a little more stable when walking to the other room. Towards the end of this week, he even started exercising in bed and can now do 3 sets of 10 of each exercise his physical therapist provided. I am encouraged by these small yet huge improvements.
Will and I don’t know how to do this … life with cancer, and hopefully, life post cancer. We don’t know how to live each day with what we face every morning. Part of me will think, “I just want to move on from this and live life,” but without fail I rarely can complete that thought without “this is our life right now” taking over my mind. This is not what we would choose for our lives, but it is life. It is our day to day. It is our 24/7. What is it about my mind that makes me think this is somehow not living, but spending my Saturday afternoon running errands or going for a hike or cuddling and watching a movie is? I don’t know. That was our Saturday a year ago. Now, our Saturday, and every other day, is scheduled by the hour (and sometimes half hour). It starts bright and early, actually dark and early would be more accurate, and goes until midnight or later. It’s a balance between nutrition and rest, exercise and rest, engagement and rest. It’s trying to be so in tune with Will’s body that I can sense which one he needs and when. Some days I think it works out well and others it doesn’t. But with all of this, we are trying to love … each other, the people around us, God. That’s what we wanted for our lives, our day to day to be… to love. It’s just in a much different way than we ever could have thought or desired or imagined.
For me, the nights are the hardest. That is when my incredible family, who is here helping, goes to bed, and when I listen and watch as Will sleeps. The sound of Will snoring is beautiful to my ears … it let’s me know he is sleeping deeply. I pray this sound continues as I struggle to fall asleep praying that it doesn’t change into a struggle for breath.
I guess the continuing challenge with all of this is figuring out how to live life well … whatever the day to day looks like. I know a year ago I would never have believed we could live through what we have these past seven months or not be completely paralyzed by some of the things we have seen and had to do. This is definitely a fight I never could have prepared myself for, but we are here and the fight continues.