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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Late Night Diner

So last night marked the anniversary of when we found out things were going to be serious.

Memory: Katie went with her mom to the MRI and then they were supposed to come to dinner at Bonefish. I remember talking to her around 6:30 to find out when they were coming in and she told me that her mom wasn't feeling well so she grabbed a can of soup. What had really happened was she had gotten a call from her doctor and told her to come to the office and to bring someone else to drive. There she was told that after racking their brains for all possibilities, the odds of these masses being anything other than pancreatic cancer were slim. When I got home from work that evening, I went about my night like any other normal night and she just waited in her brown chair for me to settle in. I guess I probably knew somewhere in the back of my mind that things weren't right and as long as I was normal, life was normal. Eventually, I sat down on the end of the couch closest to her and that's when she told me that she did have the results and that it wasn't good. This was the first time of many that I knew my body was in shock - my face went immediately numb, my ears started ringing and I lost all expression from my face. After we talked about what had happened to her that day, I quickly went to do some research while she got ready. In the short span of 5 minutes of research, I couldn't find anything promising. Katie was craving diner food so then we left to find an open diner. We first went to 4 Points and they were closed. Then we went to Hollywood, but they were about to close. So then we found Colonial in Woodbury and it was only us and 3 cops sitting down to eat. Katie ordered an open face turkey sandwich and I have no idea what I ordered. Isn't it funny that I can remember exactly what her turkey, gravy and potatoes looked like and I can't even remember what I ate. We spent the evening trying to game plan about our options, what we'd do next, and Katie spent a lot of time trying to console me. I guess we both thought that since she beat melanoma, she could beat this. I remember that we parked under a tree in the parking lot and every time I drive by that diner, I can hardly breathe because the memory is so painful. Luckily, it is rarely on my way anywhere. I think at some point, we were finally exhausted enough to go to sleep. I don't remember sleeping that night. I guess I will be finding out what I do and don't remember and that's why writing down these memories is important to me right now. It is so painful to recall but there's a peace in knowing that I have them.

I do know that that Wednesday is going to be pretty lost in my brain unless someone can remind me. I know there was a lot of time spent on the phone with my bosses and Katie making phone calls to get a biopsy scheduled. At first it was going to be local and then we finally got an in at HUP with their head GI surgeon, Dr. Drebin. God helped a lot of things fall into place for us, as he already had done by bringing us to NJ and putting us in this house and then opening a spot downstairs for us to move into.
I keep making jokes about wanting to sleep through the next 3 months but the truth is, I'm going to be so busy that they will fly by. And just in time, today is my last day of commuting to East Brunswick. I have enjoyed the opportunity that I've had there but it is too overwhelming dealing with the responsibility of the restaurant and my own emotional struggles. And this week is a hard reminder. The staff decorated my car yesterday because I jokingly told them I wasn't driving today. They got me anyway! I will miss them but the good thing is I'll see them semi-regularly in a couple of months.


Anonymous said...

James, I remember standing in the office when you told me Katie had masses in her pancreas. All of the stats of pancreatic cancer ran through my mind as I talked with you. Even though I knew what to expect, I prayed for Katie to be that rare exception. Please know that as much comfort as Katie gave you, you gave equal comfort to her. You were the epitome of what a good husband should be. I love you and I can't wait to see you this weekend. ~Tara

Anonymous said...

Dearest James,
Sending my thoughts and prayers your way today and everyday....the memories will truly keep u going from one day to the next...good or bad....I always felt at peace when remembering those times....even nearly 9 years fresh in my mind....keep the faith
Have a blessed evening With friendship in widowhood, Jen Miller, KC, MO


Through the worst tragedy I could never imagine, my life has become what it has become. Through this blog, I will continue to tell my story. Some days are good and many are not, but those are the cards I've been delt and I will continue to play my hand until the Lord makes me fold. Also, I hope that you will learn more about Pancreatic cancer and help bring light to this horrible disease so that other victims will be given more time to enjoy life than my precious wife had. Happy reading.