Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Fairy That Has Been Living at Our House

This is the fairy that has been living at our house this summer.  Now, don't be shocked, but we call her "the Shit Fairy."  This concept of she who shall hitherto be known as just "the fairy" was shared with me by my mother who has a friend who also was visited by the Fairy.  The Fairy had delivered to her friend not one or two, but three different kinds of cancer all at the same time.  His doctor told him about the Fairy.  My guess is that we all get visits from her from time to time.  The amount of crap that she deposits in our lives is small enough that we just don't seem to notice.  But it seems that in our case, the Fairy just felt we were due for some major visits this summer.

The Bug Man has been diagnosed with cancer and has just finished his second round of chemo and thirty days of radiation.  It's third stage esophageal cancer which means that he'll be having surgery in mid September.  It sucks.  Earlier this summer, while they were figuring out the whole throat thing, he had emergency gall bladder surgery.  Then while he was in the hospital getting his j-tube in for feeding post-surgery, I had to put our cat down.  The Bug Man's comment, "Oh, fine!  I turn my back for one minute and go in the hospital and what do you do?  Kill my cat!"  (We find that dark, dark humor helps when the Fairy has been to your home.)  The cat was 17 years old, well loved and dying of some kind of throat cancer.  (It's been the summer of the sore throat.)

We also said goodbye to my grandmother who at age 100 had lived a full and wonderful life.  But the truth is, when your grandmother has lived for that long, you kind of get used to having her around.  In some ways, her age has made the grieving process harder for her family.  We almost thought she would be around as long as we would.
I haven't blogged in a long while and I have been hesitant to blog about my husband's visits from the Fairy.  I trust you'll keep what I'm writing to yourself and not tell the Bug Man I've been talking about him on the internet.  He hates all the attention.  (Hah!)  But really, this isn't about him, it's about me.  It's about the fact that being married to someone who has cancer really sucks.  And getting multiple visits from the Fairy can really put a cramp in your style.  On the other hand, my mother-in-law took me shopping when she was in town last week and told the saleswoman that my husband had cancer and so she wanted to do something nice for me for my birthday.  (You do the math!  Husband has cancer, I get new clothes!  If I were a completely pathetic person, who looked better in her clothes, I could milk this for all it's worth.)

But seriously, it has been a long summer of restless nights and impatient days.  And yet, I realized today that in the nineteen years we've been married, this is not the worst thing to happen to us.  We've had it much harder than this.  Those long past difficulties led to separation and tears.  This has not.  We are in it together.  We may lose our tempers.  We may wonder if the other person has taken their "happy pills" for the day.  We may say things for which we will have to apologize later, but we haven't walked away.  This is not the worst thing that has happened to us.