Rough Patch

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. My nephew was bitten by a spider, a common enough occurrence, but due to poor medical care and just bad luck he came really close to losing his arm. He still battles the infection, but he’s kicking its ass. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the doc said he’d passed the dangerous point.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only war our friends and family were fighting. Yesterday I was told they were putting a friend of mine in a hospice facility. Her only daughter is the same age as my son. The kids grew up together.

About five years ago, my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer on one side. She’d lost her mom to this horrible disease and she wasn’t talking any chances. She had them remove both breasts as a precaution. Recovery was tough, but she looked toward the future with hope. About six months after her first ‘all clear’ diagnosis, her daughter told her she was about to become a grandma.

The next year flew by. Doctor visits took on a whole new feeling. They were about to welcome a new life into this world. Everyone was excited and happy to have a baby boy join the family.

Not long after that, my friend noticed her eyesight wasn’t what it once was. We figured it was one more side effect of getting older. She went to the ophthalmologist to get glasses. She got an ambulance ride instead. When the doc examined her eyes, the sight scared him enough to send her directly to the hospital.

The breast cancer had migrated to her brain. A round of surgery later, she was given the ‘all clear’ once again. Recovery went a little easier this time.

We’d already lost a cousin to brain cancer, so the ‘all clear’ was nice but we still worried. Cancer is a sneaky bastard.

About six months later, the news we’d feared was delivered. It was back and this time in an inoperable spot. They had a few tricks up their sleeve and they thought they’d win this battle  Treatment was awful. The weakness, headaches and nausea were endured with a shaky smile and a brave face. Eventually, she got the best news they had to offer, they had minimized it and it wasn’t growing. They believed they could hold it in check.

Life began to develop a routine and a new ‘normal’ was created. Until the week my nephew was bitten by the spider. One day after he went into the hospital, my friend took a tumble down the stairs. While determining the extent of the damage from the fall, they found significant growth in the cancer.This time their sleeves were empty and no one had any bag of tricks to draw from.

She entered a hospice facility yesterday. I know her thoughts are on her daughter, just barely 21 years old and her grandson now two years old. Such a rough time. Other than being there for support, there’s nothing to be done. No words or gestures are going to fix this or alleviate the pain and grief.

I hate to end a blog on such a depressing note, but right now I got nothing. Just hug your loved ones and be grateful for each day you’re given. Every damn one of them are precious.

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