Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sushi and Silence

Sushi is one of our favorite foods. Sake, Maguro, Unagi, Sabe. You name it, Dalton loves it. Perhaps the only one he doesn't love is Uni (sea urchin), and that is a story for another day. So, on Tuesday night, after a week free from nasuea, chemo mouth, and gagging, Dalton and I took a seat at a sushi bar.

The sushi was actually fabulous, and it went down easier than most anything else Dalton has recently eaten. But that's not what this post is about. You see, after 8 weeks of me running amuk trying to distance myself from the situation so that I could maintain a level head and still keep the baby, the house, the job,and the finances under control, and Dalton sleeping 18 hours a day, throwing up 2, and vegetating the other 4, we find that we have nothing to talk about.

Here it is, our big chance to enjoy the next three weeks before surgery, recovery, and more chemo, and we actually find ourselves often sitting in silence while dining. It's not that we don't have things we could talk about, but they aren't really happy things. I mean, what is it that really steers conversations? For me, it's usually one of four things: what I'm currently doing or working on, what I'm interested in, what's going on in the world around me, and what I'm planning for the future. What have we been doing or working on recently? Cancer. What are we interested in? Getting past cancer. What's going on in the world? How the heck should we know? Cancer? What are we planning for the future? More treatment for the cancer. We talked some about this issue yesterday (over more sushi), and it brought up even tougher ones.

Now that Dalton is feeling better, he is starting to feel the weight of what has happened. Last week, we had Christmas to focus on, but now he finds himself with a lot of time on his hands and very little sense of purpose. That typicaly leads to a lot of thinking. And thinking leads to depression (ok, not always, but in this case it does). The past few days, he has been very blah, even sad. He is afraid now. I don't think he's so much personaly afraid to die. I think he's afraid of going through this hell only to die anyway. What is the point of feeling miserable for six months only to extend your life by the same six months? It would be one thing if chemo were easy for Dalton, but we know better. And, there is something else that scares him, but we haven't been able to talk about it yet. Every time he tries, he gets too choked up and starts to cry. We seem to be in public places every time it comes up, so it keeps getting shelved. Based on the mutual tears that start flowing at that point, several sushi chefs and a smog check technician probably think we are getting divorced.

Even still, Dalton's faith really amazes me. I have always struggled more with faith in the face of adversity than he has, and this is no exception. I asked him if he was angry at God and he said, "No, He's my only hope." While I know that He is my only hope, I'm still angry, and I tell Him that even while I am begging Him to heal my husband. I wonder just how much He thinks I can handle.

Today, I am driving down to Buena Park to visit my Grandpa and hopefully arrange for some full-time nursing aides. In the past few days, his health has rapidly deteriorated. When I talked with the hospice nurse last night, she wondered if Grandpa would make it through the night. Since mom died last year, I have become his primary caregiver and financial support. While it's been tough, my Grandpa has always been very good to me and he deserves more than I can give. Like I told him last night, "The best Grandpa ever." He told me he was tired and wanted to go home to the Lord. And I said, "I understand and I love you. You're the best Grandpa ever."

Even after that conversation, Dalton and I decided to venture out to a birthday dinner for two of our close friends. I think it's important for us to live life now as much as we can. Iain tried his first Indian food - samosas and nan. Dalton was able to be normal guy instead of cancer boy. And I got to laugh. For a couple of hours, life was very normal. I hope I never take normal for granted again.


Anonymous Sandi said...

Well you sound better since your last message to me! I'm glad...not only do I worry about your family but you. Even though i'm not much up on church or religion, I still have faith in the fact that He doesn't deal us a hand we can't play (or master). It takes what you've been doing; persistence, coffee, drive, and a sleeping pill or two(or eczema medicine :), whatever works for ya) .

Hang in there. Wish we could see you more.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I cannot imagine the anguish and pain the two of you are unable to communicate to one another....but it must be rampant thoughts throughout each and every day. What you do have is here and now and being educated about the choices that Dalton them and it may assist you in making an educated decision....TD, I will be calling you so we have the chance to talk. Religion...well you know that is not my thing, but this spiritual thing (being?) may be able to comfort you, but perhaps a miracle is on the way.....Much love to you

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life will never be the same for you. It is ok to be angry. It is the basic contrast between the way we expect the world to be and the way it is that creates anger. There are some fabulous
Psalms of lamentation. There is so much anguish in the world and God's people have not been promised escape from the pain, but salvation. Keep writing to us, be honest.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Adriana said...

Hi, a friend of mine told me about your husband. She knows that I lost my brother almost a year ago, January 23, due to the same illness. After readying about your husband, it brings me back memories. It seems that I'm reading about my brother. I would just like to share a little bit of my experience with you. My brother fought the cancer in his esophagus for 6 years and had 7 surgeries. Having God in his life made the journey a little easier. His faith was as big as the ocean til the very last minute. His faith is what kept him going. In other words, what I'm trying to say is for you and your husband to get closer to God and make him your priority. Believe works. It was amazing to see the strength he had after every surgery, after every treatment he got. Just to find out nothing was working, but yet, something kept him going. It was awful to see how sick my brother the last few months, but God was with him all along. I know GOD was carrying him and making things for him a little bit easier. He fought the illness til the very last minute, but he didn't do it alone, GOD was with him. That is why you, Dalton, and your baby are in my prayers. Try getting closer to your faith and ask Jesus to intercede (do it with all your heart). OPen your heart and ask GOD to come in and to heal you, to heal Dalton. Believe! This is what my brother believed and he proved it. Especially for the last 7 years of his life. God has a plan for all of you. Even though we may not always understand his will, but he wants the best for us. My best to you and your family. When you have God and Jesus in your life and in your heart, everything becomes a little bit easier. There are terrible moments in our life and this is one for you and your family, but it can become a little easier to handle. Keep your faith up, pray, and may God bless you, Dalton, and your baby.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa Kekaula said...

I just found out about everything two days ago. I've been reading the blog for hours. I have been praying for you, Jim (I know he goes by Dalton now, so sorry) Dalton and Iain (congratulation by the way, he's beautiful.) Tell Jim my mom is on the prayer job as well (he knows what kind of powerful prayin' she does). You may remember we met a few years ago at Amoeba Records when you and Jim came to see me play. Please tell him I love him and if he want to have coffee or email or talk about the baseball game we never went to go see together I would love to share his company. It's also good to know Joan, Jim and Kathy are around. Please let them know I'm thinking of them too. And by the way rock! God has truely blessed you and Jim. Here is to you getting more sleep and living a beautiful life together.

3:43 PM  

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