A week from the finish of our loft conversion. I had been looking forward to achieving some sense of a ‘normal’ marriage after sleeping separately from Jake for 2 years. And looking forward to sleep! Pure uninterrupted sleep. I was going to get Tommy settled in his own bed after being woken between 3 and 8 times per night since he was 14 weeks old. Sleeeep.
Devastatingly, on Friday I was told something that has caused me to do the exact opposite of sleep. For two nights in a row and for hours.
On Friday Jake had been to the hospital without me (to save me the stress), and was told that previous scans had highlighted an unwanted visitor in his body – an aggressive malignant tumor in the kidney, a tumor that has spread to his bone. In the words of his consultant ‘it is bad.’.
After spending most of Friday and Saturday in denial, I admitted to Jake that I wasn’t willing to let it in; that I hadn’t allowed myself to indulge in heartbreak since Dad died. That I was first and foremost a responsible mum; that I couldn’t lose control. (I openly admit that I haven’t dealt with my Dad’s death properly – he died in 2012 when I was six months pregnant and there is much grief hidden away somewhere. I wasn’t willing to open myself up to similar feelings now.)
It was then that he showed me the results of his Google investigation. It brought home that this was real; that we were facing something huge.
As things stand we are waiting for Jake to have a full body CT bone scan. This will determine whether the cancer has spread elsewhere. We will find out a full diagnosis and treatment plan on the 14th October. We have discovered via the ‘all knowing’ Google, that since the cancer has spread from the kidney, the bone cancer is the secondary cancer. The kidney can be removed but the bone cancer can only be slowed. I have read ‘expected survival 12-18 months’. I have read ‘expected survival 5 years’.
It sunk in.
Last night I slept for a couple of hours then woke. I lay in bed staring at the ceiling for a couple of hours. Then I sobbed. I so wanted a cuddle. I wanted to speak to my Jake. But I couldn’t help but think that one day soon I would want exactly that and he wouldn’t be here. So I lay on my own and my heart broke.
The boys know only what they knew already – that their dad has a sore leg. I’ve been there in my head but I can’t begin yet to express it on paper.
Jake is doing well considering, and I feel completely selfish wallowing in my own heartbreak when he’s the one who is going to be in considerable pain, possibly facing an undignified death.
My Auntie Angela once told me that I expressed myself beautifully and that I should blog (she never read my teenage diaries), so that along with inspiration from my friend, Rachel, who is undergoing her own tumor trauma, has persuaded me to try a bit of blog therapy. Perhaps with all this out in the open I may be able to get more than three hours sleep tonight.