When there’s someone, one someone, who makes your days brighter, makes your joys greater, makes your heart lighter..
Someone, one someone, you want to share with, do everything with, go everywhere with..
Someone, one someone you want to live for..
You have something called love.
Three years and two and a half hours ago, on February 1, 2013, I was sitting in the living room when Laureen hung up the phone and turned to me. A half hour earlier, on a Friday evening, we’d just sat down to have our dinner together and watch a little television. It was just after 8:00 PM when the telephone rang. I went over to look at the Caller ID and saw that it was a call from the Marino Center so I answered the phone. It was Laureen’s doctor, Dr. Wedda. She asked for Laureen and so I cover the mouthpiece and told Laureen that Dr. Wedda was on the phone.
I returned to the sofa while Laureen went into the kitchen and sat at our little table and commenced a conversation with Dr. Wedda. I guess I can let my journal entry from two days after that moment carry the rest of the story . . .
February 3, 2013 – Sunday
Laureen is the center of my soul. She is every bad clichéd phrase from every romantic comedy we’ve ever watched. I could not imagine my life without her – she is my heart song and the reason I do battle in the outside world every day – so that I may provide us both with a better life.
I was driving home Friday night thinking about our weekend. I was hoping for a quiet, relatively healthy weekend. I’d taken Laureen down to the hospital just this past Thursday night for an MRI to clarify some readings from an ultra-sound she’d had a week earlier. Nothing in the doctor’s notes indicated that this was anything but a routine check just to make sure everything was okay. Laureen had been a nervous wreck for a few days leading up the MRI – mostly due to the claustrophobic aspects of the test. We ended up getting her a prescription of Lorazepam to take the edge off of her claustrophobic anxiety and that seemed to work.
Of course, I’d also been pretty sick earlier in the week with a cold/flu. I actually stayed home for two days feeling pretty miserable and Laureen took wonderful care of me, especially on my worst day, Monday.
So, driving home Friday night I was just looking forward to a quiet weekend. And our weekend started quietly enough. We were sitting down, having our dinner, when the phone rang. I got up to check the Caller ID and saw that it was the Marino Center – home of Laureen’s doctor, so I answered the phone. She asked if Laureen was available and so I handed the phone over to Laureen. It was nearly 8:00 PM.
Their conversation ended about 25 minutes later. Laureen had at first seemed rather stern but as the conversation had progressed she had seemed to become more “conversational” so I waited anxiously to hear what the results were.
I was not prepared for what she told me next.
“I have liver cancer.”
We sat there in shock. At first, I felt nothing. I didn’t know what to feel. I still don’t know what to feel. We were both just shocked. This isn’t the kind of thing that happens to US – it’s what happens to other people, not us.
We’ve spent the last day and a half trying to process what this means, and crying, and worrying, and then, at times, being surrealistically normal.
We did make one decision. We plan on getting married this week. Tomorrow we will go down to the Sudbury Town Hall and file for our marriage license and after a three day waiting period we will pick it up on Thursday and go to a justice of the peace and get married. It’s not the way that either one of us wanted to do it. I wanted it to be so special for Laureen. She’s had so few special moments in her life – I felt like she really deserved to have at least one. But by getting married it will simplify my absolute legal rights as it pertains to her medical care. Her mother will not be able to say or do anything and that is just what it is.
We have already decided that once we come out on the other side of this cancer journey that we are about to begin, we will do a real marriage ceremony.
And for now, I think that’s all I can say about this. We acknowledge the need to stay positive throughout whatever this process will be and we send out our prayers and requests to the Universe to send us the doctors and support people that we will need in the coming days, and for loving healing energy and prayers from all our friends and acquaintances.
Sadly, we never got to have our “real” marriage ceremony. I never got to give her that special moment. We had other kinds of special moments, and we had one last summer where we still had hope left. I think I need to go seek some peace now. And let this memory wash over me and fade away.