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Staring Down Cancer

Vacation: Husband's (and doctors') orders

I have sent Noreen away for a rest, a decision that was not popular with some of her friends.  And, I admit to forcing the doctors’ hands to say OK – (a qualified OK).

It has been a tough two weeks on Noreen’s body, culminating with a visit to the emergency room until 3:30 a.m., due to stomach pain and difficulty breathing.  After six hours in the E.R., they detected internal bleeding, caused by the second liver biopsy, two days prior.  Tests showed “critical levels” of platelets and hemoglobin. A blood transfusion was suggested.  

“Come back tomorrow,” they said.

A week before, scans showed “evidence” of cancer in her lower spine.  Question:  “Now what to do?”

At home, as we discussed the test results and liver/spine cancer, Noreen was understandably upset.  All I could do was hold her.  One of the toughest things for me is to be so limited in what I can do to comfort.  Frustration is the word.  

One of the sources of her upset was a short trip to Mexico she had planned with her great group of girlfriends, which she realized wasn’t going to happen after her test results.

The next morning, as we were getting ready to go back to the doctor’s office, I told Noreen, “I thought about you and Mexico last night.  I want you to go.”

She was surprised.  

“Are you sure?” she asked me.

“Yes, I am sure," I said.  "You deserve time to relax and enjoy your girlfriends.”

The doctors gave their approval, as her platelets and hemoglobin levels improved a little.  

As I write this, Noreen is in Mexico, tired, but relaxed.  Happy.

It’s taking a chance, but Noreen deserves to enjoy every minute she can.

I love this woman.