First up, I have not thanked her enough, but Kendall has opened her home to us for ALL of our Houston visits, AND let us use her car. This has saved us literally thousands of dollars. And she is just incredibly kind. She has bought us food, washed our linens, and helped me get the gunk out from under my fingernails last night (I can't shower or even wash my hands properly - I am gross). Thank you for being so generous, Kendall!
Second, my babies. They are being watched by a rotating committee back in Oxford and Memphis, and I love them all so much for helping. From my staff members at Ole Miss to Emily to Jeremy's friend Isaac's family, so many people have stepped up to volunteer who did not have to, and we appreciate you more than you know. My family in Memphis has taken on the biggest load and have spent the night at our house for large chunks of time taking time off work and their own incredibly busy lives. Thank you to Megan, Dani, Joey, and Mom for your selfless love of your niece/nephew/grandchildren. You say it is silly, of course you would do anything for them, but the reality is there are so many families who don't help each other out or so quickly and lovingly step up to help with no thought of payment in any form. I just love you all so much. And I cannot leave put Cheri, who despite living in NYC and therefore not physically watching the kids, she set up the whole care schedule, which is super complicated, so hats off to her.
Brian and I miss the children so much it is insane. I see the photos I am sent and it just makes me cry. I simply cannot believe we are missing Halloween. Ugh. We call them on speaker phone at night and their little voices are so beautiful. They sound so happy. I can only grunt, but they are convinced I can say "hi" and a few other things. Bless them. We are not ready for Skype until my face has healed a bit more. We were given a DVD and a bag of goodies for helping explain cancer to kids. We have already done a lot of that explaining, but I think the physical changes from my surgery are scarier than the hair loss (they witnessed the cut to soften that blow) and the stomach tube (which is under my clothes so not really a constant issue). I have hope the drain may be gone before we go home, but the trach will most likely still be in place. That plus the neck scars plus my tongue plus my arm and leg will be a lot for them. 😔
Some of the photos we have been sent over the weeks from various people: (I am doing this on my iPad so I can't size the photos properly - sorry if this looks weird when published)
Finally, I have talked about him in every single other post, but my husband is simply the most wonderful person ever.
This was written about Brian. We actually had it as a reading at our wedding (I was chosen to read it as a 5th grader at a big Mass with the Bishop so it has always been special to me), but it was not until this ordeal that I finally see these words coming to life and walking and talking before my eyes.
Brian has been so selfless, gentle, dedicated, loving, and fantastic. He has also been terrified, sad, stressed, mad, and frustrated. He gives me all of my medicine via syringes into my PEG tube. He has a chart to keep up with them all - and they are around the clock, even at 4am. He cleans all of my wounds daily. My arm donor site is insane. I have an open nasty wound from wrist to elbow where they took skin and muscle from my forearm to reconstruct my tongue. It is a huge, deep wound, and he has to clean it daily. While I cry from pain daily. He does such a good job, and I try not to cry, but it freaking hurts like hell. He hates to hurt me, but it is not him. He holds my good hand while we sleep. He reads to me since I can't hold a book properly (which sucks, I had a pile of books I bought for my recovery not realizing I could not hold them). This made the nurses totally fall in love with Brian, by the way - the reading. So sweet. He is an excellent orator.
I am so lucky. My husband is not perfect. I told you about the skillet in the last post (heehee), and yesterday he accidentally squirted oxycodone (bright red liquid pain reliever) out of the syringe onto the wall and ceiling in our guest bathroom at Kendall's. He was so mad. It was hilarious. As was watching him climb onto the sink to clean it up.
That's why I love him so much. He is so real. He lets his emotions out. He cried when talking to the kids the other day and he cussed when we got the run-around from a dumb nurse on the phone. I love that - his honesty and his fierce love for me. When we get good news about my progress, no matter how minor, Brian always has to take a moment to collect himself. He is SO invested in my recovery and cure. I seriously could not ask for a more wonderful partner to walk through this nightmare with me. He brings the light that helps us see through the dark. My light falters regularly, but his can be counted on to be shining brightly even in the darkest of times.
Thank You so much for giving him to me.
I am still trying to figure out the big picture and the "why" of all of this. I know there is a reason I have been chosen to deal with this, and so far, the one clear positive I see daily is the love and care in the eyes of my handsome husband.