I don’t even know

This is all happening so fast. I don’t even know how to process it.

Yesterday, they did a full-body scan of J to try to identify the cause of his knee pain. While they didn’t find that, they did find that his cancer has metastasized to his spine.

They didn’t have the results yet about the type of fluid that they found in his lungs, so we don’t know yet if that’s malignant or not. I guess we’ll have a bit better of an idea once we have those answers.

At least they upped his pain relief so now he’s more comfortable. But I don’t even know if he’ll be released tomorrow or not because they’re also waiting for his kidney function to get in the normal range. It’s coming down but very slowly.

To be honest, I don’t know anything about his life expectancy now. His oncologist is maddeningly vague about that and J never asks. In the past, I understood that viewpoint.

But now that he has bone mets in his spine, that changes things a lot. Now I would at least like to know, if his life expectancy is closer to a year or if it’s just a few months.

One of the reasons I’d really like to know that is so that I can advise Dylan accordingly. If J is going to make it until the summer at least, he wants to try to continue his college education. He’s going to take off a semester when my husband is at the very end but he also doesn’t want to take time off too soon.

Dylan is really, really struggling to know what to do about going back to school. Honestly, I don’t blame him a bit—this has to be one of the most agonizing choices a young man could have to make. He doesn’t want to lose education time unnecessarily but he also really wants to be there for his dad.

I’ve been talking a lot with the kids and it’s interesting to see how differently they’re handling it. Amy is a lot like me, very worried but also very pragmatic.

Dylan is having the hardest time by far. He doesn’t like to talk about it much. In that sense, I think he’s like J and that worries me. He did see his girlfriend for a while yesterday and he’s been going on walks, which is good for him. But I can also tell that he’s bottling up a lot of his feelings, which I can’t imagine being good for him.

Oddly enough, Chloe has really stepped up to be a source of comfort to me and she has a very good way of calming me down when my thoughts are racing.

She committed to me yesterday that she will help me with the rent—even down to splitting it in half. It will require tightening our belts for sure, especially until I’m eligible for J’s social security survivor’s benefits. But I think we will make it.

As she put it, even paying for half our rent here is still so much nicer and more comfortable than anything else she could get for a similar price (and it also gives Dylan a place to stay while he’s on breaks.)

I also mentioned selling J’s car to her and she was overwhelmingly in favor of it. We only owe $6000 on it and the Kelley Blue Book estimates its value at almost $9000. She’s driven the car before and knows it’s good. It’s a 2013 Toyota Corolla and has had all the maintenance done on it. It will probably go for another 150,000-200,000 miles. She feels great about buying it and can even pay for it with cash.

However, my name is not on the title at all and I don’t know how to transfer it. Once my husband can no longer drive, I just have to hope that he’s still of sound enough mind to help me figure it out.

So while I’m still praying for a miracle for J, it’s starting to become clear that I may not get one. And I’m trying to figure out what my next steps for survival will be. At least I know that I most likely won’t become homeless or need to move right away, which is a huge load off my mind. I’ve spent far too much time thinking about what happens if I become homeless and frankly it scares the living daylights out of me.

Thank God for Chloe, honestly. Dyl won’t have to drop out of school entirely to help me survive and I feel like that alone is a big gift we can give him. And once I’m filing taxes as a widow, he will surely get a lot more in grants. He really does have a good shot at making it, even despite the heavy obstacles he faces.

But Chloe is so calming and positive and I really appreciate that so much. I got more hugs from her today than I have in months and I admit that I really needed them. She brought me out of what was honestly kind of a tailspin.

I would never recommend this to anyone else; it’s absolutely horrible. But just maybe, it will be okay.

So now my attention is back where it should be: on the absolute unfairness of losing my husband so young. Just a year ago, he was NED and got off chemo. We were so full of optimism then. That optimism is so hard to hold on to now. I really have to remember the good times and try to keep them in the forefront of my mind because it’s way too easy to imagine the worst.

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