While we are well past the 3rd anniversary. There is probably a lot to say, and I will probably feel better saying it – that is a theme of mine you know having things to write but not doing it – for now this will have to do. I know that each year as the calendar moves me closer to anniversary of Dave’s death it affects me differently. I suspect each one of them will have their own special kind of suck. The first year of course I was almost desperate for it to pass. Anxiously waiting the year of firsts to be over because then magically it would be better. It wasn’t. It wasn’t magically better, and not measurably worse either. In many ways it was disappointing. The “getting through the year of the firsts” magical elixir was for not. The second year I didn’t want it to come, not sure how to “celebrate it” as one person said, more appropriately I wasn’t sure how to mark the day. I had become exhausted holding up his memory, living up to what I thought I was supposed to do, what I thought that people were thinking about what I should do and in the end I did nothing significant. I made sure, on that day, to connect with the people I loved most. I felt on the second anniversary it was most appropriate to celebrate those who made sure I got through the first. I just kept reminding myself he was more than the sum of the day, and some happy thoughts filtered in.
At the third anniversary I found myself in an unusually similar situation as when he died. I should start by saying I was going to name this post Boobs, or Save the Ta Tas! But I just couldn’t do it, but here we are and we are going to talk about my boobs a bit. See they are pretty much the bane of my existence. I have been considering a elective bi-lateral mastectomy for well about as long as I have had boobs. My physician thinks I have lost my mind and my medical care wont cover it anyway. It isn’t some sort of self loathing or anything, it that because genes are the gifts that keep giving, I have a well above average chance of having breast cancer. There have been a couple of scares through the years, lots and lots of weird mammograms, various procedures of poking, prodding, and biopsy taking. So much so that the one time that my health care provider sent me a card saying my mammogram was okay Dave and I laughed out loud thinking they sent it in error – they did. I got a call back from my doctor asking for a follow up later that same week.
This is all so routine that when an appointment was made to see the specialist on March 5, 2014 I planned to go alone. Don’t misunderstand, Dave went to so many of these appointments and it just became so frequent that I stopped asking him to go. They never turned out to be anything, and since we already had made the decisions on how we would proceed if one of those appointments turned out to be the ONE, well he was a phone call away. Just days before the third anniversary I found myself in exactly the same position – an appointment that is a follow up to the follow up – with the boob specialist. I am sure that isn’t her official title still she is the best of the best. While I was sitting in in my office on hold while the advice nurse was talking to the doctor looking at their schedules to fit me in “asap” as she said, crazy thoughts started to fill my head.
I started thinking what if I had asked him to go with me, would the day have turned out differently? Would he still be alive right now? My mind spun out several scenarios like: what if he had died at home, in our house. What would that have done to me? What if they could have revived him? Would I feel worse to have been there and been able to do nothing? Would I have been able to say good-bye when he was still alive, maybe not responsive but had a chance of hearing me? Could he have survived the aneurysm just not the car accident? Could I have had the chance to hold his hand so he knew he wasn’t alone when he left us? If he survived would it have impacted his quality of life to be sure – would he have died anyway but suffered for days? Of course the big question is:
Would I have had to make the decision no one wants to make but you do it because someone you love trusts you with THE decision when they can’t make it themselves?
You probably think that technician left me on hold for hours to cover so much ground – nope it was probably only a few minutes. My mind is amazingly proficient at going to the dark side. In the end I obviously didn’t make it to that day’s appointment, almost 3 years ago. However a diligent friend made sure I followed up. That was a spectacular disaster. I went in to the appointment ready and quite sure that even if there had been someting the universe could not be that unkind that I would go through that alone. The appointment went fine until the doc asked me how I noticed the change and I burst out into tears and told her that Dave was the one who sounded the alarm and now he was dead, which is why I cancelled the first appointment (she has noted that when the appointment started) and I was a blubbering mess. Did I mention I was the first appointment of the day, bet I ruined it for her, I have a knack for that. So they brought me some water told me I could wait as long as I wanted. I actually ended up falling asleep for a just a bit and woke to found myself covered with a blanket and the lights lowered. When I finally tried to sneak out I was met by a nurse who clearly was there to keep tabs on me. Those nurses can be sneaky little creatures. She brought me a little snack and offered to walk me to my car.
Thankfully over the past three years things in the boob department have been status quo and still fine. This last bout was nothing to be alarmed about in the end, because it is routine for things to be not be routine. I truly was not all that concerned about the appointment because if it is something a) it is very early, b) I have a plan, and c) I have a great team. I am however shocked that this once routine thing isn’t now so routine. I think this is going to be like that one scent that can transport you in time and space. This type of appointment, I am guessing, from now on will remind me of where I could have been that day. Remind me of why I wasn’t in the car that morning, and leave me with questions that will never be answered.
It seems, for better or worse, that some questions are never to be answered. I am learning to live with that.