Where Were You When Your Wold Stopped Turning

Do you remember where you were during 9/11? The feelings of absolute need to be with family? I remember desperately wanting to leave my college classes and pick up Makayla from daycare.

How about when the 35W bridge collapsed? I remember where I was and what I was doing both times.

Tonight, I had to tell the kids that their dad is going to die from cancer. I just cemented a moment in their minds that they will never forget.

It was 85ish outside with a blue, sometimes overcast sky. The two littles has been happily jumping on the trampoline while some really great people desperately attempt to finish the tiny house on stilts for them. I had given them dinner on the trampoline, complete with chips and soda-a treat they don’t always get but my give-a-fuck is completely broken, so, what the hell do I care.

I called them inside for a family meeting. I knew, after asking for advice and reading everything I could, that I had to use the words “die”, “death” or both. The kids need to know that I’m being honest and that I’m going to answer their questions the best way I know how. I don’t remember the exact phrases that I used. My hands were on both of them, Brad snuggled A and I snuggled B. And then I said it. And it hurt. So bad.

Yesterday, we found out that Brad’s cancer has moved to the area behind his left eye. And also his liver, pancreas, bones, lungs, possible fracture of L1 vertebrae…. that’s all I can remember right now. the report read “metastasis” too many times to count.

Brad’s heart is broken for his babies. All three of them.

Today is the day that their world stopped turning.

With Brad’s Consent

When I started writing my blog in 2017, I had no idea that we would be dealing with cancer again. I also underestimated the amount of people that I would reach. It’s wild, really, and I’m so appreciative of the support we’ve gotten.

There’s this thing that happens when you open your life to other people. There’s a vulnerability for judgement and opinions galore! There’s also vulnerability for love, understanding and support.

In the beginning of round two of cancer, this time, as the caregiver, I was tasked with suddenly losing a partner. Literally the other person to help with anything was in the hospital suddenly, and recovering at home, in a bed, beginning chemo within 4 days of diagnosis. I was also given brand new tasks, such as feeding every meal in bed (moving all family dinners to the bedroom), changing catheter waste, keeping Brad comfortable and getting everyone to everything. It’s a huge disrupt to everyone. I had a lot of moral decisions to make during that time. Which child’s hockey game am I going to go to? What doctor appointments do I need to be at? Am I supposed to take off work for all of it or just the critical appointments? Are all of them critical? I was thankful we had help with appointments so I could get to work most days, but it was still difficult to not be there for everything.

At this point in Brad’s diagnosis and the natural progression of cancer, I’m not sure how much I want to share. Brad is continuing to have greater pain every day. New and lasting symptoms everywhere on his body, but specifically his head. Brad is continuing to follow the advice and treatment of a very skilled team right here in St. Cloud. At the same time, so very swiftly this fucking disease is robbing him of everything. Yet, the only thing he ever complains about is that he can’t play with the kids like he wants to.

Today, I stopped at the camper to bring home most of the food and beer. I don’t know that we will ever stay there again. The last two trips were Brad taking each of the little’s on a separate weekend trip of fun. something they will remember forever.