Sunday, January 28, 2007

2 Weeks

2 weeks, why that could refer to anything, it refers to anticipation - makes you think I am awaiting something fantastic to happen in 2 weeks, right? I remember when I was little counting down until it was 2 weeks until school was out for a break, 2 weeks before I got my driver's license, 2 weeks before my wedding - you get the point.

Sadly, this 2 weeks refers to how long my uncle has been given to live.

Yes, I realize this has been a rather depressing blog of late, what with floods and death, but right now such is my existence.

My Uncle is my uncle by marriage and he rocks. He is just one of those people who are genuinely good, good in a way where they donate $50 instead of $1 to the jars on convenience counters for strangers, never wanting any credit or notoriety. He is in his 50s, he and my aunt have a 13-year-old son, and he along with his brothers runs a golf course. Not long after he and my aunt starting living together (before married), I was in a situation where I needed to not live with my mom at my grandma's while we were in between houses - so he and my aunt took me in, and I stayed for almost a year! He treated me like his own and while I was not exactly a rowdy teenager, I was a busy one who was out late at times and he always seemed to wait up for me - without ever making it seem that way. I only remember one time when he was obviously worried and all he told me was that I needed to call when I was running late. Not ever having had a father, his gentle admonishment was soothing to my heart and in no way felt like a scold, rather a sign that he loved and cared about me.

He and my aunt developed a loving and welcoming home, one I always like to visit and know I will feel welcome. They gave me a job at the golf course while I was in college and they were fun to work for, and it was a good time for me to see how much everyone liked both of them. They are a happy couple and it showed from them. I liked to tease about getting off work early, large bonuses, etc. and my uncle always told me to "blow your nose and get that shit out of your head." It always made me laugh.

About 8 years ago my uncle had a serious heart attack that left him in the hospital for about 7 months until a heart donor could be found, a titanium pump doing the work of his own tired heart. During this time he charmed the nurses, his doctors, the transplant team, and everyone because of his positive attitude. I remember the night he received the heart, the hospital chaplain, our family, and a few doctors, surrounding his hospital bed in the hallway on the way to surgery, praying that God be there during the transplant. He recovered amazingly and has been relatively healthy since that time. A wonderful blessing to both my Aunt P and their son.

Flash forward to this past summer when his health begain to decline. He was sent to this doctor and then that, with much delay in between specialists, until he was finally given the diagnosis of lymphoma. This was October and he has been on chemo since that time, mostly as an outpatient. While feeling crappy, we all still had hope that things would return to normal and scans were showing positive results and greatly reduced tumors. A week and a half ago, he went in for a chemo treatment and his oncologist admitted him to the hospital, he was not feeling too well and he had a good deal of swelling in his right thigh. I got a call and so stopped by on my way home from work as the hospital is in the city where I work, about 45 minutes away from the rest of the family. He seemed okay to me and before I left a nurse even came in with a preliminary suspected diagnosis of excess uric acid collection and that it looked to be easily treatable. I went home happy and thinking good thoughts. On January 25th, the oncologist told my uncle and aunt that the bumps that were becoming increasingly noticeable all over him, were a more aggressive form of lymphoma and that while she could create a secondary chemo, she did not feel she had a chance of success in a recovery, just prolonging his life while on 2 chemo treatments... My uncle decided he wanted to go home and try to enjoy the time he has left. When asked how long, the doctor replied, about 2 weeks.

I have cried innumerable tears over this, wanting to spare them all the hurt and sadness that is coming, feeling a loss myself over a wonderful man I have admired from the beginning. I did not get a dad in this life, but he has been one of the most positive male role models I have had and I have always been grateful for him in my life. The comfort and happiness in their home and marriage were part of the foundation that D and I have used to create the same in our lives. I shared this with my aunt on Saturday and will share it with my uncle if given the chance. They have had many visitors, a testimony to my uncle's big heart.

So as you wake up each day, be grateful - no matter how early the alarm goes off. Be grateful that you are alive and able to lose those pounds or pay off that debt or hug that child or send a card to a friend, or just about anything. Please be with me in prayer for my aunt, uncle, and cousin, ask that God pour his love over them all - and a miracle would not be too much to ask for right now either.



D said...

Dear God, I pray today that you grant CC and her family the peace that only your love can provide. In your infinite wisdom guide them, show them and help them to sustain through all that is to come. In your arms grant them the comfort to endure. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!

cc said...

How beautiful, thank you D. I am grateful for this unique online friendship that we have formed.


Christina said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I am praying for your Uncle, his family, and for you too... for comfort, for peace, and for a miracle too.

cc said...

Thank you Chris, I appreciate the prayers.

Thank you Nik - your card was so nice and well-timed.


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