Two weeks ago today I came home from the hospital. The world had changed since I went in 3 days earlier. I had gone in to the ER that Saturday morning thinking I had appendicitis — pretty serious, to be sure, but fixable with a relatively quick & easy surgery and some downtime afterward. I’d be as good as new. Instead, a serious-eyed doctor was sitting next to me saying phrases like “4 centimeter mass” and “brain MRI.”
All the time I was in the hospital, and every minute since then, my soulmate has been by my side.
He’s a bulldog
Today he spent the better part of 2 hours on the phone trying to straighten our hospital billing and Medicaid applications and healthcare bureaucratic red tape and misinformation. I am sure this kind of thing makes him crazy even though he is very good at it. “I’m a bulldog,” he says. Yes, he is, and it makes him testy with me. My soulmate needs a hug.
I am a lot of work
This thing of caring for a cancer patient is a lot of work. I can do stuff, but way less than usual. Soulmate is doing almost all the cooking. He’s doing more than usual of the cleaning. Along with me, he is spending hours a day researching cancer treatment protocols, nutrition, and supplementation. He worries about me. He’s my advocate. He tracks things in his head, things like when I last had medication or how I react when I eat certain things or how much (or little) pain I’m in. It’s a lot, to throw in your lot with someone who really needs help. If I were doing this alone … well … I don’t think I could. But here he is — my warrior, my champion. He’s in it for the long haul. My soulmate needs a hug.
And he has his own stuff to deal with
Not only is my soulmate (can I just call him Dave now? Or Kahuna? Which would you prefer? The one is what everyone else calls him and the other is my special name for him) cooking, cleaning, researching and loving, but he is also making nearly all the changes I am making. You would find this hard to believe if you knew him, but my soulmate is giving up coffee. Not just because I had to give up coffee, which could be reason enough, but because he wants BOTH of us to live a long time together and he knows that coffee isn’t doing his body any favors. He is giving up coffee, has radically changed his diet as well as mine, and all those changes have an effect. Plus he’s already challenged enough with two hop replacements and a lifetime (up to November 2010) of not having me yet. My soulmate needs a hug.
What would you do if you found out the love of your life could die this year?
I can’t imagine what it must feel like to finally know you love the woman you’ve been waiting for all your life and then find out she has supposedly untreatable cancer that will purportedly kill her in less than 9 months. I think I’d be freaking out. My soulmate says over and over that he waited 44 years for me. That he was made to love me. That we are soulmates. I believe it all. This whole thing is so not fair. And our love story is what makes the cancer thing so poignant. He is going to love me back into living. My soulmate needs a hug.
A hug story
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they hug. Try this, next time you hug someone new. Do they meet you, chest to chest and belly to belly? Or do they hug with their collar bones? Two arms or one? (beware the one-armed hugger!) Count beats during the hug. One-two-three…that’s a nice hug. Anything less is too cursory.
Our first date was a trip to the Seattle Art Museum to see the Picasso exhibit. I offered to drive down to Seattle from Bellingham WA where I lived at the time. A two hour drive. I really wanted to see Picasso and figured how bad could the date be? I was pretty sure I would like him anyway (we met on OK Cupid). He was new to Seattle, hadn’t even yet moved into a place of his own but was staying with friends. I drove up to the address he gave me. A man stepped out on the porch. Wow, is that him? Yay! I walked up the steps. The most natural thing to do at that point was a hug.
Oh yes. It was a good hug. Very good. I filed that away, a checkmark to be followed by hundreds more on a list of Good Things.
Give him a hug. Or give me one and I will hug him!