Where The Painful Things Go

The things that you find when ya ain’t AT ALL looking for them, geesh.

My closet door wouldn’t close, and kept creaking and coming open. So I had to take these boxes out, and re-arrange them. In one of the boxes is Tim’s records, notes, receipts etal from that year and some – ephemera from a life of pain and sadness. So I had to find another, smaller box, to put it all in.

So, as I dumped the contents into the new smaller box, out popped a small piece of note paper.

Diet Notes
Diet Notes: 10/26/2011

The date astounds me. We had just returned from London, after Tim’s surgery at University Hospital in London. Those horrible long days, and sleepless nights. I met people, I smoked my brains out in the smoking pit, I went for the occasional stroll down by the Thames River. I cried, and worried, and tried to keep Tim strong and positive; which was not easy, as I was battling a lot of doubt myself.

I hunted for beauty, as ugly was certainly present far too often.

We’d arrived at the hospital with a small overnight bag, and hope. We left a month or so later with a lot more baggage to drag home, and Tim had less guts. These notes were my way of taking some sort of control. To monitor and understand what was going on inside…help the dietitian, help me, help Tim eat. It was important since his surgery had involved removing his gallbladder, tip of his pancreas, and some of the upper intestine.

Tim never ate well. Like EVER. Impossibly picky eater. I swear, he would have bloody starved to death in my house. My Mom nor Grandmother, or Dad would have stood for this sort of nonsense. However, he had to eat, and so I researched and found ways to make him eat. The dietitian we had was a gem. She was also a bodybuilder, and generally had a real solid, down-to-earth style. She was genuine, and she cared.

Ugh. This box is full to the brim. Why do I keep it? I thought about this all the way to work this morning. Why do I keep this stuff? The only thing I could come up with is, as a Historian by nature, I can’t help myself. I see the usefulness of these documents.

Taken together they document care, diet, medication, symptoms, and lots more I probably don’t even understand yet. Tim’s tumour could have been found, right there on the MRI or Ctscan – one of them – that they took in APRIL of 2011. He wasn’t diagnosed until September that same year. He had to turn yellow before anyone figured it out. Even his blood tests, if only someone had taken a second a look at them, indicated a raised c19, which is indicative of Pancreatic Cancer. This gem I learned afterwards.

Anywho, that’s what’s in that box. And that’s why its staying. I break down into a million little pieces when I read any of it, but I know someday I will be able to. When that day comes, I will have a new and fresh perspective, and can maybe see it all in a different way. I don’t blame myself for anything, I’m not a Doctor. Yet, I do wish maybe that I’d spoke up more. It is not my forte though. I did my best, and in the end, the end was always near.

Would he have lived longer if they’d seen it in April of that year? Who knows. Maybe it would have killed him sooner. I can’t know.

But this week has finally come to its end, and god help me, I made it through. I took no days off to grieve, I walked to work with thoughts of the Vulture in my mind – about taking the scene in from above, and to focus on the larger picture. Once I do that…I can feel the oppressive sadness lift, and I see myself as the Vulture…skimming along on the breeze, going with the flow.

So when I found the scrap of note paper, and I read those words… it setoff a stream of memories. This simple thing, a mere page from the daily diet log, what power it has. What meager things he ate too, like a goddamn bird. I was constantly throwing food out. He said often that he wished he’d never had the surgery.

So that box for a lot of reason’s will stay. Somewhere higher up in the closet though I think. Project for tomorrow.

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