Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

First full day back at home.

After my meltdown last night, feeling lower than low, some of the great people we are surrounded by stepped up and solved my problems. It consisted of a group of people coordinating dosage times and signing up to call me to make sure I was up. It worked wonderfully. I was able to sleep HARD from 1:30 to 4:30 and from 5:30 to 7:30. This gave me enough energy to get through the day. I am forever grateful to those who helped. Billy Jo and I had a discussion this morning after a misunderstanding. I was trying to do the menial things she needed - I mean, "why bend over to pick up that sock if I'm right there and can do it?" " Need something from downstairs? I'll get it." "Hey Billy Jo knock it off I don't want you to hurt yourself." SHe was growing tired quickly of that shit. She told me to go to work and she'd be fine. I told her that I was taking leave and that was that. She thought I was taking leave to take care of her and "babysit" her. I had to explain my true reason, and once I did, the understanding was clear - I would not wrap her in bubble wrap, but I would be there for the duration.

My reasoning is simple - for the last 17 years I have been by her side for every doctor appointment giving us news, sometimes good, mostly bad. For the last 17 years I was next to her while she was poisoned at every chemo treatment. For the last 17 years I was the first familiar face (along with her mom) that she saw as she woke up from yet another surgery, whether it was one of the four major or two or three minor. For the last 17 years I was right on the other side of the lead-lined wall while she got blasted with radiation. For the last 17 years, 95% of her hospital stays had me a few feet from her at any time of the day or night.

After all this, I couldn't ever be at peace if I wasn't right there for her during the last moments of this journey. The road has been treacherous and full of potholes, blind curves, cliffs without guardrails... but you if you know Billy Jo you can see why I never bailed out of the car at a stop sign (or as she love loves to say, flung the door open and jumped out... aka..."tuck and roll, bitches!") Who the fuck would I have found this good in her place?

I need to see this through and hope I can live the rest of my life the way she'd want me to. I need to be there by her side that one final and most important time.

People have been telling me how strong I am all along, especially since I started this blog back up under the premise of not being strong enough to deal with what was rapidly approaching. For all these years, I rarely felt strong. I hid behind denial for years. I masked my sadness however possible. I know now I was wrong. I *was* strong, for the reasons I listed above. I was strong because my baby was trapped under a car and I had to lift that fucker off of her. I had no choice. I don't run away from the most important person in my life. Even though people tell me 90% would.

I still need more strength though, and writing has helped me continue to build it, along with several talks with friends and family.

Enough about me for today. Billy Jo, free of the bubble wrap, immediately started emptying the dishwasher and straightening up. We gave Wrigley a bath. We ate breakfast. We met with the Hospice nurse for the first time. She recommended Billy Jo allow me to bubble wrap her so she could reduce pain levels. Billy Jo responded by getting up and cleaning the island countertop. I think she's afraid that if she doesn't do normal stuff then she's a burden. Billy Jo - you're far from a burden. Listen to your nurse and get your rest! (If you want to, of course). All in all she was up for most of the day, taking a nap in the afternoon.

She'll be back tomorrow, along with the social worker from Hospice.

As for Wrigley.... I think she missed Billy Jo. She is cuddling as close as possible. Its adorable.