One chemo treatment: One dose of chemo has made him so weak that while smoking a cigarette he falls asleep in mid drag and I must be on constant watch to put out burn spots. I know it's bad that he is smoking but muscle memory makes him want it and it is easier to appease than to re-direct him.
One minute: One minute of stepping away to tend to something else and I must pray because it is very likely he will wake up and think he needs to go stand in line for breakfast at the chow hall or something. Yet late at night when his energy is stored up from 20 hours of sleep he doesn't remember that these last weeks have been hell.
One phone call: One phone call from the oncologist said that the chemo is obviously having severe stress effects to his body. He confirmed that all the testing we did a few days ago was indeed negative. The only solution is that there are either small cancer cells in the fluid of his brain OR his body is struggling to process the chemo in his system. That one phone call brings relief to us in the form of validating what we have all been witnessing.
One person in pain: One person has accused me of being too ready to let my only Daddy die because I am home sick and ready to leave Texas. That one said my care is putting him in the grave faster than necessary. It was the one week of grief training that I had 4 years ago that helps me to know those accusations are seeded in the volatile roller coaster of emotional acceptance and so I firmly work at not being a product of my environment and do not engage. I choose to have my environment be a product of me.
One conversation: One conversation between Daddy and I left me explaining what the doctor said. As I said before, Daddy doesn't recall how hard things have been for him. He can't accept that 2 weeks are gone that he can't account for. He thinks he has woken from a simple nap and doesn't understand why the doctor wants to halt treatment.
One dream: One dream makes me wonder if I will get him back at all. He woke at 6am referring to me as the bus driver and kept politely begging me to let him get off the bus so he could go visit his brother in Chatham (9 hours from here). After 20 minutes of explaining and showing him around the house he all of a sudden grabbed my arm and with fear and panic flowing through his eyes began to shake with uncontrollable sobs, "Julie where are we?! I don't understand." At that point I did the only thing I could do. I hugged him and prayed one prayer. I prayed for his clarity, for his peace, for his understanding. He prayed too in between sobs and then calmed down and wanted to go back to sleep.
One cough: One cough woke him from a nap and he asked me to go get his dad. I had to explain to my daddy that his dad is in heaven and has been there since Daddy was 12 years old. Again he cried, "But I want to see him. Please go get him for me." Then he went back to sleep.
One day: One day blends into another. I know I should be utterly exhausted. I probably am but don't recognize it. My one God, my only God, the earth maker and star breather of the universe who promised to never leave us alone, who promised to cry with us and cope with us and be our all in all for every situation in our lives; He infuses me with a constant ribbon of strength like I have never felt before. How can this season of my life be the most horrible thing I have ever experienced and yet the most precious thing I have ever encountered all at the same time?