When I was younger I was told that HATE was such a harsh word to use, so I did my best to not use it, but today I say screw what I was told as a kid because I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE You! Back in 2010 when you took my husband on New Year’s Day I was so numb from the loss that I couldn’t yet understand the depths of my hatred towards you, but I went on because that’s what us widows-single-parents now have to do, chug forward because you really don’t have time to grieve when you have a 2 year old wondering why you are sad. I drowned myself in everything that I could for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because I refused to have another family walk in MY shoes. My horrible shoes, those that you wouldn’t even wish your worst enemy to walk in.
I could have been the bitter widow…the one that said why help the LLS? They sure as hell didn’t help save Gary’s life! Instead I felt this need, this desire, to make sure that no one else had to go through the loss that we did.
You’d think that my family had enough of you when you took Gary’s life, our head-of-household, my rock, the only father that Mikey would ever have, but no Lymphoma apparently you weren’t done with my family. It’s almost like I was mocking you with all of my fundraising efforts for the LLS, so instead what did you do? You attacked another loved one of ours, our beloved dog Max, and might I add your timing was IMPECCABLE! You decided to rear your ugly ass head the day before my Wine and Dine Half Marathon with Team in Training. I remember sitting in the parking lot of our hotel after having picked up my race bib and getting the dreaded call from the vet saying that they are pretty sure that Max had lymphoma. Ouch….LYMPHOMA! It could have been ANY other freaking disease or cancer but nope it just HAD to be LYMPHOMA!
What did I do then? Well the only thing I could do keep fighting. As long as Max felt better while getting his treatments I kept putting him through it. I knew I wasn’t buying a cure, I was buying time. I just didn’t know how much time I was buying in the end. I was delaying the hurt….the emptiness….the raw PAIN of loss again.
After 3 different chemo protocols and me silently waiting for Max to “show me a sign” that he was ready for me to let him go he did. This past Sunday he started getting nauseous, so much so that he threw up and then didn’t want to go anywhere near food for 3 days. Even with shots and medicines to help with his nausea and hopefully help stimulate his appetite nothing was helping him. As selfish as I was to want to hold onto Max I knew he needed me to let him go.
Last night before bed I sat in front of him with my head touching his crying. Telling him that he doesn’t have to fight anymore, and that Mikey and I would be fine. It was ok for him to go and be with his daddy and his big brother, Mozart. I know Max was holding onto life because of me. We had a bond like no other after Gary had died. I’ll never forget the way he cried when I came from the hospital after Gary passed, and to think my poor sweet Max who couldn’t tell me he was suffering had to endure the same fate his daddy did just 3 years earlier.
So Lymphoma…..I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU with a passion so great right now it’s not even close to being funny. You thought you were done with me after Gary passed? Clearly you couldn’t get rid of me that easily…..and don’t you dare think you will get rid of me now. You hurt and hurt and hurt me yet my heart is now as hard as a rock, and all I want to do now is make it so that NO one else has to endure the pain that my family has to go through because of YOU. As long as my legs work and my mouth can demand donations I will continue to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society until there is a CURE! I’ll be damned if you take another one of my loved ones!
RIP my sweet Max it was a great 11.5 years with you…I take comfort in knowing that you are watching over us with your daddy now and Mikey and I will continue the fight against Lymphoma for the both of you from down here.