Holidays of the Highest Highs and the Lowest Lows

The days shorten and it is different with the move back from Mountain Daylight time.  It is now dark at 5:00 pm.  As Thanksgiving approaches, Jude and I are grateful that Chance has survived for over a year.  Ninety percent of people diagnosed with Glioblastoma do not survive a year – nine to 11 months is the usual prognosis.  We are grateful for living in a beautiful wilderness and still being able to be a major support of Chance’s treatment.  We are grateful for our all of our friends and their support during a difficult time.  We are grateful for our health.

Chance has long wanted to spend Christmas in Lake Tahoe.  We make plans to rent a house and gather friends and family to celebrate this family holiday.  Jude and I look forward to a new year.  We are as committed to this survival battle as we were on the first day of hearing the diagnosis. Chance is alive!

Jude and I do not know the outcome of this battle nor do we know the course of our nomad travels.  One thing for certain is that our lifestyle has led on a journey that was never dreamed of three years ago when we started up the mothership and headed out on the highway. Even though our well thought out plans of visiting Minnesota went array, we were totally blessed for our 2015 nomadic travels.

Hard as it is to admit, it is apparent that the tumor continues to grow.  Nothing seems to slow the steady progression in its size. Last September we learned Chance was not a candidate for further surgery because of the location of the tumor – too close to his language and memory functions, meaning the result of surgery could be worse than no surgery. The handwriting was on the wall. We could not bear to read it.

Chance had long promised his daughter he would take her to Hawaii. The plans came together and they traveled in early April.

Brain tumor patients live in segments between MRIs. For Chance that was every 90 days, then every 60 days, then every 30 days. It was difficult in May of 2016 when the neuro oncologist starts speaking of making plans for hospice.  I am not sure of what to expect, but I know it is concerning to watch Chance lose physical dexterity, the vision in his right eye, and being able to form sentences.  I worry and lean heavily on Jude.  She is the rock and offers insights to the future. My anxiety is calmed.

Chance walked 10,000 steps a day.  That was his daily goal.  Even as his right leg started to drag and he tripped often, he picked himself up and continued to march along.  He continued with this until the a few days before he graduated to heaven.  His determination was so inspiring!

When Jude’s mother passed away in October of 2012, the last six days she hardly spoke a word to Jude and me except to mumble “Thank You” to us or her hospice caretakers when we made efforts to make her comfortable.  Her gratitude never wavered.

Chance’s passing in July 2016 left me another admirable trait.  Gratefulness to the end plus quiet strong determination in achieving his goals has enriched my life.  Thank You, both!  You are physically absent now but these traits will live on forever in me!