Monday, June 27, 2016

Adventures in Marriage

Each of us wages a private battle each day between the
grand fantasies we have for ourselves and what actually happens. 
Cathy Guisewite
Yesterday was our 45th wedding anniversary. Marriage to Richard has been an adventure, some of the rows have been hard to hoe – full of rocks and weeds and thistles – and some have been lovely and easy to work. We have been through some wonderful times together and some hard ones as well. There have been times when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, and others where our marriage has been the life preserver.

Would I do it again? You betcha.

Yesterday was not, however, one of our better days. Yes, we had a good experience at church. Our pastor gave another dynamite sermon -- we have been going there for more than year now and have yet to hear her deliver a clunker -- but things were a little up and down for the rest of the day.

Richard told me some time ago:

I am very organized and methodical person who exists in a world of utter chaos of my own creation.

And sometimes he handles the “chaos” better than at other times, and during those "other times" he becomes cross and grumpy. Yesterday was one of the cross and grumpy days. He mostly can’t help the chaos because of his attention deficit disorder, which is getting increasingly worse.

But two good things did happen yesterday: He gave me a beautiful card by way of apology, and he told me is going to see the neurologist, whose name we were given some time ago and who is supposed to be able to treat adults with attention deficit disorder. This is tricky medically because the older adults who need the drugs that are used to treat attention deficit disorder also usually have high blood pressure, which the drugs can affect. He doesn’t hold out much hope that she will be able to treat him. He thinks she will probably just want to send him to a psychiatrist, which he will absolutely not do, but it is worth a shot. Anything is worth a shot if it will help him.

So, we actually celebrated today because our favorite place to eat in town is not open on Sunday.

But now with a full belly and the afternoon tick-tocking away, I am thinking of the older of my two brothers, the serious and sober one, and the hilariously funny one, the one who always insists that we “point” in photographs (which I posted recently) who is right now at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center being prepared for the second operation on his sinus cavity.

He had been having trouble with his left sinus for some time, and during a recent operation to fix it, the doctor removed a mass he thought was benign. But further testing at a specialized laboratory showed that it was an extremely rare form of cancer with an even rarer presentation. This cancer is usually attached to the bones of the sinus cavity and then spreads to the brain. In his case, it was “free floating” and almost certainly has not spread through the bones into the brain. It was a “bad news/good news” sort of a situation.

This operation, which is being done by a specialist, is to make sure there are no cancer cells in the bones. He may lose his sense of smell on that side, and he will have to have radiation therapy. But they have given him a good prognosis. I will not be surprised if he ends up as a case report in a medical journal.

He called me a little while ago, while he and his wife were waiting, just to say “Hi.” I tried to give him an encouraging word. He is basically the spiritual leader of our family, so I feel somewhat inadequate. I botched my quote of the scripture that God will keep us under the shelter of his wings, and he quoted at me Isaiah 55:12: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace...” in reference to what the anesthesiologist was going to be shooting into the intravenous catheter, and we had a good laugh.

The men in our family tend to live long lives, and this brother needs to grow old bones and watch his granddaughter grow up. I am praying that he will.

My sister and other brother will be there in a while to sit with his wife and keep her company. I’d be there too, if I could.

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

AWW Happy Anniversary!! Sending good thoughts your way for your brother, sometimes it is hard being so far away. I have never heard of a sinus type of cancer, you are correct he will probably be a case study:(