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That’s Why

Posted by Tom Benedict on 24/09/2013

Ever since Rydra’s craniotomy surgery two years ago she’s had MRI scans of her brain done every six months. Seeing these completely clean scans twice a year was a great reminder of how many more years we had ahead of us, thanks to her surgeon. We’d leave the MRI office, stop at a cafe, and just talk and enjoy the sunshine before I headed back to work.

In the backs of our minds we knew there was another reason – an altogether more ominous reason we were doing this. But clean scan after clean scan gave us so much reason to celebrate, we didn’t really discuss it. We enjoyed the sunshine and each other’s company, and looked forward to a whole slew of tomorrows yet to come.

This last time was different. She’s got a 6mm growth just below her left optic nerve. Rather than open her up again, her surgeon wants to remove it with gamma knife treatment. She’s slated to go in on the 7th of next month. Two weeks.

As we were leaving the office her surgeon reminded us: “That’s why we’ve been doing these scans. This was always a possibility.”

“Yeah, I know,” I said.

But I couldn’t help wishing things had been different. Not that I wanted us to be blissfully ignorant. Ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s ignorance. It’s dangerous. It’s where we were when she went in for what she thought was a regular optometrist’s appointment just over two years ago, before she knew she had a tumor. I just never wanted Rydra to have to go through this again.

We still went for coffee. We still sat and talked. But we were both more than a little grim as she dropped me off at work afterward. That evening we discussed plane flights to get to the treatment center, arrangements for the kids, and all the little impacts on life our family was going to face, all the while staying away from the real question we were too scared to ask: how many tomorrows are left?

The answer to which is “all of them”. Because every single one is worth fighting for. And fight we will.

That’s why.

– Tom

3 Responses to “That’s Why”

  1. Tim Cole said

    Good luck to both of you. There’s not much more I can think of, other than to say I hope it all works out well.

  2. Life is constant change…my son left home, I knew this would happen but boy it was a wrench to know he’d moved on. In my despondency I picked up on this as it was read to me over the radio and it stuck and cheered me no end:

    The Bright Field

    I have seen the sun break through
    to illuminate a small field
    for a while, and gone my way
    and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
    of great price, the one field that had
    treasure in it. I realize now
    that I must give all that I have
    to possess it.

    Life is not hurrying on to a receeding future,
    nor hankering after an imagined past.
    It is the turning aside like Moses to the miracle
    of the lit bush, to a brightness
    that seemed as transitory as your youth
    once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

    R S Thomas 1975:

  3. Jasja said

    Tom, wishing you all much strength and many many tomorrows to share!

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