Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Breaking Dreams at the Point of Departure

Day 0

The clock is reset, and the world rushes backwards, undoing all progress fair and poor. The kingdom of disease is restored and hope for the future is dim. We have arrived at a point not very much unlike where we began our journey in 2007.

Each and every day since Ann first became sick I would routinely pray to Jesus for help, mercy, salvation, or whatever he was willing to provide. As a "good christian" God should look out for me and the ones I love, right? As if to answer that question we were handed a diagnosis for a new type of leukemia today. My faith and belief has collapsed into a unrecognizable heap and I don't feel like picking it up again.

I have had enough of prostrating myself and begging for what little mercy I think Ann and I deserve. I reject the notion of a creator with a grand plan for us. Things like cancer don't "happen for a reason", there is no "Grand Plan". Fame, fortune, sickness and health are not handed out based on virtue, need, suffering, or humility. All you have to do is turn on the news or watch some TV to prove that.

There is no anthropomorphic deity with a flowing gray beard looking down on us from the clouds. Conversely there is no red-guy with horns poking people with pitch forks and challenging them to fiddle contests. Neither of them is counting the number of things we do good or bad to determine what our future address is going to be afterlife. I reject all of it. Most of all I reject the notion of an all powerful and loving being who has decided his plan for us involves nothing but suffering and continuously breaking our dreams.

I know some of you will say "It's OK if you don't belive in God. He loves you anyway". Fine, I say, let him prove it. Sorry if I offended some of you in the audience.

On to more tangible business at hand:

Our house deal has officially collapsed. After the news hit today I called and withdrew from the contract. I hope the sellers do not sue me into completing the sale, or for penalties (about $35K). Ann will not be painting the back bedroom that nice shade of buff she liked so much. I will not be sealing the ceramic tile in the kitchen, or putting up my cast iron pot rack. Our new stainless steel side-by-side fridge has been returned to Home Depot. The movers have been called and they will not be moving all of our possessions out of storage.

Ann had a little garden planned for the side yard with ferns, hostas and coleus. There was going to be a nice gate with a nice shady place to sit and plently of roaming around space for a garden cat or two. Her pots will now remain empty and stored at Dixie's house.

Ann will not be going back to LSU this semester. She will not be able to start looking for a job and getting back to work like she so very much wanted to do.

Our three kitties Jay, Etsuko and Squeeze will have to do without us again. A very big thank you to Dixie for taking such good care of them.

Our plans for adoption and starting a family will now have to be shelved again. It will now be a minimum of 4 years before we can even begin thinking about it.

I have asked for a transfer from the Jacobs Engineering office in Baton Rouge to the one in Houston. I do not know if Houston has an open position or me or even if they have work to do.

Lastly I called and cancled the purchase of our new car. We were going to get a British Racing Green MINI Cooper with a white top named "Oliver", after the 1964 Opel Kadet in Top Gear with the same name. Oliver was due to be delivered in the middle of the month and had almost finished his trip across the Atlantic from the UK. Luckily, with gas prices the way they are now, I doubt the dealership will have trouble selling it.

In Medical News:

Ann is going back under the care of Dr. Deborah Thomas in the Leukemia Department. Stem Cell Transplant has offically dropped us like a hot potato. I guess that says just about everything you need to know about the situation. It looks grim.


Contessa said...

Dear Ann and Chris,
I completely agree with you about the whole above creator thing, I used to get lectures and I agree, if there is this greatter being, why do really bad things happen to rally good people. Ann is so strong and with you by her side, you guys can beat this, you are always in my thoughts, your strengths combined just amaze me. I hope you both know how much you are loved and how much everyone is here for you.
Get well soon,
Contessa & Kids

pj said...

Chris, eloquently said. I believe you make your own meaning in life; that other stuff is just stories. From these ashes, Ann will rise again. She's tough; she's a fighter; she'll find a way to beat this back once and for all. I believe this. Sending love your way.

Tina said...

i hardly have words. just all of the postive energy i can muster is zipping through space and time right now to ann's bedside. hoping to be sitting there soon.

Nancy said...

I don't even know what to say. I'm sorry..... Dig Deep and Fight as hard as you can. I know you can beat this again... this time, for good! Fight for your life, fight for the both of you. Always think positive and know that you have touched so many lives... know that everybody is sending positive thoughts your way! Be tougher than IT! You can do it. love, n

Susan Carrier said...

I'm still holding all of those dreams - the shade garden, the house puttering, school and job, the family - in my heart for you. Not dreams ended, just dreams deferred.

Judy Lindahl said...

Just focus on loving eachother. there are therapies waiting for the right patient. There are clinical trials. Do not give up. Sometimes it feels easier to resign yourself to the worst because it's too painful to hope for the best. Regarding the God issue, I posted on the LLS board and someone may hang me. I wanted to say here that I don't think this is related to God or the lack of God at all. Shit happens. What I tried to say on the site was that the one thing you can't let go of is the thought that you two are connected throughout eternity out of your love for eachother. You don't need to believe in anything to know that. I have lived in fear of losing my husband to lymphoma since his diagnosis in 1994. 14 years of me going crazy. My only comfort has been to believe I can't really lose him. I see great similarities in the way you feel Chris,to how I have felt. It is the most hopeless feeling in the world. Right now you are justifiably furious and so disappointed. You two have to hang on to eachother . Your love is stronger than any disease. I am heartbroken that you have to face this. I pray you find someone to help you and that you can find some peace with eachother and just love eachother like mad. Judy

Sue said...

ann and chris - i feel like i know you guys from reading your blog. this news is horrible, but i pray for peace for you guys and also for ann to overcome this again!

Sue de Tarnowsky
Alameda, CA

Lee said...

Reading "Day 0" breaks my heart. But I have met both of you -- it was the first Day 90 -- and so I know what's in store, from the sheer force of your character: You'll break 395 again, and someday in a distant future that number will seem so small. There will be dreams again, and hope again, and freedom again from the illness and the fight and the fear.

I don't know much about God, but I do know all about prayers. You are both in mine, as always, tonight.

One Mother with Cancer said...

Beautifully written, I'm so sorry that you have found yourselves going through this again. Wishing you the best throughout all of this.

Mara & Wiley said...

It breaks our heart to hear you are facing this again. We are thinking of you. Call if you need us, you have our number.

Anonymous said...

i don't think there's any point in asking why. you'll never get an answer. sometimes things just aren't meant to be figured out. sometimes things just happen. doesn't mean it's not shitty. it's not fair. nothing about this is fair.

Jim said...


I hear you. As a spouse of a leukemia survivor, your mind continues to search for any answers that make sense in unreal situations. I have found, through many life experiences, that God's answers often come later. Stay strong and know that many who don't know you and Ann are surrounding you in love and prayer.


Anonymous said...

I've followed this blog for a long time. I'm so sorry you guys are going through more of this. Wish I could give you both a big hug.