I am beginning to reconcile and reflect over all the things which went down this time last year..and the entire thing is so terribly maddening to me. This very day one year ago we received the BEST news we thought we would never get. Throughout the course of Katie's illness we were told over and over again from many doctors that Katie would die from her illness..told that their goal in providing treatment to Katie was not to cure her but to prolong her life with some ounce of quality. Everytime I was told this I would smile cordially and say that's fine (really wanting to honestly say fuck you, but I'm too nice) I share a different viewpoint, our goal in this is to restore Katie back to full health and you just don't know this person your treating...this is KATIE REIDER for pete's sake..she is no ordinary human being...it is not her time...if you really knew her you would know if anyone could beat this tumor it is her. ALL along I maintained this belief, to Katie I would say..well you're just getting this out of your system now, the boys are young, they'll never recall you being ill and when we're old we will already have done the life threatening illness thing so we'll have full health to look forward to...so when I received the news from our doctor on Friday June 27th, 2008 that her MRI showed the tumor to be 97% gone.. I was not surprised...this was the hope I had been holding on to all along...it was news I was told to never expect and it was finally here. I hung up the phone (I was in my office at work), put my head on my desk and wept with pure and joy and exuberance. SHE WAS BEATING THIS....the whole battle..this whole 2 years was finally turning around...we had made it...we were getting our lives back...these are all the things which rushed through my head and so much more....I immediately lifted my head and wrote (in a seconds time) the last email I would ever write to Katie (as a reference...we called each other beeb):
WE CAN DO THIS BEEB..YOU CAN DO THIS..you've come so far..and FINALLY
we're at a point where we're moving in the direction of getting you
restored..just imagine the good that will come from all of this...just
being able to talk again...to sing again..it's all possible Kate..and it
is all going to happen for you...our lives are going to be given back to
us..and you and I will grow old happily..w/o illness and we'll enjoy our
boys (and who knows maybe even more :D) ....and their children...
My hope in having you...was restored at the news today....and I will be
with you every step of the way...to your full recovery....we will never
be the same...we are forever changed and altered..but when we emerge
from this fire...holy cow..no one...nothing will ever be able to stop
I love you now..I love you always!
What was even better was the VERY next morning we were leaving to go on a family vacation we had been SO excited for..and we had this amazing news to send us off. Never could I expect or anticipate that we would only have 1 full day to live with this good news before we took the ride to total despair and sorrow...never could I have predicted what would unfold in the next 2 to 16 days...and I suppose this is the nonsense I've tried to make sense of this full year later...I've come to many realizations over this year...mostly that even though her tumor was 97% gone it was not 100% gone and in fact part of that 3% was growing...so this thing indeed was never going to go away just as the doctors maintained and while it seemed cruel and shocking at the time...Katie was certainly spared from more pain and agony with which she had suffered already for far too long. I write this out..and the events of the coming days this one year later to make even more sense of it in my head...to capture it forever someplace..to shove in my face that we all truly are one phone call from our knees (Matt Kearney lyric which captures the way I feel so perfectly sometimes). So this is why we live it up...pursue our passions...find what moves us and run with reckless abandon in that direction...because it could be over in 2 days in 10 days...in 20 years...we just don't know...and when my time comes I need to know....in that moment...I've lived my best life possible.