Everyone in Susan's house had a great weekend. There was lots of activity and conversation and friends and wine. On Saturday Cousin Lisa cooked dinner while Cousin Greg hung a shelf in Susan's bathroom, a magnetic strip in the kitchen and replaced the basement door knob. The husband's daughters kept Susan buoyant, Cousin Lisa shared her own methods to keep positive while going through scary medical issues and everyone kept the husband engaged and talking and happy.
Susan overheard snippets of conversation that the eldest daughter had with her twin boys as they described the birthday party that went on without their mother. They are only 6 and selflessly shared her for the greater good.
The meeting was scheduled with the husband's doctor in NYC for 7:45 am. Everyone got up very early and still arrived more than an hour late. Traffic in to NYC keeps to a steady pace of 10 mph.
The husband and his entourage of Susan, her little sister & the daughters met with the doctor.
The doctor was a real downer.
The husband didn't flinch.
Susan didn't faint as she was afraid she might do.
The eldest daughter asked about drug combinations and clinical trials, one of which the doctor was surprised she knew about. She's good at research. Everyone decided that they would ignore the prognosis, the husband would start his treatment, and whatever will be, will be.
The future is unwritten.
The daughters left to return home while the remaining three went to meet with the interventional radiologist. It was a long wait and the husband, who was fading fast, talked with everyone he met. 'How are you feeling?' he'd ask.
There were a lot of nice conversations that afternoon.
He told Susan 'I feel better when I talk to people'.
She knows. For more than twenty five years she has observed him talk to everybody. 'That's how you learn things' he sez. He is always interested in what they do for a living, how business is, where they went to school and do they know so & so. The husband has a real knack for meeting a person, asking questions, then coming up someone they both know. Often he collects their business card & years later, when he needs someone with their background or talent, he'll call them. He remembers them all.
The day ended with Susan granting the only wish the husband had all day. She put him to bed.
Susan got the husband up, showered, dressed and gave him his Ensure. One of his nieces were coming over for a visit so Susan let him rest until she arrived. This particular niece is Susan's age and lost her husband six months ago. Her life goes on with work, friends, family and activities. She is a solid, normal girl and Susan looks to her for inspiration.
The husband enjoyed her visit, she sat next to him the entire time, instead of across from him as most people do. They reminisced about the old neighborhood and people, the husband going back in his memory even farther than his niece was able to. He remembered cars people had and fathers of fathers.
After she left the husband took a nap and Susan corresponded with his eldest daughter who had set up an appointment with Dr. Wong, a Harvard educated doctor who combines Chinese medicine with nutrition & supplements.
After a two hour commute in heavy traffic they met Dr. Wong for an hour, he prescribed a concentration of 20-25 herbs to be taken three times daily to detoxify the husband's liver, get him feeling better, and be better able to withstand treatment. He suggested that Susan go to Chinatown the following day to pick them up, and not wait for them to be FedExed.
The husband's energy has been fading every day. By the end of the meeting he was shot and didn't always make sense when he spoke. However, when Susan got on to the wrong parkway he was able to accurately steer her in the right direction. She had zero faith but he assured her that she could pick up the Cross Island Parkway up ahead, and he was right.
Susan drove home and again granted his only request of the day, she put him to bed.