Maybe I’m cheering too soon.
I keep looking to Steve for confirmation. This is Good News right?! I can be happy, right? Jacob will be okay, right? He’s going to live, right? No more bone cancer, right?! We got him through this, right?
Can I let down my guard? Can I feel again?
He confirms with his words, but they’re just words.
He does not lead by example as he can’t.
I lost my husband on June 18th to war. He wasn’t drafted. No. He ran into battle blaring. I miss him a lot, but he won’t return until the mission is completed.
I understand. If anything it only makes me love him more, but it’s all from afar.
I can even visualize him on the field. It’s not a modern war, but an old one in my mind. There is real combat. He is, of course, a general. I mean can Steve Brody be anything less than a general? I think not! He inspires his troops with stories of glory. He plays only to win. Meanwhile I play the stereotypical woman in waiting. I am at home, raising the kids (there is even laundry hanging on a line outside). My days are spent doing laundry, cleaning and praying that someone doesn’t come knocking on the door.
It’s even easy to feel the emotions of the role. It is a life without choice. No control. I know that one well.
However, I recognize that Steve’s war is on the phone, on the computer, in books, sitting right next to me. But it feels like oceans away. He may be physically here, but he is mentally there, on the field. Never leaving a man behind or a stone unturned looking for the enemy everywhere. He won’t leave until the job is done.
And that is a real commitment since there is no cure for Neuroblastma (yet).
And while the enemy has been obliterated, a small cell remains hidden in a mountain. But we know lessons of history, these small cells can become the biggest terrorists the world has ever known. The war is NOT over.
There are big calls to make. The hospital wants us to do more rounds of chemo. We are not sold. We have gotten loads of second, third, fourth, opinions and they are hard “no’s”. Our fear is secondary cancer. This is a real side effect of this chemotherapy. Secondary cancer is a death sentence.
I know where my choice is. I bet on Jacob. If there is anything to bet on, its Jacob. I do not think chemo is the answer and I do think his body is fighting cancer with immunotherapy. And I, unfortunately, understand healthcare in a way I never had. I see the truth. It is not a pretty truth. I see that Jacob is a number in a study. That they need Jacob’s stats to “prove” their hypothesis. They need Jacob to stay in the chemo study. Jacob is just a number.
But while he is number 36 to them, he is number 1 to me.
So yes, we remain in war and I’ve been given the ability to feel again, by knowing that he’s out there on the field. It feels selfish. And honestly, it’s not as fun without him.
BUT Steve has been sent home for New Years before another deployment. He will join us for one night.
Then back to the battlefield.