06 June 2013

A Fight I Didn't Want to Win

"How big is your head?" was the subject line of the email I received from C the day after we first went out on his motorcycle.  We were just friends at the time, but I had started to develop a crush and enjoyed having some time alone with him.  When I saw that email, my heart dropped and I wondered what I said or did to give a bad impression.  When I opened it, he was literally asking how big my head was as he wanted to get a helmet that would fit me since the spare one he had was ridiculously big on me.  He enjoyed teasing me, but underneath the joke was a move towards a relationship that would see us on the bike more often than not.  We went to friends' parties, family events, the Renn Faire, bike rallies, joy rides..... he allowed 'his' thing to become 'our' thing.  

When we got married and started thinking about children, many people asked if I was going to make him give up his bike.  Honestly, I couldn't imagine asking him to do so.  It was his fun, his freedom, his time to be alone with his thoughts...... and I loved being along for the ride.  Of course there was always a concern that something might happen, but it was a risk that we accepted.  With this diagnosis hanging over us like a guillotine, C has been looking forward to getting back on the bike.  He has been feeling so much better lately, cutting down on pain meds, waking up some mornings with no pain even.  Feeling good enough to start taking it to work on nice days, maybe even going out on the weekends like we used to do.... another move towards trying to find our old normal in the middle of this new one.  

We don't typically fight, especially over things like this, but when he started talking about taking it to work, I asked him to check with his doctor.  C didn't think it was an issue, resented having to "ask permission" and completely shot down my request.  It wasn't a pretty conversation.... but I think we both knew where the other was coming from.  He wanted to feel normal again and get back to things he enjoyed, as much as he can, for as long as he can.  I fear something happening to him that causes even more pain to him and our family.  We dropped it as his mind was made up, and I don't really enjoy fighting.

The doctors at NIH are still encouraging us to consider a study, so after our last visit we wanted to talk to C's oncologist before making any decisions.  Today we went to the doctor with the list of questions that we had that would clarify whether the study was a good option or still premature..... I added the motorcycle question to the end of the list.  A passive-aggressive move, I'll admit it, but figured I would plant the question if C decided to ask.  After a lengthy discussion about the study, C decided to humor me and did so.  Unfortunately his doctor, after getting over his disbelief that we were seriously asking this question, said that he was not comfortable with him on the bike.  Because of the damage the tumors have done to his bones, a fall from the bike could be very traumatic and recovery from such a fall would be much more difficult.

It is yet another thing this cancer has taken from us.  It isn't just about this vehicle, it is what it represents to him, to us.  Our relationship started on that bike, we learned to trust each other on that bike, our daughter K is so excited at the prospect of being on the back of daddy's bike..... 

It's just one. more. thing.