It has taken me a while to write this post. I started it on the plane ride to Indianapolis and have been working on it every night since then. As you can see….we have made it home. Indiana will always have a sense of home to the two of us. This is where he grew up, where his entire family resides, where my parents moved to when I went off to college and where we met. We agreed since the day he was diagnosed that we would end up here if there were no other options in his treatment…and here we are, resting in the Kennemore household. We were welcomed with open arms by his sister, Megan, and her husband, Chad, to stay as long as we needed and to make their home our home. For this, we will forever be grateful. There is a tremendous sense of comfort being here…in this home…with our family.
Leaving Florida was impossible to say the least. Since John’s release from the hospital late Friday night, we said our goodbyes to our friends in Florida the entire weekend. It was a revolving door of friends, food, love, family, strength, tears and laughter. Laughter is something we needed most that weekend because the realization that many might not see him again was too hard to bare. Hour after hour was met with a trip up the stairs to go see John in bed, say their few words and moments later, the descent back down the stairs to meet others also in shambles. One by one, every person got their moment with John. We never could have imagined how difficult this weekend could have been….and we are about to do it again in Indiana. With each visit, we realized the trip was getting closer and the moments with friends in Florida were drawing to a close. It was like a ripple effect. I have never heard so many, “I am so sorry” avowals whispered in my ear as I did this weekend. The harsh reality of his weakening was becoming more and more evident. The fleeting thoughts of flight and transport in the moment were consumed with what was to happen in the coming days.
Monday morning came in a hurry…we stepped onto the plane and John was incredibly strong throughout the ride. We thankfully arrived to family and friends with the same open arms we left in our home in Florida. Since our arrival, we have been draining the bloody fluid from his chest every day and without fail, there is more and its consistency is even thicker. We had a scheduled blood transfusion Tuesday morning and found out his hemoglobin was holding strong. All of this despite the amount of fluid we are getting from his body. It fared well. Hospice was also waiting for us to arrive and pain management is an important part of this leg of the journey.
He has been under the stress of knowing what is happening and faithfully, he does not waiver. His head is held as high as he can in a moment like this and his love still permeates the room. I do not know how he does it. I really do not know how he can know how the chips are falling and yet, he tries so hard to be the best companion he can be. I have thanked him for fighting and for being the bravest person I have ever met every chance I get….and I will do the same unto you. I have always said it and I will say it again…thank you. Thank you to those who have supported us throughout this journey. The selflessness and love shown by all of you has been amazing and we honestly could not have done it without all of you. Even just reading this shows a great deal of care even though many have no idea who we are…that is a gift. It takes a village….and with his caring sister and loving mother in tow….we arrived in Indianapolis with the utmost power and fight we can unearth within ourselves. It is not over. He is still here. He is still who we all want to save right now. Though we can try and pretend it does not hurt. We can pretend it is not happening. We can say how much we all just want this to stop and go away. We can yell and scream with tears flooding our eyes. We can do all of these things, but the reality of it is….this is what we are going through. Though rough and completely overwhelming, we still have each other for these moments along with the power of our family and friends backing us every step of the way.