When Ernie was first diagnosed with cancer it was an incredible shock. It was 2004. The boys were tiny little things. Ernie was young to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and of course, it was a relatively aggressive version. It took a long time to come to terms with it. I read somewhere that it takes six months to accept that you have cancer and that you go through all the stages of grief—shock, anger, depression, eventually acceptance. I think that holds true. I listened to a lot of Jason and the Scorchers those days. Don't know why.

When it reappeared the first time we were heartbroken. That's when we scheduled our first house concert with Kane Welch Kaplin. It wasn't even supposed to be a house concert…just a party to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We wanted to create joy. And we did.

Eleven years ago it metastasized and went into his bones. That was a hard one. All hope for it ever being gone was over.

This time? Well, we've known this would happen eventually–that his cancer would become resistant to the hormone therapy. But, you know, you just pack it away. You can't let it hang over you every day or you'd never get through. So, you pack it away. 

Now, it's here. No packing away possible. No ignoring it. 

His radiation is relatively short, just 15 treatments. Today he will be a third of the way through them. Pain is gone. Symptoms better. He starts tapering off the steroids tomorrow. We're crying less. Both of us have a bit of a cold. No surprise there between traipsing through the hospital for days and stress. Each day is a bit easier in some ways. Still waiting for the fucking PET scan. Then we'll meet with Vasireddy and figure out when chemo will start. I like his new radiation oncologist. If we can't have our beloved Dr. Sapiente, we're very happy with him.

Ernie has to stop drinking so we went to Fries and Peanuts Monday and Huber's yesterday (and Roger and Ceal joined us which was glorious) as a farewell tour. Not that we can't go and NOT drink…just seemed right to go one last time and have a couple of drinks.

I forced myself to do some work yesterday. It felt good. 

Bit by bit.



5 thoughts on “Bit by Bit

  1. I don’t know what to do but just keep loving you all. Thank you for writing about the day-to-day and the feelings so that I can keep my heart a little closer to you. How are the boys doing with all of this?

  2. I feel this. My husband has had cancer twice (different ones). And every time there’s some little weirdness that isn’t just a runny nose, there’s an all-hands-on-deck kind of anxiety. Lots of luck.