Thursday, 15 November 2012

Here I sit.  It's quiet and I'm on my own, and I'm thinking.   A week and a half ago we were out as a family, incredibly precious.  We saw Cirque  D'Eloise and it was amazing, but the sheer will it took for Kevin to go was awe inspiring.  It was a beautiful night, and I can't fathom that it was only a short time ago.  Here I sit.  It is the eve before I go to the funeral home for his visitation, the day before his funeral.  My heart is broken into a million pieces.  Peacefully and at home, Kevin Andrew Stem died with his mother and myself at his side.

My message is to him.

My darling Kev,

I made promises to you that night.  I promised that we would love you forever.  We will.  I promised that I would take care of our children and keep them safe.  I will.  Here's the promise that I didn't get a chance to say out loud.  I promise that Quin, Cian and Tadhgan will always feel the love from their daddy, that they will know how hard you fought to stay with us, how brave you were and how much you adored them and everything to do with them.  I miss you so very much.  Please be our guardian angel.  I need you to be our guardian angel.  I don't want to do this alone.

Rest well my love,


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Again, I can't believe how long it has been since my last post.  The summer seemed to go by so fast with school starting and Kevin back on chemo.  It was a crazy time, but it still hasn't prepared me for what the last few months have thrown at us.  The chemo that Kevin was on made him very sick and very weak, so he made the decision to go off of it to hopefully get stronger, to be able to take it again.    It didn't really work out that way.  By the time we went back to see his oncologist in August he was feeling awful and had lost another ton of weight.  His doctor was worried.  The gears had been changed, and the biological chemo they offered was to manage symptoms, not cure him.  The news was devastating to Kevin and to me.  It seems like we have been fighting for so long, I can't really remember living any other way.  All of this has been going on while the boys started school, Tadhgan went to daycare and I continued full time school.  To say that it has been crazy is a bit of an understatement. I am finding the juggling of not only the things to do, but the waves of heavy emotion to be crippling at times.  Kevin has not wavered in his belief that he will find a way to beat this.  It is his will to live that keeps him going, it is our boys smiling faces that keep him here.

Kevin continued on the biological chemo for three treatments.  It was administered every two weeks at the hospital, and just getting there was really hard on him.  He had started to retain a lot of fluid, mainly in his legs which made walking painful and difficult.  There was so much fluid that the skin on his legs started to give way to the liquid, causing tears and cuts on his shins.  It soon developed into cellulitis, an infection of the cells that he had to take meds for just to control it.  It was a huge hurdle for him.  Being immobile was not something he wanted to accept.  He went through anger and then sadness.  It was hard to be faced with all that these symptoms meant.  We were told that things were not going in the right direction, and that there was no way that they knew of to change the course.  The deep pit that had been living in my stomach made its way to my throat.  After all of this time I still can't believe that this is happening.

The biological chemo was stopped when it was evident that it was no longer even controlling symptoms.  Chemo is hard to take in the best of circumstances, but when it isn't helping anything, all that is left is how weak it makes him.  We went home that day quiet, pensive and with a sadness so deep that I don't know if I will ever be able to get to the surface again.

Kevin went up to his parents place after that.  He needed not only a change in scenery, but 24 hour care that wasn't in place at the house.  During his stay he went to the hospital for an appointment with  his doctor.  It was a Tuesday.  I called him from school to see how it had gone and he broke down on the phone.  Not much time they had said.  It could happen anytime.  His liver was failing and there was nothing they could do.  I left school immediately and met him at our house.  We sat together  and cried.  We cried for a long time.  He wasn't ready, didn't want to go, didn't want to leave me and the boys.  He just isn't finished doing what he wants to do.

Here we are, the beginnings of November, and the pit is still embedded in my stomach.  Most nights I am afraid to sleep, waking several times in the night just to listen to his steady breathing.  Most days I am afraid to leave, to be at school in case something happens.  As much as I have to be in school, to do well for the future of our children, I so wish I could just be home all the time with Kevin.  He is getting weaker every day, and the pain is increasing.  Through all of this he still has an enormous will to live, to survive.  He will never give up.  It is this incredible will that has us going to see Cirque Du Soleil on Friday.  Kevin is insistent that he will make it there.  He wants the boys to have this memory.  Here I am the night before wondering how we will in fact get there, but then I remember.  Sometimes you just have to believe.