Friday, March 26, 2010

Back to the Future

Last night, I spent a couple of hours going through Michael's email inbox. It appeared to me that in the two years he'd had the laptop, that he'd never deleted ninety percent of the emails he received. This shouldn't have surprised me. We've already established that he was a pack rat, or as his good friend has said, a "collector".

I kept the more personal emails between us, or between him and friends. The ones between us were usually short and loving. If we were both intently working on our laptops, he would often stop what he was doing and write a sweet little email to me so that I'd receive it right away. He did the same thing with his iPhone, texting me sweetness throughout the day. There were also some really thoughtful, concerned, encouraging emails from friends after they learned that Michael had cancer. I kept those, too.

And, several of the emails I kept had photo attachments to them. I will be going through and making sure each one gets saved into a photo file on Michael's computer. I don't want to lose anything like that.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I felt very unsettled. One minute I was calling Teresa and making plans to visit her for the weekend, and the next I was backing out. I wanted to escape. I wanted to be home. I wanted to flee. I wanted to crawl into bed. It was very confusing. Thankfully, as the day progressed, I settled down a bit. Wrote some thank you notes, did some reading, and so on. My housekeeper and her mom were also here for several hours and I think it helped to have other people in the house. I just ensconced myself in the patio room while they did their thing. Pastor Ray called, and we had a good talk. He's such a good guy. And then my parents came up and made dinner for me. That was nice. I was tired enough by the time they left to go to bed, but I got caught up in Michael's emails and stayed up until midnight with that little project.

I think because of that, I had a dream about Michael last night. We were a couple years back in time and he was healthy, but we had foreknowledge of what was to come with his illness. We were scrambling to get some doctor to order a CT scan for him so that we could catch the cancer earlier and hopefully defeat it. I woke up before the dream ended and thankfully it didn't make me sad. But I have often thought, and just discussed with Michael's sister, how different things might have been if it had been caught earlier. We talked about how his original urologist didn't correlate anything between Michael's varicocele and other potential problems. How he didn't do anything to figure out why Michael had an elevated PSA all these years, other than the prostate biopsies that always came back normal. Being that RCC is a urological cancer, all these things are interconnected somehow, but no one (meaning no doctor) was doing anything other than the routine about it. Just goes to show how little experience most doctors have with kidney cancer. I don't blame Dr. S, the original urologist, he's just human and obviously wasn't focused on the right thing when we needed him to be. Who knew?

As for today, I am having my first visit with my new counselor. When I made my appointment earlier in the week, I didn't really think it was all that necessary. I guess I was still riding along on all the activity and company I'd had in the two weeks since Michael passed. But after the stuff I had to work through yesterday, I'm ready to sit down and talk.


  1. I hope you are feeling more settled after the talk with the new counselor. Talking, especially to someone outside of your circle, can be so comforting. Have a restful weekend, no matter what you decide to do.

  2. You have such a positive outlook about Michael's original doctor, seeing a counselor, etc. I'm really proud of you, Joannah. So sweet that Michael sent you love messages that you can cherish. Perhaps your dream is Michael finding a way to say hi....


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