Some friends and I went to see Tom in the hospital yesterday. I thought that I would be able to just smile, offer encouragement, and as a friend be strong for him. One would think that I would be able to handle it better considering my background in the medical field, I've cared for and watched many people slowly lose themselves to cancer, alzheimer's, and a host of other tragic illnesses. After the first few I thought I had developed a pretty strong constitution for this sort of thing.
After a brief visit, I stormed out of the hospital in a fit of tears. It isn't easy to see a person who you shared almost three years of your life with... one who used to be well-kept, vibrant, happy, friendly, and full of life... wasting away in front of you. He can't sit up because it gives him seizures, most of his hair is gone because of the chemotherapy, his 4-day growth of beard is patchy, he is bloated from the medications, he has frequent, severe bouts of nausea, and he can't handle talking on the telephone or too much interaction with people because of the sensory overload that it causes.... due to the area of the brain that the tumor has invaded. They have stopped all treatments and he is in hospice. They are trying to make him comfortable, yet he is anything but. I am sad for him, his sons, his mother... and everyone else around him, witnessing his decline. I wish I could take away the pain that he and his family are going through. I wish he would be cured miraculously and have restored everything that has been taken away from him. I wish I were better at dealing with this sort of thing. May God be with them.