On Friday, we closed the door of our Mexican house and said an early morning goodbye to the bougainvillea, finally blooming, and the hibiscus in full flower
We’d spent the day before packing and repacking. I felt the usual annoyance at the amount of camera and computer paraphernalia that makes our carry-on suitcases and backpacks heavier than is reasonable for a couple of 70-somethings.
“Can you find a spot for this?” Two hard drives and a pair of binoculars appeared on the bed beside my backpack, which I had naively believed would be nearly empty. I sighed and bit back a response. I should know by now. I will never be one of those women who travels with a colourful woven bag slung over her shoulder, containing nothing but her passport, her wallet, a good book, and a shawl.
In Friday’s pre-dawn, the now heavily-loaded backpack on my shoulders, I closed the door behind me. Jack had already packed the suitcases into the car, which we will leave at the airport for friends to pick up and store until we return. It is like every return trip. And like no other. It is February, too early to go home. We have had only three days to prepare. That was when we learned that the cluster of symptoms Jack has been experiencing since our arrival in December—even earlier as we look back—was due to a large malignancy on his left kidney. We were going home for further tests and treatment, unsure sure what was awaiting us.
After a day with our kids and grandkids in Kitchener, we are now home. Galen travelled with us and is spending a few days with us—an upside of the medical emergency is time alone with our youngest son. Home is where we need to be now, dirty heaps of sloppy snow notwithstanding. I had thought a month or so of crisp, bright winter would be good for my soul, another possible up-side, but instead we are welcomed home by a February thaw: gray, drizzle, snow turning to ice on its way to becoming slush.
We are still unsure exactly what’s ahead, but this morning we met with the urologist, who presented us with an overview of treatment possibilities. Although Jack brought piles of test results and documentation from the hospital in Mexico, the system here requires its own results, so the doctor is ordering additional tests and repeats of the Mexican ones. We see the doctor again on Thursday, at which point he should have the results he needs and begin to map the way forward.
Jack is a glass half full guy—annoyingly optimistic at times, if truth be told, but optimism will serve him well for the next while. And though it goes against my nature, I will be trying to walk on the sunny side too, looking at only the bottom half of the glass. Maybe I’ll shift from white wine to red—easier to see the fill-line.
I don’t want to turn this site into a cancer blog. I’ll continue writing about other things. But most of you know Jack, and this is a way to keep you up-to-date as things evolve.