Is It All In My Head?

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We are waiting to see if the medicine is working. These things take time. I hate watching, listening, and trying to detect the slightest changes in his voice, eating habits, or outlook. The interplay between life today and the unknown realities of death trying to emerge tomorrow lurks behind every conversation I have with my father, mother, wife, and children. Unspoken yet spoken, their reality is ours. Will the copay be reapproved on January 1st? Despite all this weirdness, did they enjoy our attempt to have a “normal” Christmas? Is this the right medicine, and will it work?

At this moment, all indications are that he feels better; for some reason, it feels awkward and unreal. Things seem to move at either a snail’s pace or at a rate that doesn’t seem reasonable to believe. Do I only have the perception that he feels better? Does he feel better because he’s started the medicine, or is the medication really doing what it should? He’s only been on the treatment for over a week, experienced little or no side effects (that he’s told me about), and admits his latest blood work slows the slightest of changes in the right direction. Since he’s been on the medicine, nothing has gotten worse, and a few of the numbers have improved by a tenth of a decimal point. That’s where we’re finding hope. If a number moves one way at the level of a tenth or hundredth of a decimal place, it’s answered prayer, a reason for hope. If the red blood cells go in the other direction, what is it, despair and apprehension at the impending immediacy of death’s inevitability?

Perspective is everything. If your prayers are being answered and your father’s healing doesn’t seem like a false start but the real deal, you will have a good perspective. So for the moment, I’m holding back on my perspective. I’m grateful for what I’ve got, but I need more results before I need to say anything more than that.

–Richard Bryant

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