Billy

Jake is sick of the here and now. He’s ready to be back at school. We’ve had an emotional week. I look at him, and I want nothing more than for him to have some normalcy, but it will take some time. His eyebrows have thinned out. He has lost most of his eyelashes. His skin is dry and peeling.  He’s eating more, but he is still painfully thin. A couple of his fingernails have darkened, and he thinks one is coming loose. He was thinking maybe his hair would start growing back in October if it was like the last time. But it’s not. The last chemo was harsher. As bad as he looks, each day he gets a little stronger. He became irate when I questioned him going to get his blood work done by himself. I just don’t know if it’s a good idea yet. Just like Jake has always done, his guilt got the best of him, and he apologized for getting so angry. He’s sick of us, of being at home, of not having a job. He wants to be with his friends. It’ll get better soon, Jake.  This evening we went to the visitation for a young man who died of cancer. He was diagnosed with colon cancer when Jake was first hospitalized. His sister would visit Jake and me when she visited him. When they went in to reverse his colostomy, they discovered he was full of cancer. So this past year, when she was asking about Jake, they were coming to terms with his cancer being terminal. A couple of weeks ago, we saw him at the cancer center. Billy was glad to see Jake. He was upbeat and looked pretty good. “Jake, buddy, I wish you all the best. Good luck,  Man, I mean it. I wish you the best….” Thanks, Billy.  You too… I don’t think Jake knew how sick he was. Jake wanted to pay his respect. The visitation line was long. I was concerned for Jake. That irritated him. Mother, I’m fine. My feet don’t hurt. I’m not tired. I want to be here. A few people asked me about Jake. They were surprised and probably shocked to see him. They hadn’t realized he was standing right beside me. I’m sure Billy ‘ s family appreciated seeing Jake. Cancer sucks. Jake wondered if Billy had a gene mutation like he did. “I don’t know, Jake, but it seems pretty likely. It is probably yet to be discovered.” Billy had battled Chrohn’s disease before the cancer. They are just at the beginning of understanding why the body attacks itself.  Tonight my prayers are for the ones who suffer and die too young…rest easy, Billy.

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