I wish we had more time
I didn’t necessarily want kids at the time but had other things on my mind. I think I was 19 when she was born and it was just before my 17th birthday when her brother Tony was born. Well, I was young and dumb with no sense of responsibility.
Many years went by with spending almost no time with either of them.
When they were young, I would go to see them and they were always happy to see me. It was probably soon after I started dating Dawn in 2002 when our relationship really started to change for the better. Jenny took to Dawn and made her really feel like she was part of the family.
The summer of 2009, around the 4th of July, was when it seemed to start. Jenny’s mum was coming into town and wanted to see everyone at the park. It was a fun day and Jenny was in a good mood and looked good except she was having some flu-like symptoms. It was sort of like the beginnings of something like the flu. We felt bad for her but in no way could have dreamt what was really happening.
Later that night she was just miserable and she was having trouble going to the bathroom.
enny’s then boyfriend (soon to become her husband) took her to the hospital. They at first thought she was just constipated and gave her something to combat that. Well that was a mistake because that just made it worse and put her in a lot of pain.
Those of you who have spent anytime in hospital know that it seems like they just don’t do anything but bug you when you’re trying to sleep. Test after test and waiting, the endless waiting to find out the last thing we thought the doctor would say. The doctor told us there was an obstruction in her intestines and it had to be removed with surgery. It was suspected that it was or could be cancer but wouldn’t know for sure until it was removed.
I don’t think anyone thought the outcome was anything to really worry about.
We were getting ready for Jenny’s surgery and she was goofing around as usual. We were just laughing with Jen and making the best out of the current situation. It was time for her to go into surgery and I was a little scared, scared for her and scared that something could happen that I might not see her again. As she was drifting off to la la land I told her that I loved her.
The waiting was endless, drinking coffee and taking walks. Finally after what seemed like forever the surgeon came to speak with us. She had made it through the surgery very well, the obstruction was removed with some of her intestines. He said that they wouldn’t know for sure until some tests were done if it was cancer or not but he was positive that it was. He said she was young and she should have no problem recovering from it, if it was cancer.
I didn’t know what to say or do, no one was happy and Sean was crying. Until this time I really wasn’t sure about Sean but he really stepped up when most his age might have run the other way. We didn’t tell Jenny right away because we didn’t want to worry her while she was trying to heal. She had to go through six months of chemo for a precaution.
It was not long after her surgery that it seemed everyone wanted to see her.
I couldn’t say no to anybody and man did it make her mad at me. She was stuck on a portable potty when the pastor from my parents' church showed up. She was looking at me like she wanted to strangle me. But everyone else just wanted to show their love for her and be there for her. I felt bad at the time but I’m now glad that they were all there to show their support for her.
I think that most or all of us had the same feeling that she would be good as new after chemo was over.
The time that we spent at the hospital was crappy but at the same time fun. Playing in the hallways and getting yelled at for being hooligans. I hated the time there but have some good memories of 'my Jenny' during this time. I know that it was miserable for her because she spent most of her time at the hospital.
Our relationship was getting good before this happened but during this time I made sure I talked to her everyday, mostly with text messages.
Chemo was finally over and Jenny was happy, we could finally get life back on track. There was no reason to think anything but that she was as good as new. She just needed to put a few pounds back on and get going with life plans. I’m not sure which doctor visit it was but Dawn and I took her. We planned on hearing good news and then take her out to lunch.
Instead of telling Jenny what was going on, the doctor told Dawn and myself. It was not good; the cancer came back and had metastasized into stage 4. I couldn’t believe this was happening and that she told us, and not Jenny. We beat around the bush most of the day until we got home and finally sat her down and told her.
I couldn’t contain my tears as the words were coming out of my mouth.
I just grabbed her and we cried together. She was mad at the doctor for not telling her and putting us in that difficult situation. So the plan again was more chemo, she wanted to fight it with everything she had. It seemed her quality of life would have been better without it. This time she started to lose her hair, with the previous chemo her hair got a little thin, but not too bad. This time it really took it’s toll on her body.
She was always tired and sleepy with chemo and all kinds of meds, she basically slept the time she had left away. She did manage to have some good days though, we all made plans to go to Cedar Point. It was supposed to be cool and on the rainy side but was just about the exact opposite. She made it through two of the rides before she started looking green and we spent the rest of the day pushing her in a wheel chair. It really was the best day, I didn’t mind at all and she was in a good mood.
But of course the best day was her and Sean getting married.
August 22 2010 was just a mere two months and eight days till she would leave us. She was so very happy that day and so was everyone to see her so happy. It was at Bloomer Park and it was a beautiful day for beautiful wedding. I got to walk her down the aisle, I was so very proud.
At this time I still thought there was more time than there was.
A little time had passed and I think she started feeling sick again, like nothing she was eating was staying down. Sean ended up taking her back to the hospital around October 4th. The growth in her intestines had grown back and causing vomiting of what I think was her waste coming back up because there was no place for it to go. She could not keep going through chemo because her body just couldn’t take it anymore. They took her off of it and then gave her pain meds for the pain, there was a lot of pain so there was a lot of pills.
She was supposed to go through a procedure to open up her intestines with a stint. They put a tube through her nose down to her stomach to drain any waste that was backing up in there. She was embarrassed of this and wanted it removed. I did not know how important this was at the time or I would have told her she needed to keep it in.
I was at work when she went in for this because I thought it was just routine. I got a call telling me through tears that it had gone wrong and I got there as fast as I could. Jenny had aspirated on the table, meaning that she had vomited and it went into her lungs, causing pneumonia.
Now she was very sick with pneumonia and the cancer that we’ve been fighting for almost a year and a half.
We wanted her to get over the pneumonia and get back to fighting the cancer. The doctors called us all in to a conference room to speak to us, it turned out they could not get rid of the pneumonia in time to do anything about the cancer. I remember going in to see her, she was on a lot of pain meds but still in a lot of pain. She could not speak because of the vent, she was not strong enough to breath on her own. She was sort of awake only because of the pain and the pain was visible. She saw me and mouthed the words “help me”.
I will never forget that for the rest of my days.
They had to put her in a medically induced coma, it was the only way to take away the pain, and she was still waking up. It felt like we were saying good bye for days and days. I wanted Jenny back like she was but knew that wasn’t going to happen. Dawn and I drove home to change our clothes for the over night stay in the hospital and just bawled our eyes out. We got back and checked on Jenny before going into the waiting room to wait.
I can’t remember what time it was but Sean, who had been sleeping in the hospice room right next to Jenny, came to tell us she was gone. We all cried that night or day, which ever it was.
It was all so surreal, I couldn’t believe it had come to this.
There were so many times that I should have been there for her but wasn’t. The guilt of those days will always be with me, I thought there was more time. I thought there would be time spent with her and eventually grand kids. She was young, she was only 22 years old, there was plenty of time, wasn’t there? I have and will always love my Jenny.