Monday, March 1, 2010

The Next Chapter

The phrase, "the dog days of summer" took on a new meaning for us in August 2009. On Saturday, August 8 Shannon was at home and having difficulty breathing. I was going to drive her to the emergency room but when she could barely walk as far as the living room we decided to call the ambulance. Later we would discover that the cancer had spread to her lungs and had caused a hole in one of them that had it working at only 10% of its capacity. While in surgery a cancer-induced hole developed in the other lung. Thus began a string of 25 days in the hospital, interrupted by only a few days off back at home.

It was during this time that I experienced what was without a doubt the lowest point of my life. One day, struggling for a breath, Shannon said to me, "Take care of the kids." I knew her medications might be affecting her mood, but still, it felt like she was giving up. All I remember saying is, "I refuse to believe you're going to die from this. We will not lose." She had demonstrated such a strong will to that point; now she needed to borrow some of my determination. It was only fair that I lend it. After all, she had already given me so much of hers.