Tanner is still living with Cearra's family and I spent some time with him last Thursday when i took him to his last appointment at Cook's Oncology. I asked him how things were going and he paused, looked at me, and said that he didn't want to say that things were "better". I asked, "You mean things are easier?" His response was "Yes."
I know what he meant. He doesn't have to answer to me anymore. At least not to the point that he was having to answer while living in my home. We've spoken or texted every day since he's left because I have to hear from each of my boys on a daily basis. I just have to know that they are ok. But what I've found as the days have passed is that I'm starting to relax too. It's beginning to become "easier" for me as time goes by.
I don't have to deal with so many young people coming and going from my home at all hours. I don't have to wake up during the night and go searching through the house to see if he's home - and then lie awake listening for him to return. I can sit in the living room and watch a movie and don't have to hide out in my bedroom. I've found that, while I still worry about him, it's not a constant presence in my life. Now I understand what my mom meant when she told me, "Sometimes it's easier not knowing." As long as I hear from both boys at least once a day, I find that I'm doing ok. I've told him that I am still always, always there for him when it comes to his health, appointments, and school.
We met with Dr. Albritton on Thursday and said our goodbyes and he had his last chemo treatment in their clinic. Tanner will be seen by a Dr. Dean Asad at Texas Oncology in the Fort Worth Medical District starting this week - and will remain under the supervision of Dr. Berryman over in Dallas.
I was talking with a friend the other day and he was asking about Tanner's relationship with Cearra and I told him they are just completely crazy about each other - and while I worry about them being so much in love at such a young age, Tanner needs to be allowed the room to experience these feelings. We don't know what his future is going to hold and I want him to have as many positive life experiences as he can.
Dr. Albritton had her final talk with Tanner and told him how she understand that many young adults with cancer try to live life to the fullest. She explained that they seem to often have a "what do I have to lose" attitude and that she wants him to try and always stop and think of consequences. She told him to remember there are many high adrenalin activities he can participate in that can add excitement to his life - and are still "good decisions". That's one of the things I will miss the most about Dr. A, she has dedicated her practice to the young adults who are so often overlooked. She came to the waiting room and sat and talked with me for a while and told me that she thought Tanner was okay living away from home and that I needed to focus on getting myself strong because, as she said, "With Multiple Myeloma, he's going to need you one of these days, and then he's going to need you again." Both of us need to live our lives to the fullest for as long as we can.
I'm thinking of going ahead and putting my house on the market. It's a three bedroom on a half acre lot and I really don't want to have to keep maintaining a large yard - and even the upkeep on a house can become overwhelming. I think it's time to let go and move into a small apartment. I just need to do a few things to the house before I can list it for sale.
Friday afternoon when I came home from work, my front door was unlocked, Tanner's bedroom door was open, and the hall light was on. My thinking was that he had come home during the day and picked up some more of his things. I looked around and didn't notice anything out of place so I locked up and went to run my errands. I checked in with Tanner to remind him that he always needs to lock the front door and he told me he hadn't been to my house. I called Trevor and he too told me he hadn't been by (and he doesn't have a key). I thought that surely I didn't go off for work that morning and left my door unlocked and the lights on and bedroom door open. When I got back to the house I looked around and noticed that half the movies on the rack by the front door were gone.
The only thing I can think is that someone that Tanner knows knew where he used to hide his key and possibly had a spare key made. None of the windows were broken and there was no sign of forced entry so, needless to say, I became concerned about who out there might have a key to my home. I've slept on the couch through the weekend so I could hear if anyone should try to come through the door and last night one of my cousins came over and changed the locks.
I think it's time to move on. Like I said, it's a new year with lots of decisions and directions...
Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live... Chamfort