Medicine Lake, the big guy's favorite place in the world.
We were in Jasper this past weekend to visit friends. My girlfriend with metastatic breast cancer has been admitted into the hospital and is gently sliding down towards the end of her life. One of the tumors in her brain is pressing on her right eye, causing the eye to bulge out and bother her. Her speech is slightly slurred, her legs are swollen and she's taking small doses of morphine for the pain. She dozes off and on, half listening to everything going on around her. Sometimes she follows a conversation and sometimes her brain misfires and strange things come out. Her filters are gone and she gets stuck in a rut, perseverating on something.
She sleeps at the hospital and everyday her husband takes her out for a daytrip someplace. Last Friday was to Hinton for more quilting fabric. She has made eight quilts since her brush with imminent death back in February. I told her husband she wants more fabric because then she can't die. She still has quilts to make.
She's also planning a camping trip this summer. She wants to attend a wedding in Ontario. She is full of plans, not ready to let go of the world yet. And a dog, she wants a dog. A bernedoodle to be exact, the size of a turkey. Most of all she wants a future.
Her husband has arranged for people to be with her when he's not there. She is surrounded by friends, family and love. He is well cared for. They live in a small town, a close knit community and his freezer is full of frozen meals dropped off by neighbors and friends. He's taking care of himself too which is good. He's taken an extended leave and spends his time with his wife, doing whatever it is she feels like doing that day.
My friend is only fifty-seven. I hate cancer. I know we all have to die but it still seems like a harsh way to die. She has spent the past thirteen years dealing with cancer and now it is dragging her under. It is unrelenting.
There is a line in a song by Ed Sheerhan, Supermarket Flowers that rings true for me.
"A heart that's broke is a heart that's been loved"
My friend has been loved and has loved. I will miss her.