There has been a little bit of progress in Mike's condition. In addition to the recovery from the surgery to remove most of his colon, another big issue was Mike's psychotic behavior. He was pretty much incoherent for several days. He has started becoming more lucid, but he is in terrible pain. His surgery is recovering, so they moved him last night out of the ICU into a private room. That's a big progression. Yesterday was actually a great day. However, last night, Max stayed in the room with his brother. He says it was a horrible night. Mike was screaming and crying. My heart hurts just thinking about it.
What we basically know at this point is that Mike is going to die from this disease. We still are not sure how he's going to choose to proceed. If he chooses to go without the chemotherapy, he'll definitely be gone in the next twelve months. If he chooses the chemo, we thing he might last 2-3 years.
Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure which he'll choose. Other than Max, their mom, and an uncle, Mike has no other family. No girlfriend, no children, just an ex-wife. I don't think it would be selfish of him to choose against the chemo and to just live out the end of the days more comfortably.
Max feels like he needs to be out in southern California for his brother. At this point, I'm not sure exactly what that's going to entail. He's coming back here to Atlanta on Monday night. He wants me to go back with him next weekend. I think I'll go for a few days and then leave Max there. Someone is going to have to deal with the fact that Mike's house is under construction and will probably need to be sold, that Mike has his own wedding photography business that will probably need to be closed or sold, and that Mike doesn't have any important papers taken care of -- living will, power of attorney, will, etc.
Max is scared to death that if he spends weeks or months out there, I'm going to need to break up with him. That made me cry so much. I'm about 95% certain that we're on the same path here ... marriage some time in the next two years. If that's the case, then I think whatever he needs to do for his brother is fine. It will be hard work, but it's totally worth it to me. I think the only place I would draw the line is a permanent move to California. If Mike is still hanging on next summer, when I'd be able to find a job teaching, I'd consider going there for a year or so, but only on a temporary basis. Now we just have to figure out what to do about his job, insurance, etc. Since Max works for a national company, I'm hoping he can try to get a post out there and actually work a few days a week. Max's uncle has offered to be for 24/7 nursing care if the brother needs it.
So, not only would I not break up with him if he needed to stay a while, but I have several connections in the LA area. People who might be able to give Max a temporary job. People who might be able to bring meals. People who might be able to offer a helping hand. On my facebook account, I noticed that I have 17 friends in the LA area. I've never even been there! Most of them are college friends.
With Max's move to my house upon us, it's probably the best time for this to happen. I need Max here to move some things around. Even if he misses out on the actual move, I know I have friends who would pitch in to help pack, move, and clean his apartment if I needed them.
I think I'm going to have to ignore the room of woe for a few more weeks and tackle it after all this has calmed down. I'll get the entire house ready except for that room. Really, I'll just have to find a temporary space for Max's couch and coffee table (the only things nice enough for him to bring with him). I can squeeze them into my living room and move them as the room of woe empties out. I have a couch, table, and love seat in there that I was intending to sell once I had the room clean enough to see them. Max's furniture will be going in there.
The funny part to me is Butterbean the cat. A few years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me I was going to be a cat owner. Now, I think I'm going to be living for a little while ALONE with a cat. Who'd a thunk it?
Enough of that. I went to a party last night. Mostly teachers who haven't seen each other since the end of May. I had lots of fun catching up ... hearing about the 7(!) teachers who are currently pregnant and due between October and February. I will not be drinking the water. I made a Cooking Light recipe that had good intentions but was pretty much taste-less. It was called Edamame-Garlic puree. I took that along with a tray of carrots, celery, broccoli, and pita wedges. Even with 10 cloves of garlic, it just tasted like a light green mush. Everyone thought it was tasteless guacamole. It was good to catch people up on what's been going on, have them miss out on seeing Max, and know that I have them as an additional support.
I haven't been doing a lot of eating. I guess that's a good part of this. I've been making mostly frozen dinners since it's easy, and I haven't been to the grocery store enough to have too many snack foods around. Plus the whole sitting around crying and staring at space thing has kind of been keeping me busy.
Tomorrow, I'm going to go home and get the entire house ready for move-in. Max comes in after midnight. We have a lot to do in the few days he's home. Go over what's going to have to get packed while he's gone. Maybe even get a few things packed. Lots to do.
Thanks for everything!