Many years ago, When I took the kids to Myrtle Waves water park in Myrtle Beach there was one particular slide that I remember to this day. I’m not absolutely sure, but I think this photo is of that very slide. I remember starting my trip down. As you can see, the whole slide is inside a tube, so you can’t see what’s coming next. It was fun sloshing around and going faster and faster, and then all of a sudden, without warning it dropped straight down for a long ways! In addition to the startling change, I had a fear of heights and the sensation of free falling was terrifying! What made it even worse was that the water that had been moving me along under my butt was now free falling all around me. Time seemed to slow to a crawl. I didn’t feel like I could breathe because the air was thick with water vapor. Falling… unable to breathe… nothing to grab onto and no way to do anything but ride it out until the ride was done with me.
This week felt like a return to that water slide. My daughter was admitted to the hospital on April 1st and they took all week trying to find out what was wrong with her. On Saturday, they finally determined what was going on and broke the news to us. She has cancer. I found myself free falling, unable to breathe, nothing to grab onto to slow things down.
This is so hard to hear. It feels so surreal like everything has stopped. There’s a detachment from reality. It’s like I know there is another world out there, but I’m not part of it. For instance, we came home to Charlotte briefly Friday night and I was surprised to see that my lawn needed mowing. I thought, “Oh, grass continues to grow in this world.”
I want so much to tag this with a happy ending, but we aren’t to that part of the story yet. Right now, I am terrified and free falling with nothing to grab onto.
Update: Kat lost her battle with Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET) on September 23, 2012. We miss her dearly. Her caringbridge site is still up including the detailed journal. You can read all of the other posts about my journey with Kat here: http://jimazing.com/blog/category/kat/