April 10, 2011


Posted in family, Kat at 11:28 pm by jimazing

MyrtleWaves2Many 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.

For those who would like to follow her story, we have setup a page on CaringBridge.  Please visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/katanderson.

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: https://jimazing.com/blog/category/kat/


  1. I can feel it in your written words that, as you wrote this, you were reaching out into the spray air, grasping for some bearing or orientation that is not to be found. Thanks for sharing with us.
    1.)I don’t want to sound tritely religious, but let’s not forget that we are in eternity here, so no matter what happens on this earth, all is not lost, but only the physical part of it.
    2.) Treatments are available. That’s a long road to travel, for sure, but its what we sign on for when we become people who love other people and give birth to children who then become people like us. Comes with the territory in this grievous world, which also has its joyous moments; there are still a few more of those joyous moments to be had with Kate, no matter how this turns out.
    3.) I pray for yáll.

  2. John Teeling said,

    I can’t imagine what you are feeling because I am not a father, Jim. Your “falling” metaphor gives me a good picture and I can imagine a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness. I am with you in the struggle of trying to figure out what to hold on to. I am with you in your powerlessness and in my powerlessness too. I love you, my friend.

  3. NB,
    I agree with Kathi. I think this may be your best one yet. I love you and am standing shoulder to shoulder with you.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: