Henry had a setback two days before Christmas. It was heartbreaking, scary, and a big dose of reality. He's been feeling so amazingly well that we have resumed a largely normal lifestyle, only occasionally punctuated with life's stigmata of cancer: blood draws, hospice nurse visits, etc. I've begun to really appreciate the degree of denial that my brain is able to wrap around me, as it allows me to enjoy him more.
Henry suffered stroke-like symptoms. 48 hours later, fully resolved and with the tincture of time and some more clinical information we have settled on thinking that he likely had a seizure, caused by a small bleed in his brain that appears to have happened in the recent past. At the time of his stroke symptoms, we of course didn't know that less than two days later he'd be shooting nerf darts at his cousins as he ran around in the back yard laughing. The feeling I had was overwhelming: some amalgum of fear, loss, sorrow. I actually can't remember some of the time, but I recall crouching on the floor in my kitchen and sobbing.
How quickly the denial sets back in. How glad I am for it. For a few days I was paralyzed, unable even to fold laundry. Today I'm actively juggling again. Other than the episode above, today has been the worst part of Christmas for me. Putting away the tree, each of Henry's ornaments spoke to me, that next year when I put them on the tree he wouldn't be here.