Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A new dream

Tell me, people, does anyone else dream as much as I do? I don't even put down on cyberpaper all the dreams I have -- just the ones that I can remember enough to keep intact while writing about it. I think my mind is busier at night than it is in the daytime, which is quite hard to imagine.

Let me preface this post by saying that April 28 is the anniversary of my husband's late wife's death from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. She had this disease for over a year, and he nursed her the entire time. At one point she was hospitalized for 104 days, and he took a leave of absence from work so he could stay with her. Further, during the last months of her life, she developed neutropenia. This is the definition, taken from the Merck Manual:

Neutropenia is an abnormally low number of neutrophils in the blood.

Neutrophils serve as the major defense of the body against acute bacterial and certain fungal infections. Neutrophils usually constitute about 45 to 75% of all white blood cells in the bloodstream. When the neutrophil count falls below 1,000 cells per microliter of blood, the risk of infection increases somewhat; when it falls below 500 cells per microliter, the risk of infection increases greatly. Without the key defense provided by neutrophils, a person has problems controlling infections and is at risk of dying from an infection.

Her neutropenia made daily life difficult, to say the least. In her last month of life, she was plagued by a number of conditions, including a chloroma. This definition is taken from Wikipedia:

A chloroma is a solid tumor composed of immature white blood cells called myeloid precursor cells.

They are most often found in acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) but may be found in other myeloproliferative disorders such as polycythemia vera, hypereosinophilia, and myeloid metaplasia.

Chloromas may be seen under the skin, around the eyes, or in the mouth. They are often very tender.

In her case the chloroma was at her ear, causing her intense and excruciating pain.

She also began to bleed out, which was difficult to deal with, of course. She became more and more "out of it", partially due to the morphine and other drugs she was given for pain management. She could not see, she could not walk unaided, if at all, and the list went on and on. My dear husband, to say the least, was a saint. He remained off work to care for his dear wife throughout her illness until she was finally taken on the very last day of her life to inpatient hospice care. It was there she was released from her pain.

On to the dream:

She and I are in "our house", which is not really the house we've both lived in, but the one in my dream. We're alone, and she doesn't know who I am. I introduce myself by name -- I know who she is, and I know she's dead. She doesn't know that, but knows something's different. She looks beautiful -- her skin is clear and so soft, her hair is nice and full and wavy -- darker like it was toward the end of her life. She does not have the Bell's Palsy that she had toward the end, or any other malady. She is happy, and happy to know me. She also has a melodious giggle and such a sweet voice. (She really did in real life too, though she was also known to be quite loud and rowdy at times, much to the delight and chagrin of all who knew her, from what I've been told). She is a little confused about why things are moved around, but I help her find things. She still hasn't asked why my last name is the same as hers, but I think in my dream that she knows why. I tell her about Hubby, that he's doing well and that he loves her very much. I tell her I wish I had known her sooner, because I like her so much and know that we would have had such fun together. She agrees, and we feel like old friends. We hug, and I feel warm, and loved, and welcomed.

I don't know how this dream ended, but it wasn't in a negative way at all. I felt so warm and happy when I woke up. I don't believe in ghosts or visitations, but I still have the feeling that she was with me last night. It is not, I don't think, coincidental that Hubby just finished transcribing his journal from that last month just yesterday. He has journaled for years, but he could not bring himself to read or transcribe that last month until just the last 3 days.

When I told him about this dream, he broke down into tears, and then into sobs. He was both so happy and so sorrowful at the same time. I held him, and stroked his hair, telling him it was alright to cry on my shoulder. He loved her to distraction, and he cared for her like no one else could. And now, he loves me and I benefit from his tremendous capacity for love and devotion. Everyone of you reading this has the right and reason to be jealous, because my hubby is the total package and then some. Bonafide.

Now he's out mowing the lawn. I hope he take comfort from what I was able to tell him. I know I am comforted by it.


1 comment:

RunAwayImagination said...

Your hubby indeed did take great comfort from your dream. It's been tough reading and transcribing that journal from three years ago, but I think it confirmed that my capacity to love is unlimited. She would have loved you, and in fact I know she does.