Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Really, Really Miss Utah

Utah is a lovely place. It has Zion's National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Temple Square, and my favorite brother in it, just for starters. But I don't miss that Utah.

This spring, I asked Dr. Ryan: Let's say Mat's on a trip from California to New York (New York being a grassy cemetery with flowers and trees). How far along is he on this trip?

The answer: Utah. As long as Mat has energy and is keeping weight on, he's in Utah.

Ah, Utah.

Fast forward a few months, and Mat has lost almost 25 pounds and pops a double dose of speed twice a day in order to have a quarter of the energy of your average sloth.

I've a feeling we're not in Utah anymore.

I don't know where we are now -- I don't want to ask and I don't think Dr. Ryan could tell me anyway. I don't think it's Pennsylvania, but is it Kansas? Missouri? Illinois?

It's definitely not Utah.

We were hoping the Torisel might take Mat back to Utah, but the last scan showed the the chemo is not shrinking the tumors, as we had hoped, but is keeping them from growing.

Our Utah didn't have national parks or Temple Square. But Mat had a job he loved in Utah, and there were walks, and vacations (although they did involve heavy use of drugs), and dinners out, and games of catch with the boys in the park.

In Kansas, or whatever place we're in now, there's a handicapped parking tag, a long-term disability absence from work, and weekly trips to the MGH infusion unit for chemotherapy that sometimes flattens Mat for two full days and parts of several other days.

I was relieved to learn that there are occasional games of catch in Kansas, but for a long time I wasn't sure.

I have to admit I hate it here, although we're trying to get used to it. The people are generous and kind, which helps. Life is simpler, and slower. There are family movie nights every Friday, and family fun (aka Family Home Evening), and nearly regular "scripture power," and dinner together almost every night, and long sessions of reading books with the boys.

And there is one thing I really like about Kansas: it happens to be exactly in the middle of God's hand. I hope we stay here for a long, long time.