Looking back @ Cancer... 393/4

I have always had this horrible fear of cancer, really any health issues. In the movies and on TV everything is so overly dramatized and scary. It is a very scary thing, but somehow going through it in real time...it’s nothing like I thought it would be.

Maybe just because I experienced it with the eternal ray of sunshine...Trey...but really it was nothing like I thought it would be.

The unknown was the absolute worst part.

In my mind we waited weeks before we knew anything. In reality it was all so fast

8/3 - Emergency room visit

8/10 - official diagnosis

8/15 - treatment began

That week of waiting, and not knowing was insanity. Trey didn’t want anyone to know anything. That was the hardest. During that time I think we also built walls - which I don’t think we’re the best idea...but, it’s what we did.

This thing was not going to ruin everything for everyone.

Nothing was going to be said until we had a plan, a course of action, and answers. That week was hell, but also taught me a lot.

I’ve always had a tendency to internalize all of my feelings (it’s been a defense mechanism of mine since childhood...everything’s fine...don’t look at me don’t ask me anything...just ignore me, my feelings don’t matter (oh the joys of growing up with an absent father! ...Not absent as in he wasn’t around-he was ‘around’...just absent.)

That week of not being able to talk to anyone probably made Trey and I closer than ever. In some ways, and pulled us apart in others. Getting that news did some crazy things to Treys way of thinking. ‘He was damaged goods’ and now was the perfect time to push me away. He was convinced I wouldn’t want to stick around for all of this. ...the thought NEVER crossed my mind. It took him awhile to get that through his head. That first weekend was spent researching.

Researching something we knew nothing about. We were literally told on a Friday night to call and make an appointment with an oncologist by Monday.

I was just talking to T&B about their neighbor that just passed recently. About how he didn’t get the same care that Trey did.

That’s something I can’t believe I can talk about. Treys gone...it’s hard to think about him getting great care...but it’s really not.

Mostly because I know if he was here in any way he would have nothing at all bad to say about ANYONE that helped in his care at Charleston Oncology.

Trey knew everybody’s name, everybody knew Trey -or ‘Mr. Strock’...everytime we went for an Infusion, or labs, or just an office visit Trey would pack 3 dozen eggs in his bag, and pass them out. Everytime. He always said he had ‘presents from the ladies’. Everyone knew Beauregard, and Miss Bess...he knew all their pets including his PA’s pot belly pig and her habits, and shyness. It never felt like a scary place.

At the first infusion I was scared to death. I know Trey had to be terrified, but you’d never know it. He’s JUST like his dad...more concerned with everyone else’s day, and well being. This is a made up conversation...but it could be very real...this is exactly how Trey was at EVERY infusion...

‘Afternoon Mr Strock, how are you today?’-nurse of the day

Trey-‘Oh honey I’m good. Real good. Just here to get a little fun juice. Miss Nancy back there mixing it up today? Tell her to put some of the extra good stuff in it.

Enough about me. Let’s talk about you

how are you? How’s your kids doing?’

That’s who Trey was. Enough about him...let’s talk about you, and what he could do for you. With everything, in every way. Totally selfless. All throughout his treatment and beyond.

He fought through everything, with total dignity, grace, and as Missy said as a Brave warrior, an inspiring trouper...just a generally beautiful human being.

If you didn’t know Trey well, you wouldn’t have been able to tell anything was wrong. He hid it well. ‘Enough about me, how are you?’ That never ever ended. While I was in the hospital he would not tell me anything to get me worried. He would not allow anyone to tell me anything. ‘Thomas you’ve got to focus on you so when you get out of here you can go back to taking care of me’...I tried my best.

The first Christmas gift I ever gave Trey was a framed photo of his grandmother I had found the year she had passed. I remember him crying and telling me I would never meet anyone quite like Johnny. For 23 years it has sat right near the TV, wherever we have been. I don’t think there is any one thing that reminds me more of Trey. A picture of someone I have never met...and probably my most valuable possession, if the house is on fire that’s the one thing I am grabbing.

Also just like his Grandma Johnny - there will never be another Trey. And if you never had the pleasure of meeting Trey...you’ll never meet anyone quite like him.