He’s Better After the Surgery


I never expected to have this turn-about in my feelings and opinions. I thought that my recent compassionate view towards my former husband, because of his physical suffering with colon cancer, was permanent. After all, his arrest and incarceration began eight years ago, long enough for the emotional horror I suffered to have faded.

Over the last year, the Bureau of Prisons seemed to have abandoned him to the fate of imminent death when it refused to provide a much needed operation to save his life. Numerous growths could be seen protruding from his abdomen, they were so large. Only Tylenol was given to him by the medical staff to soothe suffering from Stage 4 cancer. It was never enough to relieve the pain.

Paul calls his cousin, Chris twice a week and I hear from her that finally, after a year, the surgeon he wanted to perform the operation did so, just last month. And while the surgery may only be palliative, for now, he’s comfortable. He’s worrying about the cancer in his lymph nodes, but they aren’t bothering him. And he’s certainly hopeful and happy with the belief that he’s going to live and again have an existence outside the prison. He’s looking forward to getting out, either on his release date in May 2014 or sooner under a compassionate release, due to his cancer. He dreams of returning to the northeast, growing his precious primroses, experiencing good health. Such dreams are good for him.

I’m glad he had the surgery. I’m glad that, according to his cousin, who recently visited him at the North Carolina Federal Medical Center, he has good color, and while very underweight, appears well. I’m glad that he’s been taken care of, as much as is possible by his cousin and his sister. As all people in a hospital, he needs an advocate. They’ve been unwavering in their work to enable him to receive the surgery he believed would save his life.

During the first two years after his arrest, I was confused. I was furious at the Feds and at Paul whereas he blamed the Federal Investigators for all my misery and fear. I agreed with him until the Federal Government’s harassment ended, when they gave up and realized that I was guilty of nothing.

What love I had left was erased once I realized that he was the one who’d been responsible for causing the wretchedness in my life. My emotions had been battered around like Hurricane Katrina, and now, a second time, my feelings are distant. Instead of writing posts about understanding and forgiveness, my heart has reverted back to stone.

In spite of all that though, my concern isn’t dead, just different. I still care, in spite of everything, although my empathy that began when I feared he would die is reduced. I’m doing fine.

He’s all right too, for now; I don’t need to worry about being told that he died. He doesn’t need my letters that say little, but include articles enclosed in the envelope that he’ll find interesting,

I saved an article for him from the October 4th New York Times Style Magazine, about a famous English garden, with extraordinary photos. I guess I’ll send it tomorrow. Then I pick up another newspaper article I clipped from the New York Times resting on the edge of my desk – for what I don’t know, until I open it up. Oh, it’s an opinion piece I saved from September 1st entitled Women, Bought and Sold in Nepal. There’s a photograph taken by the writer, Katie Orlinsky that shows a girl, who looks about eleven years old. That’s enough. That’s reality. That’s Child Pornography. That’s where photos of real little girls come from, places like Nepal and Eastern Europe. That’s why Paul’s in prison, where he belongs.

About writerladyjane

I'm a writer with a finished memoir, titled Images. Most of the blog posts relate to the general subject of my memoir and are about my experience of Federal Agents entering my home and arresting my then-husband for child pornography, as well as the following two years of threats on me. There are also posts that are of a lighter nature and some to do with my travels, especially a trip around the world I took with my daughter. I have an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University and live in Westport, CT.
This entry was posted in Bureau of Prisons, cancer, federal legal system, Legal Threats, prison system, surgery, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to He’s Better After the Surgery

  1. Jane, your journey is heart-wrenching and inspiring at the same time. I am proud to know you.

  2. Christine james says:

    Beautifully written as usual. Human Feelings are complicated and difficult to describe you did a great job.
    Love sister Chris

  3. GrandmaCharityChallenge says:

    Jane, you convey your emotions, even when those emotions are confused, so well. it’s easy to see how your feelings change over time. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  4. Denise says:

    You are so good at articulating the conflicting emotions of the situation. You are being generous.

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