You have mysterious headaches. They come out of nowhere. You feel dizzy. No one knows but Dr. Rothbaum and yourself. He prescribes you migraine pills. At first, they seem to help, but only a week later, they do nothing for you.
Dawn sees the pills on your dresser and is worried. She asks you if you're okay. You tell her that it's part of getting older. She nods and reminds you about how many pill bottles Grandma Lucy carried in her purse. You laugh. It's a nervous laugh.
You go back to see Dr. Rothbaum.He tells you something you don't want to hear. "It's a tumor, Joyce." Tumor. Cancer. Surgery. Possible death. You nod, eyes brimming with tears. He advises you to tell your children. You shake your head. "Not until it's worse." He takes a deep breath and tells you that it's already worse. You bite your lip, and he gives you a prescription for pain pills. He also recommends again that you tell your children.
You can't. Buffy's never around anyway, and Dawn's too young. Those are excuses.
You take your pills and have a conversation with Dawn about cereal. Suddenly, you're dizzy again. The next thing you see is darkness.
Hospital visits run past you. Your surgery is frightening. But, you feel better. You still get dizzy sometimes and feel weak. You realize that part of your brain is gone. You laugh. It's ironic.
You start dating a wonderful guy. He reminds you of an early Hank. Before the lies and the affairs. Brian's nice. He makes you feel young again. After one of your dates, flowers are delivered. You smile and watch a little television. Suddenly, you're dizzy again, tired. The room is spinning like it never has. You brace yourselfon the couch and tell yourself that after a nap, you'll feel okay again. You briefly think about your next date with Brian as you fade into sleep. You don't wake up.