Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An outlet

It's hard to believe that one month ago today Mike went to see Dr Kramer because he was feeling tired and worn out.  In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago rather than just a few weeks.  When I read back over earlier posts it's almost as if I'm reading about someone else's life. 

A couple of days ago I decided to add a counter to the blog.  I had been hearing from a lot of people that they were reading it or knew of people that were reading it.  On one hand I'm amazed that there are so many people reading this thing.  On the other hand it just confirms how important Mike is to so many people.

This blog started as a way for me to remember everything and ended up as a therapy of sorts.  A way to kind of purge myself of some of the fear, anger, uncertainty, loneliness & frustration that sometimes seems to take over.  I figure if I can put it down in "writing" maybe I won't take it out so much on those I love most.  Won't complain as much, etc.  If people want to read about my complaining, fear, anger, etc. that's up to them.  At least I'm not forcing it on anyone.  Most of all Mike and the kids.

Sometimes I wonder how I can possibly feel lonely.  I think part of it is that, from my current perspective, everyone else has their own lives to lead.  "Normal" lives that aren't surrounded with so many unknowns.  That was us just a month ago.  We always had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen next.  Sure the routine can get monotonous sometimes and things come up now and then to throw a kink in the best laid plans, but we weren't prepared for something like this.   Something that seems to be present every waking minute.  So much depends on the results of something else. 

It's easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of emotions, which can make if difficult to realize how fortunate we actually are.  The tumor was smaller than originally thought.  Maybe the lymph nodes really are clear.  Mike is strong, young and healthy and healing well from surgery.  Our doctors are determined to cure Mike and we continue to receive love & support from so many people.  Sometimes, though, it's hard to find that in the midst of all the other crap.

I love my husband and want to do everything I can to make this experience even a little bit less awful for him.  It's our life together, but it's his body not mine, that has to go through so much.  I know I can't change that, so if I can make things a bit easier for him in areas where I do have some control, I will.  If that means spewing more gibberish into a blog, then that's what I'll do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just a plain old ordinary day

Aside from Mike still recovering from surgery, today was a pretty average day.  Kids went to VBS this morning, I went to the dermatologist after having missed my appointment last week, Cal had a cub scout thing tonight and we spent the afternoon as a family hanging out at at Pecks.  I guess the only thing out of the ordinary was that I had a small mole removed from my wrist that will be biopsied.  Pretty exciting getting stitches for the first time in my life.  Funny how I'm not the least bit fazed about having a "suspicious" mole removed.  In the scheme of things, it's pretty boring.

I'm looking forward to my weekend away with Michelle & Maureen.  Thelma, Thelma & Louise (without driving off a cliff at the end).  Found out that one of the wineries will have a Jimmy Buffett tribute band with guest singer Nadirah Shakoor who is one of Jimmy's backup singers.  Figure we'll hit most of the wineries on Friday so we can spend as much time as we want at Von Jakob.  It will be good to get away and that little bit of guilt I was feeling before is pretty much gone.  Did I mention I'm excited to get to see Nadirah?
Nadirah Shakoor - Making Music for Money

Back to work for me tomorrow.  Mike is driving again so he can take the kids to VBS and then to the sitter for the day.  Will be nice to have another "normal" day. Although, as I know full well, that can all turn in an instant.  Guess that's what keeps things exciting.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cautiously Optimistic

Mike had the staples removed this morning and doc said everything looks good as far as the incision is concerned.  Next week we'll meet with the oncologist and find out what happens next.

In the meantime, Dr Dachman is going to have pathology look at the lymph nodes again.  There were three that were significantly larger and harder than the other 27.  Seems that when a biopsy is done only small slices are taken and it's possible that although the slices taken from the three enlarged nodes were in fact clear, other portions of those same nodes may not be.  In an effort to be "cautiously optimistic" the nodes will be checked again.  It was nice to have a few days of not worrying about that. 

If the nodes are clear after the additional biopsies, it is possible that the oncologist will not prescribe chemo.  However, Mike will need to have some genetic testing in the near future to find out if he is carrying a virus that makes him more susceptible to colon cancer.  If that's the case, chemo won't make a bit of difference and we'll be talking about other options like a complete colectomy to make sure Mike can remain cancer free.

Just when it seems we have this thing figured out and come to terms with one aspect of it, something else pops up.  On the up side, Mike is feeling quite a bit better.  Still tired, but has started on the iron supplements again so hopefully he can start rebuilding some of the iron stores his body used up before all of this started.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just another day

Being home is finally hitting Mike.  He is worn out and has acknowledged that his body needs to rest.  Sleep seems to be the best thing at this point.  We went to church this morning and it happened to be outdoors at the park.  There was a potluck afterwards, but we came home instead.  Just the service was enough for today.  I never know just how long to let him sleep.  Although, he doesn't seem to be having trouble sleeping at night even with a couple of naps during the day.

The kids are having a bit of a hard time with Daddy being home, but not available.  That gets rough on me too.  Trying to keep the kids quiet so Mike can sleep when they are indoors, because it is too hot & humid for them to be outside for long, is a challenge.  I struggle with calling someone to see if the kids can go over there with feeling like I need to be with the kids instead.    Tomorrow through Thursday they will both go to VBS in the morning , so that will help some.  At some point I also need to get back to work for awhile to catch up. 

I am, however, looking forward to Thursday.  Maureen, Michelle & I planned a long weekend several months ago.  Non-refundable, of course.  At this point the plan is for Mike to stay home and I'll drop the kids off at grandma & grandpa's on the way south.  A quiet weekend at home for Mike and a weekend away for me. 

I wonder if guilt or relief will be the stronger feeling.  Will I feel guilty if I'm relieved to be away?  Can I pretend cancer doesn't exist for three days?  Sometimes I just feel lost in the middle of all the craziness that is hiding behind the normal.