When my mind is in a state of relaxation, I tend to look at things with clarity and optimism. Though some of it is in a dream sequence and are out of reach, I believe that one day they will be achievable. John and I always had this belief that we would someday win the lottery. I know…farfetched. We did not care. It was our little dream and was one we would hold on to for as long as we wanted or could. Since the diagnosis and the events that have unfolded these past few days, my mind has gone from relaxation to utter chaos. On the outside, I keep that momentum of transparency, but on the inside, there are knots of confusion, questions, and sadness. It is only by sheer strength and love that I have taken that chaos and put it in a “jar”. A symbolic jar that has to be opened at times for a sense of liberation, but I allow the jar to make an appearance every so often. What I have found in this releasing process is my writing. Who would have thought? Graduating with a journalism degree would lead me to write the story of my life as it plays out, day by day, with the most amazing man in the world. When I do decide to open the jar, words start flowing like I never thought they could. It feels good to write down all of the thoughts and striking feelings I have…especially for the man who still stands before me with utter brute strength and optimism. John is the one who brings forth my clarity. So this is why I write even with the chaos swirling above our heads trying to take control…it is my own release. I write to keep those from a distance, still close to our hearts with my words. I write to share our journey together, though before they were to be of future babies and happiness, now of perseverance and power. I write to take the jar out from time to time and make sense of the rumbling in my head…and to share it with you…all of you. That is why the many thanks proceed every entry I post. It is the support, it is the reading and it is also the many comments I receive whether it is on the blog, facebook, random text, email or phone call that make it easy to share.
I was chatting with an amazing soul and woman last night. She revealed to me that it is because of cancer, we are fortunate to show each other a love not everyone is capable of or even fortunate enough to show their partner in their lifetime. A love so deep and thoughtful, that caring and appreciation for one another through this time is what has opened up the new, stronger love we have now. I am not saying others do not have the love we have, but I see what she is sharing. For us, it is a different kind of love that has no limitations and has now bloomed to the peak of what we were previously capable of showing. So I want to thank her…for describing this upper echelon of love we have found to get us through this difficult time.
As many of you know, it has been an irregular couple of days. It did not go as scheduled and has ended with a hospital stay. The cycle of appointments started again on Monday as we went in for a shot to boost his low white blood cell count. It was to protect him and his immunity to illness. As scheduled, on Tuesday, we went in early that morning to get John’s CT scans made. These scans were going to be the result of the radiation treatments he has been going through the past month and a half. On Wednesday, we were to come in and get his results. Again, things did not go as planned. After the scans Tuesday, we were patiently awaiting his release to go home but were held back by the technician. He stated, “Hold on, I need to get in touch with your oncologist.” Confused we sat in the waiting room as we overheard the technicians whispering about the importance of their call and the irregularity of his scan. We turned to each other and wondered if all they saw was the mass the previous scans revealed and John proceeded to tell the technician, “We know what you are looking at…it is the tumor.” The tech turned to John and told him that was not his main concern and he needed to get a hold of the doctor. He finally did and sent us straight over the office on the other side of the hospital’s campus. As we walked in, the nurse practitioner hurried us into a back room and was talking on the phone to John’s oncologist saying, “Yes, he is here…yes, he is walking…he looks okay to me.” We were so confused and could tell in her urgency that something was seriously wrong. Finally, we got our answer. John had fluid in his chest. So much fluid, everyone was surprised he was walking around that day. So much fluid, it was constricting his air flow. So much fluid, it was pushing his lungs to the right side of his body and completely flattening them out. When the nurses and doctors put their stethoscopes’ to the left side of his chest they heard nothing…nothing at all. They gave us the option of going home, risking his lung collapsing and rushing him to the hospital in the middle of the night or checking him into the hospital to get the fluid drained first thing Wednesday morning with around the clock attention. We chose the latter. So this morning came and went and they periodically would check in with John to check his comfort level and vitals. We are fortunate to have the best nurses and their first priority is John’s health. Before we knew it, the afternoon rolled in…I was escorted out of the room for the doctor to complete the procedure bedside and 10 minutes later, he was done. They inserted a chest tube in his left side to drain 1300 CCs of fluid at first and then 500 more every 6 hours thereafter. They did not want to drain too much too quickly because it could cause complications with his blood pressure since his body acclimated itself to having the fluid inside of him in the first place. Slowly but surely. That is the only way they can do it.
So here we are…in the hospital. I have only gone home to shower and come right back to be by his side. I cannot stand being away from him when he needs me most. I watch him sleep now more than ever to ensure his breathing is starting to normalize. He now has more tubes jetting out of his body and has been poked and prodded so many times since all of this started, I cannot even imagine what he is feeling right now. He does not want to move an inch after this last procedure and has leg compressors around his calf to prevent blood clotting. Exhausting. I can see it in his face and hear it in his voice. Again, I cannot imagine. We still do not have the other results from the CT scan to see how well the radiation took care of the cancer. We will hopefully hear about that soon, but we are taking everything day by day and one step at a time. He has been through enough these past few days so anticipating one more thing will deter him from focusing on recovery from this procedure.
Keep those good thoughts coming. He is a trooper and has such a huge heart…one that is full and happy even through these times.
I am proud to call him my husband…other half…my soul mate.