Of course it’s 3:00am and I’m up sitting in the living room, the only light on is this iPads white glimmer being typed on one finger at a time. It’s been nine days since Bobbi’s last chemotherapy session (total of 6 now). The next 30 days she won’t receive anymore until the CAT scan is performed on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The doctors want to give it a few weeks for the chemo to flush out her system to get a good reading on the tumor in her pancreas. If it has shrunk surgery sometime in December. It’s butted against portal vein and surgery would’ve been too risky without the first 2 months, of six months, of it to be done (The portal vein or hepatic portal vein is a blood vessel that carries blood from the gastrointestinal tract, gallbladder, pancreas and spleen to the liver (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal_vein). Hoping it has shrunk. If it has, then surgery soon. The time until then it’s difficult not to worry about the cancer spreading with no chemo being administered. A persistent dry cough has started for the last few weeks and this has caused concern as well. Lots of what “if” a person can drive themselves crazy with! As I’m writing this I can hear her coughing while she sleeps.
Decided to dig out our Christmas decorations and change the mood. Hung lights outside, etc. Doubt we’ll put up a tree since we may be gone for a few weeks around the day. The lights look nice and picked up her spirits. Her friend, who she grew up with, Nancy, stopped by for a visit too. Which was nice. Bobbi is still weak and fatigue comes quick. Went out with her mother for a bit yesterday but wasn’t gone long because it it. This Thanksgiving Day we’ll travel to Traverse City to see Lori and Jim. She’ll probably sleep some on the way.
The mind sure likes to wonder during the waiting for tests and such. Missing the kids and grandkids a lot! Cancer doesn’t take a break for the holidays unfortunately though. The Xmas lights and decorations is a way of telling the cancer that we’re not going to let it dictate to us what we do or don’t do. What’s been nice is seeing her not so whipped out having the sessions right after another. Hasn’t had to take naps lately, just no energy for very long when doing things. Still having tenderness in the area but I called her cancer team in Petoskey and they put her on a new medication for it. Works a lot better.
It seems like every minute of everyday is consumed with thinking about this, for both of us. How can it not be? Just want Twisty taken down, then finish the next four months of chemo and get on with our lives. Wishful thinking. Reality is different. Maybe they’ll want another month of chemo first? Just have to keep pushing on and deal with things as they come. A lot to be thankful this holiday season but the illness is certainly not one of them. I don’t even think about my cardiac stuff. Slap nitro on, a few under the tongue, and move on. It is what it is. With us having a new family doctor, here in the Soo, it’s been a inconvenience having to talk about the same information again and again, explaining I don’t care to see specialists, cardiologist, etc. I made the decision long ago to be done with all that and my mind hasn’t changed. If I didn’t need meds ordered I wouldn’t bother even seeing a doctor. Just know that everything been medically done when it comes to that and it is what it is. I don’t talk about it, just manage it. Don’t have the time to worry or think much about it. Not being stupid about any of it. Some would say getting only a couple hours of sleep some nights is but how do you turn the brain off when so much is at stake? What matters most to me is my wife and her getting better. Period.
The wind is blowing and a storm is starting to brew outside. It’s winter here in Upper Michigan and they’re not the friendliest. Only a few blocks east of Lake Superior so the weather changes fast. Deer hunting season has started so a lot of people wearing orange. Life here is so much more different than in Wisconsin. A town of about 17,000 people and one main road. Still can hear the freighters fog horns blast their deep bellows. People are honked down and getting ready for the blasts that the season will surely bring.
All and all things are good. The calm before the storm. If surgery is performed in a few weeks it’s going to be a major one. A Whipple procedure is big (pancreaticoduodenectomy) In the procedure, the first part, or the “head” of the pancreas and about 20 percent of the “body,” or the second part, are removed. The bottom half of the bile duct and the first part of the intestine are also removed. In a modified version of this surgery, a part of the stomach is removed). So it really is the calm before the storm. What I’m concentrating on right now is Bobbi and taking care of the things that need to be done. I don’t want her to be concerned about anything except getting better and finding joy in each day. Family, friends, have all been helpful and something we’re very grateful for. We wanted to make it down to Wisconsin for the planned party but a seven hour drive, and chemo whipping out her immune system the doctors say is a risk to close to surgery. There will be one heck of a cookout when we do return to Wausau though! Thanks everyone for their prayers and support. It has made a huge difference. And thank you Cinniedi for your daily songs and bible verses sent to your Grandma. Hoping everyone has a great turkey day! Also thank you for the kind words of support and sharing from writers following this blog, new friends that have also helped in this journey.