Faith

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What a day. Bobbi’s glad to be home but sleep continues to be calling her every few hours. Which is good. Sometimes it’s good for the reason of taking one away from the reality of being awake. She’s had some nightmares so could be a double-edged sword. Yesterday afternoon Lori and Jim stopped by for a visit and it picked her spirits up. Had a few hours of awake time. Then laid back down. She got up at around 8:00pm after a couple hour nap. I kissed her on the cheek and hit the bed.

That’s about what time my own cardiac battle flared up. Knew it was overdue. The last seven weeks finally took its toll and my body told me it was time to shut things down. I put four slow release nitroglycerin patches on and two under the tongue tablets. Oxygen and morphine followed. Palliative care is management mostly. Everything medically has been done. When she came to bed, guess about 10:00, she couldn’t get comfortable and kept shifting around every 15 seconds. She was sore but doing a lot better and so glad we didn’t have to return to the hospital down state the night before. I knew I had to sleep so went and laid down on the air mattress. When I got up and checked on her she had moved from the bed to the recliner. Checked her temp and returned to the bed. At about 2:00 she returned to bed, thought I was still on the air mattress so startled both of us. I climbed out and returned to the air mattress. It was like playing musical beds. She says it feels like someone punched her from the inside out.

The night was long for both. She had nightmares and I fought off the same. I felt like there were four gremlins pulling on my arms and legs downwardly. I didn’t know what the outcome of the night would bring but remember thinking in my head “God, all this is yours, sort it out and be done with it one way or the other”. Fell back to sleep not knowing what the answer would be. Bad dreams filled the night. One had a nurse cutting Bobbi’s ponytail with a table saw.

In the morning I woke up about 8:00 and Bobbi was laying back in the recliner. Awake but exhausted. She started to eat more, as tough as it was so this is a good sign. We talked about the last seven weeks and all they contained. Three ER hospital trips, two hospitalizations, diagnoses, 4 meetings, two different stent procedures, six scans and imaging tests, a port being placed, 3 different cities and 2,000 miles of mileage in the car. We had a good talk. We knew that faith and trying to remain positive, even when your down for the count, had to be the focus. We opened up some packages from friends and family and felt very blessed. Thank you. Haven had time to directly respond but they have certainly helped a great deal.

Lori and Jim stopped by this morning after our talk and it picked up her spirits more. I missed most of the visit because I continued the oxygen and slept after we talked. She’s now sleeping again, it’s about 1:00pm but she asked to be awaken in 2 hours.

So quite the roller coaster. But it feels like the biggest loop is coming in for a rest. I’m slowly lowering the nitro each hour and feel much better. We still don’t have a new family doctor, since our last one retired, but have an appointment on Monday here in the Soo. After having such a wonderful one on Drummond Island we’re hoping for the same. If so it will save a lot of travel time and ferry rides. With winter coming it may be for the best.

Sometimes you just have to keep swinging. Roll with the punches, take a few, but ultimately have to get back up. Neither one of us are quitting anything. Going to simply use this weekend eating right and preparing for another chemo trip on Wednesday. Oh boy, really looking forward to that. Not.

Things are getting better. Doesn’t sound like it but they are. Could be in worse shape, and many others are. Like they say, we all have a mountain to climb, yet it doesn’t need to be conquered in one day. We are a long ways from the finish line. I keep in mind the serenity prayer, and know this too shall pass. Can’t see a rainbow without seeing the storms. She WILL beat this.

Turbulence

79AEFF40-E553-49BA-930E-B9C4EFB2E444October 6, 2017

Back home, it’s Friday and we left the cabin last night. Bobbi returned from her chemo treatment Wednesday night and felt well. Walked on the beach some with Lori and Jim, spirits cheerful and uplifted. Knew it was the steroids fused into her IV. Gave her energy and helped her be her funny and carefree way. In the back of my mind I knew it was the calm before the storm. Wednesday night she had terrible dreams where she thought she was in North Korea and they were making her work, pulling her hair when she quit. She was talking to me as it was taking place. It was like she allowed me into the dream. As she cried I just talked softly into her ear that I was there and nobody was going to get to her, and told her as long as she felt me lightly rubbing her back she wouldn’t have people pulling at her. I knew her subconscious was causing the nightmare. Her feet were constantly shifting about. So much in the news about the place and her hair starting to thin. It lasted about 15 minutes. When I started falling asleep she said “hey, your not watching for people” so I assured her I was and that things would be alright. In the morning I asked her if you had any memories the night before and she said a few, about messages of some sort, but felt like she slept pretty good. Shared with her what took place and her memory started to recall different parts of what I explained. I felt so helpless and didn’t know what to do during the time. All I could do was comfort and assure her she was safe.

During the morning her and Lori worked on the Mike’s chair, then became sick and had to rest. Went and laid with her for a bit until she felt better and got up like it was no big deal. A few hours later she took a couple hour nap. I knew after she got up that it was time I took her home.

No sooner did we get home Twisty started swinging away again. The pain was terrible. We used hot water bottles and a heating pad but it did little for the gut wrenching into a plastic container. Pain meds were given and eventually it subsided. We watched a little TV, had a small meal, and she quickly fell asleep in the recliner.

At about 8:00 we went to bed. She slept good throughout the night. I kept waking up checking on her and it was assuring to see her getting such good rest. At about 4:00am I heard her in the kitchen starting her day. Said she slept good and didn’t feel too bad. As we sat and talked she ran her fingers through her hair and large amounts came back in her hand. When she used a comb more. We looked at scarves on Amazon and ordered a couple she liked. They said her hair would thin, and she still has a lot and looks as beautiful as she always has. It wasn’t a good sign though. She put on a brave face and said screw it, hair was the least of her concern. The battle was with Twisty and not on hair.

Then another storm hit. The pain doubled her over and lasted a half hour. It strikes with no warning. Again all I could do was lay with her and try to keep her comfortable. Put on a fan, kept heating bag and pads going. When she was getting sick in the container, with each jolt of pain, I’d gently kept her hair out of the way….each light pass of my hand brought out hair. What a terrible experience she is going through. She can take a great deal of pain so I knew if she was in a ball that it was bad. Medication was given and took about 20 minutes to work. She is sleeping right now. I put on a sound machine with ocean waves and just held her. I realized then I needed to get up and take my own medication, it was a couple hours overdue.

This is what cancer is and does. It’s not easy and not like a cold. I’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s true and real pain. I know how deliberating it can come on with my past heart battles and it feels like it can’t possibly get any worse. I’m going to call her cancer team coordinator when their office is open and see if they can do anything more for her. Things in a pill form don’t do that well while the stomach is rejecting everything. Bobbi rarely used an aspirin before this but knows meds are needed at this time and the relief it brings helps. Doesn’t make problems disappear, just makes the situation a little more comfortable. We’ve talked about what to share and not to share. She wants the real face of this shown. If it helps others then she wants her voice to matter. I get it. You think of things like that when sick. You think of others who are suffering and want them to know that you can get through the worse possible experiences and come out on the other side. She was softly humming before falling asleep.

She has a week off of treatments thank god. Her lab numbers all look good and they are surprised at this. She is hitting back at this with everything she has, and will beat it. It’s certainly fighting back but I know this woman and know that Twisty will be decimated. It’s not a walk in the park and there is nothing good about it. What amazes me the most is that in a few hours she will be getting back up and going on with her day. After this bout I’m thinking it will be simply a day of rest and liquids. Have to flush the chemo out of her kidneys. We thought the pain and wrenching was from the chemo but her doctor said that it was the tumor itself. The third week of chemo directly attacks the tumor itself. It’s early, only 8:30. I looked outside and see nothing but fog. In the distance is the moon barely seen. A very dim light, but will be brighter later tonight. Much how each day has been. Dark ones and bright ones. The dark can seem so unforgiving and ending but the light does return.

It’s now about noon and she is up and about and doing well messaging people. Talked to her doctors and they are going to do a different pain management program. This morning was a big alarm going off and hopefully have things better controlled. She read this and I asked if she was comfortable with sharing this and she said “Definitely, you can’t sugar this”. I do a lot of writings that aren’t posted, so was a little unsure. But she is determined to share this experience but also doesn’t want people to worry. I mentioned that this one might have a few worry, she replied “Well they’ll soon see the brighter days of recovery”. I guess life really works this way. Not all days are butterflies and roses. But you push on, climb your mountain and don’t whine because there are others fighting battles just as serious. Life has its moments and not all are great. Yet they are better than no moments at all.