Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cancer Cannot Silence Courage ~ An Update

Today is my birthday ~ I am 74 now. Last year on my birthday, my husband and I drove up to Tehachapi Mountain and had a picnic. It was green, cool, and beautiful up there and we had a lovely day. 

When I was 59, about this time of year, I had breast cancer. It was caught early, it wasn't aggressive, it wasn't easy, but I survived. Today's header is a quote from a list of things called What Cancer Cannot Do. I got it in the cancer support group I attended at the time. You may see some quotes from it in future posts. The author is unknown.

Neither my husband nor I want my blog to be about his cancer. So in the future, I will continue with my regular stuff, Samson, pictures, old trucks, rust, fences, and all that. Yes, Tex, I am hoping to get to your fences. I also have a little secret that I don't want to share just yet, but that I know you will enjoy once I do. My secret has four legs, need I say more?

It was lovely up there on the mountain last year. Here's hubby at the picnic table. That's when he took the picture of me, below, that I have used this entire year on my blog. But I digress, because I want to let you know that I'm writing this to calm myself down. 

So far, I have been able to hold it together, but I lost it today - I'm writing this on Friday. I thank Dee for her mantra. I figured out a few for myself early on: This is about my husband. I will not think about myself now. And: One day at a time. And: Smile. OK, but then when things don't go well, when memories of Happy Birthdays appear uninvited, and so on, what do you do? I guess you can always sit down and write about it. 

The update on my husband is as follows (as we used to say in our bureaucratic writings at UCLA): 

To clarify: He is not getting intravenous chemotherapy. He is getting a targeted chemo treatment, called chemoembolization. Embolization is a procedure that injects substances to try to block or reduce the blood flow to the tumor. The only cure for this type of cancer is a liver transplant, so, if successful, this procedure can buy time. It can also be repeated later. This I read, but reading about this type of cancer is too depressing, so I am back to my one day at a time mantra.

He had this done on Tuesday. I was at the hospital until 3:30 in the afternoon. He was not doing well, but I thought he would get better in a day or two.

As I write this on Friday afternoon (after a huge crying spell) after talking to him on the phone, he is still in the hospital, 125 miles away. He sounds so bad, it is breaking my heart. They would call me to let me know if he can come home today, but not likely they said. No one called.

He is in a lot of pain. He had bleeding, but that stopped. Now the reason he is not being discharged is the pain and also the nausea. He can't keep food down. I hope they will keep him until these issues clear up or at least become manageable. He said the doctor told him, in simple terms, that the extreme pain comes from the tumor fighting the drugs. Or something to that effect.

So how am I? I'm glad I finally cried. I wanted to as soon as I came home on Tuesday night, but after all that driving, I was just too tired. 

But when I heard my husband's voice for the fourth day sounding so awful, sounding like I have never heard him sound before, I just cried and cried. I think it was a good thing and I am ready to move on and deal with all this again. 

Finally, and this should have been at the top:

Thank you so much for your comments, your good thoughts, your prayers, and your friendship. I have not been able to focus on reading your posts, but now as I'm writing this, I know I will come and visit you soon and that it will do me a lot of good. Thank you so much, I am so glad to have found so many good people on the blogs. 

Samson Says: Thank you everyone for being so good to my mommy. And, don't forget, I will soon have a birthday of my very own (hint, hint)! 


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