Friday, March 6, 2009
Here's the latest
In the midst of all the daily this-and-that, there is still the fact that my husband is battling cancer. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this. His PICC line and fanny pack have become such fixtures already that they sort of blend into the background. He seems to (and says that he does) feel fine. He goes to work every day. He plays his guitar whenever an opportunity presents itself, as usual, and he goes to jam with his buddies on Tuesday nights. He plays with the kids and brushes teeth and reads bedtime stories. So it's easy to forget that he's sick, with a very grave illness. And I have to admit that I have entered something of a comfort zone with this whole thing . . . the doctors have made me believe that he's going to pull through this, and so I just believe he will. And sometimes I stop myself and wonder, "Am I not taking this seriously enough? Am I tempting fate by not letting this weigh me down, weigh my family down?" And that scares me . . . a little. Am I being foolish? I don't know.
Michael has now finished up his second full week of chemo and radiation. There is no way to know, at this point, how the cancer is being affected by the treatment. He will have another MRI several more weeks down the line, but in the meantime, we just have to have faith. Although I can't go with him to his daily radiation appointments, I am conscious every morning of his being there during that window of time, and from afar I like to visualize: "Take that, you fucker," to the cancer in his body.
Yesterday after radiation he had his weekly appointment at the oncologist's office where they draw blood to check his platelet count and other things (everything looks good), refill the pouch that holds his chemo meds, and change the dressing on the PICC line. Everything went well yesterday, but somehow, by last night when he came home from work, the entry site for the PICC line was looking pretty red and irritated, so he went back to the oncologist's office this morning after radiation and sure enough, it's infected. Which is a big concern. So now he's been prescribed antibiotics for that.
The projected timeline is as follows (and this is not set in stone):
~ Approximately 4 more weeks of chemo and radiation
~ A "break" of 4 weeks with no chemo or radiation (however, the PICC line will remain in his arm for later use)
~ During the last week of that 4-week break, around the end of April, he will have an MRI
~ This will be followed by a 4-week treatment cycle of a different type of chemo
~ Another 4-week break
~ Surgery at the end of June
~ Post-surgery chemo for 5ish months
So, clearly, Michael will not be finished with treatment until somewhere towards the end of the year. He has to live with that PICC line in his arm through the spring, through the summer, through the fall. A small price to pay for his wellness, but still a bummer. In a way, I'm already seeing this as the "lost year." Which is pretty negative and not the best way to be looking at things. However, I guess in that sense, I'm trying to view it as a finite period, with a beginning and and ending, and at the end, my husband will be well again.
In other news, we finally got the $$ from the insurance company to begin repairs to our downstairs from the flood damage. Yesterday the contractors came and repaired all the drywall; right now, as I sit here typing, they are downstairs painting. Next week the new carpet and linoleum will be installed, as well as a new bathroom vanity. I will be so glad to have all that done with and have the downstairs usable again.