Tag Archives: hope

Sooooo Much Better Than Yesterday!

Doug has come a long way in a day.  Above is his self-portrait he sent.  Yesterday had to be the nadir.  Nadir is the low point.  I learned that word by reading about chemotherapy where they use the word nadir to describe the low point in the body’s white blood cell count.  Yesterday was so bad that I wrote a lengthy post this morning but couldn’t bring myself to push the publish button.   If anybody would like to read it just let me know and I’ll email the story to you; otherwise, it is better off left behind.

In certain circles, I am accused of “over-exaggerating things” and been given the insulting moniker “Mr. Doom and Gloom”–doesn’t necessarily sound like someone you’d want to spend any time with; but, I suppose Doug has acquired a tolerance for said “Mr.” over nearly thirty years which is all that really matters.  That being said; yesterday was horrible for Doug.

Today he has made an amazing rebound from yesterday’s low point.  For the first time in about five days, I watched him eat almost a whole plate of food and his vanilla pudding despite the fact he felt it had a “fake texture”.   If he was willing to complain about something that petty he had definitely come a long way!  

He had a whole day without running a fever.  His trips to the bathroom have decreased, however, he still can’t walk with his legs together–kind of like a cowboy who’d been riding too long.  The dark circles under his eyes were gone.  We talked and laughed and joked; it was like an hour in heaven.  For the first time, he said his pain was a 5 on the scale from one to 10.  He is getting hydrated finally after they gave him a big jug to drink from instead of little styrofoam cups; his urine is no longer the color of Galliano.  

I had a talk over the phone with his nurse about midnight last night.  That’s all I’m going to say; but since he is getting a little more attention.  

He still has a long way to go but there is word on the street of him maybe getting out by Friday.  However, being Mr. Doom and Gloom, I don’t see him coming home quite that soon all though I desperately hope and pray that it is so.

Keep the good vibes coming.  You too Wally! I know you are here.


Update Hospital

From what I can tell, Doug is doing slightly better today…at least from his telephone reports.  I told him today to stop apologizing for everything as if his having cancer was his own fault and everyone else’s problem. 

I called him too many times this morning:

  1. First thing when I woke at 5 am.   (the hospital doesn’t even allow calls through that early.
  2. Then he called me at 5:15 am to apologize that he didn’t call me at 5 am to make sure I had gotten up for work; which, I was afraid I wouldn’t as a thunderstorm was coming through and I feared the power would go out and the alarm wouldn’t sound.
  3.  6:30 am on the way to work
  4.  7:00 am when I got to work.
  5.  Let’s say about ten more times after number 5.

Of course, he was worn out by my calling, and having been a patient myself way too many times, I should have known he just needed to rest.  The calls were all selfish, just for me!  So Doug told me in so many words that he needed to rest so I grew up for the first time in 30 years and just let him be. 

Of note today:

  1. Fever is gone, though some think a fever is a “good thing”????
  2. He took less pain medication today: yesterday morphine wasn’t even working!
  3. He is eating more food.  I tried to scare him into that one because I’ve had a feeding tube shoved up my nose and down through my Adam’s apple.  Believe me, it is easier to force down horrible hospital food than to have it pumped in through your nose!
  4. His voice sounds brighter, more life in it.
  5. He is still having diarrhea but it is slowing slightly, still about every two hours.

I think his colon is becoming less fried and, perhaps more par-boiled at this point, but don’t expect to see him home anytime real soon. Although I saw him walking through the kitchen last night in his beige hoodie, with the hood up and his maroon sweatpants, plain as day.  We leave footprints which exist outside of time.

I can’t in any way thank all of you enough who have even spent a second giving hope to us through prayer, meditation, fingers-crossed, heads bowed, hands held together…whatever you have done and can do is building Doug’s body back together and revitalizing both of our souls.  I will, however, try to thank you by saying from both of our hearts (hearts do speak) “THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL,”

Yellow Moon

So cold my breath turned to snow and sprinkled in the footstep of a sparrow who, unwittingly, had crossed my path before the last sun had set; he wasn’t singing now, too dark too cold–and I was not too bold to venture out before a warming dawn, an icy mouth full of yawn.  Slate gray it was with a border of dark pink–it rose like a broken window shade on my left: quiet, frosty, still: the night was slithering away, it’s belly nearly froze in place had she not been so sleek to slip away.  She was meek, the night because she was the last one of the year.  She had no fear of father sun for he was sure to return; she knew in calmness there is a strength.   The yellow moon emblazoned on my right broke through the blackness of the night and hovered near my every move as I made my way.  The yellow moon, so full and bright, hung like an anchor on a new day full of hope and promise of rebirth and joy.  I followed the yellow moon–it was his noon—for he marked every step in my path, otherwise, I would not have known he took with him the pain of ice cold nights, and pointless, frigid fights against his will.  He was pulling down all the darkness with him into his pit; and so, I knew, it was time to rest a bit and rise again without the frozen fear of pain.

It was time to hope again.

The Oncologist

We learned little more than we had already known.  I was glad I took the time to ask my boss to let me go at least to Doug’s first appointment.  Only one patient that I saw seemed to be fighting cancer alone; no one should have to fly this awful flight solo.  Since we are not legally married or related, I am not able to legally miss work to assist him with his care. 

Kite Flying
Freedom in an Instant

Everyone in that office looked so old and sick!  We seemed so out of place: Doug’s ruddy, rosy complexion stood in stark contrast to the pale green of the patients around the office.  Doug’s step was quick and sure while the others there were at best unsteady, at worst unable to walk at all, at least twenty years older and strangely preoccupied with the most mundane things.  “Who was the guy who played Rhett Butler?”, I heard one man say to his stricken wife. I just kept saying to my self, “We don’t belong here.”

The doctor, as they all are, was very matter of fact and very disinclined to show open optimism or pessimism as, until Doug has had CT scan to determine the stage and spread of the cancer, we will not know a prognosis or exactly what his course of treatment will be.  We know generally it will be chemotherapy and radiation but how much and how long is still a mystery.  Nothing, as far as treatment goes, will happen until after Thanksgiving.

Doug is, I think, getting a little braver as we get deeper into the process; but he refuses to do any reading on his own on the topic of his cancer.  Perhaps it is best to build your own fate, rather than read someone else’s opinion though it may be a very educated one; for, the more I read the more it appears that fighting cancer is very full of unknowns about outcome, merely a bunch of statistics, none of which I feel apply to Doug who is not typical.  He is strong, strong-willed, healthy and very smart.  He therefore has a very strong chance in any battle.  He is very kind, patient, loving and forgiving and I am therefore baffled at why he has to face this seemingly pointless dance with death at such a young age.

We have to find a way to live inside a minute, or even a second as this linear time concept to which we hold so tightly is a shared dream; quantum physics proves all effect on what we see as matter is the result of us, the observer, being in a position to create reality. So as I lay here, unable to sleep, I hear Doug breathing…steadily…deeply; each one is a gift, a miracle and blessing.  I try to match my breathing with his in an attempt to feel the rhythm expand a single second into a boundless universe outside of time; that is reality, the ticking clock is the illusion.


Good News on the Cancer Front

chemo and radiation
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Mr D. learned yesterday he may not have to have an H-Bomb used on him but perhaps a simple, plain old A-Bomb (like the one Kim Jong Un started with) will work to kill off what his Oncologist’s nurse told him is a “very treatable” (can we say that again “very treatable”?) type of cancer. Now, this is the only real information we have received regarding Mr. D’s malady since the start of this process. One hates to admit it, but as much as we pay for healthcare in this country, there are some bizarre, deranged and maligned doctors practicing on people at this very moment. Don’t let yourself be a victim!

Before we veer off into the weird doctor stuff…we must clarify that Mr. D learned three very important things yesterday:

1. The type of cancer he has is “very treatable”
2. The type of cancer he has rarely metastasizes (spreads to other parts of the body)
3. The type of cancer he has begins with the letter ‘S’. Mr. D needs to learn how to start taking notes doesn’t he?

Upon hearing this news over the phone–an emotional explosion took place, on the writer’s part, much like the one pictured above. One of his coworkers said: “Is he crying? What’s wrong with him?” This is because it didn’t really sound like a cry but more of an electromagnetic pulse of pure joy which literally seemed to shake the room in waves; everyone actually felt it (Whales in the ocean actually heard it).

This story is far from over but it has taken a turn towards good and we have absolutely no doubt that the light-energy of love and prayer from our friends and family have planted a seed of faith and goodness which will grown into a tree of new life in time–new life for Mr. D.

I’ll leave the tales of strange doctors for later, for hopefully, they have been left behind.