Actually, it began thee or four days ago, but because I am a procrastinator, and grumpy, and one of those head-in-the-sand people who believes if I just ignore a problem it will go away on its own, I haven’t mentioned it yet. But I guess the time is here to let you know that Blaine? Feels pretty much like lukewarm dog shit.
Some of the typical side effects from this kind of radiation can include dry mouth and pain. He not only has both of those, but has the bonus of a lovely thrush infection as well. His sleep, which is crappy even on a good night, has been interrupted even further by the chronic burning in the spots being radiated. He asked me last night – rhetorically, of course – "how can a teeny tiny laser like that make you feel so crummy?” Unfortunately, my Cancer Caregiving for Dummies book provides no easy answers. We remind each other to be grateful for modern medicine, in spite of the drawbacks of treatment. It’s sort of a play on the old adage: “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” We’ve revised the saying for our own needs: “That which hopefully saves you makes you feel crappy in the meantime, so just suck it up and be thankful this option even exists.”
I know he’s disappointed that the effects are happening more quickly this go round. When he had five weeks of radiation in 2006, he felt pretty decent until week 4-ish. This time, he started hurting after only one week, and its getting consistently worse each day. At this point, he has four and a half weeks to go. His goal of working all the way through treatment is not looking likely. I reminded him that it’s probably to be expected, considering two of the areas they are radiating have already been radiated. It’s not like the tissue on that side of his head is healthy and normal to being with.
But still ---- discouraging. Disheartening. Probably a few more “d” adjectives I could share if I wasn’t too lazy to open a thesaurus.
My decision to stay home this weekend and skip my trip to Chicago was the right one. Could he have managed the kids in my absence? Yes. Would he have felt good doing it? No. And would I have enjoyed myself while I was gone, knowing he was struggling back home?
Heck yeah, who am I kidding? I *still* would have had a great time, because that’s how shallow I am. But I’m relieved I stayed home, because it makes things easier on him. And that’s the sort of thing a caring, compassionate wife would do. Not that I’m necessarily caring and compassionate …. Just that I’m racking up some major brownie points for later!
We still are thankful for the many blessings being thrown our way. First and foremost, the large number of people who are praying for his recovery. If you could add “strength to feel as good as possible during treatments,” it would be most appreciated.
Also, I normally avoid talking about money on this site because it makes me feel skeevy, but the Air Force has agreed to provide his supplemental nutrition for the next few months while he’s undergoing treatment. That’s something that has come out of our own pocket for the past two years –- and we’ve done so happily because it makes him feel one hundred percent better -- but even a few months worth is a bonus, so we’ll take it, and gladly.
His boss, who has been incredibly understanding during this.
The pain management doctor in San Antonio, who not only confirmed that Blaine’s current pain management program is perfectly acceptable, but who expressed disbelief that anyone here would even question it, thereby making Blaine feel validated and not like some low-life-drug-seeking-scum-bucket like the doctors and pharmacists here make him feel. (Oh, hello, Mr. run-on sentence.)
And …. Um …. Milk Duds. I’m very grateful for Milk Duds.