The calm before the 5 week storm.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The news last week was kind of worst case scenario. My Dad 's bone marrow cancer worsened and he now also has Leukemia. The prognosis is not good, but there is some hope. I am trying not to focus on statistics too much and just stay positive.
As of Tuesday he comes to Siteman Cancer Center to begin a 5 week intensive chemo treatment. It's going to be really rough on him. Mom is moving in with us to be with him (we live 10 minutes from Siteman). There is more of a mortality risk than I want to deal with, and the success statistics are not great, either. And this is all to try to get him into remission temporarily so he can have a stem cell transplant, where all of the statistics get even worse.
That's just the news, not me being pessimistic. His mortality keeps surprising me. I was relieved when a friend who has lost both parents told me recently, "this is harder than the actual death in most ways". It has been such a hard few years. You would think that I would be used to the other shoe dropping by now. But it always hits me right in the gut and sucks the life right out of me.
In addition, having my Mom around this much is going to be trying. We have a really, really good relationship; I am luckier than a lot of folks in this regard. I like my Mom. But the past years with my Dad's illness has shown that her living with us makes me go a little crazy. It's not even her fault, I just start to put all this pressure on myself about meeting her every need (prior to her even realizing it herself). I feel terribly guilty when I am not sitting at the hospital with her. And she starts to drive me crazy after a few days. And that's not even getting into what it does to my marriage. Jenny and I don't have a perfect relationship, but it's pretty awesome, because we spend a lot of time and energy taking care of each other. When my Mom is here, all my care goes to her, Jenny gets very neglected, and then (understandably) starts to distance herself a little bit emotionally. It's a rough cycle. We are talking about it a LOT to try to get some perspective before it happens. But it's like I go a little crazy.
But already this time there are signs that this time might be different:
I am blogging right now
I am tracking still
I am working out most days
I am really watching my food
I am still choosing not to drink
we are getting together with friends today so they can help brainstorm ways we can stay healthy, and then they will keep us accountable.
I feel really positive so far about the choices we are making, despite this monster of grief that is no riding shotgun with me all the time. It takes a lot of my energy (and makes me yell at my sweet if not maladjusted dogs).
I'm going to try to keep checking in here as much as possible.
Thanks for all the support, for real!