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Stopped in my Tracks

Monday, November 19, 2012

It is not my nature to do mindless eating, nor to let the events in my life stop my from doing what I set out to do. I must confess, that yesterday, I allowed both to happen.

I had been over to my sister’s last week, and I thought, “She does not look well?!”

Yes it was both a questions and an emphatic statement.

Sunday my brother called me. He asked how I was, a few questions about my running and then he asked if I had been in touch with Debi (our sister). I said that I had seen her last week, and mentioned that she did not look well.

He said, “She has the ‘Big C’ in both kidneys and liver.”

Long pause…

He got the news indirectly via facebook from our niece. So after I talk to Craig, I spoke with my niece and then with my sister.

It was a bit difficult putting together the information as Debi is not all that good a gather in medical information and not all that willing to “bother” others with her problems.

Debi was to the doctor on Thursday, and he sent her to the hospital and they admitted here and began running tests. She was supposed to remain in the hospital over the weekend but discharged herself to feed her cats and take her daughter grocery shopping. (Her daughter, who is in her 20s, was in a car accident a number of years ago and received serious head trauma and is not fully independent).

As best as I could discern things; they (hospital staff) believe Debi has secondary cancer in both kidneys and liver, they have not determined the primary site, they do not believe this is a recent event. When they talked about treatments they were vague, but seemed to have indicated that radiation, and surgery were both non-options and that Chemo would be the treatment of choice.

I think that this translates into normal English to say, “You have three cancers that have remained undiagnosed for a considerable time, and at least one other cancer that has been undiagnosed even longer. They are suitable for either surgery or radiation, and therefore Chemo is the only choice.”

I suppose it is early to say anything very definitive but they did bring a lot of student doctors around to palpate her, my sense of this was that they had a case where it was fairly easy to identify things are not as they should be and so it was an opportunity for students to easily identify hands on this is how things should not feel when you palpate an abdomen.

That is to say, things are not very good for my sister.

I did my Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong. We, Gramie, Ros and I talked about what we could do to support Debi. I got “Little Bug of to bed”, story and song and sleep.

Once everyone else had gone to bed I planned to go for my run; but once they were all asleep, I did not run, I had a little snack and thought about running, but I really did not bring myself to actually doing it. I thought, I will have a little snooze and then go get up and go for a run. I did not run, I sort of snoozed but not really.

You might say, the news stopped me in my tracks.

Eventually I got myself moving, I did my morning Tai Chi and a big of Qigong, also some dishes and made yogurt, by then it was time to get “Little Bug” going.

Gramie suggested I should stay home, but I did not see much point in that.

Ros is off and called Debi to see if she could accompany her to hospital. In fact, as it turns out Ros is scheduled to do her nursing examine in early January so is fairly free to do much of the running around through Nov. and Dec.

So what do you do when these things happen?

For me, I take a breath, and begin to refocus. We do not really have enough information to make decisions or plans. It is clear that for the next while we will need to keep some space in our plans to help Debi with various things.

It is also clear that we should look to any un-necessary stressors in our lives that we can put aside in the short term. It is clear our stress load will be going up a little for at least a little while.

Your thoughts, prayers, good vibrations for me and mine would be appreciated.

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