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Taking Charge

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I had forgotten this part of fighting cancer--where you need to be pro-active in getting things going. I did it when hubby fought and beat melanoma back in 2006. Calls to Doctors, Insurance Companies, Labs, Pharmacies, arranging appointments, being with him every step of the way.

When the urologist's nurse called Monday morning with the positive results for prostate cancer, she told us we would need both a PET scan and a CT scan. At first we waited for the phone call from someone telling us when those would be, and then realized, we better pursue it ourselves (meaning ME) so that those tests would be done before our doctor appointment on March 11. So I started making calls, leaving messages, calling back, etc. You know the routine if you've ever tried to call doctor's offices. Even the nurses are too busy to talk to you right then and there. Computer go down, so results and schedules can't be accessed and "we'll have to call you back." So many details to remember, tests to have done, contrast to drink, appointments to keep. I really believe if I had not instigated a call to the urologist's office about getting these scans scheduled, it would have fallen through the cracks. I am almost certain the scans would not have been done before the doctor's appointment, if I had not made phones calls, and to me, this is VERY important. We need to know what we are dealing with when we meet with the doctor.

Someone, in their comments, advised me to go with hubby to ALL his appointments. That is a given. I have always done that, as he does with me. We are a team and we stick together like GLUE. I am there for every single test, consultation, appointment, and I do all the phone calling and arranging. That is how our team works! In fact I had a cleaning at the dentist and made an appt. for next Tue. for some follow up work. Well in calling back this morning, to find out when the scans are scheduled for, I discovered they too are scheduled for Tue. at approximately the same time--so the dentist appt. will be re-scheduled. Hubby takes priority!

We went to our friend's funeral yesterday. It was heartbreaking. All 12 of his grandchildren were there and one little boy went up to say goodbye to his Grandpa, and he just sobbed. It broke my heart. Our friend's widow (who is also a close friend) was very brave, she even got up during the service, and recited a very nice poem. I could not have done that. I hung onto my hubby for dear life all during the service. It was hard not to imagine myself having to go through all of that, and I certainly didn't want to think that way. But it's so hard to stay positive. That's why I think knowing what he has, how far it has spread, etc. will help. We will know what we are dealing with and what has to be done. He had horrible pain last night in his lower back. Of course I panic. Is it the cancer? Is it just rampant through his body? He complained that the hard pews in the church at the funeral hurt his prostate. I am just worried sick.

I met my oldest son for lunch yesterday before the funeral. My two oldest boys went with us to the service. Regarding hubby's cancer, my oldest son said exactly what I had been thinking, "We want to find out what it is, and we want to get it fixed NOW!" Several of his friends (he's 40) have lost parents already. He said it was always hard to identify with what they were dealing with when their parents were sick, but now he understands.

Life is tough, we lose people we love, we get sick, people we love get sick, we struggle with addictions. But when life is good, it is so great and we yearn to go back to those times when it was so good and seemed so easy. I know I took that normal living for granted and didn't appreciate it nearly enough. Just being normal, and not having health worries, is so precious. When I get hubby well, I'm going to really enjoy it!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KANOE10
    You do need to take charge and make the appts and study the options. You are doing a grat job of supporting your husband. It is a maze of insurance policies, dr visits, and learning about options.

    Life is precious. Hugs to you and your husband. emoticon
    1875 days ago
    Awesome way to jump ahead and started doing what you can do to get things in order!

    1876 days ago
    And you will!
    I, too, am my husbands secretary, assistant, co pilot, etc. It is so involved to figure dr APPTS, tests, medications, insurance, forms, etc...endless! But we can do it! Yes, I go to APPTS now...I did not at the very beginning unless he asked me to, but it was a mistake as I can ask questions, remember instructions, etc. Much better! And we both started working with his psychologist, as it made him more comfortable and he opened up more!
    The unknown is very scary, I know! And I, too, often think what I would not give for a "boring old regular day"!!! You realize what a blessing it is!
    You will continue to be in my thougts & prayers!
    1876 days ago
    Keeping you and hubby in my prayers...just stay positive!

    1876 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    About your friend--sorry for your loss.

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Take care, both of you. emoticon
    1876 days ago
    1876 days ago
    Every minute of every day that you have each other is a blessing, a miracle, isn't it - we can take nothing for granted. After some lonely heartbreaking time in the past, I still thank God every night that I am lucky enough to spend every night with my husband, every morning I am grateful that we get to spend every day together - sure there are the occasional tense moments when life gets in the way but we are lucky to be able to share our lives and we know it and appreciate it - Life's simple pleasures really are the most important aren't they?
    1876 days ago
    I admire your take charge attitude!! You are such an asset to your husband. I know this isn't easy for either of you. Be sure to take some time -- sometimes just 5 minutes of meditation can make a big difference -- for yourself. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for what I have now. I am. Truly. And wishing you both the best.

    These words don't seem adequate for what you are facing, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. -Marsha
    1876 days ago
    Continuing to pray. emoticon
    1876 days ago
    1876 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Glad you have such a wonderful team and support system. Take care of yourself as well... Blessings to you.
    1876 days ago
    I know how hard this portion of your life is -- as I've gone through it too. Not prostate in my DH's case, but stomach cancer. The doctors could offer no medication, not even an operation -- just pain meds. It's hard, I know, but you sound very strong.

    It's best to pray for God's Will to Be Done! It will either way, but the way I look at it is that it's best to pray for God's Will than praying for what you want. It shows God that you know his decision is always right.
    1876 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Pam, I can hear more strength in your "voice" as you do your due diligence in taking charge of making appointments and phone calls (which requires the patience of Job, all too often). No other person cares more than you, obviously, which makes you the person to handle all the myriad details of fighting this beast. I am glad you operate as a team - that probably brings comfort to your children. The story of the funeral of your friend really touched my heart - so sad for your friend to die so suddenly and so young after a valiant fight. Bless all of you. emoticon
    1876 days ago
  • KROLES55
    1876 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    Sorry the Dr's office didn't get those scheduled for you and you had to do it all. We always have the problem of waiting for the insurance to approve any tests before we get them, but I know you're right in wanting them in your hands when you get to the Dr.
    1876 days ago
    emoticon Put the whole situation in God's hands -- And Take YOUR Hands off! I am Thanking God today for Duane's Healing and for Peace for You!
    1876 days ago
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