2019 is almost over. I am sure at this point that the beginning of 2020 will be a lot better.
Dec 31, 2019 - I was working and my wife was ending her second month of chemo treatments. I came home for lunch and asked how she was. The sheer terror of Cancer hit home with her response: I can't breath. I called my supervisor and said I wouldn't be back to work. Instead my responsibility as the husband was to get my wife to the ER.
The ER staff was happy to know my wife had a port. I am not sure why but a member of the Ambulance staff was asked to put the IV into my wife's port. I never want to see my wife in such pain again. I felt useless as I had to stand there and watch a man stand above my wife and seemingly push the IV into her port so hard that I am sure Crystle was very close to passing out due to the pain.
Crystle spent until Saturday in the hospital (room 457). The Doctor in charge of her care was quite concerned that her white cell count was very low. Crystle wanted to see her Oncologist - but that didn't happen. We were both concerned as to her stay in the hospital.. A low white cell count is normal when on Chemo. That is why her Oncologist had told us if anyone is sick they or Crystle must wear a mask. On Saturday, another Doctor came in and we both told this Dr. that she wanted to see her Oncologist. I left to get some lunch and on my return Crystle was happy to tell me of a small victory. The Dr. had called her Oncologist and the Oncologist told the Dr. in no uncertain terms that if she wasn't sick - and the only problem was her low white cell count ... let her go home. She was at home by 4pm.
About two weeks after her return Crystle's aunt Jolene was feeling sick and her sister "mom" attempted to take her to the Walk in Clinic. The staff at the Clinic looked at her and said we aren't even going to see you - and told them to go to the ER. Aunt Jolene was admitted and put into ICU. She was later moved up to Room 457. We saw two doctors within an hour. The bad news passed along was that Jolene was not going home. In fact, we were hit with a very strong terms that she wouldn't be leaving the room alive.
Aunt Jo had some Xrays taken and they found that a small unconfirmed Cancer tumor - had decided to take over and was very aggressive. Due to other health concerns - Dr's couldn't figure out anyway they could treat her. On Jan 23,2019 ... Crystle, her sister and I were left in the room waiting for Aunt Jo to pass. I was holding her hand and felt it was appropriate to say "You will be in heaven soon". It was to the best of my timing only one minute after stating that - that Aunt Jo passed and the line on the monitor went to a flatline.
In June of 2019 - I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer. I was ready to do battle....and awaited for the Doctors to tell me what was going to happen. I asked questions and stayed calm. I had been a support to this point for Crystle - now I had joined the ranks of being a Cancer Warrior. Crystle and I now had to fight our battles and support each other. We both had the benefit of an incredible mother and mother-in-law staying with us - Crystle. She may technically be called a mother-in-law but Crystle is just - Mom.
My mother way back in in the 80's fought her battle with Breast Cancer. I took her to one treatment and was overwhelmed by the room of Cancer Warriors all receiving there treatments of Chemo..... I distinctly recall the Chemo was purple and of course making its way through the IV's into everyone's body. I wanted to be sick but managed to stay for a a brief period of time. My mom, a wonderful woman of faith was going through hell.
Her treatments may have only been once a month but for the next two to three weeks she would remain her bedroom in the dark. Foil on the windows, and almost nothing to eat. Dad, I think was the only person in the family that saw mom during those weeks. Mom had to have 12 treatments.
I think it was just before the 11th treatment that mom and I were the only ones at home. My mom, who claimed me as her Sunshine.... confided in me that she was ready to die and didn't want the last two treatments of chemo. I kept that as a secret from my dad and sister and will continue to keep that secret. The only way they will know is if they read this Blog.
As my readers know I have been going through a lot of pain since the end of November. I had to whine and complain and write a letter to the Director of the Cancer Center before things started happening. My Palliative Doc ... spoke to my Primary and between the two of them they decided that a CT Angiogram should be done. That was scheduled for Dec 27 but due to not having insurance it had to be postponed.
Due to the pain I have experienced - I have been referred to my Cardiologist as well to rule out anything to do with my heart. The CT and this visit will be in the second week of January. Later in the month I now have an MRI scheduled along with visits to my Urologist and Oncologist. To sum it up I have two tests and will see every Doctor I have before the end of January.
The pain continues and may now be causing leg cramps at night. My Abdomen, thighs, and both sides of my chest can at times be hit with pain. The worst time is at night. Today, I got up at 9am and headed off to the gym.... Like a good Cancer Warrior with Prostate Cancer I need to exercise or I could lose significant muscle mass. I haven't been pushing the weights but mostly cardio .... stepping, walking and bicycle.
Today I hit 213 steps and maybe a quarter a mile in 10 minutes and I was overcome by pain and had to stop. I pushed into defeat. Something which I am having a personal struggle with. A Rowe - doesn't quit no matter what... yet I was push to do exactly that.
I understand where my mom was so long ago. I would have to sum it up this way. The diagnosis and being told you have Cancer is the simple part. The battle and what is done to ones body to fight the Cancer is the hard part. My 20 Radiation treatments on my Prostate - enflammed my bladder and probably everything else in that area of my body. The 5 Radiation treatments on my ribs ... were hopefully successful and I don't feel any pain around that area of my body. The drugs which I have injected to fight the Prostate Cancer ...are driving me nuts with Hot Flashes. I would much rather sweat at the gym than sitting still and feel sweat drip off my forehead.
My nights lately have become an exercise of attempting to stay in bed more than be up sitting on the couch. My left leg just last night cramped up three times - my relieve pushing myself to stand up, walk to the freezer and put an ice pack on my leg. One of those times my right leg also decided to cramp up - which made the walk to the freezer seem like a marathon. The leg cramps of course are a separate issue from the Abdominal pain I have ... which seems to hit the hardest when I want to sleep.
I am sick of being sick...
I am considering attempting to write a book but not poetry this time. A tale or multiple tales of Cancer Warriors. It is extremely hard to believe that Cancer in 2019 is treated more like a four letter word - than a word that should open doors for conversation. I see the commericials on TV for St. Jude's Children's Hospital for Cancer and although I am a Warrior or maybe I should say because I am Warrior - my heart goes out to those so young and fighting this crazy disease.
I am sick of being sick....
But, I press on with help from an app called Smule. An App that allows me to sing and recording my singing with random people....singing songs like... Blue Christmas, The Alphabet song, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Love me Tender, Hello Again, Blessed Assurance, Amazing Grace and It is Well... which brings me to the point that I share that song with you.
Go ahead head to this site: https://www.smule.com/wrowe and listen to the various songs that have been put in my profile.
I am sick of being sick but and yes you can make that But as large in text as you can imagine. IT is well with my Soul.
I am a Christian and nothing, absolutely nothing can take that away from me.
Happy New Year to you All ... May we all have more happiness than bumpy sorrowful roads in 2020.