Being sick opened my eyes…

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Kill me now, please…

I am slowly recovering from being sick. Been out of commission for a couple years now. Well it certainly seems like that long.  I’ve lost all concept of time.  I realize I’m not special.  Everyone gets sick.  My husband is sick, or doesn’t feel good, at least five days out of seven dealing with pancreatic cancer.  He can tell you about not feeling good.

Since being sick I have come to realize how strong my husband is.

HERE’S A PRETTY PICTURE

I was dog sick. (poor doggy) I wallowed in the muck of my sick sheets, sick clothes, (changing four or five times a night breaking the fever I had) sick air that I breathed, (dousing the vaporizer with peppermint oil to breathe better; and smell better) matted hair, piles of tissues mounding in the trash, gagging, coughing, hacking, vomiting, vile things coming out of my body…mucking, disgusting ickyness of sick.   Pretty picture huh?

I was delirious for at least two days not remembering conversations I had.  I continued to lie next to my poor husband whose immune system is negative 0; wailing and whining while being a major wuss!  He finally moved down in to the guest room where I should have taken my germy self in the first place.  I cannot explain how much guilt I felt once I collected my senses why I didn’t take better precautions around Dave.

There was a few hours where my fever shot up, my body ached constantly, I coughed so hard my ribs felt like they cracked and I vomited out nothing till the veins in my neck popped and strained so hard. I thought I was dying.  I felt alone and actually wished I could die.  I knew Dave couldn’t help me either.  His poor frail body was fighting his last chemo invasion.  This was “chemo week” which meant three days of chemo infusions and pump, followed by three days of feeling like pure shit for him. How could I depend on him for help?

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I was in trouble.  I knew that I was unable to take care of him, let alone myself.

I had to get help.

I GATHERED THE TROOPS

One by one my daughters popped in from their own busy lives, to assist in some small way with meds, finger foods, rubbing my back, bringing essential oils, refilling our drinks…all that good nurturing stuff.  I had dear, sweet friends make a grocery run for Ensure, Pedialytes and Gods gift to every bum in the world – flushable wet wipes!!  At least we were going to have liquid nutrition in our bodies and gently tendered bottoms.  A good, good, beautiful, wonderful friend finally took me to the doctor, helped me do all our laundry and bedding at a mucky laundry mat and vacuumed our carpets.

I cannot tell you what that meant to me.

We have the greatest family and friends in the world.  NO!  I’m sorry.  You may think you do, but I know for a fact that WE DO.  So shut it … now.

I was going to LIVE.  We were going to be alright! This was going to pass.  I am going to get better. I will be able to go to the store, cook, clean, garden, write, care for my grandsons, drink wine, hang with my crazies, –  all the things I love to do –  I will be well enough to do them again.  Soon.  All I had was the flu, an infection and some serious bronchitis.  Totally treatable.  With time all my symptoms will go away if I take care of myself.

But what about Dave?

SOME PEOPLE ARE BRAVE BADASSES!

With my faculties restored to some degree, I reflect upon my own experience and realize that my husband is a mutha-muckin’ badass! 

I endured maybe eight days or so of feeling puny.  My husband endures endless days of feeling puny.  He mires in a muck that none of us can ever imagine.  He knows what’s ahead of him every day that he wakes up.  Perhaps today he will move from the couch to sit in the sunshine for an hour or even feel strong enough to walk around the block. That will challenge him enough for one day.

Tomorrow he may jump in the car, go to the store, bring home coffee creamer and stuff to make “frankenpizzas” because what the hell?  He will then proceed to make “said pizzas” and they are WONDERFUL! 

Other days he will lay on the couch wrapped up in his robe, a blanket over him, snuggling pillows around him to try to stay warm, the familiar pallor to his skin, the sunken jaws, his mouth open, and what makes my heart stop a little every time – the coolness of his skin. Some days words are not needed.  His body, tiny and frail, arms folded tight to his chest, wearing that ole navy blue robe, moves slowly to the bathroom for perhaps the 20th time today.  The pain etched across his forehead is enough to express that this is NOT A GOOD DAY.  This is the fight that he has day in and day out with his illness.

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Some days he is in the present and tossing “Chanoisms” at me, venting about our government and excited like a kid at Toys R Us about his latest vinyl treasure he is going to digitize.  Other days, I barely recognize the fella with the sultry green eyes that rocked my socks with his “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” drum solo.

Dave w_Chiefs hat

This may be hard to read for some, but this is our reality.  The gift of being sick gave ME a chance to reflect on how brave and strong my Dave is.

He is Brave. He is my Braveheart.  He is like The Brave Little Toaster. I live with him in our Home of the Brave. He is always Running Brave.  He is None but the Brave.  You see, The Brave Don’t Cry, even though there is No Rest for the Brave.  He will always be The Brave One.

HE IS The Brave.

WHAT MAKES YOU SO TOUGH?

What makes a person continue to endure the most unpleasant physicality knowing that they are going to feel just plain, ole shitty no matter what?  Where does this courage come from?  Dave will probably tell you it came from his Mom.  I don’t doubt that a second.  I would like to think my own mother as a courageous, brave woman who has withstood a plethora of painful maladies to her body.

Some folks are loaded up with Jesus and good ole God-fearing FAITH.  They believe that their faith allows them to go through physical ailments because they are promised a path of light and love in exchange for the pain.  After all, Jesus sustained the ultimate in physical pain.  Experiencing pain by calling upon your faith might be considered facing the pain with dignity.  (probably right here is where I might lose a lot of ya)

Perhaps knowing the pain will eventually go away makes a person forge through till they get to the other side.  Armed with knowledge, a time-stamp and a proposed plan could make even the wimpiest of wimps become a mutha-muckin’ badass as long as they knew what was going to happen.

Wounded soldiers and injured athletes; birthing mothers; tortured prisoners – how does one deal with that sort of pain?  Everybody’s brain works differently.  Everybody’s mental state is affected differently.  The pain that is introduced varies in levels.  That threshold could be way down here or catapulted through the roof.  I don’t know damn it! What? Do I look like a scientist?  All I know is that I experienced some physical pain temporarily.  This made me appreciate and honor my Darling man for everything that he goes through on a daily basis to fight this mucking cancer that continues to meander through his body.

As long as I have breath in my bones, I will help him kick CANCER’s ass.  I will try to take better care of myself and value even more the days that I get to share with him.  Always.

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http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-movies-with-brave-in-the-title/reference

http://www.rd.com/true-stories/survival/what-makes-people-brave/

http://www.prevention.com/health/top-painful-medical-conditions

 

 

 

 

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Absent but still very present…

It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything lately.  My desire to write and journal this journey swings like a pendulum.  I don’t exactly know what position I am today- UP or DOWN.  I do know though that I’ve been alone here in Wichita while my Love, David has been recuperating up in Lenexa, KS.  He has been under the perfect care of his mother.  I mean, come on-what Mother wouldn’t be the best person to care for you-no matter what age you are?!

Dave and his mother Connie

I began a job here in Wichita July 2nd and have been pretty much absent in Dave’s recovery since then.  He has to maintain a very close distance to both the hospital and the clinic in order to address the 10 million things that happen to a Bone Marrow Transplant recipient.  So far, Dave has done splendidly.  Much of his success has to do with the very attitude he has adopted as a natural part of his psyche which is both amazing and unbelievable at times.  He has acclimated himself to the constant visits to the clinic, the dosages and delivery of a vast array of meds, the total and complete loss of his hair (now when I say total…think about that for a minute!), the tired malaise and lack of appetite and probably just the tiresome monotony of just being not well.

But today I can proudly say that his energy is coming back, his appetite is on the upswing, he’s kicked at least two viruses in the butt, tossed one fungus to the curb and sticks to a good daily regimented compliance of taking his meds.  I’m very, very proud of him.   I love him more than I can ever say.

goofus & gallant

still my baby

But now I am going to vent a little.  Stop me if you think I’m being horribly selfish and UGLY here, because actually I am going to be horribly selfish and ugly.  Yes I know Dave is the one that is sick.  It’s horrendous to think that it happened to a sweetheart like him.  Shoulda been me.  But it wasn’t.  Meantime, I feel as if I have no right to complain, or struggle or cry or bitch or moan or whine about anything because after all….HE is the one that is sick.  NOT me.  So shame on me for feeling sorry for myself because I’ve been left alone and there aren’t hundreds of people telling me every single day how wonderful I am.  Because I’m not. I’m also not important in this scenario.  I’m suppose to be strong and brave and keep the house running.  The house that is old and decrepit.  The water leaking in the basement around the AC.  The washer that won’t shut off.  The gross rust that bleeds out of the ice maker in the frig.  The dog and cat that act like I’m there to provide solely for their nutrition, nothing more.  The yard and pond that need constant attention.  The shit that I have to clean up from said animals. Oh ad nauseam.  I know, it’s all the little pathetic things and really how dare I complain?  Gratitude is what I am supposed to be feeling right?  GRATITUDE.   But today I’m not.  I’m tired and I’m sad. I’m tired of slapping on that happy, confident face and faking my way through the day.  I can’t share this with Dave, with anyone.  They will only think I’m an asshole.  Maybe I am.   Hmmm…well I guess if he read this, he knows now.  Sorry Baby, but sometimes I wanna scream!

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