((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

funnylegs4 ~

It sounds like J is receiving good care, and all the needed tests are being done. That is good news.

Aww… thank you for saying that you miss Jonathan. I wish you, and everyone here, could have met him. Like Michael, he was filled with joy and exuded love and sweetness. I guarantee you that he would have flirted with you!

Virginia ~

You are so right that it gets harder before it gets better. Most of the grieving parents I’ve met through the years acknowledge the 6th month mark as the beginning of their most intense grieving. That, and the second year of grieving, are the most difficult periods. We have to live through all of the “Firsts” ~ first Christmas, birthday, etc. without our loved one. When those are all done, we now have to adjust and adapt to our physical loss and “new normal.”

TODAY’S APPOINTMENT

Jim was taken in almost immediately upon our arrival by Jane, the lead technician. She was lovely and allowed me to tag along. She showed us the dressing room, where Jim would change into a gown for treatment. Then, she took us into the treatment room, so that I could see the machine and the entire set up.

Jim sat down on the scan table, as another technician attended to him. Jane walked me out to the corridor to direct me to the lobby. I asked her to excuse me for a second, as I ran back to Jim, kissed him, and told him I love him.

Scheduling

Jane then told me that Jim was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. tomorrow and for the remaining 14 days of treatment. I had just learned in the morning from the call confirming that Jim didn’t have any diet restrictions or need port numbing that Jim was scheduled for treatment beginning tomorrow. We didn’t expect it until next week, and I was hoping to buy our car this week.

I told her that Jim couldn’t handle a morning appointment, as he is up all night going to the bathroom thanks to Lasix, and he only sleeps a couple of hours at a time. He needs the morning to nap, if possible. He goes to the bathroom frequently. He needs to eat breakfast, take his meds, etc.

Plus, we are depending upon John for transportation, and he works and cannot commit to 9:30 every day for 3 weeks. He finishes at 2:00, so any time after that works for him. On the way home, John told us that he’d already asked his daughter if she could transport us, should he have a scheduling conflict. She gets out of school at 1:30, because she’s a varsity athlete, while her classmates get out at 3:30. She said yes.

Jane explained that they are extremely busy, and she wasn’t sure how she could juggle the schedule. But she told me that she would confer with Dr. S and the lead therapist to find a way to accommodate us.

My Meeting with Dr. S

On my way to the lobby, I saw Dr. S standing at the reception desk. I greeted him and told him that we were hoping to work out the scheduling for Jim’s treatment. He said, “Let’s go in here and talk instead of in the corridor,” as he guided me into an exam room.

We sat down, and he looked at me with concern, “You seem quite stressed. Let’s talk.”

“I am stressed. My husband has Stage IV cancer, and this is his third year on this journey. Our oldest son passed in April, our youngest son in 2003. I’m not a young woman. I fear losing my husband. Life has been rather difficult for us. This isn’t new for me. I’ve been stressed all of my life.”

By the end of our 10 minute conversation, he essentially knew our life story. He sat looking straight into my eyes, listening to every word, processing it, maybe even trying to imagine it. He realized that I know a few things about medical issues from caring for our boys. He treated me with respect and care.

“We have a wonderful counselor here, who is just so compassionate and understanding. If you would like to meet with him, I will gladly give you a referral.”

I thanked him and told him that I have a wonderful support group of dear friends, who have seen me through decades of crises. “That’s great! I’m so glad you do. But just let me know if you want to chat with the counselor. We need to take care of you too.”

“How much time will these treatments buy Jim?”

“Oh, I can’t answer that question. It’s not a cure, but it will shrink the tumor, and the goal is to reduce his pain. When estimates are made, they’re done on a median, so half will live longer, and half will not live as long.”

He paused. “I prefer to talk about living life, while we’re here, every day. Say the things you want to say. Do the things you want to do. Make sure that all of your affairs are in order and organized. Live the best way you can for as long as you have. However long it may be, and no one can accurately predict that.”

For a young man, Dr. S is quite wise, thoughtful, and he is on his way to being a spectacular physician.

I felt blessed today, and so grateful that Dr. S is Jim’s rad onc. He promised us that he wasn’t going anywhere. I pray that is true.

And, I know that our Precious Angels placed him in my path at that moment. There are no coincidences. I need to tell our story, and Dr. S needed to hear it. He will take that with him on his journey as a physician. It’s a learning experience for him too.

I apologized for taking up his time, which should be with his patients. “No, not a problem. I’m glad we had this time to talk. I will see what I can do to work out viable appointment times for Jim. We will try our best.”

About 15 minutes later, Jim was done. It went well, and his only discomfort was in his neck. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.

John picked up Pane Mediterranean bread for Jim at the store, which Jim requested after John said he’d go to the store, while waiting for us. For lunch we had veggie bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwiches on the bread. Jim enjoyed every bite.

TREATMENT APPOINTMENTS

We are taking tomorrow off and starting Thursday and Friday at 2:30. The following weeks will be at 3:30, every weekday for 2 weeks, then 3 days the 3rd week.

I’m dreading this Thursday and Friday, as winds with 50 mph gusts are predicted, and that is quite unpleasant when you’re outside.

THE CAR

My plan is to call the Toyota dealer tomorrow and ask someone to walk me through the Express Service buying process. Maybe if I can buy it tomorrow, I can have it delivered on Saturday, and John could be here to help me with it.

Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases we make as a society, next to housing. And, I don’t know a thing about it, and during this super stressful time, I’m buying a car.

I’m guessing most psychologists/counselors would argue that this is the wrong time for me to be doing this. But we need a car.

On the one hand, I just want to get it done to cross off of my list. On the other hand, I have trepidation about doing this by myself. I’m going to tackle it with a phone call to the dealer. If I get flustered or lost, I will call John.

That’s all the news up to the minute.

Thank you all so very much for your love, prayers, support, and constant friendship. We love you and pray for you and your loved ones.

Love & Light,



Rose