Thankful for Today

Mike had treatment 15 on Friday at Ohio State. The doctor was really happy to see that he has been feeling much better since our last visit with her two weeks ago. We talked about the tumor inside his stomach that has been giving him so much trouble the last 6 weeks. She is pretty convinced that the tumor has been there a while,and that it has shrunk and created this ulcer. The medicine that they gave him to coat his stomach before eating has made a world of difference. His appetite has come back, he has been able to eat pretty much what he wants, and is feeling generally much better.

Mike has cancer. It is all around his liver, and has invaded his stomach. Even though we live with this knowledge every day, we don’t let it define our lives.
He has periods of time where he feels terrible. He doesn’t dwell on these times, he tries to take meds to feel better, rests and wait for these periods to pass, sometimes he just rides them out. I can always tell when he doesn’t feel well, because he gets really quiet. He still keeps a good attitude, and expresses his gratitude to me for taking care of him all the time. I really admire that. I have been around a lot of people who obsess over every slight, look for offense when none is intended, and suck the life out of other people. If I have learned anything from this experience it is to minimize my exposure to the poor me people in my life.

One day immunotherapy will be a standard in treatment for many cancers, and I look forward to that day. However, today there are still a lot of unknowns about the treatment, including how long we can expect the immune system to fight off the cancer. The fear of the unknown is hard for a control freak like myself.(Yes, I admit it!) Even the known is scary. Noone wants to get chills to the point of wearing gloves in your home,followed by night sweats, followed by joint pain so painful that you can’t walk, followed by not being able to eat for weeks.. The alternative is death. Without this treatment Mike would be dead.
With this treatment we were able to celebrate our first wedding anniversary this weekend. We have been able to have a couple weeks of peace,and quiet. Saving a life is exhausting, and the periods of stability and peace are cherished. I have been able to get together with two girlfriends for dinner, get together with a friend from church, and even stopped to see my good friend at her store last week. My dad came up for a few days, and helped to just keep me company. I am a people person, and being the sole caregiver for someone so sick a lot of the time is very lonely. For others out there doing this, I encourage you to try to carve out a little time for yourself to do some of the things that feed your soul. Mike encourages me to do things all the time, but I am happiest when we are together so I understand how difficult this is for other caregivers.

I am so thankful to have my darling husband this Thanksgiving. Definetly counting my blessings today!

Anne

3 Comments

  1. Happy Anniversary to both of you! Hope you have many more. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have many more of these together also.

  2. Anne,
    I an incredibly moved by all of your posts. Your journey has been full of hope, despair, heartbreak, frustration, but above all, love. The love that the two of you share is not just a feeling, but it’s something that’s tangible, that anyone who spends time with the two of you can feel.

    I have been on the other side of the coin, being the one with cancer and I can tell you that a devoted caregiver is a gift that you can never repay, but you thank God everyday for that person.

    None of us knows when our time on this planet is over, but it’s coming for each of us. This knowledge you two have has made the time together something that you cherish and find so much value in. That’s the gift of having an illness. I consider myself blessed to have had cancer. It opened up my eyes to what is truly important in life and not waste a single moment. Most people don’t have that gift,

    Yes, Mike has cancer, and I pray for him and you everyday. But, he also has LIFE, a full one. That’s rare indeed.

    I am so happy for the two of you that you celebrated your one year anniversary and that you will be having Thanksgiving turkey together with loved ones this week. Keep living and loving. And you’re right Anne, don’t feel bad about recharging yourself every now and then.
    We love you guys,

    Lisa and Steve

    • I love you too Lisa. I am so glad that you beat cancer. I hope you know that I am praying for you too.Anne

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