The last time that Steven had the Large B Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is what we think is rearing it’s ugly head again, it was 2004 and we were cancer newbies. We were scared, uninformed and new to working the medical system, insurance racket and side effects game. He wouldn’t let me take any photos to document his journey, and I was too busy trying to figure out how to juggle all the balls to have time to blog. So this time, we…or maybe it was I…decided to document this crappy situation so when we look back on this, we can be grateful that we made it to the finish line again. Because we will. And during this marathon, we might be able to give a moral boost to other newbies. So today Steven was checked into the hospital. He looks a little apprehensive in the pic, but it was more the heavy breathing from the walk from the parking lot. Stubborn…he wouldn’t let me drop him off at the entrance!
I remember last time, sitting in the hospital room for days worrying and uncomfortable as he got shuttled around the building for tests and more tests. The person I got to spend time with was the old guy in the bed next to him who slept all day on his side, with his hospital gown gaping and his saggy bare ass singing me a gassy melody. I will not be having any part of that noise this time. I got Steven settled, sat around long enough to meet and talk with the surgeon who will be doing his biopsy and putting in his port, and then I booked out of there. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel bad or guilty. And Steven was fine with seeing me go. He was glad to grab a little snooze after the effort of checking in, and we were jointly calm and at peace with the whole situation.
We had a two minute conversation about death yesterday. I told him I didn’t want him to die, but if he thought he might I needed to know now…we’re getting a puppy in 5 days and I won’t move forward if he’s not going to be around. He said he really wants the puppy…so he won’t die on me. And there you have it. Let the games begin. Today was all about scans and X-rays and blood tests and busy work for him at the old cancer factory. I went home to clean and puppy proof the house. We talked a few times and texted a lot and the only ones who seem depressed are Mariza and Zoey. And I’m not sure if they were depressed because Dad has cancer, or because he didn’t come home with me..or because we’re getting a puppy, but either way the next few months are still going to be more fun than the first time!
Tomorrow morning Dr. Sprawls will be in for rounds and will give Steven a better run down of the schedule he has planned. I’m going to go to work, because it’s way too early in the game to be taking time off for caregiving. So here’s the first suggestion for the newbie caregivers out there. New mothers are always told that they should try to sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s kind of the same for care givers. When someone is taking care of your patient, take the time to do things that you want or need to do. Sitting in a half empty hospital room staring at a stranger’s ass and wondering when it’s going to go off next is not in the care giver union hand book. Give yourself a break! Do your normal things. Or, do something special that makes you feel good. Just do something for you. Get a pedicure, get some grocery shopping done…or get a puppy!