Monday, August 2, 2010

Cancer SUCKS!

More fun and games in the cancer department. While at my oncology appointment last Monday in Chapel Hill, Geoff and I got a call that my dad was in the hospital. Apparently, the tumor on his lung has gotten quite large and he had a buildup of fluid around his lung causing shortness of breath. One week later, he's still there. They drained the fluid and he is breathing better, but his white blood cell count got very low because of chemotherapy, as low as .02 (it's supposed to be between 4 and 10) which meant that he had basically no immune system. Several blood transfusions later, his white blood cell count has risen slightly and they were getting ready to discharge him. Now, of course, he's developed a staph infection because of his weak immunity, being in the hospital, and the PICC line they have in his arm to administer chemo. What a mess. My mom (in the late stages of Alzheimers in case anyone didn't know) is staying with her caregiver all day/night to the tune of $120/day funded by Geoff and I. Which is great since I'm no longer working and not yet receiving disability. Did I mention that cancer sucks the big one?!

UGGGHHH! I met with a neurologist at my last appointment. He did find neuropathy in my hands and feet and apparently I was a bit unsteady in my gait when he tested my walking/balance abilities. He recommended another lumbar puncture (yikes) because apparently one test provides very little diagnostic information and you need to have about 3 to really rule out metastases in the spinal fluid. The neurologist also wants me to get another brain MRI to rule out metastases in my brain with all the headaches I'm having and the neurological issues. Again, blissful ignorance sounds more fun. Can't I just bury my head in the sand and pretend none of this is going on? If I did have brain mets, I'm not sure I'd want to know. Sure, they can radiate your head and whatnot but I think at that point I'd prefer to just let the disease run its course. I don't look at that as giving up, either. Sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease itself (look at my dad's situation). I've probably mentioned this before but I put quality of life before quantity of life. I've given up on modern medicine as providing me with satisfying answers to all of my present health problems after being let down so many times.

So that brings me right back to the big man upstairs and trusting in Him to get me through ALL of this. Because to me, right now, this situation seems impossible. What will I do if my dad passes away before my mom? Aside from the emotional sadness of that, practically it is a nightmare. But, one day at a time, right? One minute at a time, in fact. Right now, I have the tools to get through today. Maybe I can stay rested enough today to avoid getting one of my usual head-splitting headaches accompanied by nausea. God has provided me with everything I need to get through this day and this immediate crisis. I need to surrender my worries and cares and let him handle the rest. Easier said than done, isn't it?

At least Opus is back from training camp. It's almost as though he's a new dog! He has good manners, is quieter, and calmer. Camp Hooks "dejerked" our dog! I love it. It's so nice to have my sweet puppy back. He went for his first swim in the ocean last weekend!! It was awesome to see his little webbed feet doing the dog paddle in the ocean waves at Oak Island. Now that brought a smile to my face:)

Love to all,