Isolation

Today begins round four of chemo! Brad has two more days this week of chemo and he is all done. He will still continue radiation everyday and likely will have immunotherapy every couple of weeks, but for now, chemo will be done.

Curiously, Brad hasn’t lost all of his hair yet. It’s definitely thinning and he has shed some strands here and there, but for the most part, his mane still has flow. For me, I was bald by week 3. Still so weird to remember those feelings and see those pictures

Now that we’re all under house arrest, we are going a little bit bananas. Brad’s benefit has been postponed due to the pandemic, the littles are distance learning, and I’ll be lecturing from home. I don’t think there is a house big enough for all of us.

No guests are allowed at the Cancer Center right now. Brad has to be dropped off and picked up, making for a long day of figuring out school for the kids and myself and getting Brad to his appointments. I am really thankful the trip is only 50 minutes round trip, but twice in a day is a lot.

This caretaking stuff is really (REALLY) hard. I hate to say that it’s like single parenting, but there’s that part of it along with having one less adult to pick up the slack. I’m practicing grace, but there are days where I want to lose my shit.

Today I started getting summer stuff ready and winter stuff stored. I got the battery put in the mower, my bike up to the garage and the snowblower to the shed. It seriously better not snow anymore.

Our days are busy and nights are tough. I don’t want to wish the days away, but I do. Please, God, give me normal and give me health.

FUBAR

I wonder if this is how the Fresh Prince felt when his “life got flipped-turned upside down”? What actually is happening? Am I allowed to see my family? Can I hug my kids? Do I have a runny nose? Did HE JUST COUGH?! So much germ drama I’m paranoid about everything. Am I breathing in air space that was formerly occupied by a sick person? Where are the scarlet letters anyway?

All of these fears are all because of our combined lack of immunity and what I may bring to immune compromised people that I love. Quite honestly, I’m fucking scared. Now that Brad has cancer, I’m terrified that I’ll carry something to him.

This season of change has been really hard. Cancer, isolation, losing normal… I can’t imagine how Brad feels.

I believe Brad has finally found some relief with a change in pain medications. He is planning to start radiation next week. That should help shrink the masses a bit to help him be more comfortable. But that means treatments every single day for him. Sometimes chemo and radiation on the same day. At least I was completely done with chemo, then had mastectomies, then a month to heal before being zapped with radiation. Brad doesn’t get that option. I am so hopeful that he tolerates radiation well and can continue treatments amidst this pandemic.

Spring: Cancelled

The role of a caregiver is MUCH harder than being the patient. I think I might actually be tipping the scales into a zone I’ve never been in before (cue Crazytown, or Danger Zone, or You Need to Calm Down). I’m really not liking the person I can be sometimes. Especially if I don’t get a workout in.

All of the information in regards to C-19 is just wild. But! I’m immunocompromised, my husband has stage IV cancer, my kids were just in school on Thursday and Friday where there is a known diagnosed case and my oldest is terrified in a different city that has more germs and more risk for me and Brad. This absolutely sucks. Like worse than anything I’ve ever done.

Also, my kids are being assholes to each other most of the time.

Please, for the love, give me summer.

One More Down

Another week and another round of chemo. We are on round 3, day 1. I’ve been here for about 7 hours so far today and about an hour to go. I’m so thankful for Brad’s parents as they share the chemo duties with me. They also help care for our kiddos when they can and give us a little freedom.

I’m learning to navigate life in waves. Chemo week, Brad pretty much sleeps. The immunotherapy that he receives the first day of chemo knocks him out for days on end. This time, on his third day, he will go home with a small device that will inject into his belly at home. It will help boost his lab numbers, and save him a trip back for that. I remember having it after every chemo. It’s interesting how different our treatments are.

Within the last 4 days, Brad has been having constant pain. He takes pain medication that typically keeps his pain level around a 3, but lately, he’s up to around a 7 all day. It’s really awful watching him suffer through this.

Last week, we managed to sneak off to Great Wolf Lodge with the littles and two additional bigs. not pictured…Nathan. The water slides were a big hit for some of us, but the lazy river and wave pool were pretty awesome, too. I didn’t participate in the water stuff much, but I did love getting out to the MN boys hockey tourney at the Xcel Energy Center.

Saturday and Sunday were spent in Litchfield for A’s U10 District games. It was so much fun cheering on my favorite team and watching a game that I LOVE. They lost their 1st game with 37 seconds left, then went on to take 3rd in a huge upset over River Lakes. The energy in that arena was incredible. It was also our last game of the season. I won’t deny shedding more than a few tears. We tailgated, pot-lucked, ate too much, laughed a lot and spent way. Too. Much. Time. waiting for food and beverages at a local establishment where my girl was MAYBE over-served with her newfound taste for Blue Moon WITH an orange. We also got to munch on hot Cheez-Ballz from a warmer where I’m certain whatever this latest epidemic is has been breeding germs forever.

We are taking advantage of making memories. Whenever we can. We’re taking pictures and saving mementos and we are so damn thankful for the people that are carrying us through this thicket of bullshit. It helps. A lot.

Where The Hell Did Normal Go?

It’s been a month and about a week since we found out. Feels like an eternity. There’s an endless list of things to do and clean and buy and figure out. Medication journals, appointment logs, huge balls of stress in my belly every single day.

The thing about having cancer is that it’s all you’re thinking about. All day every day. Every thought is tinged with a bit of sadness. But the thing is, the people around you don’t think about it as often, they have moments where they forget and can have a genuine laugh. Or can run an errand without worrying about how bad the cancer is showing. When you have cancer, at least in my personal experience, you don’t ever forget.

Tomorrow we have another scan. Brad has symptoms that warrant a new one. The other thing about cancer is that it makes you feel like it’s always growing. Every single symptom is a new cancer invading. It’s kind of a terrible head space to be in. I actually still feel that way, lots of the time. Thankfully, most of my providers understand and are the first to reassure me by posting test results swiftly and returning my messages always.

We are taking the kids to a waterpark for a couple of days. Provided everyone is feeling well enough. Making memories, taking pictures, loving those kiddos along with my first born.

Praying. Begging. Pleading. For good results.