Wednesday, November 06, 2013

It's almost over.


Hi there!  Long time, no write, eh? The last month has seen us busy enjoying soccer games, social events, fall activities and of course, not at all enjoyable, Bruce's radiation treatments.   While we have kept up the fun stuff to keep the kids' lives as normal as possible, I've got to tell you, it's been a tough journey.  The radiation treatments have been really really hard on Bruce's body.  Of course, there is exhaustion, a pretty normal response for a body fighting such a tough battle.  The skin on his neck is bright red (looks like a bad sunburn) and his beard and hair on his neck has stopped growing.   He has been struggling with eating for a few weeks, telling me that everything tastes like it is wrapped in tinfoil, and although I keep pushing the Ensure on him, he has lost 10 pounds in the last month.  But the worst has just started.  Yesterday he started to develop an infection in his mouth that is a result of the treatments.  He is having a hard time swallowing AT ALL and his tongue is so swollen it is effecting his ability to breathe normally.  He spoke to the Dr. this morning.  Really the only way to get rid of the infection is to stop the treatments, but with only 4 left, that's not going to happen.  He can lesson the symptoms by gargling salt water often and sipping water continuously.  Basically he/we have to grit our teeth, square our shoulders and soldier ahead until next Tuesday when the treatments will end and the healing will begin.   Bruce is super worn out and frustrated with this process and pain. 

I don't know if it's "right" to share my feelings about all of this or if it even matters, but 10 years from now, when I read back on this time, I think I'll appreciate the reminder of how this all effected me.  This is tough, my friends, really really tough.  It's killing me to watch Bruce struggle and suffer.  I have been living in a near constant state of HIGHLY STRESSED, alternating between feeling like I'm not doing enough for him and wondering what more I could possibly do and keeping my game face firmly in place. I have cooked dozens of meals that sounded good but did not taste good to Bruce, bought tons of treats to try to tempt him into getting some calories in, tried to pick up as much of the slack at home as possible so he could rest and worked overtime making sure the kids' needs were met and that their life is as normal as possible.  I have been taking care of myself, getting good sleep, drinking lots of water, going to the gym 5 days a week, fitting journaling or meditation sessions in often, making time to spend with my friends,  but the stress has still been manifesting in physical ways.  A couple of weeks ago I had to go to the Dr. where I was diagnosed with acute vertigo and had to start taking Dramamine, which I believe is just a physical manifestation of my head space at the moment.  I also am having major lockjaw type issues every evening which I know is another manifestation of stress.  I know we are going to get through this, I know we are going to have new insight into how special this life is and I know that Bruce's is going to come out of this experience healthy.   Our family is going to be stronger than ever.  
We are so blessed with an incredible tight group of friends here in Madisonville who have walked along this path with us, helping in such tangible physical ways along with enormous emotional strength and we are so very very thankful for them.  We are thankful for the team at the cancer center who are doing such a wonderful job helping us along this journey.  We are so grateful for the support and love and prayers and energy that our family and friends have been continually sending us.   I am going to ask that you keep it up. The next week will probably be one of the most demanding weeks so far and while I know we are up for the challenge, your love and thoughts and prayers will only increase our strength. 
Until the next update,
  May you be healthy,
  May you be safe,
  May you be happy,
  May you live with ease.
Big Love dear ones!!

2 comments:

Dikke said...

Love and light to you all

Meg Hykes said...

Oh honey I'm so praying for you all. I wish I was closer so I could be there. But you are strong and I know you can roll through this and come out even stronger.