I haven’t shared very much of what is going on in my personal life. Instead, I’ve tried to be amusing as well as informative in my posts lately. But every so often I just feel like I need to write about how I’m feeling inside – since this is a journal. I just happen to make it public. Up until just after Christmas things were going very well for Ron. After he had the first chemo treatment, the first couple of days the nausea he felt was very minor and went away with medication. He didn’t feel overly tired and often stayed up later than me. Of course I’m up at 5:30 am. Although I had been dreading the holidays, he was able to enjoy Christmas dinner and the day went pretty good. All through the holidays however, it was in the back of both our minds but pretty much unexpressed “is this the last one we will have?”
He went for his latest chemo treatment last Friday and things are spiralling downward. He hasn’t recovered from it the way he did last time. He started radiation yesterday and will be going for radiation treatment every day excluding weekends five days a week. The real descent into hell has begun.
I see this man I love so very much slipping away from me. He is tired all the time now and has no energy. He is off work (and has been for a while now) and is frustrated he can’t do more around the house. He has always been the better of the two of us at cleaning the house and he’s sees things I don’t that need to be done. I told him to make a list and Ryan and I would do it but then he gets frustrated first because he can’t do it himself any longer and then because I’m not doing it. But I’ve never been good at these things. Because I miss so much time off work nowadays, when I do go, I work longer hours, thus explaining why I’m up so early. I’m tired.
I call him every day now – I never used to be one of those who talks to their spouse on the phone and the past couple of days I call and talk with tears falling. The chemo has affected his vocal chords and while it isn’t so noticeable when I am with him, when I talk to him on the phone I can tell it’s an effort for him to talk.
He’s scared, he’s terrified and so am I but I can’t let him know.
I feel like I’m being split in two. There is still the part of me that needs to laugh; that needs to see the amusing side to life. I come from a family full of laughter. When I was young my parents and sisters and I would sit around the kitchen table long after we were done eating just talking and laughing. My mother had neighbours tell her they were envious of us – they could hear us all laughing in the summer when the windows and doors were open. That part of “me” is so vital and so much a part of what makes me who I am.
But how do I laugh when I see the man I love slowly fading away in front of me? How do I carry on a normal life? My life is not normal anymore. He looks to me for confirmation that everything will be all right and I can’t give it to him. I have to choose my words so carefully.
He has asked me to do internet research on alternative cancer treatment. He doesn’t really understand the internet and says it should be easy for me. It isn’t though. Romance sites I know – the rest is a big mystery. If anyone knows where I could look, I should be ever so grateful.
Yet it’s laughter that gets us through things. When I talk to friends about it, I try and look for and share the lighter side. Like the fact that all the people getting chemo last week were women. That was a very sad fact but it kind of threw Ron for a loop when he noticed he was the only guy in a room full of women. Or the hardest part of the day for me was when the woman next to us who was getting treatment asked me to pass around her rather large plate of goodies to everyone in the room. When I got back to Ron he asked me jokingly if I had fun and with my back to the woman I mouthed a large almost panic stricken NO!!! He knows me you see and he knew it was incredibly difficult for me to approach a room full of strangers one at a time. We shared a quiet laugh over that one.
I’ve never been much of a crier, I’m much more a laugher. I received an email from a friend last night who reads my blog. She thought things must be going very well as it was so upbeat. I started my reply off “Alas, I'm like the clown - Laugh while your heart is breaking”
The laughter is real – it really is. But so now too is the pain.