Friday, January 06, 2006

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.


Alyssa said...

Oh, Kristie, I'm so, so sorry that things have taken such a downturn. You are doing great. It's OK to be sad and frustrated. Feel free to come here and vent whenever you need.

Wishing you good things,

Nicole said...

Oh Kristie...*hugs*

CindyS said...

Kristie - you can make this place anything you want it to be. Don't feel you need to put on a show.

My husband's best friend came to us in July to tell us he had prostrate cancer and that the prognosis was not good. 5 years with treatment. Greg is not one to go by conventional treatment and found another kind of treatment. I knew what it all was but I would have to ask him about it but I don't know what kind of cancer your husband has. Anyways, it was a high intensity ultra sound that burned the cancer. Greg's main worry was that he would still have a quality of life, could still pee and have an erection. Thus, operation was out. I know there were a few scary times for them but he got the treatment in early August and in November he got a clean bill of health. We couldn't be happier!

Conventional means of treating cancer scare me and I don't have it! I know Lynn and Greg were terrified and I am shocked that 6 months later all is well again.

All I can tell you is that Google does not bring you everything. Use every search engine out there. Yahoo brings back different results and even though there may be some overlap, you will find more information.

Please e-mail me if you would like me to do some online searching for you. I can start Sunday night and I don't work so I can keep at it until I find everything I can. This is an open and honest invitation to use me!! I would need specifics in name of cancer etc but that would be it. I can e-mail you all results.

Take care of yourself

Rosario said...

Kristie: HUGS. We're here for you, to listen when you want to rant and to laugh with you when you want to laugh. I'll look around and see what I can find online for you guys. Besos, Ro

Angela James said...

Damn Kristie, my heart simply broke in two, reading this. I think about you often, and how hard it must be to fight for someone you love's life--without being able to really fight.

I don't think there are ever any words that are exactly right, but you know there's always a place on BLaF for you to get support, and as Cindy said, this is your blog, your journal, and you should use it to help YOU. Don't worry about the rest of us. Let us worry about you.

Megan Frampton said...


It sounds like you're being just what Ron needs, and that's so, so wonderful. I hope you get the help you need, and you know you have loads of supportive friends out here. I'm thinking of you. Thanks for sharing.


ag said...

Dear brave Kristie,

I'm so so sorry. I have a favourite aunt who passed away from ovarian and stomach cancer just 18 months ago. She brought me and my bros up while my mum struggled to feed, clothe and educate us after her divorce from my dad, so aunt S was like a second mother to me.

I can appreciate how hard it must be for you everyday and I will pray for you and Ron.

In thoughts and prayer,

Avid Reader said...

I'm more of a laugher myself. Laughter is good. When life knocks us on our back, I'm facing forward, so that I can stand up again and move on to face another. day, another challenge. Stay strong. Have faith and stay strong.


P.Devi said...

Last Thursday I had to call the American Cancer Society, and although I had an off-topic research question, the woman answering was over-the-top nice and helpful. I recommend calling them and checking out their website, although I don't know how up they are on alternative treatments.

"1-800-ACS-2345. Cancer Information Specialists are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions."

Tara Marie said...

Oh, Kristie, how hard this must be for you both. I was hoping things were going better. It's amazing you've been able to be as upbeat as you have been, you're my hero(ine). I've been praying and will continue to pray for all of you. We've gone through 2 years of illness with my dad and I know how stressful and difficult it is for everyone.

prayers, positive thought and hugs,

CW said...

Kristie, this is your place, so laugh and cry all you want. Let it all out, babe.


sybil said...

I don't think I can say anything different or better than anyone else has here.

I hope things are going well or at least a lil better. I can't imagine what he is going through or how hard it is to have to watch and have no way to make it better. But as trite as it sounds, your being there, has to mean the world.

You know where we are if you need us!

Gabrielle said...

Kristie, I'm so sorry you're both going through this. There's nothing more I can say, but I just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and Ron.


Kristie (J) said...

Thnk you to everyone for your thoughts and comfort. They really do mean a lot! As I said, I don't think I'll blog about it often instead concentating on other more positive areas.
P.Devi - we live in Canda and they do have a Canadian Cancer Society so I will check out their web site and follow all the links they provide and see if there is anything on the American site.

P.Devi said...

Oh, ouch, there was my U.S.-centrism on display when it clearly says on your blog that you live in Canada. Sorry. I really hope you and Ron find the answers you need. I'm new to your blog and enjoying catching up on your posts.

Kristie (J) said...

p.devi - no, thank you I will still check it out. There's probably a lot more on the American site than the Canadian site.

ReneeW said...

Kristie, this post just broke my heart. I'm so sorry. Laughter is good and healing. I'm with everyone else. Make this place whatever you want. I include you and Ron in my prayers every evening at bedtime. I hope you get the help you need. ((hugs))