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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week 2 after Chemotherapy Round 2

I think January 2010 was one of the fastest months I have ever experienced. It flew by. They say time flies when your having fun, so I guess...

February 1 to February 5, 2010 : Carl drove to work and worked a full day every day this week. Most evenings he biked (on a stationary bike) for about 1/2 hour.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2010, after work, Carl attended his last ever (until grandchildren?) Elementary School Open House. Miranda, our youngest, is now in 5th grade at Wilson school, and we attended her school's open house. Since 1998, we have attended an Elementary School open house every year. (We haven't missed any, aren't we exciting!) Carl came home, and fell asleep until 9:00PM. Then he got up and ate dinner, and I think he even biked.

Carl is feeling great, (relatively speaking). He hasn't needed any pain pills for the last two weeks. I am less stressed then I was the previous week. I realized that I stress when I sense/think he is overdoing it, or is feverish, or whatever. He coughed a couple of times during dinner (Thursday) and I actually felt an adrenaline surge. My instant response was "What's wrong". Within 30 seconds I recovered (?), but the startled over-reaction clued me in that I have been "wound a little tight" recently.

On a different note...
Several years ago, a friend of mine had a husband who went through cancer. There are two things that come to mind now when I think about them.

First, her husband was in such bad shape that he was advised to go make a will when they released him from the hospital. They literally believed (at first) that he had only days to live. (I think the cancer had shut down his liver, his yellow eyes were the reason they went to the hospital) He pulled through that and they later gave him statistics that indicated he might make it for a while, but the long term prospects weren't good - recurrence, return of the cancer, was highly likely within 3-5 years. But they treated him with the "state of the science" medicine, and he has now survived 10+ years, way beyond his "expiration date". I think of him and other survivors I know, and how far medicine has progressed in the last decade, and I am greatly encouraged. [Note: Carl has not been given an "expiration date"]

The second thing that I think of was the reaction to her husband continuing to work. She thought he should slow down, spend more time with their young children, etc. (They were a dual income couple, money wasn't a huge issue). At the time I remember agreeing it was odd he would want to continue to work, basically full time. Now I understand a different perspective on the work issue, at least for our circumstances.

Carl wants to work and enjoys his job. He has a desk job, pricing contracts, which basically means he sits at a computer and does math all day. Physically the work poses little problem; mentally his job is challenging, detail oriented work. His alternative choice would be to sit at home and watch TV (which he doesn't do much); or stare at the walls of the house that he has lived in for the last 17+ years and think 'Woe is me'. We've been married 20+ years, I'm not sure how much exciting conversation we could pack into a given day before our eyes bug out of our heads. Maybe 2+ hours max? 1/2 of that rehashing our mistakes with the children?

I realize now, given that
(a) our children are older and in school, and
(b) post Christmas winter in Wisconsin is (possibly) boring, and
(c) thinking about cancer is not fun, and
(d) researching and reading about cancer on the Internet is worse

that Carl should (if he wants)
go to work and gainfully occupy his brain. Carl should go to work if for no other reason then to distract him from wondering if the chemotherapy is killing the cancers cells faster then they are multiplying. And if he needs another reason, I guess earning money isn't a bad reason either.

So I guess I am somewhat at peace with Carl working. I guess I wish I knew in advance on which days it might be hazardous to his health for him to go into work. [Because cancer isn't hazardous enough.] But I guess my wishes (prayers) might better be used wishing (or praying) that the cancer cells die, dry up and blow away, or at least disappear. So I guess that that is what I will pray for, and I thank you for all your prayers and wishes.

P.S. When Carl gets a plenty of rest and is cheery, then I think he is one of the healthiest sick people I know.

P.P.S. Carl is scheduled to go in to the hospital on Monday, February 08, 2010. If his blood work indicates he is ready (healthy enough) to start another chemotherapy round, Carl will be admitted for a five day inpatient chemotherapy round (Round #3) from Monday Feb 08, 2010 through Friday Feb 12, 2010.
I will keep you posted...


Renee said...

it is so important with all the changes that sickness brings and that Cancer takes away from your life that you keep "normal" ... so yes, work would be important to continue!! you all will remain in my prayers!

Bo said...

Hi Jeanne,
We are all praying for all of you. Your attitude is admirably positive. I don't know how you even have the energy to keep up this blog ... your life is so busy. I'll keep praying for this week to go well for Carl's chemotherapy, and our prayer chain at church is also praying for you (confidentially). We had fun with Tom last Sunday ... he's such a great young man!

Debra said...

Hi Jeanne and Carl,

It was such a delight meeting and spending time with the both of you yesterday. I do want you to know that God keeps you on my heart and in my continual prayer. As I and my family were in your position- know God is a God of abundance, miracles, patience, love, and life beyond our imagination. We NEVER know where he is leading us, we are asked to have the faith of a mustard seed.

God's Time,