Monday, July 6, 2009

A Long and Winding Road

I am trying not to hover over D during this illness. If he thinks there is something he wants to eat or do, then by golly,  I will move heaven and earth to be sure he gets to eat or do it. Today was his bi-monthly appointment to the endocrinologist for a shot. (Have I mentioned that in the midst of this journey with cancer that his pituitary stopped functioning? Have I also mentioned that I think he is the bravest man on earth for the way he just keeps moving forward through six and a half years of procedures that are not for the faint of heart?)

 I had hoped that our Hospice nurse could administer the shot in the comfort of our home.  Through a red tape story that would raise my blood pressure to repeat, home shots will not be happening. D wanted to go to the doctor's office, so by golly, we went to the doctor's office. It took over two hours for him to get ready and in the car. The office is about a two minute ride from our house. Thankfully, we had an overcast morning that probably shaved 20 degrees off the normal 105 degree heat and blazing sun. The distance from the van to the front door of the office should have been about 25 feet. Except for the landscaping genius who decided to make a curving path around a fountain and some rosemary bushes. That little journey with D's walker seemed like a marathon. Or at least a 5K. The shot? Took about 5 seconds. 

(An aside here, because I'm all about asides these days, and if you're reading blogs you probably have the time: I don't go in for the shots. I don't do needles if I can help it. Many years ago when Young Son was about 11, he had to begin taking daily injections. The nurse was going to teach him how to give himself a shot. I lurked in the corner and studied the ceiling, avoiding eye contact with the needle. "The way we show you how easy and painless these shots are, " the nurse began,"is we let YOUR MOTHER GIVE HERSELF A SHOT to prove it." Perhaps she did not shout these words as my memory recorded them,  but I know the immediate lightheadedness I experienced was very real. And then Young Son turned to me with a huge smile and said something along the lines of "WOW. MOM!" My plot to have the nurse's medical credentials stripped from her forever was temporarily aborted while I pasted a big ol' smile on my face. I faced the radiating pride my son was fairly oozing in my direction and injected myself. I immediately realized a few things: I was glad that I knew the shot my son would be taking daily for the next six years would not be painful for him. I still did not like needles. This nurse would not be getting a Christmas card from our address.)

So, D's shot was taken. The nurse has told us that I can give the shot to Dave at home if Hospice cannot. (See story in above paragraph for my official statement on injections.) Dave is ready to go home. All energy is gone for the day.

We get him home and into the Archie chair and begin making plans for lunch. I think I am in in total denial that we need food in this house. I've become like this Hunter/Gatherer who picks up a little here and a little there only as we need it. I think I want to leave the options open in case there is some food that D really wants to eat.  And today he did: he wanted to eat a "fasphjzxtmd". Or at least that is how it sounded to me. 

We are dealing with a little confusion around here some days. In fact, no two days are alike concerning alertness, sleep, confusion and clarity. Each day is its own soup mix. But "fashjzxtmd"? That took a little deciphering. The winner is: fajitas. Chicken fajitas. Or, as they say in Vegas, "Winner, winner, chicken dinner." Not that I've ever been to Vegas or anything. Even though Barry Manilow is there. So I hit the drive through at the local Taco Cabana and carried home the prize dinner. And he ate it and he loved it. Score.

This is not always the case. Last Friday evening I was telling him I'd get him anything that sounded good. "Orange Chicken at Panda Express" was his quick and easy to understand reply. That would not have made my Top 100 List, but I ventured out into five o'clock traffic and the reoccurring  Texas heat, and found myself in car #5 in the drive-through on the sunny side of the building.  I  carried the Orange Chicken home to a sleeping husband who did not awaken until the next day. Made me think of that story in the Old Testament when King David was in hiding and his mighty men brought him a drink from a special place as a special treat. He poured it on the ground in front of them. I just put the Orange Chicken in the refrigerator, where it reached its expiration date today. May it rest in peace.

Looking for a theme in the eighth paragraph in this post...OK: we'll go with food. Two daughters and a boyfriend are coming home to see Dave this week.  I put out an email to local friends for HELP with food. These are the kinds of friends you can say, "I just need trays of stuff we can pull in and out of the refrigerator that does not have to be heated up. It does not have to be healthy or organic for the kids," and they immediately have the situation under control. My email inbox lit up, and the food  is on the way. Thank you precious friends, because I know you will do a better job of the weekend's food needs then I can. (And if there is a Hershey's with almonds hidden among the trays, it will not go to waste.)

And on to bed to sleep and see what adventures await us tomorrow. We are at peace.


Buttercup said...

Hugs and prayers across the miles!

JMom said...

Praying for you. And thanks so much for the reference to Romans 8. I used the bomit story and the passage you added with my Monday Night Girls and their expressions led me to believe it was powerful.

Craig Weeks said...

Wait, wait, my math degree (HPU, ya know) is kicking in. The Orange Chicken was acquired on Friday. You wrote this on Monday. It's been in the fridge for ... guzinta ... guzinta ... guzinta ... *three* days. You are not even close enough to the expiration date to see it from here. Ask my bride. She will confirm that I actually believe this. She may have her own view as the veracity of my position. It wouldn't be the first time.

Kate said...

Wow, what a heart touching story. I got very sick last summer (almost a year ago) and it took away 6 months of my life. I am still dealing with the emotional toll it took on me but I try to think of people who suffer from cancer who have to give up much more that 6 months. I am sending my best wishes your way and if I was anywhere near I would bring food and a Hersey bar with almonds (but I'm in MN)