There is much I am thankful for, but first, the weekend was good. The drugs for the hiccups have been a real blessing, which has helped me sleep better. Also, not having to get treatments for a couple days improved my sleep and appetite. Getting several good meals in over the weekend was encouraging. Today we returned for a weekly treatment, but were out in less than an hour. Unfortunately, without some of the steroids getting pumped into me all week, it’s likely that some significant side effects could manifest later this week. This does make sense, but I was hoping the slow weeks would still be better weeks. Fatigue comes and goes as well. One moment I can feel fine, then I can take a shower and my energy is gone. I would like to be tired enough to get good naps or alert enough to do something productive, as opposed to the middle ground I so often find myself in.
- Meal Train – It may not be a big deal for some, but it is a big deal for me. One of my love languages is gifts, and on the growing days that we are looking for less to think about, less to have to deal with, good food we can throw in the oven and reheat is a blessing. The Egg Bake we received last weekend has been such a blessing, the taste is just right in this moment, it’s easy, and high protein.
- Gift Cards – Likewise, these fill my ‘love tank.’ They help with little incidental things that keep money freed up for the bills to come, and there have been a few cards for takeout, which allows Tiah to grab something easily when a craving strikes me. These help even more if you purchase through the Amazon affiliate link here (and down below).
- Friends and Family – People show up in times like these. I’m not a person who needs constant communication to get through life, yet there are my buddies, whom I may not have actually spoken to in 2 years, but we can pick up like we hung out last weekend. It’s the brother you can quote Arrested Development with. It’s the people who say “you do so much for us, all the time, and we owe you, just tell us how to help.” The people who show they actually pay attention to you when they send over pineapple juice, because they were with my wife that one time in the store and I asked for it. Little gestures mean so much.
- Service – Tiah’s dad put in the A/C yesterday, which is great. We may disagree on how aggressively it should be run and at what temperature, but it’s good to have it as May gets surprisingly warm. Acts of service is my other major love language, so people that can step in and do seemingly little things impact me in a special way.
- Pooping – Sure, this may seem weird to many of you, but my friends in medicine will laugh. When toxins are being pumped into you every day and you realize you haven’t dropped a turd in nearly a week, there’s a little concern. But then one day things free up and you breathe a sigh of relief, your body is still functioning.
- Weather – There is no good time in life to get cancer. However, when getting treatments that can decimate the immune system, I’ll take the time of year that’s warmer and has a lot less sick people walking around.
- Good Health – In the process of preparing for chemo, there were a lot of checkup steps they wanted to do to keep tabs on my progression. It turns out I have good lung capacity, which shows I’m just out of shape, nothing wrong with my lungs. It was also proven that my hearing is still impeccable (against all odds from decades of not adequately protecting). There is a touch of tinnitus that has set in from time to time, but I’m trusting that will dissipate when this is over with.
- Late Comers – When this life shaking event called cancer occurs, there are a lot of people who are at your side immediately, wondering what they can do, what do we need, and all sorts of things. That’s great and needed, but this is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. The people that have stayed in the shadows a little bit, waiting for things to settle down before venturing into our situation, they are also needed. This is a thing that people get shocked by, but after awhile their lives go on, and we fall by the wayside a little bit, and that’s ok. We will still be here, in the middle of it, and the people that waited a few weeks to check in on what we need will be a blessing in that time.
- Doctor K – She was just what we needed on Friday. She just graduated from school, has worked in oncology quite a bit, and her own family went through a cancer battle, so she was able to be candid about what to expect in a way that most can’t. It brought some clarification for both of us as to when and how things will hit, and to what likely extent. She also talked to my wife for like 2 hours in the hallway while I continued my treatment, and Tiah really needed that conversation. Sanford and St. A’s should take note, you should hire Doctor K.
- Work Potluck – A coworker is graduating college, and a small potluck had been scheduled in the office to celebrate. I had just finished treatment that day and was feeling good enough to join, and it was great to be around the office for just a short time. Dan’s sloppy joes are incredible, though I’m sorry I missed out on Klondike bars. We did get to take some great jerky home though.
- Tiahna – She is the most amazing wife. She must feel a little like a guy dealing with a pregnant woman. I have mood swings, sudden cravings, am a little irritable, or am just ambivalent about life, and she puts up with it. There’s stuff to do around the house, and while it’s not done as quickly as it might otherwise, it still gets done. I once had a sunday school teacher (looking at you Ron) explain to us that marriage is never a 50-50 proposition, and he’s right. This summer is feeling a lot closer to 80-20 and not so much in her favor, but she’s still there, loving me. I still don’t deserve her.
There’s so much more to be thankful for, but these are some of the things that have been laying on me the past few days. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated, and as always, the How To Help page will get updated as we go along in this journey. In parting, an old Caedmon’s Call jam that I’ve always found catchy.