My brain MRI was “gorgeous” according to my neurosurgeon. He is taking me off anti-seizure medication and wants to see me in a year for the next follow-up. All is well in my brain. Yahoo! I took Valium to combat claustrophobia in the MRI and I did OK. They played Michael Jackson and hits from the ’80’s in my headphones. Very nice. Thanks to my friend for transporting me and waiting for me at the appointments.
Steve is feeling well and working on taxes. His urine is looking less and less bloody. Progress continues.
Once again we got “doorbell ditched.” Someone put a beautiful wind catcher in my front yard garden. I don’t know who it was. Thanks!
Today was quiet, warm, and my energy was better than usual. I haven’t laid down all day! That’s unusual and I’m taking it as a very good sign. Tomorrow I get my brain MRI and I think it will look good. Spring is in the air so today I planted a few flowers and we had our garden tilled. I am looking forward to harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, etc. but not looking forward to all the hard work of planting and weeding. My daughter Pepper has volunteered to help me, as has my daughter-in-law Avery. We can do this! In addition, having a long-term project gives me hope for a bright future. It’s tempting to just say that I don’t know if I’ll be well enough to garden, but I am going to go for it to send myself a message that I can do it.
Steve is feeling fine today. His blood was drawn this morning and it is looking good. He’ll have it drawn again on Friday when he sees his surgeon. They are making sure his blood is thinning.
I was just looking for something to eat a few minutes ago and the doorbell rang. I opened the door and there was a beautiful plate of home baked rolls, still warm from the oven, sitting on my doorstep. Nobody was around so I just yelled “Thank You” and hope they heard. They were yummy! Seriously, the abundance of gifts and well wishes from so many good people has been a great blessing. Acts of kindness are deeply felt by me and my family. It is a humbling experience to be a recipients of so much goodness. Thank you!
Steve and I have received so much support from friends and family, it is really amazing. This weekend we received many visitors from neighbors bringing food, flowers, balloons, and best wishes. Our family provided shopping and transportation. This morning we went to church and the outpouring of love and support was so very uplifting. Our heartfelt thanks to all.
Steve is feeling quite well, and I have been without nausea for 3 days now so I think I am over that. He and I do our best to talk about our feelings. It is concerning that we both have health issues at the same time. We have concluded that we are here to help each other. Our friends and family are great examples of service and support for us. This challenge has brought us closer together, and strengthened our marriage. This week we will grow closer as we wait for Friday to arrive when we meet with Steve’s doctors. I am also having a brain MRI on Tuesday and will do a follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon. The fun never stops!
Our daughter Pepper drove Steve to a blood draw and nurse visit at the Huntsman Center this morning. I was worried that I would be nauseated again and unable to go, but I woke up feeling fine and went along. Yippee! All went well and we went to the grocery store and out to lunch afterwards, to have Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. Not healthy I know but they were yummy. Steve did very well the whole time and we had fun together, reminiscing about our trips to England and Philadelphia.
On the way to the Huntsman Center I was still concerned that the nausea might return so I decided to do some NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). I got in touch with the nausea and opened a conversation. I realized the nausea was very closely connected to fear. I am not sure what exactly I am afraid of (such as Steve’s outcome, my own eye surgery, lots of other things really) but I got in touch with the fear and thanked it for coming to me in the form of nausea to protect me. I told it I understood that the nausea was here in my service and I embraced it and thanked it for helping me understand my fear and let it go. I asked the nausea to leave me now and I would be fine. Riding in the back seat of the car I used the NLP along with intense prayer that the nausea would leave. So far the nausea has not returned, and I realized that I am probably stuffing down and not recognizing fear. It is time honor it and let it go so it doesn’t affect my health.
I thought by now I would be blogging about a full brain surgery recovery and a new job. Instead I am blogging about my worsening vision, nausea, my inability to return to work, and my husband’s bladder cancer. Who would have thought it would come to this? I’ve recently been studying the life of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and it is clear on several occasions that he was able to see what the future held. This has given me hope. I know that He knows what Steve and I are facing, and how it will turn out. So I just trust in Him, knowing that He loves us and this is all for our good. Thanks to all of you who are praying for us. I know prayers are answered.
Steve got home from the bladder cancer specialist’s safe and sound. His catheter was adjusted and is flowing nicely now. He spoke with the physician about the pathology report. Apparently the cancer has spread to his prostate, which will be removed along with his bladder. The doctor is still concerned about the clots on Steve’s lungs, which will influence decisions about chemotherapy. His next doctor appointment has now been move to April 17, when he will see the bladder cancer specialist and the medical oncologist. Are we having fun yet?
Talk about “one of those days!” Today I had an appointment with a urologist to assess some bladder pain I have been having for several years. I thought I’d go alone and come home and keep it all on the down low. As it turned out, I was hit by dizziness and nausea this morning so Steve insisted on accompanying me to the visit. The urologist, the same man who diagnosed Steve’s bladder cancer, determined that I need bladder surgery myself in order to remove some non-cancerous polyps. Can you believe it? This is the year of the bladder at our house. I am going to delay the surgery because it’s not emergent. Let’s get Steve through this first. When we got home from the urologist we discovered that Steve’s catheter was not working. No urine in the bag. So I called his current physician’s office and the nurse said he should come right in. Well shoot I wasn’t well enough to accompany him so our grandson took him and now I am waiting to hear. It should be OK if they can get the catheter working again. They are not home yet so I will add an update when they get here. I know everything happens for a reason and there must be a reason I am not well enough to take the best care of my husband. We seem to be going through bladder challenges together. That’s just weird. Especially since I am still recovering from brain surgery. My vision appears to be getting worse so I will need eye socket surgery in the next couple of months. I heard a Diana Ross song last night: “If we hold on together, I know our dreams will never die. Dreams see us through to forever as clouds roll by for you and I.” Steve and I have dreams and we will see these clouds roll by together and come out on the other side better and closer. Bring it on!
If the catheter problem doesn’t cause a change of plans, then Steve will see the bladder cancer specialist on Friday to finalize a treatment plan. He also has an appointment with an oncologist the following Friday, most likely to talk about chemotherapy, which Steve hasn’t decided about yet. Fortunately, our daughter Pepper is off on Fridays and is willing to drive us to his appointments.
I feel a bit vulnerable writing about this subject, and I’m certainly not a great writer, but writing will help me figure this out. So thanks for listening (reading). Here’s the thing: I am so used to having a positive attitude, that it’s very difficult to have a negative attitude. Some days I just want to give in and cry all day or be grumpy or very sad. Today is one of those days due to nausea, fatigue, and worsening vision. But honestly, I just don’t seem to have it in me to be negative! Weird! I find when people ask me how I’m doing and I say I’m fine, I really mean it. I think it might be hard to believe that in our circumstances (me recovering from brain surgery and my husband having cancer) we would have positive attitudes, but we really do. It makes me wonder if we are just hard wired for positive or negative attitudes, or it’s more like a well-developed habit. I write and teach about the wonderful benefits of having a positive attitude, but is it something we can develop, or is a naturally occurring phenomenon? Since it’s so hard for me to have a negative attitude, is it hard for people with naturally negative attitudes to develop positive attitudes? I need to read some research on this, but I don’t read much lately! I have a friend at the University of Utah who studies resilience. Maybe I’ll talk to him about this because resilience sounds like what I’m talking about. Now, to be clear, I am not bragging or saying I rock because I am positive, I’m just saying I don’t understand why I can’t get negative about this. I don’t want to be negative, but sometimes a long crying jag accompanied by the fetal position sounds inviting!
Steve came home today. Our family Easter gathering started at noon and he was here at 12:30. Cool! We had breakfast stuff for lunch and then had an Easter egg hunt for the grandkids. We watched Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs while we chatted. Very fun. At one point I emptied Steve’s catheter bag and the younger grandkids were mesmerized. I said, “Look how Grandpa pees now!” They thought that was so cool. It’s great to have all of our kids living nearby so we can get together and support and love each other. We are blessed with 4 wonderful children and 9 awesome grandchildren. Steve rested comfortably all day and now wants to take a walk around the neighborhood. We’ll see. He has more energy than me, that’s for sure!
Steve will see his bladder cancer specialist this Friday to make specific plans for treatment. Meanwhile, he will be on blood thinners to dissolve the lung clots and prevent future clots.