Thursday, February 3, 2011
Once again I am sitting here in a waiting room while Rianne goes through surgery. This time the Chemo Port is being removed. During her last blood draw the initial saline fluid inserted into the port caused her intense pain immediately. Melissa, the oncology nurse, had a suspicion that the port was damaged and scheduled a Die Study for that afternoon. The doctor inserted die into the port and read the results of the test. Sure enough, the port was fractured and needed to be removed. Fortunately for Rianne, her treatments are complete and further blood draws will be taken through the veins in her arm instead of through what was once a port in her chest.
Each time that I sit alone in a waiting room my emotions run rampant. On January 28th we celebrated our 22nd anniversary together, which painted a very clear picture of our ages and of the many days that we’ve been together. My love for her grows daily and I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would be like if it were ever without her in it. Thus, the importance of living each and every day to its fullest becomes clearer and clearer, even as my rump sinks deeper and deeper into this uncomfortable chair as I type. We had some puny little disagreements this morning as we anticipated the surgery, and now I feel awfully sorry about even bringing up some of the “small stuff” as she calls it. I can’t wait to see her again as I choke on the anxiety that fills my system. My nerves aren’t able to rest, even though I know that she is in good hands with the surgeon who has worked with her numerous times this past year. I feel an urge to do something – anything – to keep my hands and eyes busy so that I don’t look around the room at other people who may be less fortunate than my wife and I are. Our struggles this past year have been immense, yet we are still very blessed to be in the position that we are in today. Still, I can’t help but be slapped back into the reality that my wife of 22 years has absolutely no guarantee that the cancer will be gone for good – nor do I have any guarantee that the tide can't turn on me at any given moment. Life is short and we all know it. Life is wonderful, but it is also fragile. We never know what our future will bring, so we must embrace each moment as it arrives. Maybe that's why she always wants to get out on the Quads whenever it's possible!
Rianne has been in good spirits these past few weeks and her health has been good. She has been routinely creating juices with her Jack Lalane Juicer in the mornings. She has been rising early, walking on the treadmill and heading straight to the kitchen to create a juice for the day. She is getting to be quite the pro at it I might add. But don’t trust her juice if she adds beets to it, as you may get a little excited when you see what the waste looks like! After a mega-dose of beets in a juice she made the other day, a few hours later (during a visit to the bathroom) I panicked thinking that one of my kidneys was bleeding profusely! It startled me until I remembered that bright purple beet juice might end up close to the same color on its way out of the human body! Rianne scared the juice right out of me and she also enjoyed the laugh of a lifetime with it!
Her juicing has added strength to her day. She often adds flax seed and powdered protein to the juice to boost her energy level and immune system. Ginger root has been another ingredient that has added positive results and flavor to the morning. Some swear by the importance of blended fruit and vegetable drinks in the diet and we would have to agree that an improvement has been noticed in how we feel. Its been encouraging to see her rise in the morning refreshed from a good night of rest and head straight to a healthy start for the day ahead of her!
Work has gone well for her. She is exhausted at the end of the day, but she continues to work full-time and refuses to settle for anything less. She has learned that her weeknights must stay clear of any late activities if she plans to feel good the next day.
We’ve learned to try not to schedule too much on the weeknights so that she will prevent feeling miserable tomorrow from overdoing it today. Its tough to monitor, as she sometimes feels strong enough to get out and have some fun, yet we both know she’ll likely pay a price for it later – usually in the form of exhaustion. Sometimes she gets frustrated with me when I say "NO" to something, but it's usually with her best interests in mind. I told her today to think of me as her “Public Relations Manager” instead of her grouchy old controlling husband who won’t let her do anything. I think “PR Man” has a better ring to it – especially when I have to remind her of how physically awful she feels after a full day of work and play! The oncology staff has warned us that it could take up to a year for Rianne to feel her complete self again and we certainly understand their advice.
Well, I guess it’s just about time for her to walk out of surgery (yes, I type slowly … VERY slowly!) We are truly grateful to have family members and friends who support us as you do. Without you this road would have been impossible to imagine. We hope that you and your families are healthy and happy. Thanks for being an important part of our lives!