Posted by: Ken Wheatley | January 25, 2008


Today started out really well. For the first time in three weeks Sheila was pain free. We didn’t think the chemo could possibly work that fast in one day, but at this point we didn’t care. I was just happy to see her smiling again and be almost giddy. She was SO happy.  Her appetite was good, no headache, her voice was strong and consistent and she was energized. And for once, I didn’t have a knot in my stomach. It felt great to have a normal day.

Sheila worked a full day without any problems. On her way home however, the doctor called. I don’t know which one. She didn’t tell me that. What was important – and depressing – was that he called. He wasn’t supposed to call until tomorrow, Friday. That’s when we were expecting the news about the abdominal biopsy. We were batting 1000 with early calls and I’m starting to hate the consistency of their early calls.

In our hearts we weren’t expecting good news anyway based on the PET scan results, but there’s a part of you that holds out hope that they were wrong in their supposition that it’s cancer, or that the tests will determine that it’s a virus.

Anyway, no such luck, again. He told her that the lymph node above her stomach is cancerous. I don’t understand how you can kill the cancer cells in the node and not kill the node. You obviously need the nodes to survive. No one has talked about what percentage of each node is cancerous. All things I’ll have to ask the doctor next week.

So needless to say, when Sheila called me a few minutes later with the news, the bubbly person I had talked with throughout the day was gone. Our elation balloon collapsed.

But by the time she got home about an hour or so later she was okay. She’s amazing. All smiles, still painfree. And happy to be home.

I think that’s one of the hardest parts. We are so emotionally and physically close that it’s incomprehensible to think about her being sick or worse.  We love touching all the time. We love sleeping together and waking up together. Pretty much everyday we moan with pleasure at first light knowing that the other is close by. All this after 4 years. It just gets better.

Right now it’s a little after 11pm and she’s asleep next to me on the couch. She’s tired, but doesn’t want to go down the hall to bed. She wanted to be next to me.


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