Posted by: Ken Wheatley | February 25, 2008

Stress Reduction

Last week, starting last Saturday, has been up and down and tonight I’m on edge. Again. There were times that I wanted to write, but I mostly wanted to escape.

Sheila and I actually talked about how we’ve stopped talking about “it.” We mostly talk about appointments that are coming up, or bitch about our disappointment with Doctor K and some of the clinic/hospital staff. We’re definitely in the day-at-a-time mode and, when it comes to her situation longterm, we’ve independently come to the same place – we don’t want to contemplate anything heavy and negative.  The situation does that all on its own. We don’t need to unnecessarily add to it. 

Sheila was sick last Saturday and Monday – nausea from the chemo – and in general didn’t look herself. I’ve been trying to think of the word(s) to describe how she looked and ghostly, unfortunately, keeps coming to mind. There were a few times when I would see her curled up on the big chair in our bedroom or on the couch in the family room with a vacant, drained look on her face. Vulnerable I guess. And scary.

The first time that I saw that “look” it startled me inside. I try, and people – especially my mother – keep telling me that no matter how I’m feeling inside I can’t let it show to her. I have to be her rock. And I understand that and do my best to remain a predictable, reliable source of comfort for her. But it’s not easy to do all the time. There are times, when I’m tucking her into bed and she looks at me with those big blue eyes, that I have to turn away and leave the room because I don’t want her to see the tears welling up.

She was definitely more tired this past week and I fear that it will only get worse as we start the clinical trials next week. Even so, we managed to go to the gym twice, not for long, but at least she make the effort and walked on the treadmill and did some biking. And she still manages to smile a lot. Amazing.

I think what I resent the most is the utter accuracy that they have been able to tell us when bad things would happen. “In 4 or 5 weeks after the start of chemo your energy level will start to drop and your white blood count will also drop below the normal range.” And dammit it if they aren’t dead-on. If only they were equally good about fixing the damn problem.

It was relatively sunny yesterday for the first time in awhile – a lot of rain recently – so we went to the mall and grocery store. Today it rained most of the day so we worked on the wedding plans. I researched the entertainment and we took turns working on the invitation designs.

As the day and evening have worn on I’ve been getting more and more tense and anxious. I’m not sure why. I know that her CT scan is this coming Friday, but we’re not expecting any positive news there. Just hoping it hasn’t gotten worse. She’s been having head pains the past week and the unspoken thought is that it’s spread to her brain. God forbid. I highly doubt it, but here we go again jumping to the conclusion that every ache and pain is another tumor-related issue. I think that’s natural. Either way, it’s an uncontrollable reaction. Logic is out on vacation at the moment. Emotion rules.

We’re also seeing her business banker this week to see about renewing her line of credit. Part of me wishes that she could or would sell the business, but right now she doesn’t need the additional stress of dealing with that magnitude of problems. A business broker back East has been calling her because he supposedly has a client that’s looking for a Southern California company.

This is enough for now…..



  1. Ken,

    You are Sheila’s strength. Keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing.

    We wear the braclets everyday and have you guys in mind.

    Take care,

    Al and Barbara Ungar

  2. Hi Ken,

    I’ve been keeping up via your blogs. I’ve had Sheila added to our prayer list in my women’s group and pray for her frequently.

    The position both of you are in is so difficult but you have a good heart. Keep strong and be positive.

    Let me know if you need us.

    Linda and Michael G

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