Posted by: Ken Wheatley | September 4, 2008

Plugging along

We’re long back from our road trip. The trip to Catalina was nice, at least the part we were “allowed” to see. Neither of us has ever been to an island where land travel was so restricted. You aren’t allowed to walk freely outside of Avalon, you can’t bike on the road outside of Avalon without a permit, no cars, the tours of some parts of the island are expensive and relatively short, etc….

There was enough for us to do and see in Avalon for basically a day and a half, but I’m not sure we’d go back.

Before we took the boat over from Dana Point to Catalina, the doctor’s office called that Wednesday afternoon with the new test results to tell Sheila that she could resume the medication, but half dose only because the full dose was affecting her bone marrow.

Tomorrow she goes in for her CAT scan. It’s been 6 weeks since the last one. We haven’t talked about the appointment, other than to confirm the time. We don’t talk about her cancer much anymore. What else can we say?

I see her reading articles, looking at various cancer-related websites or exchanging emails with her support group. At times I think, silently, that she’s too absorbed/fixated on the issue, but I can’t imagine what it’s like being in her skin. What would I be doing? I worry about that too. Living with this like we have makes my mortality a daily companion. It’s like a shadow that persists even in darkness. And it’s unsettling to constantly be thinking about and also fighting back thoughts of death and therefore the futility of daily living.

Sheila’s been having fairly continuous pain in her neck where the cancerous lymph node is. The other morning we went to bed around 1 or 1:30am and when I woke up at 4 she wasn’t in bed. She had woken up and was in pain, so she went down to the kitchen to read rather than disturb me. But when you’re so connected to someone – “spiritually” isn’t the proper term, but it’s all I have at the moment – even in a deep sleep you are attuned to their presence or absence.

Tonight she got home a little after 7pm and was asleep on the couch by 9. She woke up long enough to take her medication, and I tucked her into bed about 15 minutes ago. She looked so cuddly and warm. Loving and in love. Always with a smile on her beautiful face. I get terrified and very sad thinking of not having her with me “forever.”

I’m nervous about what the results will be next week. I’m sure Sheila is also. It’s also her birthday next week, so we don’t need bad news on her birthday. I hope the results of the CAT scan at a minimum show that the tumors have not grown and no more have appeared. I won’t be greedy at this point and ask that they be gone. That’s probably very unrealistic and I certainly don’t want to get my hopes that amped only to be crushed. Again.

I love you, Ripley….sweet dreams…..


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