Posted by: Ken Wheatley | August 9, 2009


We’ve been here for 7 days and it seems like months. It’s like the movie “Ground Hog Day” in many ways. The cycle of pain and partial recovery, food, visitors, doctors, and nurses repeats itself with no seeming (good) end in sight.

Sheila actually slept for a couple hours at a stretch last night so that was very good, but the pain continues to be worse at night so it wakes her up. Therefore, my zombie-like stumbling around the room at 3 am continues as I’m jolted awake by her moans of pain or to help her with another trip to the bathroom.

The room isn’t configured well to hold a cot and the two recliners they have are both broken. So I’ve tried pulling a chair up to the end of her bed and drapping my legs over the footboard and then straddling to either side of Sheila’s legs. But that doesn’t work too well on the lower back. So I try propping my head against the wall as I sit in one chair and drape my legs over the arms of an adjacent chair. I actually started laughing in the middle of the night as I envisioned having a camera in the corner of the room capturing all my contortions and attempts to get comfortable, like something out of a sleeping disorder study surveillance. Steve and Sandi have both offered their guest rooms for me to crash and seeing as how we’re going into week two, I’m sure I’ll be taking them up on the offers. It’s just very difficult not to be with her 24/7.

Ultimately, I manage to find an edge of the bed to lay next to Sheila, the place we both want me to be anyway. With the yellow coverall and blue gloves I have to wear all the time it looks a bit ridiculous laying in bed like that. I woke up at one point and the coverall arms were split down the seams. Even Sheila laughed. She said I must have transformed into The Hulk sometime during the night. It was great to see her smiling.

She suffered much less last night and had a pretty good day today. She worked with Mary E. on the accounting issues still pending to close the transition of her business to the new owners, so it was the first time in several days that she was coherent. There’s been no babbling or muttering today. Clear eyes.

Joe came over last night and gave her a buzz cut. Her new “do.” As usual he did a very nice job. She’s going to lose the hair in a couple of weeks anyway, but it’s still important to her to look presentable.

At the moment she’s actually sitting in chair watching “House” on a DVD. Looking at the smile on her face – the type of smile she reserves for me – you couldn’t tell she had received the type of bad news we had, just a few days ago. What an amazing woman…

The smile I love...

The smile I love...

And here’s a photo from the other day of her trying to relieve the pain while listening to the rainforest thunderstorms.

Rainforest Thunderstorms



  1. Ken~
    I found your blog while searching the net. My very good friend was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 39. I just want you to know you are amazing and Sheila is so blessed to have you. Reading Sheila’s blog shows me what a fabulous woman she is. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers. I really want to also thank you for your blogs.

    Can they bring you a new recliner in the hospital? I’m glad you could laugh at yourself, but better yet was when you said Sheila smiled when your coverall ripped.

    Hang in there

  2. Hi Dad,

    It’s nice to see that she is still smiling, though I don’t know how she does it. Hope the radiation went well today, big hugs to you both. Talk to you soon, love you…

  3. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. The fishing trip is lined-up! And Sheila said she’s make the trip with us if she can, so hopefully you’re over your seasickness period. Love you, Dad…

  4. Hi Mary, sorry for the delay in responding, but it’s been busy as you can tell. The recliner was a big improvement, but after three or four days I was ready to trade it in for a regular bed.

    I’m glad you find the blog(s) of benefit. It certainly helps relieve some of my stress by writing things down.

    And of course, I agree that Sheila is an incredible woman. The best I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. As I wrote today in the blog, her actions in taking care of me yesterday reflect how selfless she is. How can you not love a woman like that? She is indeed a rare gem. Which makes all this that much harder.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments and involvement in our journey.

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