Posted by: Ken Wheatley | August 18, 2009

Weird Few Days and Perspective

Not sure exactly what’s going on, but things have changed a bit since we’ve been home. Sheila’s different and I’ve definitely been more edgy. Obviously part of it is my biopsy tomorrow, and her 13 day hospital stay. But there’s something else.

It’s a combination of her weight loss  – almost 2 lbs a day – while she was hospitalized, her appearance – she looks very sickly and anorexic now, especially without her hair – and she’s slurring her words more, wobbly in her walk, falling asleep everywhere, crying at the drop of a hat, etc. But then there are moments when the old personality and temperment comes through even though it’s hard to associate coming from “this body.”

And she and I are struggling over the pill regiment. She’s constantly obsessing over all the pills and the schedules to the point that I get irritated that she’s going to tinker with them so much and screw something up and end up in the hospital again.

They spent so much time getting it right over the 13 days and now she’s screwing around with taking pills that are optional and forgetting to take the necessary ones when she’s supposed to. And if I say anything she immediately starts crying and talking about how she’s disappointing me.  What??!! Where did that come from? Don’t we have enough to deal with without creating drama???

And I’ve had three weeks of build-up to tomorrow and now that it’s almost here I’m sick to my stomach with worry about the procedure and the what ifs. Not exactly about the results, but just the prospect of more bad news. Any bad news. Whether for Sheila or me. I’ve had enough bad news. I’m tired of bad news. I’m tired of the daily, inescapable stress and disappointments. But…then there’s Mike.

After her radiation treatment this morning we were heading over to the cancer center to meet with Dr. B when we ran into Mike – a longterm cancer patient and one of the de facto leaders of the lung cancer awareness “movement” in California. He was leaning against one of the bollards in front of the main entrance and said that he heard that Sheila was heading over, so he waited to say, “hi.”

He looked very tan and very relaxed. Not a care in the world. He said that he and his wife had just returned from a 7 day cruise through the Tahitian islands. It was something he had promised to do with her a long time ago and now that his tumors were growing again, he thought he should fulfill his promise.

What put me in my place was what he said next. When I asked about his renewed tumor growth he very casually said that he was meeting with the surgeon on Thursday to schedule removing one of his lungs. He said it so casually, and with a smile on his face, that I was dumbstruck. For a moment I thought he was joking, (as if someone would make such a joke.) I said, “I thought they don’t do surgery on stage 4 patients?” His response, with a smile was, “They don’t normally, but I’m a special case.”

So here I am fretting over a stupid prostate biopsy, and he’s looking at having a lung removed.

I’ll be drugged-up tomorrow, so it’s unlikely that I’ll post anything. If I do, let me now put out a disclaimer that I’m not responsible for the content of any posts made before Thursday.



  1. Good luck tomorrow Ken! And hang in there with everything going on.

  2. Isn’t it amazing how God provides exactly what you need when you need it? Here’s Mike enlightening you on his sense of peace and balance — he is truly special — and so are you and Sheila. I don’t believe for a moment that Mike just happened to be there when you were. Good luck today and feel the prayers, prayers and more prayers for you both!

  3. good luck Ken

  4. I second what Patti said. And unfortunately drugs make you act differently. My next words are very simple, very true, and very hard to do. “Let go, Let GOD”.

  5. yes, caylynn……… can do this ken……….
    and thru the deepest of your love…cuz, love prevails always

  6. Ken, you know we all love the crap out of you both, you have been here everystep of the way for OUR Sheila and we will all be here to give you support when you want or need it!!!!!!!!!!! Like my niece would say “”Your like my bra always there to support” Did that make you smile Ken??
    My niece tells me that after I give her alittle dose of Auntie Evette advice..So Ken I am sure you will have your pickins of BRAS!!!!!!!

  7. Ken, for some reason you popped into my head today, August 20. I am saddened by what I have read and have you both in my prayers. It has been a long time since we spoke, but I would love to hear how you are when you are up to it. Hard to believe it has been 20 years since we met in San Diego.

  8. Even stranger, Gayle, is that I was searching for you on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago while I was sitting in the hospital with Sheila! Last time we talked was back in ’97. I’ll send you a separate email with contact info and we can catch-up.

  9. Evette, I can always count on you for the wild and wacky smile inducing comments. Thanks for the grin.

  10. Thanks Caylynn…

  11. Thanks Brian…

  12. Thanks as always for the virtual hugs, Patti. And Mike was leaving the cancer center after his appointment and heard that Sheila was coming by soon, so he stayed behind and waited for her. They haven’t seen each other in awhile. So it wasn’t that we just happened to cross paths accidentally.

  13. Thanks Christi. And today is a better day that the earlier part of the week.

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