>The headless chicken and the zen cowboy.

3 Feb

>Last night I dreamt there was a rattlesnake in my bed. I woke up with a panic. Then realized it was the chemo pump. Poison must all sound the same.

We go through these motions. Trying to keep our chins up. Eyes on the prize. But it gets blurry when my eyes keep betraying me with tears. It seems logical that I’d feel like we’re on the homestretch, but it feels more like on the rack being stretched limb from limb.

I’ve had no explanation for it. None what-so-ever. But as I sat with the girls at the breakfast table encouraging them through their oatmeal this morning, it was clear as a bell. For as I looked into their faces, I spied the hubby just over their heads. Doubled over in pain. Back to us. Miss-miss got up before I thought to stop her and she said, “Dad? Are you crying?” He’d taken a bite of OATMEAL and the neuropathy had attacked his eyes. Suddenly. Without warning. Straight from the jaw.

And that’s the way it goes. I see him struggle. Strain. Pain radiating through his body during the most mundane of daily tasks. (Pooping? Check. Taking a bite of oatmeal? Check. Grabbing a bottle of milk to make a latte? Check.) I see it in his eyes and my whole gut aches. His face is riddled with pain and discomfort. It’s impossible to miss when you know someone from the inside out.

It’s painful —excruciating in fact— to watch. And I struggle with keeping up the brave face. But when your chief partner-in-crime takes leave of his facilities. Well.

He tries so hard to hide it. (He’s always been such a talker.) I think of it as going inside of himself. We all have to do it when we’re in survival mode, as anyone who has gone through childbirth can attest. I remember walking down the hall to my last c-section, IV pole in tow, hubby holding my left hand, sis-in-law on my right. And she was so nervous she was jabbering away. I went completely inside of myself and my vision even narrowed. The instinct was so strong I wanted to trip her to make her STOP TALKING. And then, just as suddenly —once that baby was out and the hubby went off to attend to her— I was so thankful for her and her chatter and her arm rubs that I nearly cried from relief. Those animal instincts are so random.

I owned up to the PA on Tuesday. My crazy death thoughts (CDTs induced by SPCs). The fear of this neuropathy palpable as I conjured up calling T-Rocks to come build us a ramp because the hubby was most certainly wheelchair bound. “I went to my crazy head place,” I told her. This stopped her dead in her tracks. She took us both in and said, “Let me tell you something…” The gist was that I am in the worrying role and that means I take every bit of every worrywart inkling and carry it around. The unhealthy part is that the hubby lets me and gives me all of his too for good measure. So while I’m off running around in headless chicken mode, he’s all zen and so not going there. And one day it will hit him. And he’ll be a wreck. So if anyone has any ideas about how to coach a chronic worrywart into handing it off mode, I’m all ears. It gets kind of heavy inside this head.

Before the amazing coaching session with the PA, we had a random nurse encounter. One of the floaters was doing the rounds with us —temp taking, BP, Rx review, etc. And during the BP I distinctly heard a squeak. Then another. And I was pretty sure. Could it be? THAT WAS SO NOT THE HUBBY. She’d cut not one —BUT TWO! The hubby and I exchanged a look as she kept on her merry way and didn’t even acknowledge said in-fart-tion. When she left the room, the green cloud descended and we both were like “THAT is gross.” I opened the door. Then she happened back by and closed it again. We were trapped. Nasty.

We’ve had school closed since Monday. Today being their first day back. The weather took an odd turn from our normally bright sunshiney days. Dipping well below zero for the HIGH. So my little neuro-pathetic hubby who is in BIG trouble in cold (as I’ve mentioned) was house bound. Me left to scrape ice and keep those home fires burning. It wasn’t a big deal though. Our friend and savior (thanks Meggie) called to up the bean’s playdate from after school to all day then to overnight and Purse Girl swooped in with grabbing the miss-miss for Tuesday and we all just chilled in our various locales during chemo then back at home to rest and wait out the rattlesnake/pump and weather and anything else headed our way. T-Man threw in some food for good measure (and on her birthday, no less) and we were set.

Now we’re here getting that damnable pump removed and getting some fresh fluids into the hubby’s bod. The machine says 17 minutes to go and I am blogging instead of writing that data sheet that’s due tomorrow or getting invoices done or anything else I should be doing instead.

I’m even more behind than usual because something got me yesterday and I couldn’t stop sleeping. At least not until Purse Girl showed up and stared at me through the darkness. She’d been spooked out of her house by the sound of a piano key being hit, followed by shuffling around. (And who could blame her.) Still not 100% sure what it was, but her Robby checked it out and only found a couple of books on the floor with nothing missing.

It’s nice to keep things exciting, doncha know.

Bottom line is this: YES. The next couple of days are highly likely to SUCK BIG FAT ASS. YES. The hubby is very likely to be couch bound with very little sign of life. YES. It will take a few days until his pain subsides to bearable. YES. He will JUST be starting to come back to me when it’s time to go under again. BUT. The next one is the LAST one. And that, my friends, is the light I am going to focus my sights on even as my vision narrows, gets blurry from tears and I go inside myself where the sun don’t shine.


TODAY’S THEME SONG: Sunshine on Leith. Proclaimers. I will be with you while the Chief, puts Sunshine On Leith. I’ll thank him for his work and your birth and my birth.


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