No Rest for the Weary

Poor EJ has been working overtime lately, which is very helpful financially, but difficult on him physically. He is incredibly exhausted and his back is threatening to go out because he doesn’t have time to rest it. I was hoping we could stay home today so he could sleep in, but our primary doctor’s called yesterday to remind us that EJ has a checkup on Friday. He needs to have blood work before he goes but–oops–we completely forgot. So this morning it is off to the lab, and the tomorrow he goes to the doctor. I plan to go with him.

Yesterday afternoon the surgeon’s office called to set up an appointment. JJ now has a consultation appointment with the surgeon on Monday. I’m sure the surgeon will go over what to expect from the surgery and also schedule the surgery to put the port in. (Ugh, those detailed descriptions of what’s going to happen are my downfall. I’m praying that I don’t get sick.) The office emailed me forms that JJ needs to fill out before the appointment. There are pages and pages and pages. He is certainly getting experience filling out medical forms. I sometimes wonder why various offices can’t just share the info?

There is some risk that the chemotherapy could cause JJ to be sterile, so before December 9th he will need to deposit some sperm at the sperm bank as a precaution. That is not yet scheduled.

At the Chemo class, we were given information about what foods JJ can and cannot eat. I will need to look at the information packet closely and then make a grocery list to get in supplies before the Chemo starts.

JJ is probably the least tired from all this. We are handling as many things as we can for him, so he can rest and not have worries. While EJ works overtime, I try to handle as many things at home as I can. EJ chauffeurs us from appointment to appointment, I do the scheduling and take care of various other things, such as work with the college JJ was attending. With all that is happening, and all the appointments and procedures he is undergoing, he just doesn’t have the focus to do school work. Therefore, we are withdrawing him from college. He won’t be able to get reimbursed, but that’s a minor concern right now.

Yesterday I decided to make JJ an easy-to-make supper that he enjoys: Hebrew National All-Beef Hotdogs wrapped in homemade biscuit dough and baked. I also made tater tots–another favorite. I was so very tired and had an awful headache. I accidentally put much too much baking powder in the biscuit dough. Poor JJ, when I served it, he took a bite and said, “This doesn’t taste right.” He bravely said he’d eat it even thought I told him he didn’t have too. He took another bite and said, “Sorry, I just can’t eat this.” He ate the tater tots and some cereal instead. I tore the biscuits off the hotdogs and told him I could make a new batch tomorrow. I said, “Trust me, you really don’t want me trying to make a new batch tonight.”

Ugh, I felt like such a failure as a Mom. I thought that if I’m so tired and making mistakes now, what is it going to be like during the weeks of Chemo when he is really sick and needs me? If the cancer doesn’t kill him, my cooking might.

I would like to take the opportunity now to tell you that years ago I considered working as a hospice volunteering. Although life took me in a different direction, I did attend the initial Hospice training session. The teacher of that session said that we must keep in mind that there is a difference between honesty and the truth. A patient may be honest about how he feels or thinks, but that might not really be the truth. For example, on a bad day a patient might say he wishes to die or that he hates the volunteer and wants her to never return. But that’s only what he feels that day. It’s not want he really wants.

I would like you to keep this in mind as you read this blog. I am trying to write as honestly as I can about the challenges and struggles, the ups and downs, the hopes and fears, the laughter and tears of battling our son’s cancer. Although I am trying to be honest, I know that what I write and feel and think during this time may not always be true.  I am aware that one day I might feel one way, the next day I might feel another way. One moment I think one thing, and the next moment another. It is my hope if in my weariness I inadvertently say something that sounds awful, you can be patient with me. I’m not deliberately trying to be a jerk or anything.

I want you to know that I am so thankful for all of you who choose to take this journey with us. Your encouraging and supportive comments are such a gift! Each one of you is so very, very special to us!

Ok, now time to wake up EJ and get started on the day.

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