Monday, January 16, 2012

How the heck we are... (sort of)


Harv's doing fairly well. Not really sleeping especially well at night, but having pretty good naps during the day. It might be good if those things were reversed. No major side effects, but we were told we'd most likely see them between days 7 and 10. I don't want him to have any side effects. I just want the drugs to work like they're supposed to. However, if we see them, they will most likely be nausea/potential vomiting, diarrhea, & mouth sores. There are other possibilities, but those are the most common ones. We're prepared. We have drugs for everything. My dream, though, is that there will be no additional complications/problems. (I know. It's rare that chemo patients don't have side effects, but a girl can dream, can't she?!)

Tomorrow morning, we head back to Seattle to meet with a nutritionist and to have his port installed.  Our appointment is at 10:00. There is snow on the ground and more predicted. I have a little bit of concern about traveling in the snow. The good thing is that we're traveling on I-5 the whole way. And since our appointment isn't until 10:00, we have some time to work with. But, for those of you who pray, please pray that road conditions and Harv's symptoms/side effects do not keep us from moving ahead on schedule.  And, while we're praying for that... please pray that his counts never interfere with the schedule. (Well, for that matter, that NOTHING interferes... Good grief! We've got to KILL that cancer!!!!)

The girls:
Overall, I think all of the girls are doing well.

Sarah and Hannah are more internal and prefer not to process out loud (with words...tears come sometimes, though.) I've given all three girls a journal so that they can process that way if need be. My prayer for them is that they find some way to process that is healthy and real. (We do have some family counseling coming up.)

We haven't kept anything from them. They know what's happening. They don't like what's going on, but we're all moving forward. They're pitching in and trying to make things as easy as possible for all of us. And, I think they kind of like their "specialties."  All three girls are hand and foot masseuse's (is that a word?) every evening. Sarah has been focusing on the knot in Harv's shoulder and it seems to be helping. Hannah is an excellent "pill giver" to the dog (yes, the dog gets pills every day, too) which is a help to me... And, Celeste has been helping me with transportation, laundry and just getting settled. (They're all good at other things, too! ☺)

Celeste has given up a lot to be here, and while I think she's very happy to be here and would not do it another way, she's learning how to be away from her boyfriend (and vice versa) and how to be an adult in her parents' house... And, trying to get settled in a whole new place. She's familiar with Bellingham, but hasn't ever really LIVED here. So, now, she's discovering new things --- which is exciting and scary. Pray for her and Mario as they figure out how to be away from each other. (I think they're doing pretty well, but it's not easy.)


I think I'm doing okay. I see a counselor once a week. I like her a lot.  She's been encouraging and affirming.

I, however, struggle with my selfishness... 

I do NOT want my husband or children to have to go through this s&#*!   I do NOT...  

Those of you who know me know that I value alone time... There isn't much these days. And, the problem is, I'm also a control freak so it's not easy for me to hand over my job of mother, caregiver, dog-mother, chauffeur, housekeeper (though I'm not very good at that on ANY day), cook, dishwasher, etc.  And, the thing is, I don't want to contrive any alone time. I want the regular old alone time that I've always had... Harv goes on a short trip, the girls are at school, I come and go as I please during the day and then everybody comes back home.  Repeat every so often. As my girls used to say when they were little, "I wanna do what I wanna do!"

This is an adjustment for me. It's an adjustment that I am happy to make, but it's an adjustment. 

I remain hopeful. I have a real peace about Harv's health -- the end result of this treatment. I am not worried about that. My worries come with how he feels during treatment and how I can solve the problems. I'm not looking forward to (nor have I enjoyed so far) watching him suffer. [(Mind you, if I didn't think my mother was reading over my shoulder, I'd be using much more colorful adjectives to describe what I think of cancer.) I'm not angry with God. I'm just angry that there's cancer at all... I'm angry that ANYBODY has to do this. It's pretty stinky. ]

Anyway! ☺ We are doing what we can to make sure this cancer goes away. And, many people are helping us do it. We continue to receive cards, emails, gifts, secret packages left at our door, donations to SCCA, food, time with friends, entertainment for the girls... Emails/notes from friends we haven't heard from in YEARS, and just a whole lotta love in general.

We love you all.


Brian O'Hara said...

Carrie, I continue to marvel at your honesty during these times. Harv is blessed as are your daughters, to have you as a wife and mother, but we are blessed to call you friend. If you ever need anything please do not hesitate. I can't be there physically but I can in prayer and to help in any other way even if you just want to let those adjetives fly.

We love you as well.


Carrie said...

♥ to you Brian!

katyanceygilmore said...

You are so brave! All of you are so brave! Your family will benefit from all this openness and from sharing both the joy and the pain. It sounds like you are already a close bunch, but this will make you closer and stronger. I will hope all goes well for Harvey tomorrow, and that he has no side effects. So much of the side effects depends on the chemotherapy agent; the rest depends on the patient. But I have had friends go through chemotherapy for breast cancer (and likely a different chemotherapy than what Harvey is on) with NO side effects. One galpal lost all her hair, but that was the worst side effect she had (and she survived stage 4 breast cancer). She eventually had to have a mastectomy, but I will never forget our having lunch in Decatur 2 weeks after her surgery, and she was bald as an eagle and had had a job interview that day! (She got the darned job, too!) So you never know! My wish for you and Harvey and your family is that all your wishes come true! Meanwhile, you are an excellent writer! I am glad you are writing about this. (Did you work as a journalist, or do professional writing or anything similar?) I just came home from spending the weekend with my friend who survived the fatal crash at Thanksgiving, and another who survived a stabbing (18 times!) 11 days before Christmas. We all worked together years ago as journalists at several places. Bottom line: there is no substitute for love, true friendship, and honesty. You have all this in your family. All of you will be fine! And the alone time (from one who empathasizes greatly in this area -- and I am a control freak too!) ... right now, that is your therapy session. (Which
is great for you!) Best wishes for tomorrow. Xxxooo!

Carrie said...

Thanks, so much, Kathy! And, no... not a journalist (but thank you for that, too.). I was a teacher. Taught at Inman for a few years, too. :-)

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers..and encouragements.

Murphys said...

I totally understand your feelings about the lack of solitude and control of the house...Grace was home from school for 5 months last year, and I only (just) survived by getting up early and having a few minutes to myself then. Blessings on you and your team of caregivers.


Carrie said...

Thanks, Katy... It can, in fact, make a person a little crazy. ;-)

Betsy True said...

Thanks for sharing,'re in our thoughts here in VA. I hear you about routine time for yourself...and the prayer for pill swallowing help made me smile, I have that problem, too....


Annie Gage said...

Thanks for this thorough account, Carrie, I've been wondering.

Wamth and loving thoughts to you.