I wish updating you again so soon meant I had good news. I’m sick of being so darn depressing. But I’m committed to seeing this blog through so if you’re on board keep reading – it’s not all doom and gloom (?)
So now we have an oxygen machine and a shower stool at home. Two innocent contraptions I’m sure but their presence speaks volumes. They make me think of old sick people and tragic times. But they are also our shoulders to lean on at present – in the case of the stool literally!
Last Thursday the cancer nurse happened to ring. She’s got a knack with timing, previously she rang on a day when Nige couldn’t stop vomiting and we were dreading another trip to A&E. This time his shortness of breath – or SOB if you’re up with the cancer lingo – was getting ridiculous. Yes, the phrase “son-of-a-bitch” comes to my mind too when I see “SOB” so don’t feel bad. To put it in perspective, going to the toilet leaves Nige short of breath and panting, but having a shower almost makes him pass out from the exertion as he’s so oxygen starved.
This time she did suggest we go to A&E. Sadly nothing in the pocket of her nurses’ uniform was going to get us out of this one. Nige was due to start chemo the next day (which we had already brought forward a week due to how bad Nige was feeling), and she was worried if he rocked up all grey and heaving for breath and stuff that they might delay it and he’d end up in A&E anyway, except it would be on a Friday afternoon. (Cue drugged up and drunk people in soiled clothes shouting and vomiting all over the place).
The guts is that his left lung is still pretty much a useless deflated hunk of flesh. His right lung isn’t compensating enough and so any small exertion leaves him gasping for breath. To add to this he may have had a slight infection, plus a new surprise last minute entry – he has blood clots!
As you probably know blood clots aren’t to be messed with so they gave Nige a blood thinner, an eye popping dose of steroids to decrease all the inflammation in his chest, and some antibiotics for good measure. All of this did help, and he was cleared for chemo on Saturday, and then sent home this Tuesday just gone.
The machines were there to greet him – “hi there buddy, we are here to help you, but at the same time confront you and your family with the news that you’re really sick”. Ugh. TBH I’m really glad stool and O2 are here. Anything that helps Nige retain some sense of independence and dignity as he fights through this latest battle is cool with me.
And he hasn’t got any worse physically apart from being bloody tired. So I’m clinging to that. Mentally it’s a different story, of course. How does one pick themselves up time and time again with no promise of a happy ending? Through love, hope and sheer determination. Through the support and energy of those close by. By some miracle. It’s probably a silly thing to say, because you could say what choice does Nige really have, but I’m so bloody impressed with this man. To grow into an even more incredible person amongst this cancerous turmoil. To make me love him even more for his love for me and his family, his guts, his awareness, his unwavering fight. He does have a choice, he could just give up, but he simply doesn’t.
Tomorrow is chemo No. 2 and you guessed it, I’ll be making another huge birthday wish. I can’t tell you what it will be but you might be able to guess.