I cannot believe that it has been nearly a week since I posted. Monday was the only night that I was home after work. On Tuesday we had ward temple night. It was also RS temple night for the ward into which Beloved’s twin sons have moved with their families, so I got to sit next to the delightful spouse of the younger twin.
Wednesday was something of a mixed blessing. A friend of ours, who went through chiropractic school a year ahead of the children’s father, has specialized in nutrition. We were invited to attend a lecture on nutrition. Dinner to be provided. When we got there, midway through his presentation I realized it was a carefully crafted sales pitch. While I learned a good deal that will be useful about nutrition, and connected more dots about my own health challenges, I came home feeling Amwayed. And hungry, as dinner was heavy on delicious fruits and vegetables and light on the things that make me feel satisfied and full.
Thursday night was the meet-and-greet for Beloved’s family reunion, which might more accurately be described as genealogy-on-crack. These people have been seriously smacked upside the head by the spirit of Elijah! And I have already started making connections and friends among the women, some of whom are skilled needlewomen, one of whom is an intermittently-active member of the church (and possibly a relative of Robi; she has a lot of information on your maiden name, and I will try to connect you two via Facebook).
On Thursday, Beloved had big-chemo at the new facility. He was in and out in about four hours, as opposed to the all-day marathon at Parkland, and he came home with a plastic sleeve holding the business cards of [almost?] all of the personnel at the new facility. I will be updating my contacts list with that additional information. He did not sleep well, about two hours’ worth toward the end of the night, so he was already tired when Friday began.
He also brought home the news that we will be hearing soon about the clinical trial at M.D. Anderson. He should know by 11 July. We might be down there by 11 July. I will keep you posted as we learn more. I figure that if it is Heaven’s will that Beloved is part of the clinical trial, Heaven will also open the way for us to pay for it, as it will not be covered by my excellent insurance. I have no worries on that score, only hopeful curiosity.
The presenters yesterday were good-to-brilliant, and I now know
rather more about Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston than I was ever
interested to learn ~ there are connections with Beloved’s family to
both of those Texas giants.
My connection to Sam Houston runs more along the lines of
this. Can’t believe that that was five years ago, almost to the day!
Friday was lo-o-o-ong. Good, but long. We were both very tired; if he doesn’t sleep well, I tend not to sleep well, either. But I’m so glad we went. As I said, the presenters were worth the trip. We were not far from an In N Out, so we went there for lunch. The afternoon meetings were over by 4:00 or so, and we came home, and I made two batches of macaroni and cheese: one to my taste and a more traditional one for Beloved (so he could tart it up any way he liked, and mine would approximate my own preferences). He steamed a nice mess of spinach, and we had that and watermelon and grapes that needed to be eaten up. I portioned out the mac and cheese for future meals: blue lids for his, red lids for mine.
He was in bed by a quarter to seven, and at 7:00 he asked me to bring him the blanket that lives on the back of his recliner. He was shivering. I brought it. A few minutes later he asked me to bring him another. I added the brown fleece blanket. A few minutes after that he asked for more. It is June. In Texas. It was probably 90+ outside and in the mid 70’s inside. I put my quilt, doubled, on top of the pile and lay down next to him, outside the covers, and pressed my back against his. That helped a little. Finally I climbed under the covers, and the tremors began to calm down. He had been shivering so hard that I could hear his teeth chattering from out in my chair in the living room.
A few minutes later he was out in the kitchen, getting a drink of water and some pain relievers and one of his anti-nausea pills. And he was burning up. I did the back of hand on forehead thing and guessed that he was somewhere between 99 and 101. He told me where to find the thermometer. It was an old mercury thermometer and probably older than most of our children, and I couldn’t get a reading.
At this point I was getting concerned, so I grabbed the sleeve of business cards and called the oncologist, getting the answering service, which called back twice before the doctor on call was able to call me back. (They follow up on things at that office. Good to know.) The doctor had an Asian accent and a bad phone connection. Even after he called back from a different phone, it was still hard to understand him, but the upshot was that they needed a reading, and if Beloved’s temperature was over 101, I needed to get him to the ER.
So I got in the car and drove to the nearby pharmacy and bought a new digital thermometer with the disposable sleeves that I call thermometer-condoms. I took Beloved’s temperature:101.5, at which point I did not bother with the niceties. I just ordered him into his clothes and broke land speed records to the ER, which is right behind his PCP’s office and half a block from the cancer center.
I called Squishy and asked him to call his brothers. I called Firstborn and asked her to call her sisters.
“Do you want me to come?”
“I don’t know; it’s awfully far.”
“Mother [said in that tone], that’s not what I asked. Do. you. want. me. to. come?”
“Do you need me to bring anything? Food, books, anything?”
“No, I have my knitting, a couple of bottles of water, and some Lara Bars.”
“OK, we’ll be there in about an hour or an hour and a half.”
And they were. 1BDH came with her. At that point we were in the back. Mel and Squishy were there. Younger-Twin had showed up; Older-Twin was home with a very sick wife (bona fide influenza).
The staff took blood from Beloved’s arm and his chemo port, took a urine sample, and checked his temperature, which had dropped to 101.3; at this point Beloved kept repeating, politely, that he just wanted to get his temperature down enough that he could go home and sleep in his own bed. Which was what we all wanted. As we waited for lab results, 1BDH and Younger-Twin gave him a blessing.
Mel and Squishy followed us home, because I was starting to fade, and I didn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel. They went home with some tomatoes and lots of hugs. Beloved and I rolled into bed a little before 1:00am.
We will get the formal lab results back tomorrow or Monday on the blood work (he is supposed to follow up with his PCP on Monday), but there was no obvious source of infection. They gave him a sulfa tablet and a prescription for more. I filled that after dropping him off at the reunion this morning and was barely late myself.
This morning’s session was nearly as good as yesterday’s. We skipped the business meeting this afternoon in favor of coming home for naps, and we went back for the dinner session feeling significantly more human. Dinner was good. The entertainment was fantastic (country/western singer from Corsicana), and we came home.
It is now nearly 11:00pm, and I am teaching tomorrow, and I haven’t read the funnies, and I haven’t touched my lesson manual, but I really, really needed to write.
Oh, and I spoke with Middlest earlier today, who called to check up on us.
We have amazing children.
And I sure hope next week is significantly less interesting. That Chinese woman better watch her back, is all I’ll say...
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!