It's Saturday Again...
and guess what? She pooped again! I found out because the doorbell rang and she yelled out "I can't get that because I'M POOPING!" There was quite a joy detected in that yell, too :) It was more than last week too. Quite a bit more. She says some pain went away with it, as you can imagine it would. As it was earlier in the week, the contrast between yesterday and today is like night and day.
I'm happy to see her "normal" - it makes me feel good, as opposed to when she's not good and I feel like it's time to "not feel" and simply do my job as caretaker, removing my emotions as much as I can from the situation. As the hospice social worker (Erin) and the palliative care doctor have told me, this roller coaster is likely to continue, and I just have to take it one moment at a time, as things can change that fast.
Still, as "strong" as I've been in dealing with the past several weeks, a small part of my brain won't stop thinking "uh oh...is this the beginning of the end?" when a day like Monday or yesterday happens. Again, it's not an all-consuming thought, and I am able to stay composed, but I cannot say it's not affecting me at all. Erin says it's like walking through a haunted house, knowing something bad is going to jump out, just not knowing when. I'm going to take this advice and do my best at not letting it affect me. Besides, I know all days cannot be good, and I'm not willing to give them all up simply to avoid the roller coaster.
I have an app called 'Pocket' where I can send things I come across on the web that I don't have the time or energy to read at the time. It strips out all the ads and other BS and presents it in an ebook style for reading later on my iphone or ipad. Well, months ago in my RSS reader (I'm such a geek to most of you, I'd imagine) was a NY Times opinion piece from their "Well" section - all health related news and editorials - titled Caregiving as a 'Roller Coaster Ride From Hell'. I sent it to Pocket based on the headline alone and ignored it until today. I should have kept ignoring it. Firstly, it is about women as primary caregivers for their sick or dying husbands. Second, almost none of it applies to our situation. It sounds like an entirely different type of roller coaster than the one I described. We have never had a bad or tumultuous relationship, so that doesn't apply.
While the op-ed piece was a waste of my time, for the first time in the history of the internet, a comment on a newspaper website wasn't. First comment, from Josh in Boston, reads:
On a males perspective there's a book written by Micheal Stalter called Still Have Faith that is the point of view of a spouse after caring for his wife who had breast cancer. I think it offers some great advice on what to say, what not to say etc. There are a lot of spouses out there who take great care of their wives during the challenging times. Here is his link.http://stillhavefaith.com/
Clicking the link gave me a synopsis of the book:
This is a story about a husband’s emotions, feelings, and struggles in dealing with his wife’s 17½ year battle with breast cancer and the 4 years since her death. Over this time period Mike had to deal with the deaths of other family members, raising his two children, his relationship with God, and rebuilding his life. It is a very compelling story written from a man’s perspective on how men think and feel in a very down-to-Earth style like it is being told to the reader by a friend.
OK, so I haven't had the kids part, but how he dealt with his wife's 17 1/2 year battle with cancer? Shit- that's so like me, we should go bowling! The ebook was $9.99 but he also put in an Amazon link for the Kindle ebook - $4.99 with a dollar going to cancer research. Sold. I will begin reading it tonight, alternating between that and another book recommended to me (more about that one as I read further into it).
Another comment further down referred to http://www.wellspouse.org/ which looks like a wealth of information as well.
I'm so glad I decided to go back to the article and read some comments rather than just brush the article off as "not applicable". It may turn out to be almost as good of a thing as Billy Jo pooping again :).
Which brings us to Billy Jo's "I pooped!" sticker for today :)
That's a pretty good birthday present she made for you, Taylor ;)