Well, where do I start?
This was the month I will never want to remember.
I’ve been very hesitant about even talking or mentioning what I’m about to as it just hits too close to home for me. But, being that this is not my book but God’s, and that God is leading me in what I write, how I say it and when I say it, I feel I’m being pulled and tugged to finally open up about this latest surge of events within this past month, as difficult as it may be to describe.
Since last October, and probably longer, my husband has been ill. How ill I never really knew because he is the kind of guy that just doesn’t let on as to the gravity of the situation. He has always been my backbone and got me through many, many difficult times and things over our married life. That’s what husbands do, right? Right. And he is a gem of a husband and always has been. That’s why all of this is so difficult for me to handle.
It’s 2017 now and his illness I’m sure is since long before the start of 2016. But he refused to share any of it with me and kept me in the dark about it for a very, very long time. It wasn’t until he started experiencing shortness of breath and extreme fatigue that he finally decided to open up to me and told me he had to go see a doctor …. again another thing he never agreed to do … ever.
Well from August, 2016 til October, 2016, we were going back and forth to the doctor’s offices, having test after test done. We didn’t care for the doctor our primary doctor referred us over to as the doctor would never be open enough with us to let us in on what he (the doctor) thought his condition might be. Then when this referral doctor wanted my husband to go in for a bone marrow test, we raised our eyebrows, as we still didn’t know what we were up against. Being that we didn’t care for this doctor’s bedside manner, we began to search out other doctors that might be able to give us better care and treatment for my husband.
So we came across the second referral doctor and liked him instantly. He was very amicable, friendly and easy to warm up to, something hard to find these days. So we had this doctor run the series of his own tests over the months until he finally was sure enough to tell us that my husband had MDS, short for Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a blood cancer of the the bone marrow and its correlating blood cells created within the bone marrow.
The way in which we found out that my husband had “cancer” was by having this doctor’s nurse give us like six different books to take home …. each of them having the word, “cancer”, in their title. Nice way to learn that your loved one has cancer, isn’t it? Well, that put us into another whirlwind and away we went with his various treatments and chemos. I even have to give him shots for his white blood cells which I fought tooth and nail to have to do at the beginning and still fight the fact that this needs to be done by me instead of someone in the actual medical field. But this is due to the insurance we have. They’re the ones that are insisting I do it and not the doctor’s office.
He has since had multiple transfusions for his red blood cells and his platelets. The shots I was giving him were specifically to help his white blood cell counts. Then the race was on. He had chemo 5 days out of the month to treat his condition and, as time went on, his transfusions became a weekly visit to the hospital.
Then our doctor left the practice and we found ourselves having to choose another doctor. We didn’t know what to do. Husband chose a new doctor and he has turned out to be a much more aggressive doctor when it comes to wanting to administer new procedures and treatments with the chemo going to a 7 day jaunt out of every month. Well, that hasn’t started yet as this new doctor wants to perform another bone marrow test before beginning husband on a new treatment and care plan. And he has been pressing us to go for a consult with a well-known bone marrow transplant doctor out of Northwestern in Chicago, IL. My husband is definitely not on board for that, nor am I, now that we’ve had time to read up on what this transplant is all about. There is no guarantee if you have it and, aside from this blood problem, he is healthy everywhere else in his body.
My husband suffered severely from bone pain, aching all over, and the only saving grace he had was to fall asleep throughout the day to stop thinking about the pain. Then we had heard about looking into the marijuana plan available to people that had similar ailments as he did to help with the acute pain he was going through.
It took us a while but we proceeded ahead with getting qualified to have this marijuana and, within about a month from having initializing our request, we heard back and my husband had been accepted as a patient of this treatment and care. Doctor was all for this so we took a step ahead in the right direction. Then, as time went by, my husband was finally convinced that the pain was actually being helped by taking the marijuana. I finally convinced him that the whole reason to take the marijuana was to alleviate the pain completely so he could live a normal, healthy life. When that finally sunk in with him, he quit being a man living with his pain condition to a man that took the marijuana when he needed it to alleviate any and all pain and he began to perk up and was able to move around more than he ever did before. The pain was gone and he could now do little things around the house.
Then, in January, 2017, his mom got sick and we were at her side every day visiting with her. Found out she had Stage 4 Lung Cancer and doctor only gave her two months to live. She lived exactly that long. We had to arrange for where she would go after her week long’s stay at the hospital and found a wonderful Nursing/Rehab Home where she lived the rest of her days out. Needless to say, this stressed my husband out with his own condition, care and treatment which didn’t help his progress in fighting his own health conditions. Once his mom died, it was a matter of getting through the rest of the process, only he couldn’t afford to be stressed out so I tried as best I could to see to it that he tried to stay as cool and calm as he could possibly be under the circumstances. Now we had to move her belongings out of her apartment and wound up bringing it back to our home. Sad to say, I am still working through it all. Donating what I can to the Cancer Federation and others and determining what to keep or throw away.
Naturally, I ran out of gas through it all and, as of late, I have begun to lose it myself. Now if all this wasn’t enough, my husband started to bleed from his gums one night while he was watching his Cubbies play baseball. This is a common occurrence when your platelet counts are too low. He was scheduled to go in for his regular blood draw the following morning to determine where his blood counts were so he could start his chemo for the week if they were at an acceptable level. Unfortunately, we had a rainstorm the night before and the doctor’s office was out of power so no appointments and no blood work could be done. He was told to go home and wait to hear from the doctor. All the while, he’s still bleeding from his gums. Only he added to the condition by removing what the gums were trying to form, blood clots, to aid in the stopping of the gums bleeding. In other words, he made his condition worse instead of leaving it alone. So we waited for the doctor to call to tell us what to do and we wound up having to go to another hospital about 45 minutes away for him to get his blood drawn so the doctor could read his counts and see if he could get the needed chemo. While there, the doctor called and talked to husband and advised him to then go to the ER since his gums were still bleeding. That was a marathon for the rest of the night. We were there for over 8 hours with them trying to get his gums to quit bleeding. Find out later that all they used was a “numbing” compound and nothing to help stop the bleeding. They would give him an injection and then leave us for hours before coming back to check in on us. This went on for over eight hours and we were exhausted. All my husband wanted to do was go home and all they wanted to do was keep him there overnight. That was not an option in my husband’s eyes. So then they finally called our doctor to find out what to do and they finally checked his blood counts again and his platelets were critically low. You think? After over eight hours of bleeding, no, no way. So they gave him a platelet transfusion, removed a needle they were going to use from his other arm only to have that opening begin to bleed profusely as that is what happens when one’s platelet counts are too low. So they had to get that to stop. Finally, we got home. Exhausted and disgusted saying we would never go through that again.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, about 1 1/2 weeks later, we had another rainstorm and this one took out our beautiful, healthy tree in our front yard when it got hit by lightning. We have been working out the arrangements on all this since that time. Our neighbors house got more damage than our home did due to the way in which the tree went down. However, as I think about it all, had the tree fallen and gone through our front window, it could have injured me seriously or, quite possibly, killed me as I was sitting right in front of that window with headphones on listening to music while my husband was watching the ball game.
It’s been a roller coaster ride since then. And my husband can’t afford to get stressed out so I have had to do a pretty good portion of all that was needed to be done. From keeping the neighbors happy to arranging for the tree removal to working through it all with the insurance company in giving them what they needed. It hasn’t been fun and my neighbor wasn’t very nice. I understand now why as he was concerned about his home and the damage done to it but that still was no reason to take it out on me. I have found it very difficult to continue on with what is still needed to be completed and I especially find it very difficult to even carry on another conversation with this particular individual. I am just resolved to deal with the insurance companies and have no further communication with this individual. The damage was done early on when I was trying to keep things moving and progressing but that just wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted me to do things I had no control over and I couldn’t help him to understand that.
So when I say that “I can’t take it anymore”, I think you can understand. I have not been able to function properly with anything since all this has happened. I have hit the point of no return and the devil is just loving it!
I have prayed and prayed and prayed and cried and cried and cried. I just have not been able to function any longer. Enough is enough. In my prayers, I remember talking to God saying, “Why God, why?” and “How can I handle this?” and I have literally told Him that I can’t take it anymore. But, upon saying that, I immediately found myself saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” and that “God has a reason for all things”. I have gotten to the point where I find myself praying non-stop for help, crying out His name, “Jesus” …. “God”!!!! I have just lost it!
But what I have seen happen is God will have me doze off into a sleep where He deals with me and with what I’m going through. I have found myself waking up refreshed with a brand new spirit and a sense of having a new life. I reconfirm that I have surrounded to Him, that He is in control, and that I am totally committed to Him and Him alone. “My provision comes from the Lord” (and only the Lord). “He is all I have and that is enough”.
I remember talking to Him about knowing that “I am not of this world” and that “these are worldly ways” that “this too shall pass”, “that this is my temporary home, that what I see is temporary and what I don’t see is eternal”. Through it all over the last weeks, God has helped me through it as I knew He would and this has been a learning experience where I know God is preparing me for something yet to come. I keep believing that He is purifying, cleansing, prepping me for something but I don’t know what.
And then my devotion for today said that God is making me ready for a “promotion”. I found myself talking to Him about this, asking how I could possibly have a promotion coming when I can’t even handle what’s going on in my life now. But somehow, He does what only He can do and calms me down, making me feel better about everything, no exceptions.
All I can say is that with every new experience God is having me go through, and there have been many, I feel that, by experiencing them, I am gaining valuable information and knowledge as to how things need to be handled and that I will not handle these matters in the same way in the future. I will know better what to do, how to do them and what is needed as I am being taught right now how to handle all of this in the future.