Chemo update: Week 12—No treatment
Coming off the most promising weekend in between treatments we found out on Tuesday the 13th that Angela’s white blood cell count was once again below an acceptable level. My wife was obviously disappointed & frustrated but I tried my best to ease the blow by reminding her that all things happen for a reason. In this instance my in-laws were due to arrive mid-week for a 3-day stay so instead of witnessing their daughter’s pain they would now have a chance to enjoy her company without the nausea, aches & general sickness.
Other than being aware of the fact that my wife was ill things seemed back to normal until another meltdown Wednesday evening at which time she told me of yet another physical problem that she has been experiencing. This one was odd and scared me to death. As she was crying Angela went on to tell me that over the last month she has been passing blood & mucous through her bowel movements. I was paralyzed by her words because the immediate thought that came to mind was the cancer had spread however it wasn’t long before logic kicked in and I recognized a similarity between this condition & the condition with her tongue & membranes in the lining of her nose. Though I’ve been warned against researching information on the Internet I gained some sense of composure by confirming my beliefs through documented articles on credible Sites. Once my emotions stabilized I stared my wife directly in the eye & pleaded with her to never again withhold this type of info from me again. I reminded her that we are at the very beginning of what will be a five year journey so it is important that she learn to trust in me. I love her, I’ll take care of her & I’ll protect her. Still shaken by the emotion that cause the breakdown I’m not sure my message registered but I have it memorized and will not hesitate to repeat it over and over again.
The very next day I called the doctor to inform him of the new condition with the hope that he would just prescribe an antibiotic or some medication that would eliminate what I suspect to be an infection or inflammation of the bowel or digestive tract but instead he prescribed a colonoscopy. It’s not what I wanted because again this introduces the fear of the unknown which in this case could range from a simple side effect of the chemotherapy to something that is life threatening. When we started this journey we knew there would be ups and downs but in my mind I planned out in a manner where the downs were minimal and certainly not life threatening.
Today Angela is watching our youngest play ball. While I worry that the long trips to and from the field deplete her of needed energy I know that this is an activity that puts a smile on her face and drives her to live.
So this week we push onward and pray that her new problem is related to treatment and easily cured with the only lesson being the importance of disclosing every new symptom immediately to the doctor or a confidant.
I barely recognize pain or stress in my own body & mind because I witness real pain & real stress every day that my wife has to manage. This woman is my hero. Love you Angela!