Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Health Update: Cancer and Quarantine

Cathy and Sonya, rocking the matching sweaters.
It's been a while; too long, in fact, and I sincerely apologize. 

We're all friends here, so I'm just going to dive right in. 

I'm not in a good place right now. About two month ago, I realized that with the stress of the recurrence of Cathy's cancer so quickly on the heels of the successful surgery, and the subsequent difficulty of Cathy's chemo treatments on her (and by extension, me) this time around, I had slipped back into a state of depression. 

I wish I'd caught it sooner. This self-diagnosis was a result of some tangential health concerns popping back up and me realizing that I'd not been addressing them like I had been before. Mostly therapy stuff, but also some physical symptoms, too. 

Man, this whole ordeal has just sucked. 

I've been keeping quiet because I haven't had any good news to report; only relatively less bad news. You know..."Well, Cathy didn't throw up THIS time around, so that's great." The dance of the backhanded compliment. Most of my energy has gone toward keeping Cathy as buoyed as possible, and there were days when I just couldn't pick up the pom-poms and be her cheerleader. 

We both agreed that the best thing to do was to put our heads down and run for the light at the end of the tunnel. We just wanted to get through with this junk as quickly as possible. By my way of thinking, all of the side-effects and extra medicines and monitoring for more serious conditions to develop wasn't worth it if the damn stuff wasn't working.

And then, back in February, we got some news that stunned us. Cathy had been getting regular scans to monitor the tumors in her abdomen. For two consecutive months, the results were the same: stable disease. That meant no growth, but also no shrinkage. Changes measured in millimeters increases or decreases that cancelled each other out. Son-of-a-Bitch. 

During the February meet-and-greet, we were told that all of the big tumors had suddenly shrunk by 50%. Talk about waiting until the last second. In one month's time. Cathy's doctor was encouraged and he made a quick change to her procedure for the last four treatments and sent us home. 

Then, with three treatments left, our insurance stopped working. See, they had to approve the change the doctor made, and it all had to get looked at again because we were in a new year. They kept us dangling for three weeks, holding up that third-from-the-last treatment. And when they finally okayed it, we were elated. Yes! We're powering through to the end...nothing can stop us now...nothing...except maybe a global pandemic. 

We were supposed to go last week, but Cathy developed an upper respiratory infection, you know, the thing everyone with a compromised immune system is worried about? Hence, no chemo. But we did get a Z-Pack and Cathy has been responding well to that. The only thing is, now that everything is locked down, we may be waiting EVEN LONGER for these last. two. treatments. 

So we are home, now. The theater is closed (at least until April 3rd, but you know...), and we are feeling that pinch. We're applying for SBA loans to help us over the hump, but who knows when the stimulus will reach us, if it ever does. I need some medical help, but I can't get it until the world opens back up again and we get to show movies and sell popcorn. And of course, I want Cathy's treatments over and done with so she can take a break. She's earned it. 

I'm doing what I can to keep my brain engaged, and I'm trying my best to stay calm and centered. It helps offset my magical thinking. I have had some welcome distractions of late, and boy howdy, I can't tell you how that has been almost like an intervention. If you want to see any of that stuff, you can check out the fun blog, Confessions of a Reformed RPGer.

I want to thank all of you who have reached out to check on us and ask what you can do to help during this time. We're not desperate yet; but things are tight, as I know they are for everyone. Nevertheless, some of you insist on being good and loving people, so if you want to pitch in, we can always use gift cards to both United Supermarkets and Wal-Mart. That helps us with food, which is crucial for Cathy. And of course, Cathy's Go Fund Me Page is still up and really the best way to help, if you are so inclined. 

We're going to get through this. And once everything has calmed down, I fully expect we'll need to have a nationwide Come-to-Jesus meeting about a great many things. But for now? Stay safe, check in, find something to keep your mind off of the news, and let's all just be there for one another. Thanks for hanging in, and checking in. I'll try not to take so long with the next update. 

1 comment:

jcrawfie said...

Hang in there Barbarian, keep treking. And keep your blade sharp.