When I was about to head home yesterday, Kathleen texted me saying, “going to emerge, meet us there”. Its odd how the phrase, ‘going to emerge’ no longer elicits the same reaction it once did. Its the same with Kathleen deciding a txt message (used for messages like “C U @ 7pm ?”) was an appropriate medium for “going to emerge” 🙂 Reason # 823 why I love Kathleen. We can make light of a nurse saying she may have a fractured spine. Seriously. After closer investigation today, its doubtful, but along with herniated disc or a new tumor, a fracture was a possibility. The community nurse wanted her to get an emergency MRI. But talking with the Cancer center, we all decided it was not so urgent and that we should meet the pain team after the radiation in the AM to see whats up. Either way, she is in a great deal of back pain when she does pretty well anything other than sit in her chair. Can’t lay down, can’t stand, and its difficult to walk. This morning while getting her last radiation blast to the neck, she really had to fight throwing up from the pain.
We saw the Pain and Symptom team right after the radiation. They are really great and thorough people. As both Kath and I have managed chronic back issues over the years, we knew the drill and the types of diagnostic questions. We were all in agreement, its probably a disc issue, but the cancer spreading is also a possibility based on how dialed up the pain has become. It was a question of, is the MRI needed right this moment today, or in the near future. Near future. I really like this Doctor. Probably the most out of all the superb people we deal with. I have great confidence in their abilities, but I really appreciated him taking the extra time he takes to go through his diagnostic process. He took a good 5min to review all the internal debates he had in his mind while questioning and diagnosing Kathleen so that we knew he arrived at his decision with due consideration.
As for the CT report ? Its done. We haven’t seen it. Pain and Symptom doctor asked if it was ok that we talk it over with the main chemo doc who ordered the scan, as we would get the proper context. Kath said yes, that was OK. I would have rather seen it, but then again, I was the kid who at 4yrs old asked my mother what a mortgage was. I want to know, but I guess in my gut, we both kind of know. Expect the worst, hope for…. an extension? Yes, that’s what it feels like. Back in our university days, Kath and I could be awful procrastinators. I feel like I am hoping the doctor tomorrow will give us an extension. We eventually have to hand in the essay so to speak, but, um, Orville ate our class notes. Can we have another year ? 🙂
If this post sounds a bit grim, I am not doing the day justice. We laughed and smiled and invented a new religion in the Doctor’s office that Kathleen will lead (St. Kathleen, of the coordinated traffic lights). You see, she has a thing about unsynchronized traffic lights 🙂
As today was the last round of radiation, Jan bought some celebratory cupcakes! She is an amazing person our Jan. Love, support and friendship in good times and bad. We are lucky to have her here.
It’s absolutely heartbreaking reading these updates. I never know what to say. As Mike knows all too well, I often say the ‘wrong’ thing. It’s difficult to fathom what the two of you are going through. I keep hoping for the best, but like Mike says, ultimately it’s an extension. Of course for all of us, life is a finite game. We all come to an end at some point and always hope for a little longer. I hope you have a little longer to spend together. Make every moment count.
I feel privileged to read these posts and watch your journey from the sidelines. You both show such strength and a capacity to love. I wish for you that there was an inverse relationship between your strength and love, and your pain – if there was, the pain would drop dramatically. Sending hugs and wishes for a very very long “extension”.
Kathleen, you are so strong to make it through all the radiation! It kills me to know that it hurts you so much. You are always in my thoughts and I hope everyday for you to get better. I pray that you not only get an extension, but for you to be exempt from this whole essay and never have to hand it in. Miss you tons xo
Dear Kathleen and Mike,
I cannot believe all you are been through… and still you smile despite the intense pain and the set backs. You are in my prayers. I hope tomorrow will be a better day.
“Going to emerge”…..that brought so many images on the positive to my mind….going to emerge from this bubble….going to emerge from this… You are beautiful, you two. Warmth, and sunlight to you…stay strong as you are and keep that laughter in your hearts that you have. You are so very inspiring, can’t say that enough – you are truly wonderful.
love to you both,
Stacee and Isobel
Dear Mike and Kathleen,
Hoping for that extension, with lots of pain relief.
Dearest Kathleen/St. Kathleen ;-), Mike and Jan,
Your love, laughter and making the most of every day and every moment is profound and brings a huge smile to my heart. Another precious sharing both in words in this photo of tenderness and love between very special people. Love you all very dearly. Looking forward to spending some time with you soon. ❤
Hi Kathleen and Mike,
SJU is hosting Relay for Life this April. By participating, I can feel a little less helpless. Good video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzIHCZFHr0Q&feature=youtu.be
Hi Kathleen and Mike:. Thinking of you all day and sending WELL wishes. I hope that today you have had at least some comfort and pain relief. A big hug to you both.xxxxxxooooooxxx