Karen is still battling side effects. She still can't sleep. She's still with the bad hip and bone pain everywhere. I forget sometimes how much pain Karen struggles with on a daily basis. Even after all the painkillers there's always that underlying pain that doesn't quit.
I try to ignore how much caregiving numbs me. After a night of not sleeping because Karen isn't sleeping my patience reservoir is drained. Once upon a time when we were new parents we lived like this; bad, sleepless nights and zombie days. Our friend Teri noticed it the other day. The look of someone burning both ends of the candle. Besides caregiver I still have to take care of myself and get in a nap or some exercise or just the mountain of errands. I always mention how cancer needs a caring village and we are blessed with so many friends who have been attentive to all our healing needs. Teri came by yesterday to keep Karen company just so I could get away for the errands. Small things make a large difference.
It was thorcentesis day today so hopefully Karen's breathing will continue to improve. She had about 850 ml of fluid removed from around the left lung.
It must have been another bad and sleepless night that left me fuming first; by an orderly who wouldn't let me accompany Karen while she was to be changed to hospital johnny and their oxygen system. Usually if I'm nice but persistent it hasn't been a problem. I like to be there not only to help but to make sure everyone is gentle due to bones left extremely fragile from the cancer. After the procedure the recovery nurse was another authoritarian. It was past time for Karen to have some breakthrough pain meds which for the past five times the nurses have just asked me if I have her medication with me. Then I give it to her. This one wouldn't let me give it to her. She insisted on placing an order which had to be reviewed by a doctor (not even a doc involved with her procedure) and which finally arrived an hour later just as we were being discharged.
Argh..hospital stays and procedures can be good or bad depending on which people are there. Luckily our prep nurse who has been on duty during some of Karen's past procedures and the doc who also has done several of her procedures were great.
Photo- Teri Prestash - Karen and Bill with marbled paper from a recent Art Party
William and Karen - Karen and I have been married for 41 years. Karen's breast cancer has reached stage 4. This is what happens next.