I am starting to think of life in terms of B/c (Before cancer) and A/c (After cancer). I still refuse to capitalize the ‘c’. (Don’t worry…I’m still just as anal as I ever have been about spelling and grammar. This error is on purpose.)
The B/c and A/c works something like this: I find an old shopping list laying around and I think to myself “oh, I wrote that one B/c. Back when life was normal.” Or I’m watching a particular tv show and I think “Ben used to download this for me, B/c.” You get the picture. Probably not the most productive use of time, but its what life has become.
Last week was good. This week…not so much. The anxiety of waiting for surgery is taking its toll, and Ben seems to be having some side effects from the medication. He is really, really tired, which is good in the sense that he is finally getting some sleep, but not great when he is trying to take care of business and spend quality time with the kids and I before surgery. I emailed our GP about an hour ago to discuss the side effects that Ben is experiencing and inquire if we should be heading off to the hospital. Hopefully we are able to just go and see him today. Neither of us relish the thought of sitting in the hospital emerg all day.
We do not yet have the PET Scan results. Our oncologist is away at a conference on kidney cancer that ends today (I think) so we should hear soon. Like I said before – I don’t really see the point in finding out the results before surgery anyway. I hope he doesn’t call.
On the upside, Zach celebrated his 19th birthday on June 1st, and despite all that is going on, it made us very happy. Seeing how far Zach has come in the last year provides us both with a huge sense of relief and pride. Unfortunately, with that comes some stress and anxiety about how Zach will continue to handle all that is happening, and whether or not he will succumb to the stress he is currently experiencing and go back down that terrifying path he was on. He is surrounded by love and a lot of support, so we remain optimistic that will not happen.
Here’s a couple of pics from his 19th birthday BBQ. It was so much fun to have his friends over for a ‘normal’ time that we never got to experience in the past. The day Zach finally reads this blog, we want him to know how thrilled we were to host that party, even though Dad fell asleep (!). Beyond thrilled. It literally filled us with joy.
Here is a picture of the cake his friends surprised him with:
And some sibling love while he opened his gifts:
So that is three “A/c” birthdays down, one to go. (Mine was squeezed in there too, but turning 45 doesn’t have the same thrill as turning 19.) This blonde beauty turns 14 in a few weeks:
Tomorrow we have managed to get an appointment with a naturopath downtown. The wait to see this guy is at least 6 weeks, but they had a cancellation so we are in. Thank Heavens. This naturopath only sees cancer patients and he will work in conjunction with our oncologist. He is not cheap, and our benefits do not cover naturopathic treatment which annoys me to no end. (Turns out it is not cheap to get cancer in Canada. Who knew?) It is widely accepted now that there is a place for eastern medicine to work in conjunction with western medicine. We are so far behind the times here in Canada. Regardless, we will figure it out like everything else.
On Friday we will be at VGH for a consultation with the anesthetist and the nurses who will take care of My Man during surgery. I hope that Ben leaves there feeling more reassured. He is scared of the surgery. It causes me a lot of pain to see Ben afraid. I have discovered that when you love someone more then yourself, it actually physically hurts you to see them in emotional distress. I sometimes just want to spontaneously lean over and toss my cookies on the ground. I so wish I could take that away from him and carry the weight for him. If there was one thing I could do for him right now, that would be it.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 I try to remember this.
Just to add to the craziness that is the Saint-Onge’s lives, this girl finally had her long awaited appointment with an allergist who discovered that she has many significant allergies. She is now on a strict elimination diet (not so easy for me to monitor or prepare for right now) and therefore is very cranky. I don’t blame her. She basically gets to eat rice and canned peaches.
I look forward to the day when life is a bit smoother. Life without challenges is a bit boring, but boring might be nice for a bit! In the meantime, I try to remember:
We have hope, and in addition we have a LOT of love. So there’s that. We’ll get through, and then we’ll be able to enjoy “Life A/c.”
Love each other a lot.