I find myself struggling to write a post, which is weird for me considering how much I like to talk. I spend a fair amount of time feeling scared, which seems to thwart the flow of words (although I was still able to come up with “thwart”).
Since I last posted, we have met with the oncologist and Ben has had his CT scan. We all know how that turned out. No need to rehash it. The poor nurse is still recovering.
The meeting with Dr K was on the 1st of the month, so we drove down to Vancouver and listened to an episode of The Fighter and The Kid while we were en route. Lo and behold, this happened:
What is this, you ask? This is a photo of Ben driving along and hearing Bryan Callen start discussing him (Ben) on his podcast. Yes indeed. That is what happened. Even better, when he was describing Ben on the podcast, he referred to Ben as “an older gentleman. Maybe 45 (yrs old). Maybe 50.” Bahahahahaha! Then he went on to describe how Ben’s wife looks about half his age and he wondered how Ben had ever been able to snag such a good looking woman. 🙂 Thats a lie. He barely mentioned me, and what he did mention he got wrong. But I would prefer to gloss over that part. You can listen to the podcast yourself – Ben can tell you in which episode it was that he was mentioned, and how to download it.
Anyway, we arrived in Vancouver and Ben made his regular blood donation, and then before meeting Dr K we did this:
Thats right …. lunch at Las Margaritas in Vancouver with The Son. It was good, but to be honest it was not quite as good as last time, and Zak ate most of the free chips which was a bit annoying.
From there we met up with Dr K, and slammed him with many questions / comments. This is what Dr K sees waiting for him when he enters our room:
That is in addition to myself, but I’m behind the camera so you don’t fully see what Dr K sees. Four of us, lined up with our folders and our printouts, and a zillion questions to go with each one. Dr K spent a lot of time with us.
On the up side, he commented how awesome My Man looked. It had been quite awhile since we had seen Dr K because he had been away for an (unreasonably) lengthy vacation, so he was pleasantly surprised at how good Ben looked. I’m fairly sure it is due to all the juicing I do. I spend a lot of time over that juicer, trying to get mega doses of vitamins and antioxidants into Ben. It seems to have made a difference. I mean, just look at him!
In any case, we did inquire about another clinical trial and the possibility of getting Ben into it. Dr K said he thought it would be a great trial for Ben if he qualifies, as there have been some positive results with different cancer types. He will look into whether or not the trial will take Ben. Then, as I do every meeting, I pulled out the rest of the papers I had researched and printed off the internet and handed them to him one after another. That part of the meeting went something like this:
Wendy: asks Dr K to look at her newest research findings and not to bother wasting time explaining the ‘why’… just give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether or not it is anything worth considering
Wendy: hands Dr K first piece of paper
Dr K: “No”
Wendy: hands Dr K second piece of paper
Dr K: “No”
Wendy: hands Dr K third piece of paper
Dr K: “study is too early to be of any help”
Wendy: hands Dr K fourth piece of paper
Dr K: “No”
You get the picture. Next time I’m going to throw some pics of naked women in there amongst the pages, just to see if he’s actually reading them. Haha.
We discussed the fact that Ben was having his CT a few days later, and came to the agreement that he would not phone us with the results. Rather, Ben would show up on the 5th of the month for Part 1 of chemo Round 4, and then we will return on October 13th for Part Deux of chemo Round 4 and we will have Dr K paged so he can go over the results with us.
I gave Dr K some instructions. (a) do not give us bad news without having a follow up plan ready to go AND (b) give us good news. (insert lame laugh here. Along with prayer. “Please, please, please God … make things right so we get good news”)
We returned on October 5th for chemo. That looked a little like this:
That is a picture of Ben getting chemo whilst listening to The Fighter and The Kid podcast, whilst wearing The Fighter and The Kid t-shirt. He posted that first picture on Instagram and Brendan Schaub (other half of Bryan Callen) reposted it on The Fighter and The Kid Instagram page, and then it got 549 likes! And a lot of prayer and well wishes from around the world. Like this:
You will note that the last comment in the last picture comes from Ben who says he WILL NOT GIVE UP THE FIGHT!
After chemo we went home where Ben had some girl time …
…. and then got very tired and full of pain. Agony, actually. And his shitty chemo reaction that is like having the flu … he shakes and shivers and can’t get warm, and the shaking makes him hurt all over. Nasty, vicious cycle. On the advice of the lovely Joanne Johnson, I went and purchased him an electric blanket. By the time I got home he had stopped shivering and it has yet to be used. BUT it will be ready to go on Tuesday after Part Deux, Round Four chemo.
The next part of this story is not a lot of fun, so I will gloss over it in one paragraph and just type the key words and phrases. Pain. Suffering. Unable to walk. Needs a cane. More pain. Pain at a 10 out of 10. Many emails and phone calls to doctors. You get the picture. And then suddenly, it stopped. And Ben had about 2 blissful days with very manageable pain levels and he no longer needed the cane.
Now, the pain is creeping back. As I type this, Ben is upstairs in bed. The pain seemed to be manageable when he went to bed. Whether or not he is able to sleep is anybody’s guess. I’ll wait a bit before crawling in beside him so that I don’t disturb him if he is sleeping.
I had this made for him. An early Christmas present. And I gave it to him. I no longer believe in waiting.
It will be hanging on the wall as soon as Ben (or someone else) can remove what is currently on the wall and hang this in its place. (I have some metal cut outs on the wall in the place where I want to hang this and I cannot figure out how to remove the magnetic part). For now it leans against the couch for all to see when they walk in. I want it hung ASAP so it inspires Ben daily.
On a family note, Zak bought his first car and Ben got to help him do that. I was very, very happy.
I also wanted to mention how truly grateful and moved I am when people leave random messages letting us know they are praying for us. Kevin S … I know I have yet to return your call, but the message you left on our answering machine brought me to tears. Thank you. It not only made us feel cared for, it made us feel hopeful. Debbie…. you too with your facebook message. Thank you. I know I am not very good at getting back to people right now, but please know that I love the messages. I really, really do. They mean so much at a time where it is very easy to feel very alone.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Live with gratitude. Pray for good news about the CT scan on Tuesday.
Well, will you look at that. I guess I managed to write after all. Fear Be Damned!
For Heaven’s sake….hug your family. xox