Sunday, November 02, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1075 - Day at a Time

It seems there are no superlatives left to describe times of pain. And it gives me pause as I wonder whether I am underestimating the pain that may yet face me.

Last night was...painful. Again, simply getting from the couch to the washroom took all my energy. There was dizziness and weakness as well, with evidence in low blood pressure, shortness of breath, clammy forehead accompanied by fairly low body temperature. The only relief was sleep. Bowel movements were too frequent and always the occasion for more pain and concern.

This evening, though, I relented and took a single capsule of oxycodone and was pleasantly surprised to feel better than I had all day long.

There were moments, too, when I was coherent enough to share my concerns about the course of treatment thus far with my wife, to share some of my darker thoughts about life with treatment, death and dying, and the courage required to face the future. I need to talk directly with her and my sons about such thoughts and concerns. Otherwise, the sense of isolation and loneliness can become overwhelming.

As usual, advice to take things a day at a time or even an hour at a time helps. Anything more is simply too daunting.

Unfortunately, some attention to the future is always necessary. So, I took the initiative. Given the difficulties of the past few days, it makes sense to cancel the trip to the Raptors game on Wednesday. Much as I regret being unable to take advantage of this wonderful gift from my employer, the event could become a disaster rather than the celebration we both anticipated. If I am lucky, there may be an occasion in the future, but that time isn't now.

As today ends, I have enough energy to say thank you to those who have written or called my wife to inquire. One person in particular demands my thanks. She pointed out, as a caregiver for another person suffering metastatic colorectal cancer, that what I am going through is probably not depression, just a natural physical and psychological response to a set of circumstances that may not be indicative of further treatment cycles. I hope she is right, but more than that I appreciate the insight and encouragement.

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