My lack of posts or updates are a direct result of the sickness in our household. After Sarah received her 4th round of the harsher chemo treatments, we were looking forward to better health, energy and a happier overall outlook. The next section of chemotherapy involves a different “potion” with promises of an easier recuperation. Since her last infusion, Sarah has struggled to overcome a hard flu and the house was wracked with her bouts of severe coughing and sinus problems. Her coughs are so pitiful and they don’t seem to be subsiding. She can’t lay down for more that a few minutes and spends her nights upright on the couch with a blanket. This is reminiscent of Sarah’s dear mother Isabel. She spent her last months at home sleeping in her chair. Is this the fate for my wife now? It has been nearly a month since Sarah and I have been able to sleep together in the same bed. This separation is difficult for me since I get so much comfort and reassurance from holding my beloved bride at night. Sarah is apologetic but it really isn’t her direct fault.
The time of sickness wears on and the matrimonial demeanor gradually and increasingly suffers. REALLY. Is there no relief to be found? Must everything be so harsh? The winter (and this season of chemotherapy) is just so brutal. As the days of illness turn into weeks, my trust in Sarah is tested. Can I believe her when each day I ask how she feels in the morning and in the evening how she fared during the day? Those who know Sarah know she is always an optimist. I absolutely LOVE that aspect about her. She can always find the upside and is a real joy to be around. Being married to such a positive person is thrilling. But her pat answers, “I’m feeling better than yesterday” & “I feel like I’m getting better”, make me question her sincerity. Is she just putting me on? Is she competent enough to accurately diagnose her health while she continues coughing and suffering each day? I’m at a loss because she has answers to all my challenges and seems to be medicating herself better than I could. I can’t think of anything else she should be doing except getting better.
Sarah’s two week recuperation period is almost over and yet still so sick. A slight improvement the day before her appointment worries me that they will put poison into my still sick wife. Each chemotherapy session thus far has been preceded with testing to make sure Sarah can handle another round. At the Cancer Center, Sarah has a coughing fit that draws the attention of those around her. Chest X-Rays determine she has no pneumonia but is still too sick to keep the schedule. I’m relieved when they decide that Sarah should wait one more week to get over her cold and regain her strength. I’m notified of all this via text because I’m at work wondering if I’m honoring my wife by my absence or if I should have been with her during this most difficult time.
My future sister Carrie, is with Sarah this entire time of her appointment. Faithful friend Carrie. She keeps me informed with regular updates during my deliveries. After Sarah is dropped off at home, Carrie makes a run for more pharmaceuticals. In her kindness she calls me to give me an update that just can’t be relayed by text. In her enthusiasm for Sarah’s care and during that momentary hectic period, Carrie voice relays her concern and plays into my heightened anxiety. Her forward style really is difficult to hear as the leader of the family and most of all as protector of my spouse. I fear I really haven’t been doing a good job since Sarah has been so sick for so long. Carrie probably needed to vent as well since Sarah’s condition is so full of stress. I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to be a comfort to these needs from another dear and well meaning friend. Later, after my shift is over, Carrie and I are able to revisit the day’s events and discuss without the pressing deadlines and customer demands that occurred during our earlier conversation.
The evening discussion I had with Carrie, hopefully one of many future opportunities, was quite touching. Her love for my wife is overwhelming. Her gradual growth into our family has been such a gift from God. Carrie is the first, and thus far most impressive, gift from this Cancer Journey. She is tremendous. One is usually slow to let others into the intimate inner confines that is reserved for only the closest friend or exclusive family members. I marvel at how God has brought this beautiful lady into our lives, to accompany Sarah to every medical appointment, to encourage those of us who are caring for Sarah and giving a kind ear for those who have fears and hopes and dreams for Sarah’s recovery. Sarah never really had a this type of close sister her whole life. She is nearly 15 years younger than her older biological sister. My brothers wives each have shared a good relationship and good moments with Sarah and I, but the immature bad girl persona just doesn’t fit Sarah. Privately Sarah and I discuss how much we love Carrie and are impressed by her. I was raised with two brothers and never had a sister. If Carrie becomes that unknown, missing element and addition to our lives, than that is truly a gift from God. Thank you most kindly Precious Lord!
Soon after Sarah is released from her schedule of chemotherapy, she starts to show gradual, actual recovery. In one weeks time she is well enough to resume and begin the 2nd leg of treatments with a less difficult potion. The medical professionals were unable to diagnose how Sarah could have treated herself any better or figure out if her issues was an air borne virus or a side effect from previous treatments. Ironically, Sarah has nearly fully recovered from her cold and I have caught it. My immune systems is much stronger than Sarah’s but I can see how difficult it must have been for her. Now it is I who sleeps in an upright position but fortunately Sarah gets the whole bed…..snore free.