It was brought to my attention yesterday that I don’t blog here as much as I used to. It’s true and I was aware. I guess I tried to take a bit of a break from MM stuff, not that I ever got totally out of it. But, Tim has been off treatment for over 7 years and I was immersed in everything cancer when I should have been living in the moment and trying to live as normal a life as possible. Plus, I just felt like all I did was complain. It’s hard to find the positives sometimes. I can vent with the best of them and didn’t want this blog to be all whining all the time. So, here is what happened after our Halloween ER visit. Liv and Tim both had the same illness and had fevers. On Monday morning, after Halloween weekend, Liv’s went up to 104 and I raced her off to the pediatrician. I knew it was viral but was concerned because she’d wound up having her flu shot the very day she came down with a fever. Note to self: even if someone is well, don’t get them a flu shot if there is any illness in the house because they could already be coming down with it. Truth be told though, the only hint I had that Tim was even ill when we toddled off for her flu shot was he woke up that morning with more body aches than usual. Anyway, they checked her out and did a CBC to make sure it was not bacterial and sent us home. Unfortunately, Olivia has had allergic reactions to 3 major classes of antibiotics so this makes treating her very tricky. They are certainly not going to throw an antibiotic at a viral illness just for prophelactic purposes. She and Tim seemed to be coming around a bit by Thursday and then Thursday night into Friday, they both took a turn for the worse. Tim was up coughing by 2 am Friday and I could hear the change in the sound of the cough. Olivia woke up with 103 temp. So, we were off to the ER again for another chest x-ray and blood work. I also made an appt. for my daughter at the pediatrician. At the ER, they confirmed Tim now had pneumonia and I had to call Tim’s MM specialist, who said he had to be admitted. It was heartbreaking. Friday was the last home football game and senior night, so we were to escort Liv onto the home field for the last time in a ceremony for all the senior cheerleaders, football players, and band members. Tim was stuck in the hospital. Even his doctor felt awful about it but his white count had been even lower than normal at his last check-up and she did not want him going into sepsis or winding up on a breathing tube. I took Liv to the pediatrician while they got Tim admitted and her doc said her lungs still sounded clear and he was still not willing to try an antibiotic, knowing it was viral. He said to give it another day or 2. Liv was too sick to cheer that night, but we dosed her up with meds to get her fever down a bit and went to the game. I had Tim dialed up on my cell phone when they introduced us so he could hear but we were heartbroken. In front of us was a girl who was also being walked out by just her mom. Her dad, a man I knew well back in the day, died of colon cancer almost 6 years ago. One of the football players also walked out with just his mom and they announced “and his dad in spirit.” His dad just died of a heart defect a month ago while on the train to work. This poor boy has the same defect and has been unable to actually play for 2 years. They chose to have him suit up and lead the varsity team out onto the field for the final home game of the season. This tall, handsome boy cried while he did it. It was a hard night for many of us. Luckily my parents came to the game. It was a welcome distraction. I was near tears all night, just heartsick for Tim, and them being there helped me keep it together. The night was an awful reminder of what our lives could look like in the future. Tim stayed in the hospital from Friday morning until late Sunday afternoon on 2 different IV antibiotics. I called the pediatrician again on Sunday morning about Liv. Got the younger doc this time. She told me that if Liv had 104 fever and was rolling on the ground in pain, then she’d think she had pneumonia. Well, she was wrong. She had pneumonia. By Monday, she woke without a fever but it set right in a little while later. I called the doc and said, “she needs a chest x-ray, I don’t care what you say. This is 10 days with a fever.” They said she had to be seen. Got the oldest doc this time, woman who started the practice, and she heard something in the lower lobe of her left lung. We went to radiology place and sure enough, she had pneumonia. They had no choice but to use Levaquin on her, which Tim was also put on when discharged from the hospital. Meanwhile, this fever/illness also caused Liv to miss coaching cheerleading in the last 2 games of the season for our little league football program. 4 years/seasons of coaching and she missed the end of her last season. The timing of this damn illness just sucked. Now, she has one more game to cheer in for high school because we made the playoffs. (I doubt we will advance further) It is this Friday and her coach told her that she is sitting her out because she was so sick. WHAT?!!! She is back to school today and cleared for everything and you’re not going to let her cheer in the final game of an 8 year cheerleading career? So, we have to do something about that. I am trying to make my daughter stand up for herself, but, if she doesn’t, I am stepping in. She will be sitting there devastated Friday night, I know it, and there’s no reason for her to be out. She has not had a fever since Monday.
It has been a crazy 12 days. I have been taking care of 2 really sick people and trying to keep up around here too in case I come down with it next. I am TIRED. I have no family close by now. The sister who lived right in the next town has moved to Vermont. My other sister is an hour away. My parents are 45 minutes away and dealing with their own issues. My mom is losing her memory and my dad fell on the golf course in late Sept. and broke his leg, toe, and sprained his ankle.(who knew golf was a full contact sport) We barely speak to Tim’s family. And even if we resorted to that in an emergency, it just so happened that his sister and her husband were in NH on vacation and his parents went to see his aunt in Oregon anyway. So, here I was running back and forth from the hospital to home, trying to take care of 2 sick people in 2 different places. We did not go to the hospital where Tim is treated for cancer. We used the one in our town so I could stay close to Liv too. Tim goes for his blood draw tomorrow at the cancer center. I am afraid to see those results. This whole thing has made me worried that life as we’ve known it is going back to where we were in 2007 and ’08. Hospitals, chemo, and just utter fear and sadness. I cannot help thinking about the time we went for a second opinion in NYC after Tim’s auto transplant failed in 2007. This doc is friends with Tim’s original doc and is actually at our practice now. He told Tim he would not live to see Liv graduate high school if he did not take the risk of having an allo transplant. I resent all those negative things both he and Tim’s original doc told us. They were wrong about so much, but we had to live with the grief of those statements anyway and it was excruciating. Liv graduates high school this coming June. I have been pretty confident that Tim will prove that doctor wrong. But, this bout with pneumonia has reminded me that anything can happen at any time. And, I wonder if Tim is going to be able to avoid chemo until after then too. I just don’t know how he will be able to keep his business going and work like he does while dealing with chemo side effects and all those doctor visits. So many worries floating around my head. You spin your wheels trying to devise a plan and there’s just no way to know what will happen, so how can you plan? We are also consumed with making college decisions for Olivia. We have a few more tours to take and have to get her applications in. It’s just another whole basket full of worries in that department too, financial, logistical, etc. I am hoping she winds up at one of the closer colleges. I don’t want to force her hand, but, the thought of her being even 2 and 1/2 or 3 hours away is really tough when you have something like this going on in your life. And, there is no way I can get the thought out of my head that the time she spends away at school is time Tim will not get back with his daughter. And, God forbid something happens to Tim and we lose him during her college years, to not have her under my roof so I can help her and even know how she is doing is a petrifying thought. My old grief counselor would say to me, “don’t go there” but, try as I might, I do. As a mom, how could I not worry about that? So, that is the update. Hard to end this on a cheery note, ya know? I am exhausted and filled with worry about our future. It’s not a fun way to live. And, it’s also reminded me of all the issues with Tim’s family. His sister has been messaging me on Facebook “oh call if you need anything” etc. Tim said, “yeah, right.” It’s a shame that we don’t feel comfortable calling any of them. It should not be that way, but it is. There is no way to put that “Humpty Dumpty” back together again. His family is a bunch of self-absorbed cowards who backed out on us when the going got tough. The things they did to us, the things they said, the times they blew us off after saying they’d be there for Tim or watch our kid…….. there is just no going back. They caused more harm than good in our lives, for a long time really. We were on our own with this whole thing this past 12 days. I felt like wonder women really. You kind of power up and just do what has to be done. Then you kinda hit the wall when it’s over. Thank goodness our daughter is 17 1/2. At least she is old enough to be home alone. Thank goodness too that we have some awesome neighbors that I can call in a pinch, if we need them. The only way you get through all this is to try really hard to count your blessings. Some days, that’s harder than others. But, there is usually always something that you can dig up to be grateful for. Hoping this means we got this all overwith and will be healthy for the holidays. We completely missed Christmas last year and I don’t want that to happen again. Well, no rest for the weary today. I would love to go back to bed with a book, but, I have beds to strip, laundry to do, and bills to pay. And, I just realized Tim forgot his pee jug and I have to drive to his job and drop it off. Another day in paradise.