This week, Mr. B’s sister bought herself a new Toyota Rav 4 SUV. Now, that shouldn’t bother me, right? I think what upset me was that she had a perfectly good car. It was a Toyota Camray with very low kilometers and was in very good shape mechanically. But from what I understood, she was at the dealership getting her car serviced and the draw of the new 2013 vehicle was too much to resist. Want vs Need?
We live in a society that caters to our wants. We are continually bombarded with advertisements that remind us that we deserve this or that. We are taught that it is ok to be selfish. Yet those of us that have loved ones with cancer want only one thing. We want a cure for cancer, plain and simple. This week has been a very diffcult one for me and Mr. B. Since I returned from Vancouver on February 20 I’ve noticed that Mr. B seems to be doing worse. He was not eating or drinking very much. Each week his blood tests showed that his kidney function was gettin worse and this just didn’t make sense since his M Protein numbers were coming down. In the past few weeks we’ve had lots of doctor appointments. The first one was to a kidney doctor who said that Mr. B might need to go on dialysis if his kidney function continued to deteriorate. Mr. B indicated that he did not want to do that. The doctor said that in light of Mr. B having the cancer, dying from kidney failure would not be a bad way to die. She said that he would just gradually go to sleep and not wake up. It was hard to hear him say that but I know how much he hates going to the cancer center for treatments. It’s been over a year of doing that and he’s just getting tired of it.
The next appointment was to his pain doctor. I was really upset by this time because I was seeing Mr. B’s condition continue to deteriorate. The doctor asked how things were going and I started to cry. I said that the doctors are each treating a part of Mr. B but no one was worried about Mr. B as a person. He was gradually fading away and I felt that no one was even caring. The pain doctor is such a compassionate man. He talked to us about the things that we have not faced yet. He asked Mr. B what life saving measures he would want at the end. He also asked Mr. B if he felt that the chemo treatments were working. He replied that he thought they were. Then the doctor asked me what I felt. I said I was very confused since his protein was coming down but the free light chains were skyrocketing. It just didn’t make sense to me. The doctor said that there were programs that would assist us during the end stages of cancer but first the patient has to decide to not accept any more cancer treatments. Mr. B is not ready to do that yet. I totally respect that but then it makes things harder for me because I’m left to handle everything by myself. :-(
During these past few weeks, Mr. B’s potassium levels have been very high. Usually we can get them down to a reasonable number with a dose of Kayexalate. But this week, after a large dose, his potassium actually climbed higher. On Friday I received a call from the kidney doctor saying that his potassium was going up and he wanted Mr. B to go straight to the hospital for dialysis. I relayed the message to Mr. B and he said that he did not want to go on dialysis. I then told the doctor that and you could tell that he was not impressed. He basically said that he couldn’t force him to come and then hung up. The kidney nurse called and told me to give Mr. B a very large dose of Kayexalate for the next three days and to go for blood work on Monday. I then spoke with the pain doctor’s nurse because I wanted her to be aware of what was going on with Mr. B’s kidneys. She was very helpful in getting me calmed down and helping me to form a plan if something happened to Mr. B over the weekend. Thankfully I didn’t need to call an ambulance but I do wonder how Mr. B is holding on. He looks so sick and should really be in the hospital but how do I force him to go right now? I know that he’s much happier being in his own home and sleeping in his own bed. He would be miserable in the hospital.
Later the same afternoon, Mr. B’s cancer nurse called. Seems that the pain nurse had left her a message informing her how sick Mr. B was getting so now she booked an appointment for us to see the cancer doctor on Wednesday. I just hope he is able to attend that appointment because right now I have my doubts. :-(
This past week also brought some very sad news. A young couple that we know have a 2 1/2 year old son with brain cancer. He’s been fighting for 212 days, but on Thursday he passed away. I cried so hard when I received the email about his death. He was such a brave warrior and he brought so much encouragement to many people. Rest in Peace, Cash.