So here I am in the surreal world of cancer. My earlier post let you know that my wife has cancer. When she started having symptoms and we got the diagnosis, everything changed. And I mean everything. It is amazing how this happened. She started having breathing problems. Suddenly cold air makes her cough uncontrollably. Which means if she goes outside she has to have a scarf over her mouth. Even opening the door to let the dog out means a coughing fit if she doesn’t hold her breath. And holding her breath is hard to do since she has breathing problems. She can’t work. So our income has been slashed in half. And the bills are starting to roll in. We have insurance but everything we have done so far and will do in the near future costs thousands of dollars. Chemo is expensive.
Ann has hundreds of nodules in her lungs. They impede her breathing. So basically doing anything is now a lot harder than it was. Ann has always been in pretty good shape. She had a physical job. Running up and down stairs, lift heavy stuff, monitoring a boiler, driving forklift, etc, etc. Now, talking too much can leave her winded. It’s devastating. Everything about her life has become different. She’s taking loads of medicine for coughing and pain. She is using a nebulizer. She has to write down everything she takes, every time to makes sure she doesn’t overdo any med. She can’t vacuum the carpet with getting winded. Fifty years ago she’d probably be dead in a couple months.
We have a great cancer center at our local hospital. The Virginia Piper cancer center is known around the nation for it’s top notch care. Our local affiliate is excellent with great people working there. So chemo starts next week. In the mean time we are getting used to our new life. And getting used to the idea that my wife will lose her hair. That’s a tough one. A woman’s hair is important to her. It’s part of her identity. My wife has beautiful red hair and it’s going to be awful for her to lose it. But we are at the mercy of this horrible disease. It is now running our lives. We’re grabbing hold of whatever we can control but control is an illusion. You never really have control of anything. You just never really notice until something like this happens.
But we’re doing okay. We’re in pretty good spirits and dealing with this the best we can. Ann is amazing for the resilience’s she has. Her ability to accept what’s happened and deal with it is a lesson for anyone. She makes me stronger. And I love her.