Sep 22, 2019
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future
To a known God”
Corrie ten Bloom
My wife of 58 years (June 10) and best friend Eileen had been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the esophagus, which has now moved to the stomach. She has received radiation to reduce the original tumor (which worked), and has undergone chemo, which reduced or eliminated the original tumor, but the new tumor in the stomach requires a different chemo to slow its’ progress. This blog will give my thoughts, fears, prayers, and hopes during this challenging and difficult time.
Eileen has started the next round of pill chemo this past Wednesday. There is some slight degradation of almost everything: weakness is becoming more pronounced, and heartburn during a meal is becoming more common, but not every meal, probably averaging once a day.
The biggest concern is the continuing and increasing weakness. Especially during the early morning hours and a good part of the morning, she is often finding herself locked in position, unable to move without help, sometimes unable to stand without support, which makes it a challenge to go to the bathroom. She uses the wheeled walker at night, and that helps and makes it possible.
Our plan is to attend the men and women’s groups on Saturday morning, then after lunch go to our daughter Barbara’s place where we will stay that night in a hotel with extended handicap facilities. On Sunday we will attend the play that Barb is the assistant director and backstage manager in the afternoon (matinee), then head back home, about a three-hour drive. We hope to attend Mass on Sunday morning with Barb, depending on how Eileen feels.
We will be seeing our regular practitioner on the 25thto discuss the weakness to see if anything can be done to help. The Oncologist said all her vital signs look good, so there was nothing he could see to do from his viewpoint and expertise. Her weight is steady, as her appetite is fairly good, and she forces herself to eat at least a portion of each meal.
We continue to get cards and visitors, which always lifts our spirits. She is not in any continuous pain other than that from falling at times, so that is not a problem. Of course, my trying to hold her steady puts further strain on the shoulder that she hit during the last fall, which does not help.
This journey has been fairly easy so far, more inconvenience for all and frustrating for Eileen, who is used to marching briskly through life. I consider it a privilege to be given the gift to walk by her side, and we have been supported by so many of our friends and extended family. It is amazing to see the support from all, even total strangers who jump to help then needed.
Oh Loving Guardian, You who holds us gently in Your care, especially evident on this journey we are on. Everything we do is through Your gifts, and this part of life’s journey is part of life that all will tread. It is the time You give us to pull back from “things to do”, and attend to just ‘being’, that person who Your created us to be. We can see, indeed, that You will provide for us, especially evident during this time, but in all stages of life.