Apr 07, 2019
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future
To a known God”
Corrie ten Bloom
My wife and best friend Eileen has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the esophagus. She has received radiation to reduce the tumor, and now has started chemo. This blog will give my thoughts, fears, prayers, and hopes during this challenging and difficult time.
Information! More information. Do this. Don’t do that.
Take this pill for this, or that pill for that!
Eileen received her first chemo treatment this week. Much explanation was handed out to us, explaining what will occur and what we have to accomplish as part of the process. The chemo appears to be very toxic, and care has to be taken to prevent problems. Eileen will use her own toilet exclusively in the master bedroom bath, flushing it twice when used. If any clothes are soiled, they have to be washed by themselves twice. She needs to drink 2-3 quarts of water each day, and try to take in 1500 calories each day, many small meals advised. The chemo is preceded by several drugs to prevent some of the side effects or allergic reactions, and the actual chemo infusion takes about 1-2 hours. She will receive this once a week on Tuesdays for three weeks, then have a week off, completing one cycle or one full dose. This is scheduled for 6 cycles, or about 6 months.
The chemo rooms are crowded, and at least 12 are given chemo at the same time. Most will hopefully fully recover, but that is not our path.
The next two days were difficult, but by Friday she started feeling better, and Eileen felt pretty good the last few days. Then on Tuesday we start all over again. We don’t know how the path will follow, but God is calling us step by step to this last unification process that we all will go through. Since her immune system is being weakened by the chemo, we are becoming more restricted in movements.
My own feelings are starting to stabilize, and I am helped by the many friends who have been through the same experience. Losing ones’ soul-mate is a challenge, but Eileen and I have discussed many times the simple fact that one of us will be the one left behind. That is how life goes. We spend about 30 minutes almost every day in meditation together, unless something interferes like leaving for chemo or another doctor appointment. Eileen had her head shaved last Friday, as we know that the loss of hair will occur over the next few weeks, and Eileen decided she wanted to be the one to take charge of that part of her life. As far as I can see, Eileen has a beautiful head, perfect oval, and I believe she is still as beautiful as when we were married.
God’s gentle love hovers constantly over us, physically realized by the cards and presence of loved ones near and far. Many send their prayers, and all are welcome and help create peace during these times.
My brother called the other day to tell me that my sister-in-law Mary has contracted viral pneumonia and is in hospice care. Mary is 96, has always been a vibrant person and a perfect foil for my brother, who has just turned 90. She is unconscious, and will transition sometime over the next week or 10 days from when I write this. I will travel to Ohio for the funeral, with one of our sons along with me. Other children will remain here to be with Eileen.
And life goes on.
My support and my guide, Your presence is clear during this challenging time. Your Love is vibrantly present especially as I find myself lost in this defining moment of my life. I trust You will support me through this, and will bring laughter and joy into our life all the way through and beyond. I breath Your love for us every moment, and it enables me to talk and explain when I am asked. This period of the “dark night of the soul” will bring me closer to Your presence as I mentally follow Eileen on this path.