Tad is in the kitchen doing the dishes. Dinner came after a leisurely afternoon with the two of us working in the garden - with him being careful to avoid putting his hands in dirt and to wash them well once he got in the house. After the dishes he plans on watering the orchids.
This burst of energy comes a little more than a month after the oncologist began introducing end of life language into our discussion and wondered aloud if Tad were "up for more treatment" or "ready to stop".
The medicine that appears to be doing the trick arrived after Tad did the footwork from his hospital bed to get it delivered -- footwork that, in my opinion, some healthcare provider should have done for him.
The result has been far fewer drives to the hospital to get blood parts (probably cut down by 300%), less fatigue, better lab results, less risk of exposure to any icky things on the planet and a general feeling of hope.
The downside has been ongoing, deep bone pains (the battle between leukemia and chemo plays out in bone marrow) which at times set off terrible, debilitating muscle spasms.
Chiropractics don't seem to work. The main remedy -on top of the mandatory but not-so-effective muscle relaxers and pain meds -- is lying down, breathing deep, applying heat and waiting for it to pass. This not always convenient when you're trying to increase the level of normalcy in your life. The pain spasms set off a downward spiral of discouragement, loss of appetite, and general disconnection from the world.
If anyone knows any good remedies - please advise. We're hoping to try acupuncture.
So here are the latest words of wisdom from the Oncologist/Oracle as of this last week:
1 - "You're sort of on your own with this new med - it's experimental and we don't have any data on this."
2 - "You have three options: the new med alone, the new med with half the old med and the new med with all the old med. Which do you prefer?"
3- Once Tad made his choice he replied: "That's probably the best solution".
4 - As he stood up to leave he said: "You're really tough" (the closest we've had to a pep talk from him in a good long time).
He also agreed - at our behest- to send a letter to Seattle to tell them to prepare for a bone marrow transplant. We hope to go up there for a consultation soon.
Yesterday we went to our vegetable plot to see how badly the weeds had taken over and to allow me to mentally prepare myself for the next Big Domestic Task. When we arrived we found not only that it had been weeded but that most of it had been tilled and one third of it planted in winter plants: broccoli, onions, kale.
I gently wept with a big dumb smile on my face, knowing which neighbors had kindly stepped in to offer us this gift.
As I go through this process next to my beautiful man I am less and less a believer in god. It seems quite clear to me that getting sick and dying is just one of the many things these bodies do. And when these bodies stop working, there will be nothing left.
Conversely what is also becoming more and more clear is that I experience an incredible mix of joy and tears when I see loving gestures around me, when kindness appears out of nowhere, when gentle support is offered.
And to me that is Godly.