Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Times Three No. 9
Sheldon, Gilbert and I were talking about how Jacquie’s hair was starting to fall out in clumps and how it needed to be shaved.
Phone rings and I answer “Hi. Speak of the devil. Sheldon it is the devil on the phone.” ‘Mom you should shave your head. Auntie Renee is coming down with the shaver now.’
I walk in Jacquie’s room with the shaver in hand and ask if she is ready. I go ask the aide to get me scissors and I start chopping away. Jacquie keeps screaming for me to not go near her stitches. I tell her they are long fallen out and she is in good hands.
Gilbert comes down because Sheldon has gone for radiation and Gilbert takes the shaver and he starts shaving. Gil and I take turns and in the end; Jacquie looks beautiful. She is happy to have gotten rid of it.
Jacquie is moved to a new floor and has a run-in with an aide. I tell the aide “That she needs patience as Jacquie is going through a lot.” She tells me ‘She knows.’ I say “You know about her son?” She says ‘Yes, but that is not my fault.’ I say “Pardon me.” She says ‘I’m sorry to hear it but she doesn’t need to be so angry.’ I take a very long look at her and tell her “I have nothing further to say to you, we will be talking to the charge nurse.”
The charge nurse asks Jacquie why she can’t go for radiation alone without an aide since a family member goes with her anyway. Jacquie tells her that none of us can help her as she cannot move on the left side. This goes on for ten minutes. I pipe in “Would you be sending an aide with her if a family member was not going?” She says ‘Yes.’ I tell her “Than for all intents and purposes she is now to consider that Jacquie goes alone and therefore needs an aide.” An aide will be provided. And yes Jacquie of course we will still be going with you.
The aide comes in later and tells Jacquie that she is sorry about the way she acted.
Jacquie and Ben keep sneaking away from the hospital. Ben pushes her in the wheelchair to Angelique’s house where they sit and have tea.
Jacquie tells me that the doctor at the hospital that she has never met before prances in her room and asks if she knows her prognosis. She says no and then he tells her. ‘You have the most serious kind of brain cancer. You have what Ted Kennedy has. You will never get motion back on your left side.’ She tells him that she already has some motion and can move her fingers and is starting to move her foot. He tells her ‘The tumor will grow again and you will lose any motion you have gained. You have one year.’ She is shocked and tells him to leave the room and not to come back.
Things Jacquie and I talk about besides the obvious ‘Sheldon.’ Things I try to remember to say so that I can be here for her in her own fight with cancer like she was there for me. Things that can help us walk through the fire together.
Face the truth head on. Know that you have a life threatening disease so that you can fight it. Don’t deny it; that will only get in your way. Never look back, you need to apply all your energy to getting as well as you can so you can spend more time with Sheldon.
Commit to fighting even though you see no point anymore. If something can help you, than you need to do it. If it is unpleasant but can make you better than again, you need to do it.
This is your life and if you have questions than ask them, you are entitled to answers and if you disagree with those answers or they don’t make sense at the moment you have the right to ask again until you are clear. You are knowledgeable Jacquie and that is your greatest asset.
Like Nadalene always said to me ‘Save your fight for the cancer.’ We need to write down all of your medical support team. Know who they are and ask the questions again.
Believe in your treatment and in yourself. Don’t worry about what that doctor told you. You are unique and no one else is like you. You will live until you die no matter what timeframe that you are given.
Ask for and be willing to accept support that is given to you. This is a time in your life where you can be selfish. Let others who want to help you; help. You have limited life energy and you need it for Sheldon, Jennifer, Ben, and Gil as well as all of your grandchildren.
Everything about cancer is depressing, nothing more so than our dear Sheldon having it. The diagnosis, both yours and Sheldon’s, the treatments, and the disease itself are enough to make a person want to end it. But you are stronger than anyone and definitely stronger than you think.
Jacquie you must not lose your desire to live. Life is beautiful and you have many reasons for living.