The Face of Leukemia cont….

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Fast forward a few days…

From Friday through Tuesday we have experienced highs and several lows.  I could bore you with the day-to-day activities but really there is only so many ways you can describe helping your wife get up, put on her socks then carefully assist her with going to the bathroom. She has named her I.V. stand “Neberkenezer” and I have done my best to screw that name up each time she asks, because I know if I frustrate her to the point of laughing she is still fighting. It’s a little known combat tactic I like to call “Taming the Cuban”.

There has only been one major incident and that was Monday morning while I was returning from a short trip home.  Jacy decided that since the nurses were changing her sheets she would get approval to take a shower. Having felt pretty strong up this point our Superwoman gets the ok, has the I.V.’s disconnected and wraps her arm in cellophane as to not contaminate her ports. From what I understand it was the shower of a lifetime, warm cleansing, fantastic for a person who hadn’t been allowed to shower since Wednesday.  Standing in front of the mirror afterwards she felt a little dizzy, turning around to head out of the bathroom all she remembers is calling for Emma (another AWESOME nurse) as she collapsed and hit the floor. She awoke to an entire team of hospital personnel working one her. What woke her from this unintended slumber you might ask? It was a doctor screaming to his team member to intubate! She mumbled I am fine several times and everyone began to calm down. Jacy had encountered a bout of Syncope.

“Syncope (/ˈsɪŋkəpi/ sing-kə-pee), the medical term for fainting or passing out, is precisely defined as a transient loss of consciousness and postural tone, characterized by rapid onset, short duration, and spontaneous recovery, due to global cerebral hypoperfusion (low blood flow to the brain) that most often results from hypotension (low blood pressure).” 

Poor Emma tried to catch Jacy and when she couldnt she tried her hardest to get her onto the couch adjacent to the bathroom. When that didnt work and she couldnt reach her phone she had to hit the panic alarm, this signals “Code Blue” which is cardiac arrest in a room.  Needless to say the hospital sprang into action and as my wife put it with an embarrassed smile upon her face; “More people saw me naked in that one moment than have my entire life”!

Needless to say I walked in and was shocked! I looked deep into her eyes, with the obvious strain of a worried husband. held her hand tightly and with a slightly turned up smile said: Really! You couldnt have waited to get naked for five more minutes! Maybe I wanted to see some of that! Ohhhhhhh I get it, its all about the attention! What ever!!! Show off!! We chuckled, I hugged her, then she drifted off to sleep one more time..

The chemotherapy treatment is extremly hard on the body and even through the strongest of human beings it can desmate a persons desire to try. Jacy has kept a postive spirit even when she started feeling as though never getting up again was a viable option. These chemicals have a nasty way of tricking your brain into believing you are feeling better one moment then slapping you in the back, carefully holding thier mind altering thumb down upon you.  Its affectionatly known as “Chemo-Brain”

Jacy has slept more in the last week than in her lifetime.  Although this is a good thing as it allows her body to work really hard without her feeling anything it also leaves me at her bedside concerned.  Not for anything in particular but because I cant speak with her. Just being by her side isnt good enough for me, I have just enough medical knowledge to know too much and not enough medical knowledge to be satisfied.

The what is, the how too’s, ifs, ands, whys all running through my head like a runaway train. By ten at night my brain is so exhausted I cant form a ledgible sentence. So everytime she wakes, I smile, kiss her forehead, help her out of bed and walk her slowly towards the bathroom with Neberkenezer in tow.

We have tried daily to keep her walking as this is vitial to keeping her strong. Her distances are getting shorter as is her ability to breathe under exertion.  That is also hard for me to watch as we all know this wonderfully vibrant woman as the spin instructor, runner, horse rider, saver of all dogs, haitian children and all around go getter that she has become over the years.

Our family has been blessed with an outpourning of support from close friends, both of our work associates and the community as a whole. These wonderful souls have lifted what normally would weigh heavily upon my mind as I feel the love and support all around me. I could never have asked for a more wonderful community to have chosen to make my home.

I also have a different understanding of wants and needs. Its one thing to want things, another to need things, but to see somones ability to thrive unwillingly taken away from them makes all those personal wants and needs seem a little ridiculous.

As of Wednesday morning my wife wants to beat cancer. As of Wednesday morning I need my wife to beat cancer. My children need thier mom to beat cancer. My children want thier mom to come home. Our entire family and community need this wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, sister, and friend to beat cancer and come home.  I will settle for no less, she will settle for no less, I will stop at nothing to ensure this happens, I know she has the fight in her, I know in my heart she will triumph but in the end it really does make wanting or needing anything else seem pointless.

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