Yikes. I have so many things I want to write about today but I don’t want a 10-page blog post, so I’ll try to limit it.
I guess the biggest news is my husband’s CT scan results. They’re not good. In short, the cancer is continuing to grow, despite the chemo. He’ll probably have to go back on the Oxaliplatin again, which was the miserable drug he took for the first six months. It caused terrible neuropathy and made it so he couldn’t drink anything cold.
I hope that works but we have no guarantees. And I’m trying not to catastrophize but am not doing very well with that.
They also found on the scan that one of his kidneys has a blockage, which explains why his side hurts so much. I really hope he’ll get a referral to a nephrologist to get that drained, even though that would mean yet another surgery. And if he has to get another surgery, I’m not sure how he’d arrange that around chemo.
Then there’s his lungs. The “lesion” has increased in size. Though his oncologist says it’s not cancer, I’m not inclined to believe that, especially because it’s growing. J thinks he just needs a steroid inhaler to bring down the inflammation. But I’m not so sure that’s all it is.
I know he says that it was his choice to go off chemo anyway but I can’t help blaming the colostomy reversal for all this. He was healthy until he had that surgery. I know he minded the colostomy a great deal but I didn’t. It feels like he traded his life for the reversal and to me it wasn’t a worthwhile choice…but now what’s done is done.
I’m so worried about him. Worried that the fact that he’s getting sicker appears like it might really be related to the cancer, just as I feared. And while he told me recently to assume he’s got a lot of years left, suddenly I feel like that may have been very bad advice. I really feel like I’m watching the beginning of the end and it’s impossibly hard to convince myself that I’m just catastrophizing.
The second thing I thought of was Dylan. He’s already having a hard enough time with college as it is and if my husband’s health starts declining rapidly it will get even worse. I don’t want his entire future to be derailed.
Then of course, I thought about my own grad school plans. I obviously can’t go any time in the near future, if ever. Going to grad school would mean giving up my disability and access to my husband’s survivor benefits until I’m of retirement age—which means I have no income in the meantime.
Maybe I’m just not meant to be a therapist. But that really, really sucks.
J says to wait until next fall and he hopes he’s doing better and maybe I can start grad school then. But honestly, he would have to be doing A LOT better for me to begin a 2-year program and assume he’d still be alive at the end of it for sure, and I can’t risk having no income.
If I become a licensed therapist, I’ll be able to support myself for sure, but getting there is the real challenge.
Then there’s the fact that I called my dad for his birthday and we had one of the shortest calls we’ve ever had. One: he thought I was crazy to trust Dylan enough to make him an authorized user on my credit card, saying that I must really trust him (with a tone of disbelief.) Well, one, I DO trust him that much. Two, I want him to have access to it in case of emergencies. Three, I want to help him build good credit in his own name.
Obviously, my parents never trusted me in that way, so I had to build my credit from zero. I pay this card off in full every month, so Dylan can really start out well in life with good credit. My parents either weren’t concerned about that or…well, that’s the only answer I can come up with, really. They were more worried about protecting their credit from me than with helping me build my own.
I guess that’s the difference between growing up poor/working class and now being in the middle class myself. (For now I’m middle class…that may change.)
Then there’s the fact that I told my dad about the results of J’s CT scan—not going into a lot of detail, just saying that it wasn’t good and the cancer was still growing despite chemo. He got really weird after that and tried to get off the phone with me immediately!! So I changed the subject real quick. But it was still a much shorter call than most.
So he’s not going to be much support if/when J’s health declines. Surprise, surprise. The consequences of emotional neglect really never go away when your parents don’t want to change.
On the bright side, I kept up my streak with writing at Medium and wrote an article about parenting teens and I’m pretty proud of it, so at least there’s that. And I had the minor victory of getting my own tires replaced yesterday, which J normally does for me.
And Adam officially came out and asked us to call her Chloe and use female pronouns. That would have been a much bigger deal if not for the blow I felt on learning about J. But tomorrow I’ll make her a cake to celebrate coming out and hopefully will feel more celebratory.