Jun 6, 2006

Bad Day

Today has been the worst in a while…

The first part of the day went okay. I went out to NNMC for my daily Radiation blasting. It appears that phase two of the hair falling out has begun. I now have circles on the sides and back of my head where the radiation enters my body. In the circles the hair has stopped growing and it is also falling out. When I woke up this morning, my pillow was covered with hair from top to bottom. I also have a very dark and tender spot on the top of my head. Dr. Smart gave me some more ointment to try to make it feel better. After today I only have eight more treatments left. The last five are going to be doozies… they are going to make the field smaller to concentrate the radiation to a smaller area. This will deliver more radiation to the tumor site, increasing the chances that the tumor will be killed, but it also increases the risk that damage may occur to my brain tissue. Yes, there is a chance, but it is a small chance. I have to admit – I am very impressed with how I have come through this thus far. My muscle strength is still improving and my motor function is getting faster and more accurate. I was afraid that I would backslide, but to date everything has gotten better. I think that continuing my physical therapy early in the mornings and getting rest has been key to that. I have not plateaued like I thought I might – I am still getting better – praise God! I am going to keep pushing forward over the next few weeks, but will take the time to make sure I am well fed and rested. All of the commuting and appointments are wearing on me, but I am going to get through this. I am going to get back to how I was before – I will not give up.

So after RT, I grabbed a quick sandwich and headed to my Urology appointment. I was so short for time that I had to scarf down my sandwich while I waited for them to call me back. The doctor inspected the goods and everything is in good order. Dr. Williams ordered an ultrasound just to be sure, but it looks like all is well in the nether regions. My ultrasound is scheduled for mid-July.

After that I headed down for the follow-up hip x-ray. It was quick and painless and I just love the new x-ray technologies that are all electronic and do not require x-ray film. They have the results immediately, I love that. I understand I won’t be able to see an Orthopedist until mid-July. But I’m sure everything is okay in my hip too.

I finished up at NNMC around 1545 and metroed over to the AIM access studio to meet a friend to work on a DVD project. This is where the day started to go downhill. We began editing it at 1700 and by 1840 we had lost the project once and I managed to screw it up several times since I have not worked with the system in months. She had to leave to go to a church event, but that was cool since the editing was done. I just needed to burn the project to a DVD. I was hoping to get out of the studio soon enough to also make it to the church event down the street that started at 1900, but after trying to burn the DVD three times at 20 minutes a pop and failing, I was ready to pull my hair out (ha!) It turns out that the software doesn’t like only one audio track, known as mono. I should have copied the one audio track to the other track to make it stereo… duh! It would have been helpful to know that sooner. Dang, I guess it would have been even more helpful if I had asked for help sooner. One of the guys at the studio, Austin, came to the rescue and saved the day. Finally, at 2045, I headed over to the church fiesta with DVD in hand. When I got there, I discovered that the person that needed it had left, but I was able to pass it to a neighbor of theirs for delivery.

I was feeling quite famished and thirsty and was planning to eat at the event, but when I got there, I just didn’t feel myself. I was tired, a bit cranky, hungry and I really just wanted to go home. I talked to a few people and was trying to scope out a ride home. I sat for a while and surveyed the crowd, but in the end, I decided to suck it up and just get home to Holly as quickly as possible. I decided to just walk home. Walking home was a stupid idea, I should have called Holly to pick me up, but she had a long day herself and I didn’t want to bother her. When I finally got home, I was feeling dejected, famished, lonely and I melted into her arms, finally sobbing as the realization of the days events caught up with me. She scolded me for not calling her and I guess it was stupid of me not to. I guess I feel as if I am too much of a burden on her sometimes.

The final blow of the evening came quickly. I was supposed to bid and purchase something for her on eBay. I even went to the item earlier in the afternoon to check on its status, but in the confusion of my disaster at the studio, it slipped my mind. She was very disappointed and I felt horrible that I forgot. We spent so much time keeping an eye on this item and I forgot. She was frustrated and was feeling very pessimistic about the event that she was going to wear this item to. Our long days had worn on us and she went off to bed, I longed to hug her but it didn’t happen.

You know, this brain tumor is really tearing at us both. We have never felt God’s peace like we have in the past few months (Incidentally, the three month anniversary of my surgery passed with little fanfare on Saturday, June 3.) But, we have also had some fights and disagreements like never before. This thing that we are going through is wearing on us slowly. I feel like I should be doing more, but most days I feel I’m at my limit. I feel guilty for not being able to go to work. Things around the apartment that I take care of are falling behind. Some days I don’t want to do anything at all. I’m not sure how to handle all of this – all I know is that I want to get past all this soon. I keep looking at this and I think that it’s not that big of a deal, but it is. Slowly, over time, this is wearing on us. The stress, uncertainty, time, questions, it’s all adding up. I can feel the pressures of all these things welling up in me tonight. Maybe it is because I had a bad day. Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe it is time for me to take a look at this situation, prioritize things and take care of what’s important. First and foremost is my wife. She’s the love of my life and I hate to see her upset or disappointed. It has been hard for us to readjust to this new lifestyle, but we need to work better at it. Most of all though, we need to pray together about it more. Holly mentioned to me a few days ago that we are not praying together about all this enough. She’s right. That’s one of the first things that needs to change. Please pray that we can work to change that.
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