I am writing this in complete darkness on my iPad on 3G.
How did we ever get by in life without 3G?
Now that treatments are over and we are "Out to Pasture" I finally made an appointment to get my hair done. Nasty looking roots and scruffy hair. Who am I these days?
I needed a three hour window between feeding tubes, bandage dressings, pills and just being "nurse" and was really looking forward to today.
To go to a salon and forget for three hours and be pampered. *sigh
My three hour hair appointment was going to be like Heaven. Escape.
3 hours in a beauty salon... New sights and smells and people becoming beautiful. Beautiful hasn't been in my vocabulary at all lately. I feel a mess. No feeding tubes or bandages or nausea here... As soon as my sister Karen applies the color to my hair and the foil wraps I take two minutes to call home.
The phone rings. I almost hang up worried that I will have woken him and sleep is so precious right now. It comes and goes for him in 3-5 minute intervals. The mucus is like the Spawn of Satan waiting there to choke or drown.
One more ring and I'm going to hang up and fly out the door foils and all and go check on him. I can peek in the window and just see and know he's alright.
He answers in a sad little croak. "Hello?"
"How are you? Are you ok?" I ask with a load of apprehension sitting on me like a brick bat.
"I'm fine. He answers back but I can tell, Something isn't fine.
"What is it? I can tell by your voice something's up, now spill it. Spill it now!"
I tell him with so much authority.
When did I become so authoritative?
He knows I mean business so he tells me.
"I found a lesion on my tongue. It's small but it hurts."
My heart just sinks and I swear I feel every foil on my head go limp.
A sore on his tongue could mean this stuff is spreading. Already? Treatment just ended on Monday. Does this and can this metastasize so quickly? Not going there. I am being and living and EATING positivity these days. Eating it for breakfast lunch and dinner.
"I'm on my way out the door" I screech into the phone. My voice so high pitched I don't even recognize that it's me once again in panic mode.
"I'm fine Lana. Just relax and then check it when you get back. I shouldn't have told you" he says so weakly into the phone, his voice so tired.
My day at the salon just turned not so fun and I asked Karen to step it up. It's finished and looks fine.
I race home. There is a storm brewing.
Big dark evil looking clouds fill the afternoon sky as I pull into the garage.
I run in the house throwing my handbag and heels to the side like they are enemies and get to work.
I check out this lesion. It's there but not as horrible as I had imagined on the drive home.
I will call the doctor tomorrow or as soon as this storm rages itself out. The wind is picking up and lightning strikes are everywhere outside. The world seems to be groaning in response to my fear of lesions and bad hair.
I set out to feed Henry his meal via his feeding tube. Sometimes I feel like I have a 3 month baby to care for, but as moms we don't mind feedings etc. It's what we do.
Te phone rings as soon as I flush the tube with water and shut it. It's my son telling me to watch the weather reports. It's getting worse outside by the minute.Sheets of sideways rain, hail and wind.
I run to gather candles and flashlights as the dark sky menaces and the wind howls.
I hear a limb crack off the 75 year old trees in the front yard.
The power flickers then goes off with a crack of nearby lightning then goes off.
My husband is pacing in circles and I can see in the dim light of the flashlight that he is looking the color of a rotten green egg and says he feels nauseous.
My cell phone rings.
It's my mother in law's nurse. Her oxygen is run by electric and the power has been cut off by the storm. Can I come next door and help her? The reserve portable tanks are there and full of precious air but she can't get them running.
Are you serious right now?
I can hear the hail as it bounces off the skylights. :Ping
Lightning strikes are coming faster by the second. The storm intensifies and so does my husbands nausea.
My husband is on his knees puking into the guest powder room toilet. The storm is raging.
Who and what do I do first?
This rescue of my mother in law's oxygen supply has been practiced and rehearsed many times by her in the last 6 months. She lives in constant fear of the power going out and her oxygen being cut off.
She will panic and I know it. She's 95 and very ill herself.
At 95 years old you get one thing in your mind and that's all that's there. Her oxygen situation. She dwells upon it.
I asked her once, "Sally, if there's a full on tornado going on and your power goes out, what do you want me to do?"
I truly dreaded her answer. She's 95 you know.
"Why Lana, you come over and get my portable oxygen going for me!"
Simple as that, huh?
Just open the door and do I run over on foot or drive my car? Which is safer in a tornado?
I check on my husband in the weak light of the flashlight. I give him cold washcloths for his mouth and get him settled back into his chair. He's ok just wracked by the heaves to his sore damaged throat and the newly filled feeding tube. Hurling with all that is so painful and traumatic.
I grab my big umbrella.
The storm has not let up one bit.
I brace myself, count to three and run the 200 yards to my Mother In Law's house. My new hair-do or the fear of lightning hitting the umbrella? I throw the umbrella aside and make a dash. Run!
Her oxygen is off, the house is pitch black and the girl we hired to care for her is scared to death. Of the storm or the lack of Sally's oxygen I don't know which.
Her hands are shaking. I can't see her face in the pitch darkness but I can sense her fear.
I get her oxygen running and do most of it by memory in the dark as the storm rages on outside. Done.
Now back home I race across the yard that separates our two houses to check on Henry.
He looks so wan and weak. Pale and puny.
Tomorrow we go for blood work and IV fluids to hopefully give him some pep in his step.
Still no electricity.
10:45 a.m. Thursday
We arrive at the chemo infusion clinic with no showers and half brushed teeth. Mussed up hair and yesterday's clothes on. All this from a girl that would apply blush just to go out to get the mail.
We sit in a private infusion room. No more 3G today as I write this down in my blog. The Chemo clinic has power!
My blog has become my lifeline to the outside of this cancerous world we have found ourselves dumped in to.
Storms are over.