Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This Is It

We arrived on Sunday. The staff on 4A presented My Handsome Prince with a card and some yummy goodies as a congratulations for treatment coming to an end. I have nothing for them but my eternal gratitude, appreciation and admiration for the job they do. Maybe I will pick up some donuts in the morning. 
Before he was admitted I asked him if he wanted to go downstairs to radiation and bang the gong after all was said and done. He said no though I am considering doing it myself. 
This round has gone pretty much like the others though it seems the toxic feeling comes just a bit earlier each time.  He was asked to participate in medical student training. A doctor brought in 5 students and proceeded to demonstrate how to get a medical history. She was quite thorough and even went beyond what we have ever experienced, asking emotional questions. These students looked like babies.  Pat was a good example with his long history, his ability to recall it all, and of course, his disposition. At the end, the doctor asked how, if at all, this cancer and all its consequences affected our girls, our life as a family since its been around as long as they have. My Handsome Prince looked to me to answer. I stated that it made us our strong unit, it defined us as to what is important in our lives, being together.  Our girls have been here every step of the way, not out of duty but of desire.
The last bag of chemotherapy ends tonight at 9pm and we will be out of Baltimore by 9am tomorrow morning. As I left this evening, I handed my ticket over to the parking attendant and said to him "I hope this is the last time" and his face softened with a lovely smile and said " I hope so too, I hope so too". 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I'm sort of falling apart. I'm doing all the things I am supposed to but only sometimes. I told My Handsome Prince how I was feeling lately and he said, quite simply, "if it were me you'd make me see a doctor", so I did. I am fine, physically. My sister called, she is my rock and I gave it all to her. I called my boss, my confidant, and I gave it all to him. I went to the beach today with my girls and my Man.  I am not quite there but making progress. I called a local reiki healing masage therapist and will set up an appointment when we get back from Baltimore (we leave tomorrow). Balance. My inbox will never be empty so I must stop trying to complete it.

I hesitate to publish this but the writing itself is therapeutic. Thank you (already) for your loving thoughts and wishes. There is not a lot anyone can do for either of us. We ARE good just have our moments when we don't feel so good. And that is ok.

ETA later today: why oh why do I not ride my bike more often?! Pure joy.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Home Again, Again

We are home again. After I finished knitting my sweater, I started a hat. The NP from the Tunnel Cancer Ceneter said when I finished the hat My Handsome Prince was finished. When she walked in yesterday she asked if I was finished, I said close enough and she said well he is too! The crash is so sudden as is the recovery. Our girls were home waiting for us, anxious to see their Dad. We started a movie together but neither Pat nor I could stay up. Fatigue set in.  Today will be a quiet day for him. I think he wants to meet up with his good friend Andy, hang with the girls, snooze with puppies. I'm up early and back to work. Ugh. I have gotten to the point of absolute dread. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just Biding Our Time

Well, while some numbers slowly improve, some decrease. His fever is gone. He is grumpy. Both good signs. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I got to the hospital late today. I wanted to go to the farmers market and get my cinnamon shorty. I got the last two. Everyone tells me to take care of myself but it is so incredibly hard to do and fills me with guilt. I know, my own problem. My Handsome Prince does not feel good. He has a low grade temperature, no white blood cells and neutrophils, and issues at both ends of his GI tract. That being said, it is all being addressed. Blood has been ordered as has Tylenol and some ointment. We will spend the afternoon and evening listening to a book on audible or podcasts, him snoozing, me knitting. And that's how I take care of myself, gathering the knowledge I need and sitting beside him. Oh, and knitting.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Well we didn't make it. By 5:30pm the fever hit. I made the calls, asked if it could wait but was advised to hit the local Emergency Department. So here we sit at Beebe, again, answering all the same questions, waiting for lab results, arguing about use of the port, wondering if it will take 7 hours to get a room, regretting not making the trip to Baltimore this morning. Dammit Jim!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Home Again

We busted out of Hopkins on Tuesday. It is Saturday now. At first, this round seemed to hit Patrick a little harder, a little more nausea, a little more fatigue. He is on some nasty antibiotics to (hopefully) prevent any infection. Our coffee table is littered with prescription bottles. Audrey and Robert came to visit for a day.  He helped put up our poolside umbrella. It's the little things that don't get done until somebody thinks to help and then it's, wow! I wish I had done that earlier! Everyone offers to help but I never know what I need and nobody can give My Handsome Prince what he needs. He always says he "ain't never gonna be right" in jest but occasionally I can see in his eyes that he might actually believe it. It's rare but real. Once I told him "that's ok, you are perfect for me".
We were preparing for neutropenia, packing up and going to Baltimore on Sunday. Beebe is fine but Hopkins staff is comfortable and comforting. They know us. They know his history. He doesn't have to repeat it a million times. 
But today, Saturday, is a good day. We have decided to throw caution to the wind, enjoy our time at home, hopefully enjoy some visitors (though someone will have to wear masks, whether it be them or him), and make the trip if and only if he gets sick.
The end is in sight, of the treatment, of the season, of my job. I try not to put too much into the end but some days I can not help it. I am ready.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Sounds like the surround sound of 64 people serenading for the last time
Smells like hand sanitizer 
Is named Paige, Chawann, Sue, Karen, Kim for this round
Tastes like a delicious meal made by Mom or Marie
Sounds like the laughter of family humor
Looks like the couple in their 70's holding hands in the long hallway of the hospital
Is the end of several things in sight and new beginnings

Monday, August 05, 2013

Round 2 or 5

We kind of scheduled this one ourselves. We had company coming that doesn't come very often so we wanted to ensure we had time to enjoy them. I also really felt the need to complete some things at work. On Friday, we left without knowing whether My Handsome Prince would be admitted or not. The thought of tourist traffic on Saturday or Sunday filled us with dread. We arrived in Baltimore without any problem. We called Hopkins every so often during the whole journey but never got through. While grocery shopping one of our favorite nurses called Pat and asked "where are you?! We are ready and waiting." And they were. Everything laid out, everything ordered.
This round has been pretty much like all the others, though the toxic feeling has come a little early. The girls have come to visit as have other family members. He will be discharged tomorrow. He has appointment with his orthopedic oncologist immediately following discharge and then we will hit the road for home. We anticipate only being home a few days before we come back. We have decided we feel better being in Baltimore should the neutrapenia hit again. It has been a regular cycle of 10 days after beginning chemotherapy. I hope my dog can handle that and not cause too much trouble for my Mom.
As usual I spend my days knitting, listening to podcasts and watching him sleep.