options

two years

It’s been two years since I received the news that I had metastatic cancer. Prognosis was grim; still is. And the past five months have really brought to light the fragility in my health. I was stable for so long that my current state / situation is very frustrating.

what’s next

I know you’re all wondering what’s next. You’re not alone in that.

The seizures were a game changer, they really made me consider whether to continue working, go on LTD or retire.

So, how am I doing?

  • I’m tired.
  • I’ve got left side weakness.
  • It’s necessary for Vince to assist with personal care.
  • I still have bladder leakage.
  • I have balance issues.
  • I’m scared of more seizures / problems.
  • Cognitively, words between brain and mouth are deliberate and hesitant.

I am making an effort to work selectively and part time. But ensuring I am resting too (not an easy balancing act). I do need to speak to my oncologist and family physician about working. Permissions needed if I continue on the path I’ve set for myself: full time by mid April.

healing/health

Healing bubble; restore; recover – my go-to buzz words. [New buzz words: recovery; slow and steady; hope; perseverance; safety; naps.] In looking at my health and being honest with myself about my ability to actually work, it’s obvious that things have greatly changed. I need to make other choices, quality vs quantity (and hopefully achieving both) is finally entering the decision matrix. After considerable thought, I’ve made the decision to retire before LTD kicks in (which is July). Last day of work will be May 31, 2022.

work

I love my job and feel like I should continue / contribute more, but it’s about what’s best for me now, isn’t it? I’m not particularly keen on work’s sick / LTD plans because of constantly having to provide doctor reports to support being off. Finally, I’m not convinced I can return to work full time. My health took one heck of a hit with the seizures. And I have never been so scared as I was that day. Do you realize I’ve been in the hospital three times in five months?! If that doesn’t make you pause and reevaluate, I don’t know what will. Honestly, recovery is taking longer and the probability of more seizures is high. There is also the heart condition to monitor.

port-a-cath 

My request to insert a port-a-cath was approved. It will be inserted on March 29th. This will eliminate IVs for CT scans and MRIs as well as give lab techs a place to draw samples. Should have done this months ago.

oral chemo

  • I’ve had some nausea.
  • I’ve got appetite loss.
  • I’m fatigued as F*CK; naps are a must.🥱
  • Loose stools but not diarrhea.
  • Dare I say it? This time I think I had better side effects than the other rounds.

helicopter husband 

Not surprisingly, Vince has turned into a helicopter husband. I get it, but it’s driving me mental.

  • Where are you going?
  • Whatcha doing?
  • What was that noise?!
  • Are you okay?!

MAID

In the spirit of transparency, I want you to know I have signed up for MAID. I realize this is a hot button for some and only ask that you respect my decision; you don’t have to like it.

I haven’t given up, it’s an incredibly practical decision.

  • Not wanting family to sit by my bedside for days/hours on end.
  • Making our home a sanctuary for Vince and not a death place.
  • Allowing family to travel to say goodbye.
  • Having family here to support Vince afterwards with everything. 

Making the choice to go forward may be the hardest part.

more ER stories

I have two more stories from the ER for you.

sweet story

As I told you, I was unconscious when I got to the ER. Apparently as I came around Vince asked if I knew who he was, I answered: “You’re my Vinnieman”. Told you, sweet.

sweet old gal

There was an older woman in the cubicle across from me; she was very befuddled – didn’t know why she was there and she couldn’t retain any information. At one point she asked to go to the bathroom, the nurses told her she had a catheter and could go any time she wanted. Next thing I know, there’s a complete kerfuffle going on at her cubicle. Nurse says, “What are you doing?” and then “Why??! !” Small, quiet voice says, “I don’t know.” Turns out our lovely lady tried to remove the catheter.

5 thoughts on “options

  1. Love you so much. Glad you are doing what is best for you and taking care of yourself. As regards to hot buttons, who cares if they are hot buttons for others. This is about you and what you want. I fully support you 100%. If you need anything, I am here.

  2. Gayle, you have always been practical and considerate. I respect your choices and admire your strength. Mostly, I love your sense of humor amongst all that is going on. Be strong, my friend. Fly low so the helicopter cannot detect you 😉 Sending big hugs, Elaine

  3. You are a strong and practical woman my friend. The choices you’re making are practical and right for you and Vince and that’s what you need to do!
    Good for you for making those difficult decisions. MAID is a hot button item but working in healthcare and having a mother in law who keeps her DNR on her frig, I completely understand your choice!
    Hugs and love
    💕💕

  4. Gayle, you are such an inspiration. You’ve been to war and back over and over and you still keep on fighting. But you also have everybody else’s best interest foremost in your mind. I am sending you love and prayers for no more seizures.
    Love, Debbie

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