Several friends and family members have written to tell me that as a care giver, I must remember to take care of myself. Of course they are right, and I thought I was doing well at that. I’ve been eating properly, and I’ve been walking. I’ve been sleeping better. Writing this blog is a release for me. But yesterday I developed an awful sore throat, and my lips and tongue are covered with white, painful bumps. It looks like Nick’s thrush, and it very well may be. Why is it that I always seem to need my doctor on a Tuesday, his day off?
I’m back from the doctor’s office. It’s thrush. Thrush is not contagious. It’s typical among people whose immune systems are compromised, which accounts for Nick. Other people who commonly come down with thrush are smokers, denture wearers, diabetics, those who are pregnant or those under stress. Only one of the above applies to me. I don’t smoke, wear dentures, or have diabetes. As for pregnancy, as my daughter would say, “That ship has sailed.” I guess my body is telling me that it feels stressed. Each day is one day closer to July 15, after which I will breathe a huge sigh of relief that this “adventure” to destroy the cancer has been completed, and the recovery from the adventure will begin.
Those who choose the field of oncology are obviously very special. The people Nick deals with, including his doctors, nurses, technicians, and even the parking attendants, are warm, friendly, and cheerful, treating everyone with patience and kindness. I hope they all have ways of coping with the many stresses their jobs bring. They are unsung heroes.
Nick had a message for me to share with our doctor (we have the same internist, Dr. H.). Because of his weight loss, his cancer team has started talking about giving Nick a feeding tube. Nick wanted our internist to weigh in on that, no pun intended. Dr. H. had this suggestion: if Nick maintains his current weight, then he wouldn’t get the feeding tube, but if he loses any more weight, he would, even for just a few weeks. He is adding more Boost to his diet and asked for a full cup of milkshake last night. Thanks for that suggestion, Judy!
Nausea is complicating Nick’s desire to consume more calories. I just picked up a prescription for that. Also, Nick wanted his pain medication changed. Three trips to CVS today! The pharmacy techs know me.
All of you who have called, sent cards, e-mailed, prayed, and have sent positive wishes and offers of help to both of us are care givers, as well. Your kindnesses and caring mean more to us than words can say.