02/10/2016~ It’s Wednesday, and Jim is doing really well.
Jim started his third set of Chemotherapy on Friday, and finished the session on Monday and Tuesday. I found out that I could go with him and I went with him for the second session on Monday, it was only one and one-half hour. As an only child, Jim is used to doing things on his own; I understand this as an only child myself. The only reason I was “invited” to this session was because just before the appointment time he started feeling shaky, so I insisted on driving.
It is surreal to watch the nurses hook him up for Chemotherapy. He has a “port” inserted under his right collarbone because his arms and hands were so swollen (water), they could not start an IV in him. This “port” was surgically implanted and is connected to his heart and allows for any injection and also for any blood draws. The nurse plugs the saline and the chemo drug through the “port”, but first she had to “flush the port.” Jim kept telling me to go ahead and and go get a Starbucks coffee, downstairs at Kaiser, and I kept joking that he wanted to get rid of me; then the draw line turned red and I guess the nurse saw my face.
“Good, we have red. When we see the blood we know the line is clear.” I think I nodded to acknowledge her explanation and Jim told me to go get some coffee. This time I did not hesitate.
I was speaking to our young neighbor this evening. He and his adorable wife just had a baby boy and he was awed by this baby, that did my heart good. I finally told him about Jim’s cancer, and the genuine look of horror on his face re-enforced my feeling of trust in my new neighbor. I like them both very much, they are good people. He offered an unrestricted pledge of support and one that is truly appreciated. Then he asked the question I really do not have an answer to.
“How are you holding up?” I could have offered him the standard lie, “I’m okay, thanks for asking,” but my heart would not let me just give him a flippant answer. I felt his heart and he was genuine and I wanted to be as honest as possible. The only problem is that I do not know how I’m feeling or holding up.
“I do not know…” I looked at him honestly. “I am numb, walking through the fog…” He nodded in understanding…