Thursday, February 18, 2010

MRI: Buy One Get One

My guess is that MRIs are BOGO on Thursdays as Eric's 11 am appointment turned into more like a 1 pm appointment. Radiology was popular today! Believe it or not, we are actually getting the MRI for free as Eric is part of a research study. We'll take it.

MRI--CHECK! We don't have the results, yet, but I imagine we'll get more information tomorrow after his PET/CT scan and surgery appointment.

My father escorted Eric to his appointment today as I was getting a massage. I know what you are thinking--how dare you!?!?

I had scheduled a massage before the cancer hoopla and, well, think it was in Eric's best interest. I didn't start this fight in the best shape. Yeah, I started running again, but nursing all night and having a newborn and toddler in general has sapped my reserves. I try to remember this isn't about me, but I also recognize that I cannot take care of others if I don't take care of myself. My best friend CD and family got me the gift for my 30th birthday, and I had been drooling over the idea of someone working on my body for a long time--like years. It's amazing how quickly I went from drooling to feeling twinges of guilt today.

Here's how life changes when your husband is diagnosed with cancer. I go into the appointment and fill out a new client card. You are required to provide some brief health history. One of the questions is, "Please check if you have the following:" Wouldn't you know it? Cancer is on there.

Forever, Eric will have to check that damn cancer box. Enter: tears. Good thing it was the first appointment of the day, so no one else was in the waiting room.

I met my therapist and she asked what the special occassion was that brought me in. I told her I had a baby 6 weeks ago, turned 30...and my husband was diagnosed with cancer this week. Re-enter: tears. Why did I tell her? I don't know. I have moments of needing to say it because it still doesn't feel real. Interestingly, she said, "well, we must both be having a tough week. My partner is in the hospital with heart trouble and just got a by-pass. I came in today just for your appointment." And then she gave me a big hug (I think I inhaled and coughed on some of her dread locks, which she took as a sign I was crying harder, and squeezed 3 seconds too long). She was wonderful, and if I can, I want to get Eric in to have some healing hands work before surgery. There is something about the power of touch (or the smell of our baby...and even the crusty nose of our toddler). Little things.

I came home to dozens of messages, recommendations, well wishes, etc. I now have a folder in my gmail called "CANCER SUCKS" and am saving each and every message to print out and put in a file. It is overwhelming to receive such support--but it also slightly hurts each time because it becomes more and more real.

I have decided to use this blog as the main vehicle for updating everyone. It's just too hard, physically and emotionally, to re-tell the same story over and over. I will not promise it will just be about Eric, but also about our whole family's response and journey. Sometimes, I may just focus on the boys because they are a huge part of our healing--of giving us strength (at the same time making us pull our hair out).

Signing off for today. With Felix sleeping on my chest like a cherubic angel, and Miles carrying on a conversation with Nana on his cheese stick, life seems pretty simple and beautiful. Here's to keeping it that way. Little things.

Thank you everyone. Please stay tuned--


  1. I'm going to stay updated via your I said in my email, B and I can and will do whatever you need. Fingers crossed for good MRI and CT reports!!!

  2. I like the last image you left us with. THOSE will be the moments that will get you through this :)

  3. Good for you for getting a massage! Sounds wonderful. Thank you for keeping everyone who cares about you so well-informed... Much love.

  4. I hope the massage was a small relief. I am thinking about you lots. Love.

  5. Honey, don't ever feel guilty about that well deserved and needed massage. You have a big role to play in Eric's recovery and need all the resources possible. A massage for Eric sounds like a great idea, too (typing with one hand while holding Felix so Grandpa can have break)

  6. Oh, and you two need to load up on food as much as possible before surgery. Eat up, Eric! You too, Alison!

  7. Ali, the literature on cancer says that caregivers are considered survivors too. I hadn't known that when Bob was in the thick of things this past year but it sure is appropriate and yes, you sure do need to take care of yourself as well. Glad you enjoyed the massage!

  8. Alison,

    You will realize, if you haven't already, that cancer is a family battle. You and the boys may not be going in for surgery, having radiation, getting chemo injected into your viens, but you are battling in your own way; and it is no less traumatic and life altering than Eric's experience as the patient.
    Try not to feel guilt for taking care of yourself. There are times when a 30 minute run will save your life - trust me on that one!
    The blog is the best idea, as we have saves you from repeating yourself and reliving the episodes you wish to forget.

    Thinking of you all and sending love your way.