Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Personal Update

I don't normally post just outright updates about my life. You know, the day to day stuff. Don't know why ... I guess because I figure it's not that interesting to most people. But I haven't done a good job at responding to some great comments people have recently left me and I'm feeling numb and sad and need to share.

That said, this is a total personal thing and so you are warned if that's not your thing.

David (my husband, who had open heart surgery almost three years ago to replace a heart valve and repair his torn aorta) had his yearly echo cardiogram and he asked me to come with him because he feared he might not get a clean check up. He's not been feeling well and he's lost some weight which are worry-signs for heart patients. Looks like his mechanical aortic valve might be leaking. I say 'looks like' and 'might be' because an external echo is not a sure-fire diagnostic tool and if it's leaking there is cause for great concern so they don't go into this lightly. While we waited a Marfans specialist at the hospital was contacted and plans for a transophogial (not sure on the spelling) cardiogram were made. We'll get the details tomorrow. They are hurrying - testing needs to be done in the next day or two. David is to take it easy because if the valve is not functioning properly then he is at risk for a heart attack. No karate, low stress, no carrying the boys, that sort of thing. I am worried, but of course trying to be brave. Whatever this is, IF it is anything, is totally fixable. I guess I'm just finally coming to realize that I am married to a man who is not well and will always have health struggles - big ones to boot. Anyway, more on that later.

Then this evening we got the results of my MIL's CT scans: She does have bone cancer and it is rampant. It is everywhere, her skull, her shoulders, her ribs, her arms, her hips and one leg. They are not treating the cancer, only the pain. They have alluded to the strong likelihood that it has already spread to her organs, thus the decision to treat the pain and not the disease. Not sure how much time she has, bless her but she and my FIL seem to have asked precious few questions.

She is 79 years old and such a good hearted, precious woman. I am heartsick.

Just as an FYI, so you know where my heart is, I lost my own mom to cancer when I was 19. My Dad also died of cancer a few years later. My sister and I nursed my mom at home until her death in her own bedroom. I know a lot about death by cancer and I'm just so sad for my MIL. My prayer is that the disease is so far gone that it will take her quickly. That may seem harsh, but I swear to you it isn't. If you've been there, you know it isn't. It would be the best thing for her, to go quickly and before the pain becomes unbearable.

So if I'm not my normal cheery self, that's why. I need to process all this weighty stuff and hopefully get some answers. Thanks for being my sounding board.