A Mile (or a thousand) in the Shoes of a Cancer Caregiver….

IMG_0665I’ve tried tennis shoes for comfort and heels for confidence.

I’ve worn my slippers- and aloe infused socks. (Am I the only one skeptical about those? I mean really- Even if they were when I bought them- I use Tide- if it takes out blood and grass stains- I’m thinking invisible aloe doesn’t have a chance.)

Somedays, I’ve just stayed barefoot- no time to bother with shoes.

Truth: it doesn’t matter what shoes I wear- these are hard miles to walk.

Last week we started a new path of treatment- chemo. This path holds a lot of unknowns, and preconceived notions. In our heads- Chemo= the worst thing ever. Every after school special is playing in fast forward in our minds along with every bad 80’s drama and House episode about cancer and chemo. It’s quite a show. A depressing scary show.

Those background fears do not make the list of potential side effects any easier to read. Nor- does the paperwork acknowledging all the actual  risks. (Apparently Cancer Centers frown upon denial. Something about informed consent or, other such nonsense.)

Hello? If you read that stuff you instantly “catch” both OCD and hypochondria.  You will vaguely experience every one of the side effects.

I read them- and: I swear- I had hair loss this week. (No lie. Hair- all over my keyboard.)

I’m not the one getting chemo. OY.  It may have been me pulling my hair out- because this is all just: hard.

Again it’s a lot of hurry up and: WAIT. Hurry up- start chemo. Now wait and see what happens. Will it work? How sick will he get? Will the meds work? How much hair loss?

No one can answer these questions but time and God. And God- while he’s making his presence known in the middle of this- is NOT sending detailed expectation checklists. (HE SHOULD.)

So we wait.

While we wait -we snatch moments of normal out of the fire of cancer and chemo. A lunch at Bob Evans. A drive to the cottage. (FYI: my driving prompted hubby’s first dose of Zofran. I’m awesome like that. He drove home. Yup. It was my driving.) Watching a storm. Watching the sunset- through a storm. (see pic) Watching Good Mythical Morning- because we’re all really 12 emotionally.

So far, the side effects (physical ones at least) have been manageable. Nothing like an 80’s medical drama or after school special.  Also- not like what we’ve experienced with family members.

But it still: sucks. We are currently waiting for direction from the hospital after a change in his side effects…..

We knew this would be a storm to walk through… and it is. But, much like that  sunset Saturday night at the cottage- we’re also finding the sun can make it’s appearance even in the very middle of a storm.

And that- is a beautiful thing.

Even here. Where the shoes I wear don’t seem to matter- as long as I keep taking the next steps….although- I admit I’m hollering a bit—– “Lord- we’re gonna drown!” I’m not the first one…

Luke 8:23-25New International Version (NIV)

23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”


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