After my husband’s week-long hospitalization, the diagnosis is Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow). We were surprised by the diagnosis and sought a second opinion. After confirmation, we immediately began his treatment two days a week. According to his doctor, he should receive the chemotherapy treatments for approximately four to six months, depending on his response. This chemotherapy treatment is quite fluid. The treatment started fine. Then, the side effects appeared suddenly and severely. The side effects of the treatment seem to be worse than the treatment itself. There are pills for the side effects and pills for the side effects of the side effects. No bueno. Pills, pills, pills. I feel like I’m living at CVS.
As time progresses, I see the effects of the treatment draining his energy. All things considered, he is in a good mood, but the lack of energy frustrates him, and me too, for that matter. Consequently, the tasks associated with my caretaker role are increasing daily. I thank God for giving me the strength and peace to endure this season. In sickness and in health… This too shall pass. This illness is NOT unto death.
During the middle of March, our landlord notified us that he wanted to remove the carpeting in our apartment and install hardwood floors. He said that we could “move out and come back” when the floors were done. Really? Seriously? Thanks, but no thanks. Prior to that announcement, my husband and I had already been discussing our need for more space, but we had not made any decisions. I wanted to purchase property. He doesn’t like New Jersey (he’s originally from Syracuse), so he did not want to purchase property. Back and forth. Forth and back. We took the landlord’s announcement as a sign to start looking for new housing, which was not a task that we needed at that time. We looked for rentals. He won…this time. We found a very nice apartment by the end of March, but we weren’t ready to commit.
Between Holy Week, the holidays in April and the seven-day hospital stay, we did no packing. The diagnosis, second opinion and beginning of treatment in May continued to delay the relocation process. When I came up for air, I called the leasing office about the very nice apartment. It was no longer available. However, an apartment with the same floor plan was available in another building in the complex! We viewed the new apartment and decided, that day, to apply for it. Also, the location of this second building is logistically easier to navigate than the location of the first building. Look at God!
Confession: Between working, packing, purging and chemotherapy treatments, I had no time for self-care. No gym. No formal exercise. I know. No bueno. We moved into our new apartment at the end of June. Boxes, boxes, boxes. There’s a Planet Fitness close to us, so we’ll be transferring our memberships. The new neighborhood is conducive to walking, running, etc. I just need a cool morning to exercise outside because summer has arrived with a vengeance! Although I am not a morning person, I’m willing to bite the bullet and get up early to get back to exercising. I haven’t been to the gym since April 22. We’ll see. We have a finished basement now, so I can exercise there when the weather is too hot or rainy. I just have to move a few boxes (books, books and more books) to carve out my “home gym.” I’ll be back in the swing of things soon. I’m looking forward to getting back to Nike+ Running and Nike Training Club.
Thankfully, I have employment where I receive paid sick and vacation days. Also, I can carry over days from previous years. It’s a good deal. On January 1st of each year, I am entitled to a new set of paid vacation and sick days. However, all of the new days are not available on January 1. I have to accrue them as the year progresses. In addition to taking time while my husband was in the hospital, since May, I have been taking off two days a week to take him to his chemotherapy treatments. So far, two paychecks have been for less than ten days because I had run out of paid days. One paycheck was for 8.5 days. Another paycheck was for 7.9 days. Ouch! Ouch! Not the greatest news. This made the budget TIGHT. But God is the God of my tight places. God has been providing for us. Many of the ways that God provides are surprising! My walk with God is always an adventure. God will continue to provide for us. In this I am confident. Also, my employer offers a Donated Leave Program. I am praying for God to move on the hearts of my colleagues to donate some time to me so that the budget will not be tight. I am looking forward to more new surprises from God!
How are things going on your journey of good health and fitness? What monkey wrenches have you seen lately? Please share. Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post, on the Facebook fan page, Tweet me or use the form on the Contact page. Be blessed. Remain encouraged.