There is the usual list of grievances: gas prices, traffic, that blasted “check engine” light. (Dave’s just came on again. UGH.) Those are all annoyances that can be stressful, but the real reason I hate driving is because I can’t escape from my thoughts when I am in the car. I think and over think when I am driving. I don’t even have to be alone. The kids can be nattering all around me, but I am lost in my head.
Today’s thoughts centered around Dave’s appointment this morning. True confession – I don’t attend all of his appointments with him. I go to all the biggies but for the routine ones I tend to bow out. Dave prefers it this way. He worries that he is wasting my time by having me sit there with him and that makes him anxious. So, to keep the peace, I go when I am needed.
This morning was a routine appointment. His blood work was good. There is a tumor marker (CEA) that can indicate when something is amiss. This is the number that had elevated some and was the reason Dave had the scan in April which revealed new tumors. Dr. Spira has told us that it is not a great test, but it is another way to keep an eye on things. Today’s CEA was back to normal. Great test of not, this news feels celebration worthy.
Dave told me that he asked how long this cycle of chemo would be. He was told it could be indefinite. My heart sank when he told me this because I had already figured that out but was trying to protect him. Chemo is grueling no matter what, and I didn’t want Dave to have to think about it going on forever. When we went to Hopkins they told us that stable disease would be a good thing. That Dave’s cancer was aggressive. So it makes sense that as long as the chemo is keeping the cancer under control that they are going to keep giving it to him. I worry about how disheartening this kind of news can be.
Since I have been in the car a lot today, I’ve had plenty of time to refocus my thinking. I hope that I can keep Dave in this mindset too – that as long as the chemo is working, the cancer is not growing or may even be shrinking. There are new trials and ongoing trials which means more opportunities for him.
I know that I will be continuing to call on our village for help during those times when all of this seems frustrating or demoralizing. Distractions are welcome!