It turns out that Dr. S wasn’t entirely wrong. I think we can all agree that the last appointment was short of inspiring. Several of his comments have stayed in my brain over the last week including “At this point, some couples just live two separate lives.” I was angry over this comment at the time. Turns out it is kind of true. Not intentionally of course, but to a certain degree. The kids and I head off each day for work, school, time with friends. When we return, Dave is in the same place essentially. So when we sit down to dinner and discuss our days there is noticeable silence from one spot at the table. Dave is doing exactly as he said he was going to – rest, go to the Y, and “fight the cancer”. When it comes to dinner conversation though there is not much to say about that. He did rally this weekend and on Saturday went outside in the beautiful weather and hit some tennis balls with Parker. And Sunday he took her to her tennis lesson. But when I asked him to grill some steaks he said he wasn’t up for it. And yesterday he was back in bed again. I am not going to lie; it is depressing.
I have kept to my word and not mentioned work. I did suggest that maybe he set a time for himself each day that he would get out of bed, shower and get dressed no matter how tired he felt. Just to have some sort of normalcy and a chance for a more regular schedule. Also, when he commented how much his side hurt, I suggested that perhaps a change of position (out of the bed) might help. So, you can see me keeping my mouth shut entirely just isn’t happening. You can also imagine that he appreciated my suggestions. I just see him being more tired the more time he spends inert. At the end of the day though, if this is how he chooses to live his life, there is not much I can do about it. He is trying the increased antidepressants and has an appointment with a counselor tonight at the Life with Cancer Center. Hopefully, this will be helpful to him.
Another habit that Dave has developed over recently months is lying. Not great giant earth-shattering whoppers. But stupid little white lies. Mostly to get me off his back or to duck out of doing something. In his efforts to avoid people, he tells them he has an appointment or treatment or has to take one of the kids somewhere. And this works well except when people reach out to me later and ask “how did Dave’s appointment/treatment/kid activity go?” And I respond with “huh?” and then “Good. Good. Everything is fine.” He does it to friends and family alike. It isn’t personal. He just doesn’t want to see anyone. There are a very few people who have broken through and now he is comfortable seeing and talking to them. I can think of three outside of the family. I have asked him to stop with the little fibs. I’ve asked him to just take the straightforward approach to excuse making – “I don’t feel well.” “I am tired.” “I am not up for it.” Say what you mean and mean what you say. Being honest gives people a chance to genuinely respond and be supportive. Which might be something else he is avoiding.