Family Weekend, Social Security and Strange Bumps

We went to CNU for Family Weekend.  You won’t be surprised to hear that Sam’s room and bathroom at school resemble her spaces at home.  Luckily her roommate is equally untidy so it works out well!  We went out to lunch where I had to remind Sam that her cell phone has to be put down while eating.  I think it was kind of a weird weekend for Sam.  She is used to being on her own and doing her own thing.  So, it was probably strange to have to follow family rules even for a little while.  It was great to see her, and she certainly seems to have adjusted well.  I don’t think that she is getting nearly enough sleep (again, that would require putting the cell phone away), but she is doing well in her classes so I can’t really say too much.  We did a few of the organized activities, but I much preferred the time that we had on our own.  Sam stayed at the hotel with us so we swam, watched tv together and got to catch up a little.  

On our second visit back to the dorm, Sam’s roommate and her parents were there.  Although I had met the mom several times before and the dad at drop off, this was the first time the four of us really had a chance to talk.  The conversation naturally went to cancer and where the two dads are in the process.  Ken told us about his new treatment and the details of what he has been going through.  He mentioned that he had applied for social security and was sort of fast tracked since he has a terminal diagnosis.  He told us how sleep deprivation is a huge issue for him.  He ended by saying “It’s a heck of a way to live…actually it’s a heck of a way to die.”  We all laughed even though it is not really funny.  I think that it was good for Dave to have someone to talk to who totally understands.  After a while though, he had had enough and was clearly ready to leave.  

It seems that on my last update I spoke too soon.  Literally later that night Dave noticed that he had a few bumps near his nose.  It is not overly noticeable.  He looks like he has a few white bumps and dry skin.  However, the bigger issue is that it is uncomfortable.  He is experimenting with a variety of lotions and was prescribed something by his oncologist.  I think the bigger issue is that it is demoralizing, and I know that he is feeling a bit down right now.  On the drive home he asked me to look into social security – that he wasn’t sure how long he was going to be able to work.  I’m hoping it is a phase and that two upcoming trips will help.  We are also meeting with a counselor from Life with Cancer tomorrow night.  She has many years of experience working with colon cancer patients and their families, and I am hoping she can help us navigate this bump in the road.  I’m also hoping that we will hear good news when we meet with Dave’s radiation oncologist on Wednesday.  He could use some good news to lift his spirits.