Our two adult children were with me, at Merle’s bedside in the Cleveland Clinic Intensive care unit. We had been there for a couple days. There’s so much to say, but I can’t quite write about it yet. It has almost been three months and I still get these crippling memories. Today was the first day I read the opening page of this blog. The phrase, “they hurt me” sent me reeling. When I receive her autopsy report, I will try to return to this and fill in everything.
My wife of 37½ years has Pancreatic Cancer. We got the diagnosis Friday, July 10.
It flushed every other interest, concern, thought, or feeling out of me like a firehose enema of the brain.
Since then, we have had 1 endoscopy, 2 laparoscopies, 2 bile drain insertions, 2 CT scans, 1 new allergy (Creon), endless, interminable interrogations, near-constant exhaustion, and lots and lots of pain.
And the treatment hasn’t started yet.
Let me repeat, the treatment hasn’t even started yet!
Treatment (at the Cleveland Clinic) won’t begin until mid-August, right after the bile drain replacements and the “planning” CT scan. Treatment means radiation, chemo, and, finally, the Whipple. Then, I think, more chemo. We can hardly wait.
Let me explain this “we” I keep using. She feels the pain; I get the aftershocks; she feels exhausted; I do too, but much less so. I can hardly wait for her real therapy to begin; she’s ambivalent. (See “pain” in the previous sentence.)
Let me explain how this pain thing works. I think this was around Monday, July 20. She was squirting puss out of the bile tube in her belly. I realized that we never got the Augmentin that was supposed to have been prescribed when we left Ahuja Hospital the previous Saturday. I want to take her straight back to the ER for some IV antibiotic, which stopped when we left Ahuja.
She balked: “They HURT me.” Even now, I can hear the hurt in that “hurt.” Pain aftershock. And, let me tell you, I was powerless against it. If the puss hadn’t stopped on its own, I don’t what I would have done.
And, yes, that’s one reason the treatment will be at the Cleveland Clinic.