Image by califmom via Flickr
I was tweeting (chatting) with an acquaintance on Twitter during Hubs’ second day of his first cycle of chemo. I made a remark about it being a shitty way to spend a Monday. She answered back that she new exactly what I meant, having just finished a 2 1/2 year stint of chemo with her daughter. I replied that I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to go through this with a child, but that I wouldn’t have been able to imagine going through this with my husband either.
You just find yourself in this position.
You don’t get to plan for it.
Or choose it.
Or imagine it.
And even when it feels like the weight of the world, you just do it.
She said she understood completely. That she was often asked how she did it, and she said, You Just Do.
Now, don’t go thinking I’m Martha Fucking Stewart. I am not. My house only looks decent because my parents, who kept all the genetic material necessary to be productive members of society to themselves (and shared a little with my brother), came to visit and worked their asses off weeding, organizing, cleaning, etc.
I keep things clean, and I have housecleaners who come every week to do the big stuff. Honestly, I’d rather spend my time with my family than with my hand in a toilet. I contribute to the economy. It makes me a smidgen less bitchy (every smidgen counts). It’s a good thing.
When I say You Just Do, I mean you just do what needs to be done. That means that priorities shift. It doesn’t mean that everything gets done. It means the most important things get done. It means that you make sacrifices, change your way of doing things, modify the “house rules” and find alternatives to favorite foods and pastimes.
Part of Just Doing It has meant developing into germ phobic freaks. Hubs’ white blood cell count is at the mercy of chemo. It can and will knock his neutrophils down after each cycle, meaning that he will need Neuprogen or Neulasta injections to help bring his counts back up. But, in that limbo period, he’s basically a dude without an immune system.
Since we’ve always been a rather healthy family, and shun the anti-bacterial obsession as overkill for those with healthy immune systems. This means my children are not accustomed to us being obsessive about anti-bacterial wipes, sprays, and excessive hand-washing.
Fortunately, they’re homeschooled. So, we don’t have to worry about what they’re bringing home from school, and Hubs works for the kindest people who treat him like he is family, allowing him to work from home as much as needed to protect his immune system.
After Hubs’ blood work results from today came in with low counts, we kicked into full GERM NAZI MODE. He goes in for the next two days for Neupogen injections which should bring his counts up within the next week, hopefully in time for his next scheduled cycle of chemo on the 24th. This is frustrating, because he feels great, looks great, but just has no flippin’ immune system.
Until then, we’ll be maintaining contact with the outside world via The Interwebs and techie stuff like that. Maybe I should add Monk to our Netflix queue.