Hospital Sleep aka How to Solve This Pesky Cancer Problem

Is the worst for everyone involved, but it beats being apart. Because the sleep I get here on my trusty little cot is so uncomfortable, I do less of it. Way less.  And my brain chooses to operate at well above its normal 8% max. Just call me #Limitless.  All of that action going on up there you would think something of value would emerge. Nah. That’s way too easy. Instead I’m only allowed to ask one question. 

How do I stop people from dying from cancer?

Heavy, right? I know, but that’s it. That is all I’m allowed to think about (that and the plot of True Detective 2 – what are they doing with that show?!). I Mull over. I Agonize. Just that one question. And it truly haunts me.  Colorado was wonderful and I am beyond thankful for the experience, the break, the escape, the people, the memories…the weather. Please don’t take where this is going as unappreciative. But, man, it didn’t solve my problem. Our problem. You know, the global pandemic. Yes, Our problem.

I know in my conscious brain that cancer is a plague on all of our houses, but it feels increasingly singular as time goes by.  We’re so quickly approaching the anniversary of Trent’s accident and diagnosis (Aug. 10, for those keeping track) and I only ask my questions about this disease in one way:

What can I do?
How can I help?
How can I do more?
How can I be effective in this thing?
How can I solve this?
Where can I find a cure?

I am ineffectual at best and borderline helpless. I feel like I’m in the neighborhood of a great thought but for the life of me, and my husband, I cannot remember the address. And when I take a chance – ding ding – hello? Hello? Are you there? Nope. No answer. Cool. And this happens, over and over again. Torture. Just like reading this must be for you. Torture.

See? One basic question. Really only one. But no focus. Just tangents and no progress.
I know. I’ll pray. Please don’t tell me to. And I’ll be patient. And I’ll think positive. And I’ll keep smiling. And I’ll stay strong. And I’ll cry when I need to. And I’ll talk to somebody. And I’ll make time for myself. And I’ll get some rest. And I’ll exercise. And I’ll do yoga. And I’ll breathe deeply.

But not one of those things will give us a cure for cancer. If you’re motivated by this at all, help. Like, the BIG help. I want to do more. I want this to be more. But I think I can’t do it alone. There, I said it. I cannot come up with the cure for cancer alone. I’m so glad I got that off of my chest.

Now, what are WE going to DO about it?

*Trent is resting relatively comfortably now, between the nurse checks and medication every 2 hours or so. He’s been very very quiet this round – so take that for what it is. He’s normally a very animated talker. So, we’ll say this, it’s August 5 and chemo still sucks.

**The author would like to make you aware of the fact that she is running on less than optimal sleep and there is no need to Google phrases like “cancer psychosis” or “survivor’s guilt” or “what to do when your friend is rambling nuttily in her cancer blog at 4am” or even “True Detective 2 (it’s too late and that thing is beyond
saving).” She will be fine. However, she has requested that you give the aforementioned piece of writing some serious thought and get back to her with your ideas, as long as they don’t include anything included in paragraph 7. That’s just not helpful right now.

***Last freaking set of stars. I promise.

For those of you riddled with caregiver angst or even if you’re “looking for a friend” I found a great website tonight to help with some of the crap. The Caregivers Space seems to be a pretty good spot to work some stuff out, and it’s not just for us crazy cancer kids. It’s for all who care.

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Posted by Adrienne Gibson
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Our Trip

I’ve been needing to post for a while, but I’ve been pretty content with life, believe it or not. Trent had some growth in one of the lung nodules (it doubled in size), but the rest are pretty stable – so I’m pretty stable. I think he’s coughing more, but who knows. I keep that to myself.  That’s too much right now. So, we just keep moving along.  No chemo has been wonderful and believe me no one is talking about Monday, when he goes back. It’ll be the second to last round of adriamycin/dacarbazine and the last round I will be able to stay with him for.  If you read this and feel like you might be able to volunteer your relief services at home, please do. It makes it easier for everyone. I don’t feel the guilt of 1000 mothers for being at the hospital and Mom will be able to breathe for a few seconds here and there if we have a few extra hands on deck.  That’s a Monday – Thursday stay next week, Aug. 3-6.

Yes, we’ve been dealing with some family stuff with our oldest kid. No, we did not kick her out of our home. If you know us at all, you know that’s not possible. She’s 18, has decided not to play volleyball next year and will be attending ACC to pursue nursing. I’ll repeat – she’s 18. We love her in spite of 18. Those of you who have prayed for her and thought about her and reached out to her – thank you. She will consider your advice some day. Parenting does not stop because you have cancer.

Colorado. What to say? It was AMAZING and we had the absolute best time. Really. The air. The view. The drive. The time. All perfect. We took 4 modes of transportation from the airport alone, so Gav was beside himself.

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Our limo ride to the airport was a nice touch, but having that same ride home was priceless. Lily was understandably excited about that.  Our Austin airport experience could have been better, but such is life. Mom completely enjoyed herself in first class and we definitely had to play catch up once we landed, if you know what I mean. The boys were great on the plan and Lily got to sit by herself, so everyone was happy. We ended up with a new Suburban as our ride once it all shook out and it was perfect. Comfortable and big enough, great for mountain passes. We now want one.

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Altitude took some getting used to, but we over came. Trent didn’t say 2 words about not being able to breathe until we got back to Austin (he knows better). He pushed himself the whole trip, and I know somethings that we did we very difficult, but he never showed it. He’s so tough. I want to be just like him when I grow up.

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I would put a picture of him here, but none to this point are appropriate (he and the boys were naked for the first morning we were in Denver), so here is a non-NSF Denver morning pic. Beautiful, cool, mountainy, no humidity, legal marijuana. You know, everything you could want in a city.

I am being summoned by baby screams, so it looks like this blog with be in 2 parts.

Coming up – numerous serendipitous encounters with Steamboat locals, Fish Creek Falls and late night talks. Stay tuned…

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Posted by Adrienne Gibson
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