Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Day Without Ron Is Like A Day Without Sunshine

Don't panic, he is OK. This morning I put him on the train for the Comox Valley. Leanne needs a little help and Ron is just the guy. It will be good for Ron as well as being good for Leanne.

The day started out quite normal until we wanted to catch the bus to the train station. The bus was late. For any of you who really know Ron, you will know that he likes to be six hours early for anything. While we were not late for the bus, the bus was late. Back to the boat to get the car keys and off in the car we go. I delivered Ron in the nick of time.

How busy could the train be on a Wednesday morning, we had asked ourselves. Let me tell you, it was over full! It was chock-a-block with Q-Tips from the Berwick Old Folks Home. Ron had to sit in a make-shift area until somewhere north of Nanaimo. He was thankful to stretch out for a bit before arriving in Courtenay.

I have missed him since the moment I dropped him off. It was the start of a weepy day for me. The kicker was contacting the HR people to set up an appointment to explore and understand what options I have for time off. Everytime I do something to like this, it is another way to acknowledge what is really happening and I find that it is very emotional.

The good news is that I will drive up to Comox on Friday, after work, spend the weekend. Then Ron and I will drive home together.

We have plans to make and the reality is that we do not know what the future holds. If we are so hopeful for a long and healthy future then perhaps we will put off doing what should be done now. So... we have to work with what we currently know.

Two things coming up... a trip to the cancer clinic. The date is still unknown but we hope to hear this week. Next, we (Ron, Janice and daughter Meghan) will be driving to San Francisco. Meghan and I are participating in a NIKE half marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. We leave after work on October 13.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Husband

Did I ever tell you how wonderful my husband is?

Did you know that Ron tells me everyday that he loves me. This has been going on for fourteen years.

Ron sends me flowers just because. He doesn't need an occasion; every day is an occasion for us.

Ron has always encouraged me. I have always liked photography. Ron's encouragement and support has given me the strength to share my work.

Ron encourages me to be his sailing partner in every way. He is proud to say that I run the boat as much as he does. Ron is the best and most patient instructor.

Ron takes great joy in teaching me to change the oil; work on poopy tank hoses, clean the bilge, lay copper for the SSB radio, understand the solar panels and charging and much much more.

Ron is a great 'boat' keeper. He vacuums, dusts, changes bedding, does dishes and of course, much much more.

Above all, Ron is my greatest friend. We do most everything together - not because we have to but because we want to.

Did you know, we still hold hands...

From There To Now

All the medical professionals kept asking Ron when he was exposed to asbestos. We have racked our brains and cannot come up with an obvious answer. "They" say it takes decades for this type of cancer to manifest.

Thank goodness we have been active; running, walking and some would say forced marches. If it wasn't for activity, Ron would not have known there was a problem. You see, he has had no pain and no discomfort.

When Ron became short of breath he said it felt more asthma like. It took two weeks to get in to the doctor. Ron thought she would prescribe an inhaler for whatever was ailing him. Not so. Dr Lewis immediately sent him for x-rays. Within no time she had the results to Ron with the instructions to immediately go to San Pen Hospital. He had fluid around his left lung.

After much waiting at the hospital, three litres of fluid was drained from his lung. This had to be done before a CT scan could happen.

Here is the timeline: 11:00 - appointment with Dr Lewis, 11:30 - x-rays at hospital; 1:00 results from X-ray; 2:00 I arrive at hospital; 4:00friend Ken takes Winston for us, 4:30 preparations for fluid extraction, 7:00 finish extracting fluid, 9:30 CT scan; 10:15 CT scan results.

Something 'sinister' the emergency doctor said. Mesothelioma.

Needless to say, we were stunned.

We are not the first couple to hear this devastatin news. For those of you who have been there, I am sure it is easy for you to relive those moments. For those of you who have not been there, I truly hope you never do.

Our minds and thoughts have been swinging like pendulums; from one end of the spectrum to the other. There is no need to say more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Biopsy Results - Today Is The Day

Since cancer has enter our lives, it has taken a month plus a day to hear the results. Ah yes, the results. Do we even want to know? Ron and I like to face things head on. We are forward thinking people. Bring on the results!

The next question - do you go in expecting the worst so that anything the doctor says will not sound so bad; so shocking. Or, do you go in expecting, with all the hope you can muster, that there has been a mistake? As with Ron and I, we can tackle challenges from opposite ends of the spectrum. Ron headed in believing the worst; I on the other hand wanted to hear that there had been a mistake; a misdiagnosis.

Oddly enough, with a body that now harbours mesothelioma (a cancer directly connected to asbestos) Ron came out of the doctor office feeling better than I.

There has been no mistaken diagnosis. The cell type that makes up Ron's cancer is not the most aggressive but it is aggressive. While the doctor confidently stated that Ron will not meet his demise a month from now, he was clearly not telling us there were many healthy years to look forward to. Ron and I have deduced from our interpretation of the conversation that we are looking forward to two years, maybe more if we are lucky.

Ron loves the quote "It's not the destination, it is the journey." This, folks, is where our new journey begins.

Next stop - The BC Cancer Clinic. Stay tuned.