OK long overdue update. Where to start… My wife completed Radiotherapy yesterday. Just over 6 weeks. Daily sessions weekdays.
She’s found it extremely exhausting, as we were told to expect. She sleeps most of the time. She’s lost a band of hair where they’ve directed the Radiotherapy. The steroids have given her quite a bad moonface which she hates.
My last post I reported that Mrs F had declined. Literally the day the Radiotherapy started the Oncologist specialist called us, and advised us based on how weak Mrs F already was, to start Radiotherapy and not Chemotherapy. The logic was it is more important to complete the full course of Radiotherapy than do radio and chemo and not complete the full course. We took that advice.
Christmas was tough. A big fall out with some of my family Christmas Eve left a big downer on Christmas day. People not understanding the pressure I’ve been under and my change of priorities. I put Jr before Mrs F now. It’s all about stability and routine for him. It felt like a bit of a pressure cooker all Christmas. The weather was shite so difficult to get out and let off steam.
I had a significant birthday in the New Year. No celebration. A quiet beer with a couple who are good friends while Mrs F slept. Then I prepared tea for Jr, Mrs F and myself.
Mrs F is going through a range of emotions. The radiotherapy certainly improved her speech and cognitive ability. Certain things she remembers. Other stuff she doesn’t. She remembers what she used to do for us. Her soul aim is to look after us. Not us look after her. She goes through a range of emotions, frustration, sadness, apologies, wishing she was dead which she has expressed a number of times in front of myself and our son. Some or all of this can be repeated many times daily. Which is wearing for myself and Jr. She is having counselling support herself, but her short term memory is such that she forgets most of what she has been told within a few hours.
I hate people telling me ‘isn’t she doing well’. She can turn it on for other people for short periods of time, but it takes her immense effort and I think she blags a fair bit of it which myself and Jr can see through.
I guess I’m going through a bit of a ‘nobody knows what I’m going through stage’.
As my counsellor said – she’s lost most of her filters.
Jr is going through a range of emotions. He just wants his mummy back, as she was. Why does she have to die. Why us. All that sort of stuff. I’m just trying to spend time with him, hold him, reassure him. Do nice things, eat nice stuff but retain some routine and structure. Mrs F is spending a night or two a week at her parents to give myself and Jr a break. And her a rest. The parents in law are dealing with their own health issues as well.
I returned to the office to discuss a return to work. No pressure from them yet. But I feel I need to repay their support. I think there will be a way for me to return part time somehow. But being quite honest I’m not sure my headspace is right.
Somehow it feels harder than it’s ever been. I think for Mrs F the fact she is going to die, to leave us has only just been retained by her recently. I’ve had 5 months to grieve. Jr is somewhere in the middle.
Next steps – 4 weeks of no treatment. Then a meeting with the Oncologist to discuss if it is worthwhile starting Chemotherapy. So far I’ve been lead to believe the makeup of the tumour may not respond well or at all to Chemotherapy so benefits vs side effects will have to be weighed up.