For the past year our family has been living on a greatly reduced income. I actually had quit my full time job almost a year ago to pursue my own bookkeeping business at home. Then a month later, we found out that Mr. B had multiple myeloma and we were on the roller coaster ride of our lives. A few months ago when Mr. B was going through a particularly bad time healthwise, I made the decision to do whatever I could to work at home. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders once I made that decision....until today.
About a month ago, we decided to make an early application to have our mortgage changed over to our new financial institution. Our current mortgage is held by a company that is closing down and will only honour our mortgage until it comes up for renewal which is in November 2013. So we thought it would be good to know if we would even qualify for our mortgage to be renewed now rather than in a year from now when Mr. B's health might be even worse.
Well, surprise, surprise....we did not qualify and now we will need to make some hard decisions in the next year. We basically only have two options, sell our condo and move into an apartment or I will need to find a full time job out of our home. It sends shivers up my spine to think about the pressures of working full time and trying to care for Mr. B at the same time. I've found the last year pretty hard emotionally and I know that trying to hold down a full time job would not be very good for me. I would be a basket case. :-(
I'm sure that many of you are working while caring for your spouses. I've admired those of you that can do it. I think I would rather sell our home and live in an apartment then go back to work. Yet I know how hard that would be for Mr. B so I have to weigh the options and decide what would be best for both of us.
It was a wake up call that I should have expected but still shocked me when I got the phone call today. I know that I have almost a year before the decision needs to be made but I don't want to be leaving it to the last minute. And as I'm learning, I will need to be the one that makes the decision. Mr. B gets very depressed when these types of decisions need to be made. He blames himself and nothing I say can change his mind. It's just easier if I do as much leg work myself first and then present the solution to him.
Is silence really golden? I think in some cases it is. To allow ourselves to find a quiet place and still our hearts can be a very healing experience. I've always embraced silence and most times prefer it to a very noisy environment.
That was until Mr. B became ill with multiple myeloma. Our home has become very silent. Mr. B moves so quietly from room to room that he often startles me because I don't hear him come in. When he would watch TV I always knew how his basketball team was doing by his verbal responses to the game. Our home had life. We spoke to each other a lot and laughed. But now Mr. B hardly speaks unless I speak first. I try to pull him into conversations and sometimes I'm successful, but most times I'm not. I've heard from other caregivers that they have experienced the same thing with their MM patients. Perhaps it's just part of what this cancer does to a person. It brings such horrible fatigue that sometimes it's just too much effort for the patient to respond.
Or maybe the silence comes from depression. I know that Mr. B is really struggling emotionally. He has not been feeling well and even though he has been off all chemo for 5 weeks, he still is struggling with nausea & vomiting. We were sure that it would improve if the chemo treatments were stopped for a few weeks. Now I worry that there could be something else wrong that is causing the nausea. I'm afraid that Mr. B will stop eating if it doesn't improve soon. The last few nights he has gone to bed crying. I feel so totally helpless because I don't know what to do to make it better. The doctor has tried every anti-nausea drug on the market and nothing seems to work. Next Tuesday we have an appointment with Mr. B's doctor. We will learn what the plan is for his treatment. The doctor had talked about starting Mr. B on Revlimid instead of going back to the Velcad/Dex/Cyclophosphamide treatments. Now I'm worried that the Revlimid might be even harder on his system and there are no other options available for him here in Canada.
So silence is not golden anymore in my life. I yearn for the joy and laughter to return to our home. I pray for Mr. B to have good days ahead. Days that he can enjoy some of the simple things in life. Days where he will be free from pain and nausea and vomiting. Days that don't include medications and doctor appointments and chemo treatments. I'm not asking for much, just one day where he feels good enough to smile and laugh again.