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.
Today Mr. B and I took a new step in our journey. We attended our first Multiple Myeloma support group at the cancer clinic. I wasn't sure if it would work for us to attend it because it is always the day after Mr. B's chemo treatments and so far those have not been good days. But in good faith.....
Mr. B emptied the dishwasher tonight. Yep, you heard me right. I'll say it again just in case you missed it the first time. Mr. B emptied the dishwasher tonight. For some of you that might not seem like much of a feat, but Mr. B has basically done nothing except sit in his easy chair since about January 5. He has been in constant pain, from multiple locations in his back, ribs, shoulders, etc.
Today we actually ventured out of the condo to go somewhere other than one of his chemo treatments or doctor appointments. He felt good enough that he wanted to go out. Hallelujah!!! I was concerned that it might be too soon, but who am I to stop him? AND since our car had not been used for about 3 weeks, we discovered that the battery had gone dead and one tire was pretty low. But Mr. B jumped to action. I got the portable power thinga madooie (sorry, I have no idea what it's called. It's some kind of portable power device) out of the trunk. He hooked it up the the battery and started the car. She purred like a kitten. Then on to inflate the tire with a portable device that plugs into the car. We were on our way! We stopped at two stores for groceries and then had a quiet supper at Wendy's. When we got home, I think Mr. B had tired himself out so he sat down for a little while in his easy chair. Then I noticed he was hauling out his laundry hamper and preceded to start washing his clothes! From there, he started emptying the dishwasher. I finally had to reel him in and suggested that he take it easy and not overdo it. All I kept thinking was, "And this isn't even a Dex day! Wow!". I think he was just so overjoyed that he was feeling better that he wanted to do some of the basic things that he has been avoiding. It felt good to see him look so happy emptying the dishwasher. I hope the novelty doesn't wear off too soon. :-)
And in other good news, when we got home there was a message on our voice mail that we would be getting a phone call from our new doctor. It looks like our request to change doctors has been approved. Yippee!!
Well, the storm has passed and calm waters are upon us again. Or at least I sure hope they are. Mr. B went for his chemo treatment today, the first one of his second cycle. He seems to be feeling much better than he did for any of the previous 4 treatments. The chemo nurse asked him if he was feeling better since starting on the Velcade. She said that many of the patients do. Mr. B and I looked at each other and said that he felt much better before he ever started on any treatments because he wasn't even aware that he had MM. Anyway, now we are looking ahead and are hopeful that the treatments will help him enough so that he can have a break from them. My daughter and I have the dandelion root all ready to go when that day comes. :-)
Mr. B is also a pro already at injecting the heparin. It's amazing how one thing like that can make such a difference in how he feels. And to think we could have lost him if one of those blood blots had lodged in the wrong place. The doctor described Mr. B's condition as very serious. I'm just glad that we took him to the hospital when we did. Another day or even a few hours later, things might have turned out different.
But for now, we'll bask in the calm waters and enjoy the scenery. And take time to smell the roses. *g*
Thunderstorms. I've always liked them believe it or not. But only when I'm safe inside. On the days when I took the bus and had to walk in a storm holding an umbrella, well....those days I felt very afraid. For the past week, I've been through an incredibly emotional thunderstorm. It started last Thursday....
I've just completed this book by Dawn White. On Friday we discovered that Cancer Care had a resource library for patients and their families. Imagine that? It only took us 5 weeks to even know it existed. Sheesh!! We walked out of there with our arms loaded with reading material. :-)
This book is written by a woman from Manitoba who's husband was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and how they learned to navigate the Manitoba Healthcare System. I could totally relate to so much of what she wrote and it gave me the courage to stand fast in asking for a different doctor.
I would encourage anyone that is going through a health crisis to read this book. Dawn offers so many good suggestions to help patients and their caregivers during their journey.