The past week has been very difficult. It started with a trip to the hospital with Mr. B last Sunday night and ended with him still in the hospital because there was infection in his blood. They feel that the pneumonia that hospitalized him a few weeks ago never really cleared up.

I've found it very hard to function emotionally through all of this. I come home from the hospital and almost always start crying as soon as I walk through the door. Then I have to make a few phone calls and I cry more. I find myself performing very much like a robot, acting on auto pilot for many day to day tasks. My mind isn't focused at all and I find myself doing silly things because my mind is a million miles away.

And what is it that consumes my thoughts? Of course, Mr. B is the source of it all. I worry about him constantly. I worry about him even while he's in the hospital. There have been many times in the past week where I had to be his advocate because they seem to forget how much pain he is in due to the condition of his bones. While he was being moved to the stretcher by the paramedics, two of his ribs were fractured at the front of his chest. It took the hospital until Friday to confirm that they were the cause of his chest pain. And the doctor assigned to him does not believe that this type of fracture could be caused just by moving him from the couch to the stretcher.

Then came the reaction to the pain medication that they started him on. He was in bad shape with mood changes, agitation, hallucinations, vision changes and depression. Finally on Saturday, I talked the doctor on call to stop that drug and go back to the morphine. He is also on a Fentanyl patch to control the pain which they doubled to a higher dose. Poor Mr. B has been taking a very bad trip down Alice's rabbit hole (those were his words).

Each night when I go to bed I take the phone to the bedroom just in case there is a call from the hospital. It's not that I want to think the worst but I have seen people with pneumonia take a turn for the worse in a matter of hours. Until I know that he is feeling better, I will still worry.

I find that during this difficult time I don't do some of the things that I normally do. For example, I don't turn on the tv. In our house, the tv is usually on if we are at home creating background noise. But when Mr. B is not here, I don't even want to watch tv so it stays silent.

Also in the past week, three people that I know of have passed away from Multiple Myeloma. I did not know two of them personally, but followed their blogs. They've both lived with this cancer for years and were an inspiration to many people. The third person we had met only one time. She was a member of our local MM support group and passed away a few days before Mr. B was hospitalized. The day we met her was very emotional as she shared with the group that the doctors said there was nothing more that they could do for her. The next Monday we saw her at the cancer treatment center. Even though she was barely able to walk, she was still making a valiant attempt to continue her treatments. I admire her so much for not giving up. And so it was a big wake up call for me just how cruel this cancer is. Mr. B has been deteriorating very rapidly. So far after 3 full cycles of chemo, his protein numbers are not responding to treatment. The longer it takes to respond, the more damage is done to his bones and we see the results with the bone fractures. I asked his cancer nurse how long it usually takes for the MM patients to respond to the chemo treatments and her answer was that they usually responded after one cycle of chemo. A cycle of chemo is 4 treatments, once a week or one month in total. 

I called this post, Depression for a reason. I've never been a person that gave in to depression, or at least not for very long. But this past week, I found that this was exactly where I was headed. Or maybe I was just having a big pity party thinking about what my life would be like once the cancer takes Mr. B. So I wasn't even sure what emotion I was feeling. But today I got up and decided to spend some time on my balcony and wait for the hummingbird to come to my feeder. And as always, patience pays off and one flew up to the feeder. I think that one small step of looking for something else to focus on, helped turn my whole day around. When I came home from the hospital tonight, I was much calmer. I know that there will be more challenges in the future in regards to this cancer but for now I have overcome this roadblock and will focus on today and let tomorrow worry about itself.
6/11/2012 04:47:59 am

When other MM patients are overcome by the disease, it is not unusual to feel that one's own circumstances are equally dire, but every MM case is unique with happy turnarounds in some. I am intending Mr. B's medical team is taking a new look at the situation and finding some new treatment options to give him some relief in all aspects, for the highest and best good of all concerned,so be it and so it is!

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Shelley
6/12/2012 01:59:35 pm

I'm finding it hard to even read the Facebook Group posts. So many people with this cancer see progress with treatments. And my husband has not seen any progress, only more steps backward. Right now he's so discouraged. Tomorrow our social worker from Cancer Care is stopping by the hospital to visit us. He's been such an encouragement to both of us so far.

Mostly, I just want Mr. B to be as comfortable as possible. AND have at least one month without some traumatic event! :-(

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6/12/2012 01:10:20 am

Hi Shelley. My name is Linda and I too am a caregiver for my husband of 36 years. My heart goes out to you and I can definitely relate to how you feel. Your last statement about the hummingbird and letting tomorrow worry about itself brought some of my favorite bible verses to mind from Matthew 6:26-27, 34: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." My mother and I are big big watchers around our house, and they give us much joy and pleasure.

EZ was diagnosed in January 2010, and if you read his story on our blog, you will see that in our journey there have been many rough patches. MM can really wreak havoc on the bones and the body, and the pain must be managed. You two will certainly be in my prayers as you support your dear husband and try to remain strong in spite of your fears. As with me, I'm sure this isn't the life you imagined, but look for the little blessings, pray for strength, be his advocate, and take one day at a time. That's all we can do. I look forward to following your blog. {{Hugs}}

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Shelley
6/12/2012 02:05:25 pm

Linda, I remember that scripture but I forgot that it contained that phrase. Thanks for reminding me about it. :-)

I have been following your blog but I don't think I started at the beginning of it. I'll have to go back and read some of your earlier posts. It was people like you that gave me the encouragement to start my own blog. Somehow I thought that having a place to express what was going on inside me would help with my own healing. But I never in a million years thought that it was going to be this hard to see my husband deteriorate so quickly. I thought that I had years before that would happen.

I hate this cancer. :-(

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6/12/2012 02:33:34 pm

I hate this cancer too. :-( You are a beautiful writer, and I'm so glad you decided to share your story on a blog. It is a blessing to have the love and support of others in the MM community. We learn from each other, encourage each other, pray for each other, and cry with each other.

The "Our Story" tab on our blog is a quick summary of how things got started for us. Hopefully things will get better for you down the road. I will pray for something positive to happen that will encourage both of you!

6/12/2012 02:38:14 pm

Have no idea why this posted 4 times...so sorry! Kept getting response that "could not post your reply, there was a problem, please try again" so I did. We are having a storm here and perhaps it is wreaking havoc with the internet. Please delete!

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