Cancer

“The call”

How many of you know the meaning of, “the phone call”?  Not any call, but the one who delivers the news you just can’t cope with.

via morgueFile

Every time my beloved husband was admitted in the hospital due to his liver cirrhosis and I left him to come home I was scared to death to receive a call from the hospital informing me that something was wrong and that I needed to get back there immediately.

It’s something I don’t care to revisit, but last week my sister-in-law reminded me about it.  She was terrified I would call my in-laws to tell them something had gone wrong.  So as it goes, I thought everyone dreads this type of call.  Probably to the point to feel sick in their stomachs.  To this day, even if more than twenty years have passed, she still feels anxiety when her phone rings during the night.

Probably we’re all tuned in because just a few days earlier we had been talking about how much she dreaded those calls in the middle of the night.

My father in law has been struggling with his cancer during the past two years and it seems to be relapsing and he’s pretty weak, even though we thought he was better these days.

Last week, my brother-in-law called me and asked me to get in touch with my husband because he needed to come home.  As he delivered his news on the phone, I literally felt dizzy.  immediately I questioned what was going on, and he just said he didn’t know.  Something was wrong with his dad, and he had called 9/11.

My mind went blank.

What would happen?  How would be husband react?  Who could I call?

I tried to reach him on his cel phone, which proved to be impossible and tried to call his work area.  I didn’t know who to call.  Which as the events unfolded proved to be unacceptable.  We didn’t know it at the time, but we were actually drilling for a future event that would not hold the same outcome as this one.  Why?

Basically because this time around, his glucose levels had hit rock bottom.  Something very normal for cancer patients that receive multiple chemo therapies.  The worst part probably is that he’s heading for his fourth round of chemo’s next week.

Going back to my husband, I finally reached him and he was able to deal with his brother with the ongoing situation. After that, he made sure to punch all his closest co-workers and his boss’s number on my cel.

via morgueFile

Do we need to prepare ourselves for the “call”?  Hell, YES!  When emergency call on our doors we need to stand high to the challenge and work with whatever is necessary.  Is is hard?  Hell, YES!  But, there is no other way to tackle what ever is ahead of us.

All of us react different when faced with emergencies.

via flicker

But all of us should have a common denominator, to be able to work with the moment forgetting about our own grief and putting others before us.  It’s easier when we do it this way.  When a person is reeled in an emergency room unconscious is not the time to scream I love you to his or her ear, its way before that we need to tell them how important they are and have been in our lives and with a tender kiss whisper in their ear that we have loved them with all our heart.

This of all things  is what will help us face the “dreaded” call and deal with whatever we need to.

Faith

Remember

Tonight I shared some time with my in-laws alone, my husband wasn’t with me because he caught a bug.  Some people “don’t like” their in-laws, but I love mine.  It’s not a fake kind of love, but a true and genuine one.  This can sound weird, but their my cousins from my mom’s side.  Their not related with each other, but both are related with me through my mom.  My mother in law is my mom’s first cousin through my grandmother’s side and my father in law is my mom’s first cousin through my grandfather’s side.  They’ve always been part of my life from my very beginning (when I was inside my mom’s womb).

So you can get the picture here, I married my third cousin (I’m not sure this category really exists)!

My mom and my mother in law were both pregnant at the same time  (my mom with me and my mother in law with my husband obviously).  Probably they would talk every time they met about how their pregnancies were going, I was a second child so my mom was more experienced than she was.  I can hear my mom talking about her pregnancy and what things were best for pregnant women, she’s very opinionated!  I can also imagine my mother in law in her quiet demeanor, just listening, not voicing her opinion or thoughts and ultimately doing whatever she thought was best.  My mom always wants to boss her around a bit!

Fast forward, when they finally had their babies (my husband and myself) both paid each other visits to see the babies and welcome them into our family.  Wow!  If they only knew we would end up getting married.  That sure would have scared the crap out of them!

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my mom, me and my mother in law
Christmas 2012

Even though I love this story, my post isn’t about my mom, my mother in law and me. It’s only the background of the story I want to share with you.  Basically it’s about how love, faith and believing and how they can pull us through almost anything.

My in-laws held us strong while we crossed the turbulent waters of illness.  Their love became the bridge that helped us get to the other side together.  They were able to guide us strongly and firmly to where we needed to go.  They financially and emotionally supported us while the storm was hitting us strong.   But beyond anything else, now it’s our turn to hold them throughout the storm that’s hitting them with the forces of Super Storm Sandy.

Their hurricane force winds are called cancer!

During my visit tonight we remembered.  What did we remember? Things that happened to us while we were waiting for my husband’s transplant.  I heard my mother in law tell me about the time when she came over to my house after I called her to pick up some clothes for me after I had been in the hospital with Carlos for a few days.  How she was so upset that she picked a fight with God because she was sick and tired of having to take clean clothes to me in the hospital. Not because she didn’t want to help me but because she felt a staggering pain because I had to live through the sorrow of having a very sick husband.  How she fell to her knees and implored God to pass her this suffering.  She asked Him to heal his son and spare her daughter in law of the pain.

We cried as we remembered the anguish of not knowing what was going to happen and then finally we rejoiced as we remembered how God had carried us through out the whole ordeal.

That’s when I told my  father in law, “He did it once and He’ll do it again, I know you will be fine and our faith will carry us once more through out this. “.

As we talked, cried, hugged and kissed each other we found comfort and solace.  I know something for sure we will be fine and our faith will pull us through once more.  If we feel doubtful (very understandable) the only thing you need to do is remember.

Memoirs of Carlos's Liver Transplant

“Siempre llueve sobre lo mojado”

Sometimes my husband likes to say,  “siempre llueve sobre lo mojado.”  Which literally means it always rains over what is  already wet.  This is a way of saying that whatever is bad per se is always bound to turn worse.

When whatever is bad turns to awful, it’s more than sure it will get on your nerves like it does on mine!

via morgueFile
via morgueFile

 

We’ve lived through a couple of rain storms and have survived, but sometimes like my husband says you kind of get tired of always running into more trouble.  

One of the storms I just mentioned occurred shortly after coming back from New York (a couple of weeks after moving back into our home) the measles came to give us a visit.  My daughter was in Kinder and my two boys, who were than preschoolers, were at home with me. 

One day she came home from school with a single dot on her forehead, my mom assured me that she thought that Stephy had measles.  You know I had to rely on her expertise because I really didn’t know much about measles (until that moment, I would become an expert fairly soon).

To move fast forward quickly, all my three children got the measles.  One just a couple around their little bodies and others all over the place (Caladryl became a household name in my home!). Nevertheless, it really didn’t worry me because all of us get measles during our childhoods and it was a milestone my own children had to go through.  To my surprise, my mother in law commented “lightly” that my husband had never had measles.   Yikes!  This is when it began raining over the already wet ground.

I wasn’t surprised at all when my husband got the measles as well. 

Here we had to deal with a completely different situation. He had end stage liver disease.

I phoned his doctor right away and he briefed me on the things I needed to be aware of (which I barely remember), and what to do if they happened.  The worst cases scenario was that we would need to request some special medication from The Red Cross (which I’m not sure if it was a medication or some plasma).  Blame my long-term memory loss to menopause!  Don’t ask me for details because I’m afraid I can’t give them to you. The thing is that we were in a bad situation that was heading to get much worse in a couple of days. 

So, what did happen after all? 

Well, to our surprise (since all of you know our great record on scoring bad things) nothing happened.  Measles came and went and he survived them.  Our dear Lord decided to stop the rain and sent us instead a beautiful rainbow.  

via morgueFile
via morgueFile

 I opened my front door, waved the measles goodbye and told them to take the rain with them, and welcomed in a nice bright rainbow and pretty much enjoyed the break life gave us during a bumpy ride we were getting through during that period in our lives.