Tuesday, 24 June 2008

How to Make Your Husband Cry

Just a quick post, to say that I don't feel like posting. It's hard here, most days. Everything has been such a whirlwind. Mr TC shaved his hair off, which was hard for him, he is the proudest man I know and he just really doesn't want to look sick. And he doesn't really, not yet anyway. He FEELS sick - but his second bout of chemo went pretty well. I didn't have to take him to hospital in the middle of the night, which was a bonus. He has lost nearly ten kilos. And me -except for my flabby tummy paunch, I now weigh less than I did before I got pregnant. I rang Tee the other week, singing "I'm a size 10 again." She said "Of course you are, you bitch." I replied "Yes, it's the new post-partum husband-gets-cancer stress diet! Works a treat ... I should write the book and make a fortune!"

We're trying to maintain some normalcy, but watching him walk around, sick and bald, just breaks my heart all over again and I think How the FUCK did we end up here!??!

He has been cracking jokes and laughing to other people about his cancer, probably been in some denial. He doesn't want to know much about what he has, doesn't want to ask any questions about it. He just wants to get rid of it. I spoke to his oncologist the other day, asked about Mr TCs prognosis, will he need a bone marrow transplant, what are the chances it will come back, etc. The answers are all just speculative, we won't know until we get there. Back at home I mentioned to Mr TC that I spoke to his doc. I ended up telling him everything I know about it, the five-year survival rates, the chance that it may come back so he will have to remain ever vigilant, a bone marrow transplant is an option .... I watched his face change, and change, and thought "Oh shit I've spun him out."

Mr TC started to cry (He never, ever EVER crys) .... I apologised over and over, said I'm sorry hon, I won't tell you this anymore, I'm so sorry. He said it's probably better to know.

Unasked, I thrust the truth and reality of his disease in his face, and MADE him realise how serious it is. I kind of think he needed to hear it, but I definitely won't be telling him anything for a while, I will probably just talk to his doctor on my own.

Stopping breastfeeding was the best decision I could have made. I needed my body back, other people can feed Monkey now, my hormones seem to be settling down, not to mention poor Monkey was STARVING, which was why he kept screaming every night. Babies cry when they are hungry. WHO KNEW.

He still gets unsettled. It took ages for me to get him to sleep last night. Finally he slept, I finished folding the mountain of washing, went to bed ... and was promptly woken by Tiger, who came in and woke me up because he had a nightmare. Mr TC sleeps in the spare room upstairs these days, so he can rest properly. I settled Tiger in bed next to me, then Monkey woke up for a feed, it took me ages to settle him back down .... suddenly it was morning and I felt like the Undead. I love sleep - I could sleep my life away, if left undisturbed. Of course I know being sleep deprived is part and parcel of having a baby, but fuck it's hard when other things are added in to the equation, especially having to do, well - everything for the kids on my own.

I believe this whole cancer + newborn fiasco has pulled the plug on any future cluckiness I am likely to encounter. That, and the fact that yesterday I banged Monkeys head on the car door.

Mother of the fucking year, I tell you.


vamplita said...

Hi TC,

So pleased to hear that the boobage problem has been resolved, and that Monkey is now able to be fed by folks other than you 24-7. Perhaps Mum can catch a wink or two once in a blue moon, huh? Monkey really ought to start filling out now, too! :)

The pics you've included in the past couple of days are terrific too. Monkey's cute, cute! I certainly hope the world's prepared for the newest offspring of TC to have that red hair and all that it entails, 'cause it definitely looks as if it's going to be mighty red. Personally, I think that's pretty neat. :)

When my dad had lung cancer, there was one food that he found that tasted really, really good to him. Once they figured out what that was, my mother fed it to him any time he damned well asked for it, no matter how inconvenient it was. Dad discovered that fried fish tasted really good to him, and that's one of the things he managed to keep down most of the time. I think between that and the weight-gain drinks, they managed to keep his strength up the majority of the time he was fighting cancer.

I hope and pray that Mr. TC can find some dish that still manages to taste good to him.

Sending copious amounts of positive vibes your family's way.

Take care of yourself.

Stacie said...

I just want to grab you and give you a great big hug. I so wish I could.

Know I am sending love as always. I hope that tomorrow is a much better day.


Sugar&Ice said...

I have a feeling your kids probably do think you are the mother of the year...you're great! You're really coping so well, considering...you're much stronger than I'd probably be. Still thinking of you guys lots!!

Pixxiee said...

Guys are different to girls. Ya know? A girl gets a diagnosis, or one of her mates does, and what does a girl do? She researches. She gets on the net. She talks to doctors, to friends, to anyone she can find who might know something.

Guys. Well, they don't do that. Not in my experience anyway. You need to know stuff - and there are going to be some things that Mr TC will want to know and its good that you will be able to tell him. But if he knows it all - it's a little overwhelming for a bloke.

Think of this way. Guys don't ask for directions. Girls do :-)

You are doing just great. I hope you get some good sleep, or at the very least an hours nap to catch up a little. And your kids love you darl, so don't add guilt to the mix. You're going through a hell of a lot. Be good to yourself ok.

Thinking of you often from NZ.


PaleMother said...

Hi TC,

I had a version of the stress diet at least once while separated from DH. When I finally told my (very cool) boss what was going on, she was relieved ... "I thought you were anorexic," she said. Nice. Like you, it's not a program that I recommend.

Also went through something similar when my mom had uterine cancer two years ago. I was in the middle of secondary IF at the time and so my internet research skills were spot on ... and when she asked me to look a few things up, I sent her a big book of print outs. Uterine cancer is one of the *better* (HA)cancers -- especially if they catch it early like they did with my mom. I knew enough to leave out the really scary stuff ... but just researching it for her gave *me* anxiety attacks. And although she seemed genuinely grateful for the info ... I also got the impression it was like taking a drink from a fire hose for her. Very scary. Later, I went on the web and ordered her a bunch of books about the psychological aspects of living with the diagnosis ... because she isn't very techno - savvy and wasn't a natural fit for online support boards ... so I thought a little BTDT might help. But in the end I never gave them to her because I sensed she was in a place where she just needed to be free of it ... done with treatment and not soaking in it ... for a while. She is seeing a therapist now and I hope that gives her good support. She doesn't discuss it and I leave that up to her (it's different than a spouse relationship). Eventually I put the books in our guest room bookshelves for her to discover and take or leave.

Cancer is such a terrible head trip ... and not just for the people with the diagnosis.

Hugs for you and all of yours. xxoo

D, was here.