We had an appointment scheduled for Monday (for MRI and chemotherapy treatment at the Cancer Center). Based on a few less-than-stellar braining days, I was concerned about transport to the clinic. After consulting with staff, we determined the best thing was to skip the line, as it were, and head on in to be seen. NOT for an emergent issue, but rather a two-bird-killing exercise.
I sent out a plea to facebook: please, help me get him into my car, so I can take him directly and not rely on an ambulance (and therefore also go via the emergency room, etc) or call a van service, to be arranged via the ever-so-unhelpful-and-late-to-the-party VA. POOF: six people showed up, carried his wheelchair down the steps to the front walk, loaded him into the car and waved us on.
Our oncologist went ahead with the chemotherapy treatment and admitted us to the hospital for the MRI. This meant observation/hospitalization which I'm not shy to admit meant some rest for Rachel. I stayed across the street at the Family House (such an awesome place) without worrying about Ian (much). Apparently he was confused overnight (of course!) but was otherwise in fine spirits when I came in this moring.
The MRI shows NO NEW GROWTH. Stable. We'll take it! It's only been two prior treatments, so that's encouraging news. Of course it's not "wow, it's gotten smaller!" news, but ... we take what we can get.
Next Steps: Ian will remain (as one doc here put it) in Hotel Shadyside for a few days. He's had PT and OT and Speech therapy (after a fashion) and will continue to receive them while here. He will then be discharged to a facility close to home for a little in-patient rehab therapy. For how long? Who knows.
The point is: we're at the hospital, and as much as that might seem like another awful incarceration, Ian doesn't much care, I get a bit of respite from being on call 24/7, and we have a (short) path forward.
I can't remotely forsee what the next weeks and months and years? look like, but what I DO know is that I have an amazing network of people who are itching to help. You have loved on us so much ... I am overwhelmed regularly with your generosity and love. Oh how I long to reciprocate.
Since I've gotten messages and phone calls about ways to help, I will do my best to come up with things for those from afar and a-near. With summer coming, I anticipate needing to find someone to taxi and/or occupy the kiddos, if I'm to be at home. If Ian is home and in a state to be trusted alone with "regular folks,"* I may need a cardre of watchers so I can get myself to karate, a haircut, whatever. And the ever-present meal needs remain (why do these people have to eat EVERY day?).
Thank you for past, current and future kindnesses. I'll be in touch.
* LOTS of you have offered to "come sit with Ian" while I get out. Here is why I haven't called you: Currently my only real need for care in my absence is getting him to the bathroom, or to use a urinal. These are not things I would expect of a family friend (they include more intimacy and odor than you'd want), and on a BAD braining day would be quite dangerous (think 6'1", 230# crashing down). I can't be farther away than it takes to make it back to address a bowel movement, so me "getting out" is not a reality. Them's just the facts, y'all.