Big Pharma

So she’s been having brain issues. Focal seizures and water on the brain. Her memory is sometimes spotty. Her brain is sometimes slow. She is getting a spinal tap next week to drain the fluid from her brain. This will hopefully get her brain back to normal functioning and normal speed. She has been struggling with finding the right words when speaking.

She is a retired RN. So I never needed to involve myself with understanding all the meds she is on cause she expertly looked after it all. Since these latest brain episodes, I’ve had to help her fill her med bars, read labels, and scariest of all, keep track of what she is taking and what she can’t take when we visit ERs and doctors. I now have an up-to-date printout in my purse at all times detailing these meds.

I feel so overwhelmed. I feel like her life is suddenly in my hands and I am so not fit for the task. But there is no one else, so I have to step up quickly. The sudden responsibility keeps me up at night. I hope this spinal tap helps her return to her usual ability so I can step back again, at least until something else comes up.

We no longer have breaks between tests. We used to have two to three-month breaks between MRIs and pet scans when they showed no new activity. We could rest in normalcy for that brief time. Since last October there has been no rest. Always something new. In October it was kidney stones, which took 3 months to calm down. Then there are the constant muscle spasms that all the specialists we’ve seen can find nothing to explain or treat them. These brain issues started in March. They called them Focal Seizures. By-products from 6.5 years of zaps to the brain to destroy mini-tumors. That also seems to have caused water on the brain. Her body is starting to show signs of 6.5 years of treatments. The cancer will not kill her. The treatments will. And I get to watch. Piece by piece, as she slowly slips away from me.

I feel I need to let go of any chance at normalcy and just embrace moments. I memorize those moments so I will have them after she is gone. Moments like cuddling on the couch, holding hands by a waterfall, walking on the beach, enjoying a full moon or starry night from our back deck. Our budding relationship has been reduced to moments. I have had four years with her. Don’t know how many more viable ones are left. I am turning 60 next week. I feel like I will be alone the rest of my life after she is gone. Who could possibly take the place of my Bashert?

2017-06-02 07.34.24


It’s An Epidemic

Everywhere I look, so many people I talk to are losing people left and right. Their old friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, previous spouses. The rug has been pulled out from under. I spoke to a woman in her early 80’s. I asked her if you ever get used to loss? No. It becomes a part of who you are. You live with it.

I have run out of tools. Get used to it? Really? Live with it? Well, she’s got a point there. It does appear to be an unshakable truth. Everybody dies. They just never taught me what to do about it. I have studied several spiritual perspectives over the years. I know all about the wheel and how you have to work towards enlightenment to get off it. I know the story about us all carrying a spec of g-d in us so g-d can know itself better when we die and return the spec with all the data we amassed during our lifetime. So much easier to read about. Way harder to live it.

I remember reading something like this about George Harrison. Now we all know you can’t believe much of what you read, but it stuck with me all these years. George Harrison was very spiritual. He built his later years all around his beliefs. The article claims that on his death bed he lost faith and felt cheated by his beliefs. Shocking. And, I get it.

I have felt lost for several years now. Ever since my parents died within 6 months of each other. I recently perused a couple of books on grief. Seems this is a symptom of grief – feeling hopeless and directionless. I suppose I should feel relieved that this is part of a well-known process and some day it will pass and I will be able to move on with my life. But right now, I have no sense of any such possible completion. Right now I am simply drowning in this loss, this fact that nothing lasts, that nothing stays the same.

Did I mention I tend to feel the need to control? This new concept of nothing lasting or staying the same has completely shot control to bits. So I guess underneath all this anger is the total terror that there is no such thing as control. Damn. Should have read the fine print.