I haven’t written much on Scott’s medical progress lately. It’s pretty much a very slow climb up a very long and winding road. The 100-day road to recovery. We have “illegally” moved home. After almost three months of transient living – the first 40 days at the hospital, followed by a couple Airbnb’s and our friend’s cottage, it’s good to be home. Or is it? For me, it’s back to the grind. For Scott; not so much.
It’s probably a good thing to have given up the lake house before this last dumping of a foot or more of snow. Actually, here I think we only have 4-5 inches but my friends to the North report as much as 20 inches and its only mid-November. You might know, weather in Michigan is very unpredictable. My former golf partner and I have golfed as late as Thanksgiving weekend before. I doubt anyone will be doing that this year. I basically gave up golfing when I moved here but I know she was disappointed to report that she put her clubs away today.
We returned home so that he could feel more comfortable recovering in his own Lazy boy recliner and watch television on our 65-inch television. He’s binge-watching Storage Wars, Jade Fever with Claudia and Robin Bunce and their buddy scrappy Larry. Mountain Men, featuring characters such as Tom Oar who makes his living trapping and Eustace Conway who is trying to make his way in the lumber business. Shows that feel like a get-away from life in Michigan.
Me – I’m back working at the store as I have an employee off for what I’ll call medical reasons. Since Scott technically wasn’t to be left alone for more than four hours until the end of the 100-day period, I have tried to keep my shifts short. When I’m not there, I’m doing bookwork, working on catering orders, calling repairmen and doing battle with AFLAC. Still trying to get claims paid from our trip to Mayo Clinic in March.
A few days after being home, I had some errands to run. Sure enough, like a dog who slipped his collar, I hear that he was spotted driving to town in his 1985 Pickup. He was quickly reminded of the revocation of his driving privileges and reprimanded. He’s not supposed to drive until the 100 days is up.
He bought another Jeep with a snowplow off Facebook market place that was supposed to be a parts Jeep. However, after watching about 100 YouTube videos on how to repair everything including the broken frame, he decided that it would be fun to have both Jeeps so we could leave one at the cabin in Canada. He’s spending a lot of time in the pole barn or “shop”. Not only working on the Jeep, he’s decided to make wood working his new career. We have plans to make a few items to give as gifts and possibly sell at the store. Our first project turned out to be a little more challenging than the videos made it out to be. He’s leaving the detail work for me and that may not be the greatest idea. The wood for our proto-type was hard so it made precision a challenge. We will see if I can do a better job on the next one. Unfortunately, after he does all the cutting and staining, if I mess up the detailing then the whole thing is trash.
His appetite has improved but not returned to full on eating. I’m doing my best to keep him eating something every couple hours and drinking lots of fluids. What was really shocking was his ability to completely eliminate all opioids within a short period of time. He’s down to about 5-6 drugs, twice a day. The magnesium IV is now every-other day. In preparing documentation for AFLAC, I received a copy of his 44-page hospital stay. Any guesses on just the stay; not including all the visits leading up to and since the transplant? I wasn’t too far off on my guess of $1m; the cost was shown at just over $890k. The n-plate shot that he has gotten almost every week since leaving the hospital is being billed at $23k. Plain craziness. Tomorrow is his first bone marrow biopsy since the transplant. They hope to be able to see a marked reduction in the scarring in his bones.
This weekends snow event was really disappointing. Not only did it kill business at the store for a couple days now, it totally ruined my long-awaited plans. As the men from our friend group planned to gather for cards and sharing of their big buck sightings of the past few days, the women folk were having a party of their own. Our party planner had been working on her event for weeks and was looking forward to hosting the sisterhood for a much-needed girl’s night out. Not only have Scott and I been going through our challenges, we’ve had a few of the friends group lose parents in the last couple months. I wasn’t the only one that needed a night out.
After months of being lectured about taking care of myself and doing something I enjoyed, tonight was finally going to be just that. As the snow up there started to add up to something treacherous, the only option was to cancel the festivities. I managed to kill the evening by watching a movie, playing games on my phone and eating everything in sight; trying to simulate the feeding frensy that would have been the party.
Eventually, we retired to bed where Scott read a couple pages and called it a night. I finally finished the worst book I have read in a long time and started a new one. I don’t know why I can’t start a book and decide – nope not going to waste my time. Once I pick it up, I’m committed to seeing it through. While by a noted author, the main character of the book was a very confused young lady living a pretty miserable existence. It should have made me feel pretty good about my life but it was actually depressing and I’m glad to be done with it.
Still not tired, I started another book. This one appears to be a refreshing change. Something I can relate to in just the first few pages. Another gift from a well-meaning friend for passing time during this recovery phase. This book focuses on a newly divorced woman in her 50’s who quits her job and moves to Saugatuck Michigan to renovate her family cabin into a bed and breakfast. Certainly, a fantasy I can relate and escape to.
Being home creates its own challenges and growing pains. I joked with Scott today that we need to check with the doctor and see if he’s cleared to empty the dishwasher yet. As I return to work as usual, other than not having a good paying job, I’m back to attempting to work, cook, clean and manage the finances on top of the duties of caretaker. All while trying not to get caught up in all the thoughts in my head; knowing that its not business as usual yet. So much of our life is still not functioning and for him, knowing that it never will be the same.
Watching the farm operate from a distance and not being part of it. Not being able to take the cold weather like he used to. Having to take rest breaks throughout the day. Me, I miss our playfulness; kisses and his smiles. We continue to limit our visitors and enforce strict hand washing and social distancing rules. We have self-imposed no kissing to make sure we aren’t passing cold germs back and forth since he has no immunity. He’s still coughing and sneezing regularly. They say it could be this way for a while yet. Our physical relationship has been on the back burner until his counts are where they need to be. Most days I feel more like Nurse Ratched than a wife.
Nearing my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving, I know that while I have so much to be thankful for, I find myself experiencing a sense of grief; once again missing what life was like before cancer. As I battle another night of insomnia, at least he is finally sleeping and we are safe and sound at home together. I guess I will read for a while. I can almost bet that when I find myself ready to nod off, that the dog will need to go out. Gee it’s great to be home.