This weekend I was glad I had a breakthrough on resilience because Paul really needed me. He hasn’t felt like eating and has been drinking hospital grade Sustagen (Ensure in the US) and eating yoghurt. But Sunday he was so weak that taking a shower took effort and he nearly passed out. I saw some fear in his eyes – and instead of scaring me, it made me so proud of him. That he has these moments and is still so strong, loving and funny. That he is determined to see this treatment through.
We went to the hospital and the nurse at reception asked “How are you?” Automatically Paul said “Fine, how are you?” and smiled. I grinned at that.
When we met with the nurse to get the chemo bottle removed (he has to regularly have a bottle the size of a water bottle with a tube that feeds into his PICC line with him for 5 days to deliver chemo), he was equally affable. That’s when mouthy me spoke up. “He’s not just a bit shaky. He nearly passed out in the shower. He has no appetite. He’s in pain and needs his script refilled. And he has new pains in his back.” Paul is just too polite sometimes.
We got a doctor in and the back pain is just a muscle spasm. A new script for Endone (after Paul made sure it wasn’t addictive) and we were on our way.
In the car Paul said “Y’know, I have to try to eat something solid. I’m craving hot chips (thick French fries to you Yanks).”
We obtained chicken and chips (with chicken salt – blech) and gravy — and Paul had his first solid meal in a few days. He was in good spirits after that, although he stayed on the sofa rugged up against the winter chill. Non-maternal me went into caretaker mode. He wanted pear cider – I went to the shops and bought that plus any soft, cool food I could think of – yoghurt, custard, rice pudding, pear juice, bananas – to tempt his appetite.
Then I cleaned, did laundry, made dinner, got lunches ready and folded laundry. And Paul apologised for not helping!
He was so much better than he’d been in a few days. And so was I — as we celebrated the fact he could eat chicken and chips with gravy twice in one day while our grey tiger cat Buster sat inches away and attempted to hypnotise him into giving some of it up. Good times.