Tuesday, April 5, 2011

As if we weren't dealing with enough....

Life goes on. As we continue on this cancer journey, characterized by its roller coaster ups and downs (hard) and duration (thankfully long) - we still have the kinds of things pop up in life which happen to others. And they are hard and stressful. So you have to build this reservoir of emotional strength to deal with those events as they arise, and we've got one on our hands now.

Meagan's dad has just been hospitalized with congestive heart failure. He's had a couple heart issues before, I guess they were heart attacks of some sort, and has been on blood thinner. So we knew it was an issue. Meagan and her sister just spent the last weekend with him, coincidentally. He thought he had a cold coming on, and they noticed he was acting funny and even wanted to take him to the hospital Saturday night. But he declined, only to have it turn worse by Tuesday and is now in intensive care. Not a cold, all the symptoms are those of the heart condition.

Please, we have had enough tears in this family over the last ten months to create a river. We didn't need this. Especially as we are lining up Meagan's appointment back in Bethesda at the National Cancer Institute and will no doubt be away soon. But it just points out life isn't always fair, nor do events neatly coincide. In some ways you have to almost compartmentalize the situations, and deal with your own issues on one level and then address the other situation as best you can while keeping emotions in check - otherwise you'd just be a wreck. Fortunately in this case there is enough other family around to support her dad, and she will go out to see him on Thursday. Likely he will be able to resume a normal schedule for a period of time with proper medication and maybe surgery. But it's the kind of condition that definitely signals you are closer to the end of your life than the beginning, and that is super hard for Meagan as she is dealing with her own mortality.

So it's both sad, and inconvenient. Which we end up feeling guilty about.

On a related note, we have in the past been fans of "Dancing With the Stars", although not as enthusiastic this season. But it's a guilty, silly shared pleasure. So we still watch it, although I'm playing a lot more computer Scrabble©.  Last night the "stars" had to pick a song that reflected something meaningful in their lives to dance to and share the story. Of course about 2/3's of them had some issue relating to a loved ones death. In our family right now that can sure take the wind out of your sails. For other people they are just poignant and emotional moments, for us, it slams in our faces the situation we are in. So we get hit on television and in real life!

It's all about resiliency, expecting the unexpected, and having the emotional strength and calmness to muddle through. Even today, when we were supposed to hear back from the Cancer Institute people about when to come out and they didn't get back by the end of their day as promised, I kept calm and cool. I will just call them at 6:30am tomorrow.

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