Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Heading Home Again

Today we head home, and are discharged from the hospital. Chemo went as well as chemo can go and now Phil can enjoy the comforts of sleep uninterrupted and the feel of his own bed.

We are still in shock about the good news, and we're having a hard time getting it to sink in! Every day is long, hard and painful so knowing there are months ahead- that makes it hard grasp his progress. This probably sounds very negative, and it is- but we are tired and Phil can't even begin to imagine 3 more chemos ahead. We have reached the 7 month point, and are guessing when it's all said and done he will be back to reasonable health within 6 months. I am not sure how long it will take Phil to rebuild his body, wipe out the clouds of chemo brain, and I am also uncertain of the fallout after everything (emotionally). But as soon as he has gotten caught up on sleep from treatment, we are going to push him physically to get ahead of the curve.

This round, Phil and I have had alot of time alone in the hospital and it has actually been very special. Having friends and family around when chemo was new and scary, literally saved us. But now it is really just old hat, and we know the drill. We have had little gems of conversations, sometimes in the middle of the night, or just at a random moment in the day where we talk about things we look forward to doing together when he is better. Those plans are keeping us going, and get us excited about getting healthy again. Both of us look forward to having control over what we eat, how much we can sleep, having the energy to study more, get back to meetings and service, and exercising. He wants to take me on a road trip to Oregon. We just look so forward to having a normal life again. You can imagine how happy he will be when he gets back to work, and on weekends, gets to work on his car with friends, or go golfing.

Thankfully time has passed very fast and alot of memories that were once raw have become blurry. The one thing that is new for both of us though are moments of post traumatic stress. Phil will get a flashback and remember passing out in the bathroom and hitting the floor. I can't go to certain places without feeling panic. Smells, tastes, ICU signs, hearing others talking about cancer, walking by families crying in the halls, looking into room after room of sick people all day everyday. We can't wait till we are out of here and in time, over the emotional pain we are carrying. "The worst day of your life is only 24 hrs" - well, if you remember that every day, you can control your emotions during the ups and downs.

Mom has been coming over in the evenings to watch our shows with us, and picks up whatever Phil is craving in the moment. She is staying another 2 weeks or less, I have lost count. Then Dad will fly up and spend the weekend, and then they'll drive back. Mom and dad text and chat, flirting all day ;) Although I have a ton of guilt over Mom spending so much time here, and them paying for flights, etc she insists that there's no where she'd rather be. She's amazing! She has been home with the kittys, which takes a huge load off my heart! Phil can't wait to see them today. They have been magical in his coping and healing process. Animals are so special in that way. They make us laugh all day, and then when they feel like it they love to cuddle and that just calms the heart so much.

3 weeks from today will be another chemo, and we'll do it all again. But then we will be that much closer to this whole thing being over- and that is exciting. We want time to pass fast. In the meantime we are trying to enjoy the positives of Phil being home and us being together 24/7. Not many families ever get a chance to experience that. I realize how special it is. We are hoping Phil, in about a week or so will be up to getting to a meeting. I would love to get back to meetings as well- it just isn't the same listening in on the phone. We long for the hugs of all our dear friends, and the encouragement we really can only find once we walk into the kingdom hall.

We have started to make a list of things Phil can do to keep himself busy, and ways we can get out of the house or even receive encouragement. A few things Phil has gotten excited about are going thrifting and yard saleing, playing scrabble with friends, COOKING (sooo cute!!), and doing family study with friends. His appetite has been okay, and he is still loving anything creamy! Pasta, soups, casseroles- anything creamy he loves. He has been craving alot of unhealthy stuff, but as I've said before I can't worry about it. He is down to 125 now, and that is just dumb. We need to get him fattened up any way we can. Here are other things he's loving right now:

JUNK FOOD
-Twix bars
-Snickers ice cream bars
-Caramel center Drumsticks
-Ferraro Rochet (dark, milk chocolate and coconut, heart shaped box)
-McDonald's hot fudge sundae with peanuts
-Tapioca and Chocolate pudding
-Doritos

FOOD FOOD
 -Cheese pizza
-Hot dogs (he likes Ball Park brand)
-Potato and cheese perogies
-Grilled cheese

DRINKS
-Gatorade
-Vitamin Water
-Gingerale

RESTAURANTS
-Panera Bread: Baked potato soup, Clam chowder soup ( I love broccoli cheddar w baguette)
-Mcdonalds: Chicken sandwich or cheeseburger with fries and chocolate sundae
-Taco Bell: anything!
-Little Caesars: Cheese Pizza
-Pasta Pomodoro: Shrimp fettucine alfredo

That's all I can think of right now. Love you all and thanks once again for keeping involved in our life by reading this blog. You mean the world to us. Hang in there yourselves!!
Hollie


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