Sunday, February 12, 2012

How is Jason doing?



In the last week and a half, several people have asked me how Jason is handling the diagnosis and all the questions, uncertainty, and well, just stuff that goes along with it. Of course, it's really early days, so I don't mean this to be a definitive description, it's just more a snapshot of what the last 10 days have been like. We have a road ahead of us, and we know that.

The day that all this unfolded; the day I got the diagnosis, I was on my own in the city. A good 45 minute drive away from him. I'd left that morning to go to what I thought was really just a cautious, responsible check into what would turn out to be nothing. There was no sense, in my mind, in trying to find someone to watch Grace at the last minute so that Jase could come with me. Plus, at the outset, I confess that I thought: "A day on my own in the city! I'll have this little appointment and then maybe I can go get a pedicure!"

So as the day went on and I realized that there was maybe something to this, and then that there was almost definitely something to this, I was sending him text messages every time I had a chance. That seems so anti-climactic, doesn't it? If this were a movie, that would so not be the way you tell your husband that you're having a biopsy and that things don't look good. Where's the drama? Where's the heartfelt expressions of love and support? This movie stinks!

It's just that there wasn't really time to call him, I was back and forth having tests, filling out forms, talking to people. Plus, it was a very quiet waiting room full of people that would've heard my every word. So we texted back and forth instead. But the thing is, Jason and I have been together for pretty much all of our adult lives. So I knew what he would say if I'd been able to call him. And he knows the same about me. So all that mushy heartfelt stuff was there, but it was subtext. In fact, this was a very pragmatic day, and most of our communications were, on the surface, conveying information.

In fact, once we did talk on the phone, after I'd finally talked to the doctor and paid the bill and gone out by the elevators--I don't even remember if I told him it was cancer. He already knew. And I knew that he knew.

My husband is an optimist. He really thinks that, most of the time, things are pretty darn swell. When I'm frustrated or discouraged about something, he is quick to debate me and demonstrate how, really, it's not that bad. (Which, I'm not gonna lie, is super-annoying sometimes!) He's also a doer. So, that first night, after I got home from the clinic, he read through the whole breast cancer book the clinic had given me. Then the next day, he was online, reading about cancer-fighting foods and complementary treatments, and alkalizing your body or some such. He knows I'm going to be fine, just knows it. Knows it better than I do. But he's also busying himself researching what we're gonna do from here on. How we'll eat differently, what kinds of food we'll buy, where we'll shop--all that stuff.

I'm not there yet. In fact, we had an argument the other day. I know, right? Who argues with a cancer patient?? I thought everybody was just supposed to be nice to me now. I mean, there ought to be some perks! Sheesh. It was the day I was trying to decide whether I'd have the lumpectomy or the mastectomy. Remember, I told y'all I was feeling pretty anxious and uncertain.

I called him over to the laptop. I was looking at statistics on local recurrence of cancer in patients who'd had lumpectomies. (Meaning, cancer returning to that breast.) I was saying I didn't know what to do. And he, being the optimist, started reassuring me about how it would be fine because in the future we are going to change how we do things, and that we were going to beat this and it wouldn't come back.

Well, that made me mad. See, you guys think I'm all sweet and positive all the time? I'm really not. I'm quite thorny, actually. I froze up when he said that, I was angry but I didn't really know why. So I snapped at him, he huffed, I puffed. You know how it goes. I said something snarky like, "I'm not gonna go to some health spa and slather my boob in quinoa paste! I'm not that person!" Even though I know that wasn't what he meant. I just wanted to say it.

It was only later, as we talked, cause he is like that--he always makes me talk and share, that I realized why I was upset. It's that I can't think that far ahead right now. I can't think past the surgery, really. And to me, I needed to make that decision--about what procedure to have, and thinking about how we were going to change our lifestyle in the future wasn't helping. In his mind, he was encouraging me that it was going to be okay, and in my mind he was saying my anxiety was silly.

Feelings. So annoying, am I right??

After that conversation, I told him to just go for it. Read everything, study up, file all this information away. I'm not ready to hear it right now, but I want him to do his thing. Because I know that later, I will be. It's not that I'm against all that stuff, I totally see the value in making lifestyle and diet changes! I just can't go there right now. It's too much for me.

Oops, I think I've made this post more about me than about Jason. To answer my original question...Jason is doing pretty good. At this stage, his plate is about as full as it can get. Things are very busy with the church, it's always full-on with the kids, he's thinking about me and looking after me too, and he was supposed to be completing his master's thesis at the end of this month. Woohoo! In fact, the other day he said to me, "I think I'm running at full capacity--I don't really think I could handle much more right now." Which is like a normal person saying, "OH GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE A BRIGHT LIGHT??"

So, I know he's feeling the strain. Geez, who wouldn't be? But I always admire this about him, and I wish I was like this: he is able to separate his emotions from what needs to be done. He just gets on with it, he does what he can do in a given day, and he moves on. Gag--so annoyingly healthy!

To sum up, I think I'm in pretty good hands. And, fine! I will try not to be so pissy with him.

The End.


30 comments:

  1. When Jason came to me to "ask for your hand," I told him that my expectation of my daughter's husband was that he be willing to give his life for her. He understood completely. I am confident that Jason would willingly die for you, but more importantly, I am certain that he will live his life for you as well.

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    1. Camp Papa, I do believe you are a romantic.

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  2. Sounds like he's made of good stuff, Amy. I'm glad he's in your corner.

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  3. He is the greatest.

    And I'm cracking up but IT'S REALLY TRUE, if JASON has reached full capacity, it is like, Mayan last days for the rest of us. Like that scene in that movie where Jon Cusack is driving the limo down the road and the elevated highway is crumbling away behind him? That's where we all are if Jason is at full capacity.

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    1. LOL! You're right...jase says I'm exaggerating, but it's really true. :)

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    2. So true. The man is a flippin juggling legend!!
      Puts most moms to shame!!!!

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  4. What a great guy. And Camp Papa's comment made me tear up. With these people in your corner, you can't help but heal up just fine!! Always thinking about you, Amy.

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  5. Glad to read this post. I have an adorable Flash photo of you and Jason from a UMCM Crush party or something...early in your dating life. I was looking at it just the other day. You've always just fit together. You really have. :)

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  6. Quinoa paste! Ha! I applaud your ability to find humor in any situation. Jason sounds like quite a catch.

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    1. Thanks, Justine. I'm trying to stay positive, and really, it's funny how the mundane issues of marriage still come into play here...except now you're bickering over cancer treatment options instead of wet towels left on the floor. Though there's still that, too. ;)

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  7. Amy, thanks for updating us on how Jason is doing. I just haven't known how to ask him this directly :)
    If we were in a dicy situation I know we'd want Jason in our camp, he's that kind of a guy! :)

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  8. Man, that Jason is just the greatest man. Really. And Camp Papa is right up there too. You are a lucky, lucky woman. I know you're not feeling too lucky right now, but in the man department? You are. And you have every right to be as pissy as you want, because you have cancer and that does give you certain perks. And my guess is that he knows this. XO

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    1. Thanks, girl. I know I've got it pretty good. :)

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  9. I just love you Amy. I texted Cheryl after I re-read your first post about all this the other day and told her that if she was diagnosed I would be on the first plane out of TX to CO, ONE WAY, no questions asked and send for my stuff later. We're praying fervently for you all, and Mom & Dad put you on their prayer list at their church... they're cute like that. I wish I was closer, but know that you are loved by many in Dallas, TX and a few others in Colorado Springs, CO ;-)

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  10. Oh, I have only just caught up with your last 3 posts. Good thing you don't discriminate against us non-praying types - I'm sending healthy wishes and thoughts your way. Also, I know it is incredibly irritating to leave anything advice-like in people's blog comments, so I promise I am cringing as I write this, but can I just repeat my recommendation of 'Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom' by Christiane Northrup? Get Jason to read it! It doesn't say anything about quinoa paste! xx

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    1. Nina, thank you! I'm not at all averse to reading suggestions, I promise. :) As long as it's quinoa-free! (just kidding, just kidding. Mostly.)

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  11. Oh yeah, and I'm kind of wondering if you had any suitors before Jason who got scared away by Camp Papa??!

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    1. Hmmm...despite my sister's revisionist history below, I wasn't exactly a dude magnet in my younger years. So by the time Jason came along, I think Dad had all this great material he'd been saving up!

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    2. Yeah yeah, I'm an older sister. I'm going with Becky's version.

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  12. Nina, I can tell you, I don't think they were scared away by our dad, but there was an absolute trail of broken hearts in her wake. Like a swath of destruction like you'd see on the Weather Channel, when Jim Cantore is wearing waders and standing on a flooded Main Street, and only Waffle House is open for miles around.

    There may have been too many Americanisms in the preceding for you to get the picture. I guess substitute High St for Main St. And there is no substitute for Waffle House.

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    1. Now, this raises an interesting topic. What WOULD the Waffle House equivalent be in the UK?

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    2. I haven't ever visited a Waffle House, but I'm making certain assumptions based on the name of the place, and I don't think we have an equivalent. When high streets are flooded and the weather-people don their waders, usually absolutely everything is shut. But I have just looked up 'waffle house' on the Google, and apparently there is a British chain with... two outlets. Organic waffles and Fairtrade coffee. Hm, possibly not quite the same.

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    3. Becky, I just died at your Jim Cantore reference. Awesome.

      Is either Denny's or IHOP international? (I mean, OBVIOUSLY IHOP is international, but you know.) We don't have Waffle Houses in the west but I always think of it like a Denny's.

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  13. Gretchen sent me your way, and I'm glad she did. Jason is sure a keeper! ;) I'll absolutely be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGZ!!))

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    1. Thank you, Stacy. That Gretchen's a peach. :) Thanks for coming over!

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  14. Hey Amy, this is Samrana. I am praying for you and just like your husband, I know that you will be all right. You are very brave and full of life. Nothing bad will happen to you.
    Sending prayers and good wishes your way

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    1. Hey Sam!! I'm so glad to hear from you...thank you. :) bless you and your family!

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  15. Jason: "No worries......" God knew what Jason would have to handle. This did not take God by surprise. So He put that awesome " no worries, she'll be right" attitude in him. You are, indeed, in the most capable hands--Gods and Jason's.
    I can see your kids now when you break out the "healthy lifestyle" -- mutiny!!!!
    Seriously, my sis in law had the most aggressive FFC and she opted for lumpectomy. She has literally juiced herself to health. NEVER A DAY goes by without a HUGE glass of produce going down her. She looks better than she ever has! So blend/juice those dark leafy greens, those beautiful beets, those succulent carrots-- sounds yummy don't it??? Love you long time. Will be praying before, during and after surgery!

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  16. There's not much I can say that others haven't said, except always reserve the right to be pissy. If you can no longer be pissy, then the terrorists have won.

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  17. Thanks so much for this update, my darling friend! And yes, as a big buddy of Amy's all through high school and beyond, she had many admirers. I won't name names to protect the innocent. But more than one eligible young bachelor had to settle for second best!
    Amy, I loved Jason before. But now I luuuffff him. And you tell him for me that I luuuuffff him.

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