First of all, let me say at the top of this post that with the passing of T. Sam Rawls, the sun will have to work harder to light this world. The loss of Sam’s bright light of goodness, wit and character will create a sense of community sadness that will be hard to get past. Jacquie, Jill and I are holding you in our hearts and praying for your peace and comfort in the loss of your loving mate and one of this community’s best friends.
I have been pretty quiet for the past few days because I feel like I’ve been to hell and back and just haven’t felt like communicating. Despite Jill’s most glorious-to-date warrior bride caregiver performance, visits from my sweet mom and having my fabulous Uncle Johnny and Aunt Nelda here to help keep an eye on me, I have been one miserable SOB.
In addition to large-scale pain mostly from the very long incision on my right side, the addition of a new medication has left me completely unable to sleep. The first two nights on the medication I was only able to get about three hours of sleep and I’ve been so exhausted. Dr. Pippas counseled with me and suggested we add a short-term SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), to help me keep my mind more calm and release some of the pressure cooker anxiety of feeling like something major is about to happen with this cancer, but not knowing exactly what or when it was coming.
We chose a small dose of Celexa. It is to be taken at night and requires a few days or even weeks to fully work. I’m three days in now and after a couple of really horrible completely sleepless nights, I’m beginning to get my legs back under me. I have a feeling this medication is going to be very helpful for me, as I am a fidgety, compulsive dude. Everyone who knows me knows that. I’m hoping for a more calm mind, because we’ve got to make some tough decisions ahead. I want to be clear-headed and razor-sharp when it comes time to pull the trigger.
The thing that cancer patients most hate to see happen, happened to me this morning. I got up to make a pot of coffee and checked my Blackberry. The light was blinking and I could see there had been a voicemail from the phone number that belongs to the John B. Amos Cancer Center.
I wonder if cancer docs really know the instant fear and dread that the mere sight of that phone message light can cause in those of us who are living with cancer. Even if I finally get to beat this thing down for good, I will still quake at the sight of a message from 706-320-8700.
Dr. Pippas wants me to heal from the lumbar spine surgery and his call was simply to let me know that he hasn’t been able to get in contact with Dr. Dan George at Duke to schedule a consultation. So, our Thursday afternoon appointment with Dr. Pippas has been postponed, either until I’ve recovered from my surgery or he’s been able to get in touch with Dr. George and it is time to start making plans.
I’m thankful for my surgeons, Dr. Mike Gorum and Dr. Mac Molnar, who assisted with the thoracic part of the procedure and Dr. Pippas. I hope I’m exactly where I need to be, two weeks after a surgery like this and that I’ll continue to improved and be able to be strong for whatever comes.