The phone rang and there was a trembling voice on the other end…”They are admitting me to the hospital” The Little One said. It was not difficult to hear the fear and anxiety in his voice; the psychological aspects of going through chemo and radiation are often overshadowed while in the mist of the treatments. Even more unbelievable…his doctor wheeled him to the hospital emergency room herself!
While no one really relishes a trip to the hospital, this was the best way for ‘The Little One’ to help regain his strength and take a break from the cancer treatments. The chemotherapy and radiation has zapped his strength; low white blood cell count and low potassium levels seem to be the culprit in this sordid mess. All fixable items on the health dept chart when recognized early and treated properly. We are thankful for the chemo-therapist for his swift action and recognizing that was something amiss.
Try as we might, we just can no longer do these treatments apart. Independent as he is, these treatments are just not something that you can do on your own. The issues are enormous; house and doctors in Florida, job and family in St. Louis. Yet one thing is certain…home is always where you are when you are with the one you love.
Last Saturday I met with a wonderful geriatric social worker in St. Louis by the name of Jeanette. The hour I spent with Jeanette was worth its weight in gold. One of the great lessons that I was reminded of during my visit last week with Jeanette is the need to network and explore expertise other than your own. (Now is not the time to be a legend in your own mind.) There are more options available than meets the eye, it’s just getting to the right resources in time to make the proper decisions. I am thankful for her knowledge and thankful to Sherrill Wayland from Metro SAGE St. Louis for the great referral.
As I have previoiusly mentioned, being a caregiver is a privileged…Yet in order to be a good caregiver you have to sometimes detach your emotions and explore knowledge and resources outside your area of expertise. There is no need for the caregiver to go solo! My visit with Jeannette reminded me that in order to think outside the box, I have to get out of my own world.
As we move into the final stages of the chemotherapy and radiation treatments, we are doing this together…side by side, one by one. Now that I am in Florida, one decision is firm…’The Little One’ will no longer be ‘physically’ alone to go through these daunting treatments. We look ahead with hope, with anticipation and most of all…with all your love, prayers and support!