Multiple mets

16Apr11

By that I mean “multiple metastasis”. That’s how Jem described what’s happening to him to a friend yesterday. And multiple mets are not a good thing.
This week has had an intensity and a sadness that I have found very hard to deal with. Tears are frequent and Jem is obviously in more pain.
Two more tumours in six weeks and more complications are harrowing to say the least.
My notes from the results of the MRI from Tuesday.

Wedge compression fracture in L4. this could apparently be as a result of radiotherapy and the tumour that was radiated moving into the spinal column.
New tumours on T11 and L3

Seeing the specialist in Tuesday and then the oncologist and radiographer on Thursday.
Jem suspects they will look at doing some quick radiotherapy and then a decompression of the spinal canal.
Of course complications with Easter so not sure when this will all be.
It’s likely that the original tumour has not responded to radiotherapy and has caused part of the fracture and is now in the spinal canal.
All sounds very aggressive.
Jem has been writing email updates to family, friends and colleagues and the email on Friday was so hard and sad to read.
It’s hard to be positive when the news is not positive.
Lots of tears.
I told him that I’m scared of hugging him now we know that there is a fracture.
Of course a change in the weather here hasn’t helped. Petty constant and at times driving rain since last night has not helped my glumness.
I feel so helpless, but worse I feel that I am not coping so well. I am actually looking foraged to going home tomorrow because the intensity here is so profound.
It’s not that we are all sitting around crying…it’s just really hard living and dealing with all of this.
I think when I’m back in Canberra I will see a counselor.
I have told Jem that I wont come up until he is out of hospital, possibly in a few weeks.
Jem is writing about this all, and apparently several colleagues have offered to publish this hard journey. Jem is sending both me and Kath (work colleague and dear friend) details of his funeral and all his writing…which he will update as he goes.
What can I say? What can I do?

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3 Responses to “Multiple mets”

  1. I feel compelled to write *something*, Kate. How can one not write something when a post ends with two questions?

    What can you say? Probably nothing? “I love you”, “I’m here for you”. You’ve said them already and only you know if saying them again is too much. Jem knows… how much you love him and how sad you are. How presumptuous of me to say that – I’ve never met Jem – but I feel it through your writing!

    What can you do? Everything you are already doing. Seeing a counsellor is a good plan. Friends are wonderful… but counsellors are trained to help us and see things that we and our friends don’t see. Remember the EAP is there (I’m sure you know that). I have used them and found them useful… but be sure to feel you can say no to a counsellor you don’t like/click with.

    “It’s hard to be positive when the news is not positive.” Yep, sure is. (Hmmm… tone is too casual, but it’s true). You mentioned not coping… only you know what helps you cope. Rest? Work? Exercise? Do whatever gets you through and keeps you well.

    Love, Rachael.

  2. 2 strawberriesofintegrity

    Thank you Rachel. Yes I will contact EAP on Monday.

  3. I wish I had answers. Maybe it’s ok not to be positive when it’s not? To embrace the sadness and weariness of it all for a time – it seems to me that by denying it you would just make it worse. Acknowledgement and acceptance can bring an element of peace.

    I’m glad Jem is sorting out things like his writing, his funeral stuff. And yes, a counsellor is a good thing for you and even for Jem & partner if they feel it would help.


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