The pain is still there…but it’s OK

We visited the friendly Oakhurst Kaiser doctor’s office again today. This time, because Rich was having a reaction to the antibiotics. Chemo caused neuropathy (numbness in his fingers and toes), and this side effect has lessened over the months. The antibiotics caused the neuropathy to return in full force. Fun.

After reading a lot about diverticulitis, Rich feels quite confident that this is NOT what he has. After enduring a 4-day liquid fast (chicken broth and orange jello – yum!) he began to eat again at Christmas dinner. He doesn’t have pain if he eats small amounts. He doesn’t have pain if he’s not active. He DOES have pain if he’s doing normal daily activity, and if he eats larger meals.

After a talk with the oncologist on call (Rich’s is on vacation), and review of Rich’s labs from last week, we feel quite certain this could just be muscular. A little over 2 weeks ago, Rich cut down and hauled our Christmas tree about 1/4 mile at Cobb Ranch in Fresno…and then loaded about 4 big boxes of mat board into our van, and then into our studio that day. I think he really torqued his abdominal muscles that day…and his symptoms began about 2 days after that.

This week, we’re feeling less freaked out, and more relaxed about the whole thing.

It’s funny. I had just been thinking a day or two before this happened…why did I have my kids in full time daycare this summer? Why wasn’t I able to work more? Why was I so consumed with cancer that everything else ceased to exist? Wasn’t I being a bit dramatic in the whole thing? Couldn’t I have done more?

Rich was having his own version of these thoughts.

Last week was a giant reminder of the magnitude of the summer. Normal life just wasn’t possible. It just wasn’t. In some ways, it was nice to have that reminder…in other ways, it brought it all back in painful technicolor. I had a bad afternoon on Wednesday, asking God WHY THIS IS ALL HAPPENING AGAIN…WE HAVE A LIFE TO LIVE…DREAMS TO PURSUE…and then came to the conclusion that I am living my life…the life God gave to me at this moment…and there are an astounding number of blessings in my life, many of which are NEW blessings…blessings we wouldn’t have without cancer. In the end, I just need to trust that God loves me; loves Rich; loves our kids…and He has a plan in all of this. There is astounding peace in this Truth.

To end with a happy note, we had a wonderful Christmas. The kids are at the PERFECT age for it (Asher is 3.5; Allison is almost 6). It was magical and peaceful…and without having to cook a giant Christmas dinner, thanks to Rich’s fast, it was actually quite relaxing. I haven’t put the word “relaxing” in the same sentence as “Christmas” since I had kids… So again, there have been blessings amongst the craziness.

The doctor wants us to come back if Rich still has pain in 2 weeks. We also meet with the oncologist in early February for a routine checkup, and have another monitoring round of CT and PET scans then, as well. We’ll keep you posted!

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2 Responses to “The pain is still there…but it’s OK”

  1. Nessa Says:

    I’m sorry for uncertain times. I’m here praying, praying, and more praying for you all. Hang in there Seiling family.

  2. Laurel Says:

    Whew! And I’m constantly amazed at your introspection, as well as buoyed by your faith. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and “relaxing” New Year. 🙂

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