The Family That Ails Together…

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Writer’s Note – I’ve been on hiatus for about three weeks.  Why?  I don’t know.  I’ve just been busy, or lazy, with other things.  This post, along with a couple of others, was written (but not published) at an earlier date.

As we ended the month of May (also known as My Birthday Month), Zach came home from a national quiz bowl tournament in Chicago – where he individually placed 31st out of 1,200 plus competitors!  (Wow!)  His flight arrived late the evening of June 1st, and our time as a family suddenly took a turn for the worse.  Around 2:30 Monday morning, Zach started to throw up.  It lasted for five or more hours, then he spent the remainder of Monday and much of Tuesday sleeping and eating very little.  At first we thought it was food poisoning, but no one else in his travel group got sick.

Tuesday evening came, and Vicki decided to go to bed a little early.  She had been in bed no more than thirty minutes when she began to get violently ill.  Vicki ended up sleeping downstairs, near the first floor bathroom, an old bucket situated next to the bed.  Around 1:00 AM on Wednesday, I began to toss and turn.  I couldn’t tell if I was feeling sick or just having problems sleeping.  At 2:30 AM, however, I knew the answer.  It came pouring out of me – again and again and again.  As I told someone later in the week, I don’t think I’ve puked that much since college.  Vomiting is just a disgusting act, and the feeling of helplessness – and dread – as you begin to retch, again, uncontrollably is something I don’t ever want to feel…ever, again!

Around 4:30 Wednesday morning, I was joined in my helplessness by the sound of someone else – upstairs – throwing up in the other bathroom.  It was Emily.  She, too, had succumbed to what we later labelled “Zach flu” – although she seemed to recover a little faster than the rest of us.  We ended up spending the next 72 hours of the ultimate in “down time.”  I don’t think I’ve missed that much work or done so very little over two plus days in a long long time.

While it wasn’t the “family time” vacation that we typically enjoy every summer, it was the most time the four of us had spent together since last summer’s trip to Canada.  (Note: Since we won’t have a “real” vacation this summer, I guess we had to improvise – ha, ha.)

This looks like how I felt – between a rock and a hard place!

– – –

Okay, so what’s with the rocks and sod strewn all over the place?  As you can see in the picture above, prior to getting sick, my Tuesday evening got off to a “wonderful” start when both Zach and Vicki informed me (via text) that the garden stones and Zoysia sod I ordered over the weekend had arrived – all over the end of our driveway!  To make matters worse, I was driving home from my six month check up with the dermatologist. (Who had removed a slight basal cell carcinoma from my back and otherwise hacked me up pretty good.)  I was not pleased in the least.

So, I took out my frustration on the sod, loading it into the wheelbarrow and lugging it to the front yard.  It was hot, muggy, and messy.  And, after an hour or so of laying down new sod, my exhaustion probably contributed to me getting sick as quickly as I did later that night.  All in all, it was a wonderful, wonderful Tuesday!  (Obvious extreme sarcasm in that last statement.)

– – –

On June 18th, I have a full PET scan to ensure that the cancer has (a) not moved to other parts of my body and (b) the remaining tumors in my right lung have not gotten any larger.  It’s always a time of tremendous stress because there are so many unknowns, and, frankly, I don’t want any new problems cropping up.  We’ll get the results back the following day, June 19th, so I’ll communicate that to anyone who is still interested.  I know I will likely never be “cured,” but I’d like some reassurances that this “beast” inside of me has gone away, once and for all.