which of course means there will be a future, which is always good news!
Sometime in the next few days Leaves will leave the hospital and return to our home. But it will not be the same, certainly in the short term, but also probably long term as well.
We pretty much know the diagnosis and what will happen from here on out.
But let me talk about what is already changing.
Today she learned how to test her blood sugar and inject insulin if necessary. One side effect of the steroids being used to shrink the soft-tissue mass that caused the instability to her spine is that it causes a temporary diabetic condition. There is a possibility this could convert to Type II Diabetes in the future. She may when she is undergoing chemo have to return to steroids after tapering off from this original application. Thus there are diet and other changes that might be permanent.
When she returns home, at least at first it will not be to our bedroom on the upper floor. We are bringing in a hospital bed which will be put in the room with the TV, which has a bathroom right there and the kitchen right next door. We need at least for a while to limit her use of stairs.
We have reached out to a friend who is an expert on blood-born cancers and he is helping guide us through what we need to know. We are both learning a lot.
And not just about medicine. Please continue below the whirly-gig for more.
In part thanks to the outpouring of support, love and prayers, we are learning how connected we are with others, dozens of people who offered help, sharing of their own experiences, commitment to holding us in the light or praying for us.
Some have expanded the reaching out we have, to the point that people we did not contact now reach out to help and support us.
We are learning how to accept help and support, even if it is only kind words that when we acknowledge lower our barriers and connect us with others in ways we had not previously known.
Most of all is the change in both of us.
It is change in each of us individually.
It is change in us as a couple.
After 38 years together, after 27 years of marriage, we are finally learning what it means to truly love one another.
It is a love that does not exclude, but opens us up to receiving the love of others, to opening our hearts to the needs of others.
We are lucky. Believe me, we know how lucky we are.
While my commitment is first to the well-being of my beloved, I am now even more impassioned to advocate for greater access to the wonders of American medicine and healthcare for all, and to condemn as immoral that we as a society would ration or deny while continuing to give tax breaks to corporations who spend their money on political influence and to wealthy individuals who benefit from our society without giving back in proportion to how they benefit. Forgive this rant, but that is immoral, and I will never hesitate to say so.
Starting a bit later this evening I will have to start making some changes in the house in order to accommodate the needs Leaves will face, including bringing in the hospital bed. It means I will have to spend more time at home and away from the hospital room. My wife is comfortable with my doing that, but wants me to pace myself. I will.
Meanwhile I am preparing for an extended absence from teaching. Today was as near as we can figure out my last day of leave. I have talked with the school and I will be doing paperwork for Family and Medical Leave Act provisions. I will be paid for ten more days and then be on unpaid leave. They want me back, and if possible I would like to finish the year, but that depends on what my wife needs.
Similarly, Leaves has applied to be able to telework fulltime for a month, and we are hoping that will come through.
Neither of us wants to disconnect from the work we love.
Both of us understand that it might have to happen, and if it does, life will go on.
Neither of us is irreplaceable in the work we do.
We are irreplaceable to each other.
For Leaves on the Current, this is also a time of tremendous spiritual challenge, one already leading to significant spiritual growth.
For me? Maybe I am finally learning what it means to truly love.
When I took my teaching job at my current school, I wrote that it might be the most important work I had ever done. It no longer is.
I am learning patience in a way I never understood before.
I am having to learn lot of things in order to be able to support my beloved in what she needs.
I choose to share because perhaps our experience can be of benefit to others.
I also share because of how much love and support we have already been given. In love we want to give back of ourselves.
We do not wish to impose on others. Tomorrow we will give as much information as we can, and then? Perhaps no further daily updates. We still welcome your support, love and prayers.
We are eternally grateful, and hope to be able to pass forward what we have been given.
We love you.