How Will She Survive?

It’s only day three. My friend, Barb is the caretaker. She has been waiting on her husband hand and foot. He is the patient; a horrible, terrible, patient. But we have to cut him some slack because his brain in not 100% back to normal.

Day one. Barb and I took her husband home from the hospital after having brain surgery. We all went through two weeks of heart wrenching anguish. It was time for Barb’s husband to come home and rest before he starts treatments. He was supposed to have a spotter when going up and down stairs Forget that. Instead, he walked in the door and searched it from top to bottom checking to see if everything was in its place. He had to go online and check out his bank statement. It was imperative to listen to all his voicemails. It was vital to read all his text messages. He slammed things around and cursed when he couldn’t find things. He punched and kicked doors when he didn’t get his way. Barb’s nerves were on edge. How will she survive?

Day two.  It’s time to go for a radiation consultation. At first Barb’s husband said he declined to go. He didn’t understand why he needed treatment if the tumor was gone. He did go, but not without incident. Barb and her 17 year-old daughter drove him to the hospital. While they were in the exam room, it began. Barb’s husband did not want to wait for the doctor who said he’d be in shortly. So Ron began to scream; he screamed on the top of his lungs. Barb and her daughter tried to get him to stop. They were horrified. A nurse came sprinting into the room. She tried to calm him down. She left and he continued to scream and slam things around. Barb was shaking. What could she do? The doctor came in and was scolded by  Barb’s husband who then told him he was getting a second opinion. Barb was going to lose it. How will she survive?

Day two. Evening. My husband and I went over to Barb’s to help out and visit. When we got there Barb’s husband was sitting on the floor in his office with his head in his hands. He eyes were closed as my husband tried to talk to him. He said he wanted a gun so he could shoot himself. My husband asked him if he wanted his daughter to grow up. He said he didn’t care. My husband told him the Ron that he knows is a fighter. He said talking gave him a headache. My husband got up, and Barb’s husband locked the door and laid face down on the floor. He got up a few minutes later, and went into the laundry room and sat on the floor in the dark.  He wouldn’t move or speak. It was time to eat, so we all sat down at the table except Barb’s husband. Barb begged him to come and eat, but no reply. Suddenly Barb’s husband popped up and announced he was starving. He sat down at the table with this shit grin and began to laugh. “I was just messing with you guys,” he proclaimed. Just messing with us for an hour? Seriously?? On top of that my husband thought that Barb and I were in on the joke. We assured him that we were not… We sat there is disbelief. Was it really all a joke I thought? Barb’s husband then began to tell us how to get out of a doctor’s office quickly. He was so proud of himself when he told us all we had to do was make some noise.  I was thinking, how will she survive? I’m not sure is she will, and I’m not too far behind…..


5 thoughts on “How Will She Survive?

  1. I have had many friends and acquaintances experience the trauma of cancer over the years. What I have learned from them is this. They did not ask to be in this position. Suddenly they are having to tell multiple people their life story – over-and-over-and-over again. They are picked and prodded and their lives are intruded on in such a way that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. It’s understandably hard on the care-taker (I was there, too!) but it’s so, so, so much harder on the patient. Hang in there for Barb’s husband. He needs you guys.

  2. So heartbreaking to watch someone you love struggle! Heartbreaking for Barb and her daughter and for all of you. Probably also really scary and frustrating for her husband. So glad you are there to support all of them!

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