November 28, 2018
Issels Clinic, Santa Barbara
Today the sun was actually hidden by the clouds. Glen was up most of the night so I’m sure the weather matched his mood a bit – although he always feels more optimistic in the morning even after a bathroom filled and sleepless night. The evening was really rough for Glen and it’s incredibly difficult to keep one’s spirits up when your butt is as bad as it is for him. I am at a loss and don’t know what to do, what to say, how to help. To feel so utterly helpless when your beloved is in pain; when he continues to lose weight, when it’s such a socially inappropriate thing to discuss – to say that this is difficult for Glen and I is an understatement. We are learning to treasure each and every good moment.
We made it to the clinic and had a slow start. I was going to walk and find that cute little comic book and games store that caught my attention last week. My boys would probably love a comic book on Star Wars or something Marvel. The morning walk was not to be. We met with Dr. Kim and received the good and not so good news. The good news is that Glen’s inflammation is finally going down – not enough but significant enough to cheer! The bad news is that the cancer markers are still up, even slightly higher. The good news around the bad news is that cancer markers being slightly up could actually mean that his body is responding to treatment and fighting the cancer so we can’t really “trust” the markers just yet. Dr. Kim put Glen on more pharmaceuticals to attack the cancer. We are hoping that the bowels getting worse and worse is a condition caused by the cancer disease, so if we exterminate the disease hopefully the bowels will also not only improve but become new. I am praying for the ultimate miracle – a brand new rectum. I know God can and I’m just going to keep praying that He will. I’m a bit leery of the one pharmaceutical though as it’s the same chemo that Glen took with the first round of cancer in 2015. He will be taking it at an extremely low dose and Dr. Kim said that if he starts getting any symptoms, including worse neuropathy because that’s already bad from stuff from the naturopath in Canada as well as the past chemo, then he just simply stops taking it.
I also mentioned to Dr. Kim that my heart keeps racing so of course we went over all the things that could be the cause including anxiety, thyroid issues, and infections. It could also just be Lyme symptoms coming back as I have been in much more pain again and the heart symptoms are not new. This just tells me that I’m ok. I’ll just continue to blame Lyme because I’m pretty sure it is the culprit. This too shall pass!
We went from Dr. Kim to Dr. Millar the psychologist to chat some more. We talked a long while and got to know him better. Glen is an amazing man and handling something horrendous with as much dignity and thankfulness as is possible in this circumstance. He is growing closer to the Lord. He is taking a mitt full of supplements when he hates taking “all that stuff”. He’s doing it all out of a simple faith. Everyone’s faith looks somewhat different because everyone has a unique relationship with our Father God. We all hear from Him differently because He created us each with specific hearing abilities. I believe that Glen hears from God through creation and through his incredible empathy for others. God’s kindness and compassion shine through Glen to others and wraps them up in love when he simply walks in a room. That’s my man. When we got married we sang to each other during the ceremony. “He has chosen you for me. Take my hand and we’ll agree, that He has chosen you…for me….He has made us. Washed us white as snow. And now, we’re together. Cause He has made it so….” You get the idea. The song fit then and the song fits now. It was a beautiful expression of our love for each other and our love for God. We dedicated our relationship to God the first day we started dating through prayer initiated by Glen. I knew then that Glen was the man for me – a man of God after God’s own heart. I can’t imagine what God has in store for him by making him even stronger.
I headed back to the Casita for lunch and Glen headed into more treatments. He got more IV’s with a new IV line because his old one was hurting and not working. He had the BRT and Light Wave Therapy, and finished off with a hyperbaric oxygen treatment. I drove back to the Clinic and starting walking downtown mostly because I needed a walk.
Glen’s afternoon was also rough with his bowel. As I was waiting for Glen to finish up I noticed Dr. Kim wasn’t busy so knocked on his door to pick his brain about anything else we can do to help Glen’s bowels. I am thrilled to know that Dr. Kim will be Glen’s doctor even back in Canada yet it won’t be simple there. Dr. Kim is not licensed in Canada so he can give us suggestions and then we need to make it happen with the doctors at home. That sounds like a long process to me… Dr. Kim and I chatted for quite awhile as he began grasping just how awful Glen’s bowels are and how it has literally changed our lives. We can’t go out because Glen is in constant need of a bathroom. When we have some good hours it is literally a miracle. We discussed a j pouch and what that would mean (a surgical procedure that would give Glen a bag again). He also mentioned another pharmaceutical that had eight benefits including attacking the cancer and supposed to help the constant pooping. It’s called “octreotide”. I put that in my mind as something to try if all else keeps failing. A j pouch or ileostomy is a last resort but right now it actually looks way better than what he is dealing with. We are really appreciating the open door policy of the doctors here. It makes it so much easier because we don’t have to think of everything at one appointment.
I took a look at Glen and decided, along with him, that instead of going to the pharmacy we would head straight back to the Casita. Glen was beyond exhausted from the treatments and the massive bowel day. I also couldn’t stop yawning. The evening was spent making and eating a simple supper, watching a few shows, Glen watching hockey and me writing. I am very thankful for my man! As we sit together now we can hear the rains coming down – much needed in drought ridden Santa Barbara. May God grant us His healing rain as we continue our time here at Issels Clinic.