December 1, 2018
Glen had another rough night. It seems to be the norm right now and we now know for sure, as if we didn’t know before that, why people choose to go back to an ileostomy bag. Glen is not getting the sleep he needs which makes it very difficult to heal. Of course with me being a light sleeper when I’m able to sleep, it doesn’t help me sleep either. Glen is also reacting to the dendritic immunotherapy shot he got yesterday. It was made out of his own blood, cultured and trained to kill the cancer cells. I still believe yet the belief is more and more difficult when the cancer markers have gone up and not down. I choose to believe that this is working, that Glen is healing, that Glen being feverish and exhausted and having a rash from the injection site is the treatments working. I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE!
We were both hoping that Glen would be up to going out today but that was not to happen. He was absolutely exhausted. We figured that he would probably not be doing well but it was a calculated timing for the immunotherapy vaccine. If we left it for before we need to fly home next week he would not be functional at all and I don’t think I can do all of that on my own…so he has a rough last weekend here. Sad. That’s the only word for it. On the other hand though, as I force myself to be positive, Glen needs his “cave” time. The clinic at Issels has been extremely busy this week and he was the only male patient there which meant that there were a lot of women there who visited more…which is awesome…It just meant that Glen didn’t get his quiet time to nap – which is his saving grace because he doesn’t sleep much at night.
We both love the new people at the clinic. Kim and her husband Terry are both Christian people and it is very refreshing. Martha is also a Christian and is at the clinic without a person there to support her. They are both fantastic. Simmon and her husband Ki drive in from Los Angeles and they had amazing results – her cancer markers are completely down! They are praying for us as well. Then there’s a woman from China there who is a retired pediatrician (I can’t remember her name). She is there with her daughter in law whose English name is Fiona. Jen from Los Angeles is still there as well. She scared us last week when she didn’t show up on Monday because she had been in the hospital. She had some stints put in and was there from Tuesday on. It is always nice to see Jen. She is obviously in pain yet smiling, positive, kind and empathetic. I never cease to be amazed at cancer patients who just embrace life and choose to live. The Issels Clinic has that picture of the frog with his head in the stork’s mouth yet his arms trying to choke the bird whose trying to eat it. Never give up! That’s the motto along with “Keep Sisseling with Issels”. (Catch the Issels imbedded in there? ☺)
Because the morning dawned bright and clear with blue skies we sat out on the patio where the wind is not so windy. We were able to be together when Glen was not in the bathroom. We were able to talk with Donovan and I was happy to hear that my wonderful friend and “personal assistant extraordinaire” at Wellspring Christian Counselling made him two lasagna’s so he would be ok. He loved it. He is also tired…he’s worried about his Dad and I don’t blame him. It’s been a long journey. We talked again about how God has this – yet as he said, it’s hard not to worry because we are human. We choose to trust and believe and if Donovan is anything like his mother and other human beings we need to choose it over and over. Some days it’s easy. Some moments it’s easy. Other moments it’s a definite choice. Today for me it’s a definite choice. I do believe Glen will be healed. It’s just hard to see that when he’s not doing so well…
By noon I was pretty sure that Glen was not going to be able to join me and I actually had to go out. We were out of enough groceries that I was forced out the door. Looking at my tired beloved I decided I would take my time. The Casita is wonderful but if I’m around I’m keeping him awake. I headed for the beach for a walk to begin my afternoon adventure. The ocean waves had picked up again with a thunderous velocity. The landscape at the beach has drastically changed. I made it past the point I couldn’t make it past yesterday and walked in the water and sand barefoot (very detoxifying and healthy) for about twenty minutes and then my sandy beach became rockier and more difficult to traverse. I took more pictures as I stood atop a rock. I’m in awe of nature. This place is so beautiful. I told Glen that when he’s better we should take every November off and come here.
Getting back to the car I hopped in and drove only a mile or so. Stopping at the harbor I parked in a 90-minute spot and hopped out. I was in search of the fish market. Kaitlyn, a receptionist at the clinic, told me that you could get fresh fish for cheaper by asking for “trimmings”. I ended up walking another half mile before getting close. A homeless woman asked me if I could spare a dollar on my little excursion. I stopped and smiled and said, “Can you give me directions?”
Her face was sunburned and peeling and my heart broke for her. I don’t know why she’s on the street begging for money but I just find it so sad to see all the homeless and how skinny they are.
“Sure,” she replied smiling back.
“Where is the fish market?” I asked as I dug in my wallet for some change for her.
She pointed me in the right direction.
“Are you hungry?” I asked as I handed her some money.
“Yes Ma’am,” she said politely.
I nodded. I bet she was. I would be dead as a homeless person. I fetched the tangerine out of my pocket that I had packed along because my blood sugar tends to drop rapidly and I need something quickly. I had just picked it before coming to the beach. I handed it to her.
“Freshly picked,” I smiled.
It looked like she almost burst into tears. “Thank you. God bless you,” she intoned.
“God bless you too,” I said and quickly kept walking before I cried.
I stopped in a little store and tried on a cute sweatshirt that said “Santa Barbara”. It was adorable but somehow I couldn’t get myself to spend the money in light of my recent encounter with that sweet homeless lady…
I did manage to find the Fish Market. I did manage to buy a fair amount of fresh white fish and some fresh salmon for $20.00 in total. Looking at the prices of the fresh fish I’m pretty sure I scored a really good deal! I headed back to my car walking with my bag of fresh fish and ice in hand. Driving back down Shoreline Drive I turned down the street I knew – State Street – driving down the downtown core slowly (cause that’s what you have to do), and found a gas station. Searching for the magic button to press to open the Sante Fe’s gas tank, and, I might add, finding it – I hopped out ready to fill up the tank. But of course the machine told me “no – go see the cashier” so I walked into the gas station and purchased the gas. Filling up a tank shouldn’t be newsworthy but it was refusing to work and a gentleman beside me came and did exactly the same thing as me, and it worked. I’m just impressed that someone noticed and came over to help this poor maiden in distress!
I hopped back into the car and drove all the way to Whole Foods without the aid of google maps – yay! By this time I was getting really hungry so quickly bought what we needed and looked for the young man at the till who I’ve seen every time I’ve been at Whole Foods and who always makes me miss my boys. He wasn’t there which, weirdly, made me feel sad. I got back in and drove to CVS, the pharmacy to pick up some stuff for Glen, then drove back to the Casita having forgotten to buy bananas. Back out I went again but just drove to the little deli across from Issels this time. I was starving and still had to make supper but Glen really needed bananas for the protein drinks I was encouraging him to drink because he just keeps losing weight. He’s down another five pounds making him 165 pounds too light for his frame so I will go back out into the now weather turned wind and cold and buy him bananas!
The evening was chill with me writing after making and eating supper, Glen crawling under the covers and going back and forth to the bathroom. I rubbed his poor neuropathy ridden feet that were freezing and we enjoyed watching a whole pile of TV… there’s not much else to do here so I write and Glen kind of watches TV on and off. And by the way, the fish was amazing! I love walking out the door to pick a fresh lemon for dinner.
So today, though it’s rough, we again choose to believe.