Early on in this cancer journey, things were chaotic and changed everyday. I tried to keep family and friends in the loop by sending group texts and posting on Facebook. Often, I thought I was providing information that carefully conveyed the precarious hold Mark had on life. “Mark’s out of surgery and is on a ventilator.” “Great news!” I’d get back from people. In confusion, I’d go back and re-read what I wrote. Did that somehow sound great? Because to me it was terrible. I read VENTILATOR and they read OUT OF SURGERY. “Mark’s urine output is good.” I read between my lines “HE’S GOT A CATHETER AND CAN’T STAND UP” and they read “GOOD.” “Mark’s strapped down because he keeps trying to pull out his IV.” Me: “HE’S OUT OF HIS MIND!” Them: “HE’S SAFE!” Chipper “great news!” texts and comments started to crack me up, in the way that you get really loopy when you are exhausted and stressed beyond any reasonable level. My friend Kim and I started joking about this a lot. I’d text her something like “Mark’s eye is no longer bulging” and she’d reply “Great news!” when really, the fact that it was ever buldging was still a horror burned into my mind.
And so in that spirit, I share that today Mark reached the 30 lbs lost mark since all this started. Between last week and this week, he’s lost 3 lbs. This is despite my amazing shakes, including my most recent triumph of getting him to drink a shake made of Ensure, Boost, PB2 powder, frozen cheeries, a banana, and a Dunkin Donut Munchkin. I told him about his weight loss today, as I offered him an Ensure that he declined, and he said “well, that’s better than gaining weight.” NO, IT’S NOT! It’s not great news! Sigh.