By Angie Reynoso
Time stands still while we are waiting. What seems like hours has only been minutes. Waiting for the doctor to walk in and trying to read his facial expressions. You don't hear anything but you know he is talking. At this point you feel helpless and have no control. Then he reads your test results.
I am Angie, my husband Diego has Cancer and I want to give insight on a caregiver’s point of view, through my eyes.
Diego had his 3 month Positron emission tomography (PET) scan Wednesday to check the status of his cancer. The dread of going for results leaves a knot in my stomach. Staying positive is easier for him than me for some reason. He actually has had to calm me down in the past when he received bad news. Well, it's that time again. The knot is already there. Monday, we will have to sit in the doctor’s office as we have been for over 4 years, waiting for the results.
Some of you may know exactly what I am talking about while some of you won't have a clue. Our normal routine is not normal anymore. We live simple and day-to-day not knowing how he will feel when he rolls out of bed. Some days are good, some days are bad and some days he pretends to be okay. I see him daily and I see his pain, his frustration because he can’t open a water bottle due to his hand hurting so bad. I see the look in his eyes when we have to sacrifice material things because of the ongoing expenses. I hear the weakness in his voice on the days it’s all he can do is to get out of bed. I see it all and the helpless feeling never goes away. All I can do is be by his side and hope for a better day.
It starts with a simple “Good Morning” text when he wakes up. I am always at work and I always leave him to sleep in since most of the time he has a hard time sleeping. I know then how his day will go. I usually call him a few hours later to check on him, to hear his voice, to make sure he is okay. He is always truthful with me, or at least I think he is, about how he is feeling. Bad days, I encourage him to rest and good days I usually ask him to run errands or something to get him out of the house. The constant worry while I work is hard but I know if he needed me he would call me. I have to stay on him to eat for the most part and so many times I have sent a simple message that says nothing other than “EAT!” Trying to juggle work and monitoring his health is hard but I feel it's a necessity to make sure he gets plenty of rest, sunshine, activities, nutrition and encouragement.. As a spouse and caregiver at times you do what is necessary to see them through it. I know I do. Diego doesn't fight this alone, I fight with him everyday.
Our lives are so different now versus before he was diagnosed, but it dosen’t matter to me. I don't care that we can't make plans more than a few hours before the scheduled date. It has never crossed my mind to be angry with him, or hold any hard feelings against him or to blame him. I don't mind that we sit home most of the time because he gets sick easily. I am okay that I don't get to visit family and friends as much as I would like. The only thing that matters to me is that I give him all my love and peace of mind, that no matter what I will do everything in my power to get him through this. I do, however get tired and feel discouraged at times. After all I am human. I have a lot to deal with for the most part. People tell me all the time how strong I am but in reality I'm not. I just do what I have to do. “In sickness and in health” was a vow I took 5 years ago—just 9 months before he was diagnosed with Cancer. I am my husband’s caregiver but also his biggest fan.