When you become a care provider for someone with cancer, you learn quickly that the main priority is no longer “how many fun things we can do in the day”, but instead the basics:
- Pain control
- Staying “regular”
- Preventing nausea
- Managing energy
- Maintaining weight
They all build on each other. My experience in chart form (because I am super nerdy this way):
So when I mentioned that you celebrate the little things when you are exposed to cancer, you really do.
- Your pain is 2/10 today? AWESOME! Let’s go for a walk.
- You ate a whole bowl of oatmeal! High-five.
- You have lots of energy today? Great! Let’s watch the whole Canucks game together.
I feel like these are hidden things. Cancer-care secrets. Your existence becomes reduced to simple, life-sustaining measures.
It’s taken us two months of trying different combinations of meds, foods, and timing to get into a groove.
My Dad’s weight is stable now. He is not nauseated (that was the worst for me. It’s really hard to watch someone whither away because they simply can’t eat or drink). His pain hovers between 2 and 5 out of 10. He’s kind of coming back to being himself, and wants more autonomy. He actually wants to DO things.
It’s kind of deceiving though, because it makes you think he’s getting better. But it just means that his quality of life is back. Which is so, so amazing.
So now we plan. How many fun things can we do in a day?