Since my husband got sick and has been undergoing radiation and chemo, it’s been difficult to make long-term plans. It’s hard enough to make short-term commitments because we just don’t know how Mike will be feeling on any given day.
We don’t even know when Mike can go back to school or work. Maybe in the fall, maybe in the spring. After all, he will need to recover after the cancer treatment so he can get surgery. Only after he’s recovered from surgery—and we don’t even know when the surgery will happen—can he go back to work. In the meantime, he’s very tired, but also bored.
It’s most difficult for Mike to commit to anything. Some days he feels good; others he just wants to sleep. Other than going to treatment every morning, he takes it one day at a time.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not the type of person who needs to plan every little detail years in advance. But I would like to have some idea on what’s going on. I would like to be able to plan some things ahead of time—travel plans being one of them. My sister is getting married next week in the Catskills. I’m going to be there one way or another, but I just don’t know for how long and when I’ll get there.
My mom’s been asking me for at least a month when she should book the plane tickets. I’ve told her several times that how long we’ll be there and if it’s going to be both of us or just me depends on how Mike is feeling which we won’t know until then. The oncologists told us that he’ll most likely be off radiation and chemo the week we are planning to be in New York, but until this week they hadn’t given a definite answer on whether Mike would be OK to travel.
Before all they would say is “we’ll see.” I hated when my parents told me that as a kid. I still don’t like hearing “we’ll see.” To me, it means, “I can’t be bothered to come up with a real answer right now.”
His radiation oncologist still isn’t sure if Mike will need more radiation; he’s running the test on Monday. Of course, we won’t know until the day before we’re supposed to leave if Mike needs to stay for a few more days of treatment. So whether we’re leaving Tuesday or Thursday (the day before the wedding) is still up in the air.
Meanwhile, my mother keeps asking me about the plane tickets. She’s convinced the airline to waive the changing fee, but we will still need to pay the current price of the new tickets. The price skyrockets the closer to the date of the flight.
Originally published in issue 200, May 13, 2005