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Kris Fuller, CancerWifeNinja sharing my journey... as my husband battles Stage 4 Colon Cancer. 

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And Now....?

Posted by on July 17, 2020 at 9:35 PM Comments comments ()

His pain is over, but mine has just begun.

This blog for CancerWifeNinja feels wrong now, feels different.

I'm starting the section called 'And Now...?' for the next entries

His Spirit is Free

Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 7:10 AM Comments comments ()

Ben's mom arrives and joins us.

We three ladies hug and cry,holding one another, beside Ben.

Your mama's here, I say.

Yea, he breathes...and it's barely audible.

He knows you're here, I tell her.

Oh, my boy. My sweet, sweet boy. She p...

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the Hardest Phone Call

Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 4:35 AM Comments comments ()

I phone his mom at 130. She doesn't answer. She calls me back at 132. 

You need to come to the hospital. It's his last night. 

Oh no, no, no. I'm on my way. I cry fresh tears for Ben's mom. 

Your mom is on her way, I say. 

Yes, he gasps. He can hear and understand but he's down to one word answers now...

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What Happens Now

Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 4:05 AM Comments comments ()

What happens now? I ask.

We keep him in a painfree, peaceful state. He will eventually stop breathing but he will not be in pain. We will make sure of that. 

Can my sister come in?

When the answer is 'yes', I am relieved. Lisa is by my side in moments. We each hold one of Ben's hands. She reaches over and grabs my other hand and we s...

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I'm Gonna Call It

Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 3:05 AM Comments comments ()

The paramedics tell us, Meet us at the hospital, but don't speed in our path. Follow the law and drive safe. I'm glad they said it. It didn't occur to me.

They leave with Ben and Lisa has already packed 2 bags. One for Ben, and one for me. Clean clothes, toothbrushes, waters. We get in the car and drive. I can't believe they asked what I want! (It's not until the next day that I realise... we have a 'wishes to die at home' request in our ...

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Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 2:45 AM Comments comments ()

The two paramedics move Ben from the electric bed in our living room to a transport chair. There are braces, straps and foot holds. He's too tall and it's not smooth. My heart breaks with every awkard move. My sister and I help wheel him out- she carries his oxygen tank, they lift the metal chair and I support his head .. all the while talking to him. 

I'm right here. Are you okay? You're okay. You'll be okay. W...

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Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 2:10 AM Comments comments ()

The ambulance arrives. They check his vitals. Heartrate 169. Too fast, too hard. They give him oxygen and cover questions rapidly. Meds? Pain? Prognosis? Events? History? Allergies? 

I answer efficiently. God, I hope each answer is correct. Here, we have paperwork. This is his home medical journal, check it. This is what he's had, what he's on. I am relieved that we are such excellent record-keepers. I pass more...

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Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 2:05 AM Comments comments ()

Sit me back down, he commands. Gently, we reverse the lift. His hug is still hard around me and we lean down. Once he sits back down, he continues to slump further down. His breathing is raspy and he beats his chest with his fist.

He's gasping for a better breath. Call 911, I say to Lisa. I don't hesitate and she doesn't second guess it. She calls immediately. I sit in front of Ben, he is slumped and struggli...

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Hug Heartbeat

Posted by on July 16, 2020 at 2:00 AM Comments comments ()

Lisa hangs out, lingering, chatting. I want her to stay overnight but we are both leary. Ben, is this okay? Yes, of course. He answers with no hesitation and we smile. We will sleep together in the bedroom and he's already on the electric bed in the living room.

At 11pm I help him with his meds, but notice his pain seems ...high. Do you need some breakthrough morphine? I ask. He nods and I inject 2ml. 

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My House and the Maffia

Posted by on July 14, 2020 at 6:10 PM Comments comments ()

I have finally connected the dots with our house. We found a notary who succeeded in getting my name added to title. He's all business, and has a thick accent (I feel it's Romanian or Russian, former maffia for sure). 

Maffia: Vat your husband do? 

Me: Well, um, sort of gardens, and sort of unemployed, he was starting a nursery...

Maffia, interrupting: Businessman. You? Vat?...

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Zak, Christine & Lisa

Posted by on July 14, 2020 at 5:05 PM Comments comments ()

Ben's brother and wife, Christine arrive. Shortly after, Lisa shows up. I've missed my sister and it's a perfect mix. The girls leave the brothers to chat. We take a walk to get me out of the house for a bit. 

When we return, we have drinks on the deck and Ben rests. They spend the whole afternoon with us and I'm so pleased. 

Family Joy

Posted by on July 14, 2020 at 2:55 PM Comments comments ()

Let's call your mom and have her over tomorrow for a visit, too. She will want to see you as much as she can.

We call her and we both feel a bit better. We ask her to bring a salad. One of Ben's favourite with ichiban noodles and cabbage. We made a list of all the salads we love. We want to make them all in the next few days to eat fresh and healthy.

We will find joy, celebrate th...

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Finding Joy

Posted by on July 14, 2020 at 2:45 PM Comments comments ()

Ben's brother is coming over today. Ben has been resisting visitors because he hasn't felt his best. He's felt tired. He likes it when he's at his best. When he's energetic and able. 

Well, I think things have changed now, I say. I think we need to open the doors to your mom and family for any day they like. They don't care if you need to sleep. And what else for joy? I ask. 

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Posted by on July 14, 2020 at 2:40 PM Comments comments ()

We talked to Dr. Oncology today over speaker. Ben's very weak, and his blood doesn't look like it can handle much more. 

Where are we with everything then? I ask. 

Ben decides. He doesn't want any more chemo. It could work, not work or kill him at this point. No more, he says. 

And so now what? I ask. 

Find joy. Find the joy...

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So Subtle....

Posted by on July 13, 2020 at 11:55 PM Comments comments ()

I casually walk by the couch. I smooth the compression socks out. Then I pick up the compression socks and move them to the other side. As I drape them over the arm, keeping it casual, I say, 'These are clean....' and I trail off. 

Have I done it? Have I snuck in a suggestion... without making a suggestion? I'll never know. The socks have been sitting there. Clean. For 4 hours now. I'm about to bur...

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I'll Just Tell You

Posted by on July 13, 2020 at 11:45 PM Comments comments ()

It has come to my attention that I make suggestions all day long and it's becoming exhausting for Ben.

At first, I protest. Give me an example, I say with snark, and as soon as he starts, I'm ready for him to stop: 

Do you want a sandwich? 

What about turkey? 

Watermelon or strawberries? 

Shall I put your co...

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Laundry, Laundry, Laundry

Posted by on July 13, 2020 at 11:35 PM Comments comments ()

HOW am I behind on laundry again? Every towel in this house has been used. The bath/shower experience was very splashy, but the build up before this was huge to start with. 

I commit: I will NOT do floor-to-bed-to-floor with my clean piles... again! 

Slowly, sadly, I fold. The putting-way process is agony and it takes me all day (with breaks, of course, my ...

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Poor Lefty

Posted by on July 12, 2020 at 11:30 PM Comments comments ()

His legs are so puffy and swollen. And he is still delicate around the middle- bruising from blood thinners, tender from eating, cancer, chemo, the whole lot. 

We saran-wrap his arms for a shower (both of them- to protect his PICC and sub-Q lines- we are down to three!) I sit on the edge of the tub to help scrub his legs and feet. Before he can protest, I sneak in the citrus-sea-salt scrub. But he's wise to me. 'Don't use that oily ...

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Silver Lining ...Journal

Posted by on July 12, 2020 at 8:20 PM Comments comments ()

This weekend was a crazy mix of joy, excitement and exhaustion. Just before Ben was diagnosed, I met Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino online. She's an incredible person in so many ways. We became friends fast! Right away, we started talking every day, sharing business ideas and supporting one another's goals and dreams. As COVid and closures surrounded both of us, we started writing together.

She was there when we ...

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Posted by on July 11, 2020 at 10:35 PM Comments comments ()

Numbers swim in my head all the time now. 

3.3 = how many mil of toradol we draw in the syringe 

27 = the number of pounds I have gained 

55 = the number of pounds Ben's lost 

4 = the number of ports and lines in Ben's arms

152 = the number of days since we heard 'stage 4 colon cancer' for the first tim...

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