Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mom, I bought the bumble bee!!!

So it's Monday and Zack and Frank are ready to go to Asheville for his radiation therapy. Frank, Zack and I spent most of Sunday afternoon on the internet trying to find another vehicle for Zack. This time, since the last guy never bothered to return even my call, we were determined to go with a dealer. Three strikes, your out!!! with regards to private sellers. 

I find this nice, bright yellow 1999 Dodge Dakota extended cab truck, call the dealer and they are just about to close. The owner of the lot assures me that he is going to be closed until Monday morning so the chances of us getting the truck is very good.  After the radiation treatment the guys go to the dealership and a few hours later emerge with "the bumble bee".  While they are purchasing the truck (so blessed, the insurance check from the burned classic car covered the expenses of the new truck) I got a call at work from the cancer center. They told me Zack needed to come by for lab work. Zack told Frank to go ahead to work and he will go for his tests alone and return home. He was so excited about the truck, he was full of energy. I'm not sure who was more excited, Zack or me. I get my car back and he finally gets something that he will be able to drive. He stopped by the office to show us his new truck and Doc Steve threw a bunch of change from his pocket onto the front seat floor. He explains that this is a tradition back "home" where her grew up in NY. Zack was beaming as he was showing off his new truck. 

It is now Tuesday and Zack is driving ME to Asheville in the bumble bee. He is to have radiation and double blood transfusion today. Zack is not having any adverse reactions to the radiation so we are very pleased with that news.  He only has one more week and  the radiation therapy is DONE!!! We did just find out today that he was supposed to have back to back hospital stays (news to us). Since his counts were down last week, and this week we go in next week. I'm not sure anymore what the heck that means for Christmas, but I'm thinking we are home. Like I said before, we WILL be home, they will just have to wait for us!! Zack wasn't thrilled when he got the news today, but after yet another "cheer up" session, I just kept saying "three more hospital stays after this one, let's knock them out!" 

While he is getting his blood transufsion, I had set up a meeting with Big Johns (father in law) Doctors, case worker and social worker. Unfortunately the other children could not make it, though I wasn't sure that "strength in numbers" would have made any more of an impact. Linda (mother in law) and I met with and pretty much wasted out time discussing why they should not allow John to go home. I guess, the patient has all the rights and the caregiver has none. So, after a condescending statement from a primped up 21 year old Hospice case worker telling me "you really need to understand where HE is coming from." HE REALLY wants to be home and promises to be good and follow directions. I said "OH so you can guarantee that he will take his medicine, not catch his bed on fire for a third time when he smokes in bed, not smoke with the oxygen tank on, not threaten his wife or family members that try to take care of him, he will not keep them awake all hours of the night just to turn on the TV or the computer, or just because out of pure spite he will scream until someone comes running so he can throw a book at them." I tell her NOT to talk to us in a condescending way, We are well aware of what it is being a caregiver, we don't need HER telling US how to feel or how HE feels, we have been caring for him for years!!! I told them that he is in such great shape because of the 24 hour care he receives in their center and by sending him home, where he will no longer follow their recommendations they are sending him home to die and quite possibly taking some other people with him. He has already threatened to burn the house down with Linda and Billy in it!  Bottom line? He comes home Friday, the bed and oxygen tank will be brought over Thursday, have a nice day and by the way "thank you so much for meeting with us." I remind the young woman that WE were the ones that called the meeting NOT them, and NO they are NOT welcome!!! 

As Linda and I exit, we go to see John. He is smug and asks how "our meeting went". I look at him and tell him that Frank and I are involved now and if he so much as lays a hand on Linda or does anything that could threaten their lives I will personally call Adult protect services and have them open a file and come out and observe his behavior. He tells me to get the hell out of his face and not talk to him that way. He tells me he doesn't need me or anyone else in his life, he is going home and that's all he cares about. The sad part about all of this is, I love this man, he has been in my life for 30 years. We all love him and wouldn't waste five seconds of our time if we didn't. Through the good and the bad, I feel for him and hate that this is how his life will end. Such anger, hurt and disharmony. I don't like this side of me that came out today, I am both embarrassed and angry that I allowed myself to get so upset. This is a no win situation, where we all loose.

I was never so pleased as when I got out and went back to Zack. Having called or texted the "kids" with the results, I opted not to talk to anyone about it anymore. I have expelled what little energy I had left today and though I promise to be there for Linda, I have handed the rest over to John's kids. They are four in number and more than capable of handling it from here.  My energy can be better served with my son, husband and mother. Zack was still upset about going to the hospital next week, but has been resting off and on. We have another hour before the transfusion is complete. Zack asks how the meeting went, I fill him in. He tells me it was a good thing he wasn't there. He is still young , but understands fully what is going on and has his own opinions. He can be headstrong like his parents. 

While finishing up, we receive a text from Melanie who had been by earlier to give Zack a hug. She is there with her daughter for blood work. It was so neat to share our relationship with the staff. Zack introduced Mel as his "other" mother, I introduced her as "his nice mother, I'm the tough one." We all got a good laugh at that. Once we were done, Zack and I grabbed lunch and make a couple of stops, naturally for items for his truck. The truck started to make a weird noise, Zack pulls over and determines that all the power steering fluid is gone. Luckily we were right next to Target, so we run in and get what is needed. We arrive safely at home. Frank and Zack look at the truck and see that the hose has a hole in it. After an understandable "fit", Zack calms down and runs to the parts store. The part will be in tomorrow, he will take my car for his radiation tomorrow and when he returns will take his truck in to get repaired. 

Exhausted, but with renewed strength to start a new day I settle in for the night. Zack visits with Drake as they clean out his truck, armor all it, wash the windows, and install a box for his supplies. He is back to his good mood and has learned yet another lesson. (If you own a vehicle.... Shit happens).

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