Sunday, November 8, 2009

Major Milestones

It's been two weeks of major accomplishments for Jenny! A great show at the Vogue last week (Pete Yorn!) and an NFL game. And while they were both pretty loud, I was able to handle it all! If you had told me two months ago - heck, even one month ago - that I would have done these two things, I would not have believed it!

ALSO...drumroll......I officially went back to work on Thursday! Granted, I'm only going back two days a week for half days, but it's better than nothing. I'll gradually work my way up in hours. I am so lucky to work for a boss that is so accommodating. Truly, he is the best. And I am so lucky to work with some fantastic people who are patient with me as I ramp up my hours! Wow, wow, wow!

When I got home on Thursday, I slept for a good hour. And I still have trouble being on the computer for long periods of time, but that's ok. It felt great to be out in the real world again. And not thinking about a certain cat named Clyde...

Speaking of ....the last post mentioned that he had been sick. Well, we had to take him BACK to the vet. Yes, it was the vet ER. And yes, it was a Sunday night. Talk about another hit to the pocketbook. Long story short, he had to have surgery. But we're still not sure exactly what's wrong with him. All we do know is that his intestines were "accordian - like" where they should have been straight. So, the vet went in and straightened them and thought he would find something stuck in there. Nope. I think we just got a defective cat.

Seriously, he could have just irritated his tummy with the plants, he could have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or he could have parasites, or he really could have just been defective! Time will tell. But we DO know that he is a much, much happier kitty and is getting better every day. He has about 20 staples (he's just like his mommy!) that are healing nicely. He's eating, keeping it down, getting frisky, and using his box like he should. The problem now is that he thinks that just because the first 3 or 4 days after surgery he had to have a bland diet of cooked salmon and chicken, he should be eating that all the time. It's a battle of the wills here in the Siminski household. Just tonight he decided that his regular food IS good enough after all.

You know, it's funny. Both Kevin and I commented on how stressful Clyde's surgery was for both of us. We've been through so much this year, and you would think that this wouldn't be a big deal. The same thing came up when I was talking to one of my friends this summer. She was telling me about her daily struggles, and then commented, "Well, it's not as bad as what you're going through and I feel guilty for talking about it when you've got so much stuff going on."

But what I've come to realize is that just because something doesn't seem "as bad as" something else, doesn't mean that it's any less stressful! What my friend was going through - that was real life, and that was HER life. And it IS big deal, no matter how big or small the issues are.

I can't really articulate clearly what I'm trying to say, but we've all got our crosses to bear every day. It could be a brain tumor, a sick pet, a broken heart, a child that insists on only eating chicken fingers and corn, a bad cold, a sore back. One of my new perspectives this year is that when someone pisses me off, or makes me sad, or whatever, I just try to remember the scenarios above and have a little more compassion and understanding.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Upstaged by a cat!

It's been a while since I have contributed to the blog so I figured I would hold up my end of the deal and update everyone. First, anyone out there ever consider pet insurance? After our weekend, it's something we are considering! Unless there are pre-existing condition clauses in pet insurance. If a pre-existing condition of eating plants is a strike then we are screwed. But after spending $1,600 on our little clyde for two nights at the Kitty hospital for a potential bowel obstruction it might be worth the investment. Maybe Congress will throw pets into the public option!

Clyde decided that our tropical banana plant would make a good dinner and he could not stop himself from eating it all day on Thursday. So thursday night he started puking and would not stop. So after watching him on Friday, we decided it was time to take him to the vet. After X-rays and such, they determined there was a questionable area and off to the kitty hospital. He came home Sunday Morning and did not have to have surgery. But we are continuing to closely monitor him. Seriously, can't I just get a break. First, I have to worry about Jenny going through two major brain surgeries and crazy side effects of medication and now I have to worry about my wife's constant companion! I just can't wait for 09 to be done with!

Now for the good news. Jenny had 9 month MRI this past week and everything looks perfect (MRI picture from 10/28/2009). No swelling, which is a concern 4 - 6 months after radiation and no recurrent masses!

What a year this has been. Two months ago, it would have been hard to look to future and say things are going to get better. My wife was a MESS. The walls came crumbling down when she went to her parents in South Carolina for what should have been R&R. Instead, a frantic call from her mother started a series of calls with her Neurologist and Radiation Oncologist to get the medication issue resolved. After looking through the drug manufacturers literature I was convinced that Jenny was experiencing serious side effects from both Keppra and Lyrica- severe psychological instability, muscle pain, extreme exhaustion, complete lack of appetite. Almost 48 hours after stopping Keppra, my wife was seriously a different person. She was starting to have break throughs of her original personality! She has slowly improved and just last week, we even saw Peter Yorn at the Vogue her in Indianapolis. This was the same girl that would yell at me if I had the TV up too loud a couple of months ago!

For the caregivers out there, the only thing I can tell each of you is to have patience. Yes, it's stressful but at the end of the day everyone responds differently to treatment. I was a shoulder to cry on almost everyday. My goal was just to be as supportive as possible BUT there were a few times that I had to remind Jenny that she was going to be okay. I was not going to let her fall into the rut that she was disabled or not going to recover. I knew and believed that everything would get better. Of course, I am an optimist!

So hopefully this begins the next chapter in this wild and crazy story...