Friday, October 26, 2007

Ain't She Great?

Today was inventory day down at The Dock. Worked 0730 'til 1600 instead of my usual four to twelve. It's a tradition, that all the guys go out and sink a few beers after inventory day/week. Sometimes one of the bosses shows up and buys rounds. I was thinking, with everything going on at home, that I might just skip the after work beer fest with guys this year. I was thinking wrong.

She insists that I go. She's going to drop me off down at the bar just like last year, and the year before that. She's taking the younger baby girl up to the school for the Halloween Dance. She'll drop me off on the way.

I thought I would have to take the younger baby girl up the hill to get a pair of shoes to match her costume. The older baby girl took care of that between classes this afternoon. She knows what size her sister is.

My wife is doing the Cheetah make-up as I write this. I just had to pause and print a google Cheetah image.

My wife is having a good day today. She's doing her best. She's also looking forward to having the house to herself for a few hours.

Today, life seems pretty good. Today we can pretend that she does not have cancer.

Hey Tommy....Yeah I know. She was going to be a pirate. She changed her mind, chicks tend to do that........No, the pirate stuff I got the other day will go in the costume box for future use. The Cheetah costume is one her older sister made and wore to a high school Halloween Dance a couple years ago....Yeah, catch you later bro.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So I got a call at work last night. She needed the doctor's cell phone number. I told her I wrote it in the book. She said she has pain and discomfort, a walnut size bump on her side, the side where she had the surgery.

So I call her back later. She had just hung up with the doctor. The doctor said it's nothing to worry about. Fluid and blood, not uncommon. He'll look at it on Thursday during her appointment. He tells her something else.

The doctor said that they had to send the sample out for more extensive testing. It looks like it may be more involved than they first thought. It looks like they may have to take the whole breast.

It's all up in the air. The doctor still thinks it's DCIS, just more of it. We don't know. We are back to square one. He's not sure if he'll know on Thursday at 2:15PM when she has her next office visit.

He said she has time. If they have to operate again, it does not have to be right away. He said they reconstruct the breast from tummy tissue. He said she doesn't have enough tummy tissue to do that. I told her she could have mine. She laughed, It's good to hear her laugh.

We just don't know yet. It may not happen. I'm afraid it probably will. I don't care if they can't reconstruct the breast. I just want her to live.

I don't know why this is happening. We have been through enough. I'm starting to get angry.

She's worried about money. More surgery means more lost wages. We have family willing to help. I applied at the railroad. Good money but lots of hours. Four twelve hour days and on-call for the other three. No life with a job like that. Who needs a life? I'm going to need to pay the bills. I know a guy who grossed 70k last year at the railroad. That's good money. I hope I get it. I don't want her working in the powdered metal plant anymore. I want her to be home for the girls like she was once. I want her to be home for her. I want her to live.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Tears.

She seemed to be doing so well. Her sense of humor was right on target. Talked to her on the phone at lunch on Thursday night. I was laughing so hard that tears were falling.

Yesterday afternoon, (Friday) forty-eight hours after surgery and time to remove the dressing. I went to the pharmacy before work, while she was sleeping. I purchased extra thick padded gauze, four by fours and tape so she could dress it again if needed. A guy came to the door with flowers and get well balloons from her friends at the plant. I left her a note. "Damn, if I ain't been trumped. All I got you was bandages". That's what the note read.

So, I'm way back off The Dock at around nineteen-thirty hours last night when this kid Johnny comes flying back through the racks on one of our faster pieces of equipment. Me and this other guy, we were moving some big stuff around with a lift. Johnny says my wife is on the phone. Johnny has this look of concern on his face. The guy I'm working with tells me if I have to go to let Johnny know and they will take care of my card.

I enter the foreman's office and he exits quietly. He lays his hand on my shoulder as we pass. I pick up the phone and I don't recognize the voice on the other end. Well, I recognize the voice but there is a tone that's new to me. We've been together almost fifteen years. I have never heard her cry like this.

Sobs. No breath. Short choppy breaths. Sobs. I tell her to breathe. I tell her I love her. I leave the foreman's office. I tell Johnny that I have to go, he already has my lunchbox and my sweatshirt in his hand. Seems he answered the phone. He knew I'd be leaving.

The foreman nods with feeling. I nod back and head for my old Jeep. I'm home in minutes.

She's on the patio when I pull up the alley. I don't say anything, just hold her and those breathless sobs that I heard on the phone come back tenfold. I don't say anything. I just hold her.

Our older girl was at work. Our younger girl was doing her best to keep it together for Mommy.

I get her in the house, sitting at the kitchen counter. I have to hold her, she might fall and hurt herself. It takes about twenty minutes for her to get it all out. I give her a glass of water with a straw. I make sure it was not one of the pink straws.

Seems that when she removed the bandage it all came flooding over her. She didn't know what to expect. She didn't even know where on her breast the stitches would be. She called her friend from work. All her friend could make out were the words; "I can't breathe". The friend tried to call back and got no answer. She was on the phone with her father's girlfriend over in Jersey and ignored the call waiting. The friend came to the house. He's a good guy. I called him back and thanked him for his concern. He said no problem. Like I was saying, he's a good guy. So I called her father's girlfriend back, she was glad I was home. She's the one who told my wife to call me and get me to come home.

My wife talked to our younger daughter. They hugged. My wife motioned me to take her out of the kitchen and talk to her. The little baby girl understands. She's okay. She knows Mommy needs to cry and get it all out. She went to bed with a jazz mix CD playing.

The short breaths started again. The sobs. The New Tears. It took a couple hours for her to tell me all about it. I didn't ask, she needed to talk. Best I could do was hold her, listen to her, be there. We were up 'til like 0300. We were both up again just now. She's laying down again. I'm writing this.

I'm going to the grocery store. First I'm going to take a nap, or try. I'll probably end up on the couch watching cartoons with the little baby girl who ain't that little anymore. She's almost twelve. Doing well in school. The older baby girl is working a ten hour shift today. I think her boyfriend is picking her up at work. She'll call if she needs a ride.

It's on the cooler side, cloudy. Not a nice day for doing outside stuff.

Everything is changing. My wife has breast cancer. I'm afraid the New Tears are here to stay. I'm afraid the New Tears will never go away. Can't stop the New Tears. Maybe it's supposed to be this way. Maybe the New Tears will lead the way.

Hey Tommy. Man, do I wish you were here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So Far.

So her surgery seemed to go well. No complications. Next week, October 25th., we find out the results.

It's like this. We both thought this was it. We didn't know that what they removed would have to be studied as well. We thought the initial biopsy was all they needed.

Another week of W.T.F............

I went to work last night. I was in kind of a fog, lack of sleep and like that.

The girls were both here to keep an eye on Mommy. I had my daughter drive me over to The Dock, so she would have the Jeep, just in case they needed anything.

I opted to work outside last night. It was better, no brainer kind of stuff.

It all seems slightly off cue, not in a bad way, just different. So maybe I'll write some more on Fiction Squared. I have to go to the grocery store after work tonight.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Have to write and I can't. Want to write another few paragraphs on my Fiction Squared blog but I can't. Too much for this old Squarehead, can't write in this state of mind......

I know she will be alright in the long run. I know they caught the cancer so damn early, even the doctors are kind of stoked about it. I guess they know they can win this one, that's got to be a good feeling for those who fight such a formidable foe......

My wife is seven years younger than me. She's only thirty-eight. I guess the inevitable is hitting me. I want to die first, some day, because I don't think I could stand to be on this earth without her. I think that's what's bothering me so much. I know she'll be okay. I know that they have a lot of success with this type of cancer when they catch it this early.....

That word. Cancer. I hate that word. I'm a Cancer, astrologically speaking. I wonder if I can change that? Who do I petition to change my sign? Can't I just be Crabby instead of Cancer? Who was the moron who came up with that anyway?

"Hey guys! Why don't we name this deadly disease after a constellation and astrological sign? We'll call this deadly disease Cancer, because those who get it are crabby as hell"......

I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's Official.

Doc called yesterday afternoon as I was on my way out the door for work. My buddy was sitting in the alley waiting for me.

My wife has breast cancer. Early stages, very early detection. She's scheduled for surgery next Wednesday.

They will remove a section from what my wife now refers to as her "bad titty".

Three or so weeks of daily radiation treatments will follow. Five years of hormone therapy after that.

We kind of knew I think. We were prepared to hear the worst. It's a little tough around here right now.

When she was on the phone with the doctor yesterday, like I was sayin' I left for work. When I got down to The Dock I turned around and came right back home. One of the day shift guys gave me a ride up. We talked for about an hour then my daughter ran me back and I finished out the shift. I wanted to stay with her, this ain't no time to be losing hours though. She's going to miss two weeks. That's going to be hard enough.

I don't care about her missing work. She cares because she has perfect attendance, just short of the complete year she needs to get the bonus.

Drive on.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The News, Sort Of.

So we went to the doc's office last Thursday to see about the results of the biopsy. I waited in the lobby, she wanted to deal with this herself. I can understand that. So she's out in like five minutes, she motions for me to follow her. When we find ourselves alone on the elevator, that's when she tells me.........

They still ain't sure.........

It seems that the lab guy here at our local hospital can't say conclusively one way or the other. They sent a sample down to Pittsburgh for more extensive testing. We should hear something within a few days, or a couple of weeks. Nice.......

So it looks like a non-invasive form of breast cancer. I looked that up, it doesn't spread so that's a good thing. We still don't know for sure though. We still ain't heard from Pittsburgh.......

Yeah Tommy I know.......I've been a little busy. I'll get to it bro.