Things have not been going well around here. I suppose it's time to stop vagueblogging and catch you all up.
Long story way short, Mr. B has been losing serious ground for the past month, and since he only sees the oncologist (way over in The Big City) every three weeks, we haven't known if the chronic problems (nausea, fatigue, cognitive changes, etc.) were side effects from chemo/radiation or... whatever.
Yesterday was his follow-up appointment, three weeks post-chemo. I headed in there determined to get my questions answered. I should have realized I was setting myself up for a classic case of "Be careful what you ask for."
The doc asked Mr. B some questions and poked and prodded. Took some notes. She did not offer a prognosis. She did not mention any further treatment. As she was making moves to wrap up the visit, I asked for the prognosis, and she told us.
One month, maybe two.
She said "It's* a bad disease, and you've got a bad case of it."
So it's time to call hospice. No advantage at this point to trekking all the way over to The Big City, so it's time to find an oncologist close to home to babysit us. And we absolutely have to get those freaking papers finished up, the POAs and Advance Directives and all that.
(Safety Tip: PLEASE get all that living will shit done now. Having to have those discussions once someone is really ill is THE WORST. Much easier to do when it's all theoretical.)
I asked the doc how the disease typically progresses at this point, and she gave us a few scenarios. I asked what we are to do in any of those cases, because my instinct would be to call 911, and she indicated that not dialing 911 is the right thing to do.
But that's the beauty of getting hooked up with hospice: We call them instead and they can help us through.
Through my superior people-reading skills (snort!), over the past few months I had gathered that, despite what she was saying, she wasn't being real aggressive about offering treatment. I am irritated that she wasn't more forthcoming at our last visit. Or the one before that. However, from what she said yesterday, most people don't want to know so she doesn't volunteer that information.
Really? How could someone not want to know? I don't get that at all.
Anyway, there it is. I suppose our goal at this point is to celebrate our first anniversary in November.
In the meantime, we get to figure out how this is all going to work.
* Stage 4 melanoma, in case I've been too vague about it. Yes, he went from getting the all clear in June 2008 and July 2009 to Stage 4 this past June without passing go or collecting $200. WTF is up with that?