I woke up to a barking dog this morning. 

We have three dogs, and each has a way of telling me they need to go outside at night. So I looked around the room and realized all were sleeping. It was actually Brian’s cancer cough, which has been slowly evolving. It used to sound like a plain old cough at night. Wheezing unveiled itself a few weeks ago. This morning was the first bark. 

New this week is a painkiller for his back pain (cancer related) before bed and an overall pain/heaviness when he bends or leans. Laying down is the most trying position of all. None of it is severe, just uncomfortable and constant. It’s enough to know he’s been invaded. That a battle is about to go down. 

Wednesday is Day One of 30 radiation treatments. Five days a week, six weeks. Thursday is dose one of six chemo treatments over the same six weeks. Immunotherapy is the final step, occurring every three weeks for a year.

I love that we have an amazing team of physicians. I hate that all 30 radiation sessions are in Dallas. Brian’s first chemo is in Dallas, the rest in Fort Worth. 

The expectation is that Brian will drive himself to all appointments. 

Simply thinking about the drive exhausts me. And he’ll be working. Luckily, he’s worked at The Kimbell for almost 16 years and has two months of time off stocked up. His staff can function independently if necessary. 

Kimbell Christmas party December 12. We have fun.

It was fun meeting them this past week at Brian’s Christmas party. He received his 15 year service award. It was a nice night that I don’t take for granted. 

From here on out there will be pretreatment, in treatment and post treatment life. 

I’ve heard the cancer journey changes everything. I know people who’ve taken the cancer journey. I apologize right now to all of them for my lack of understanding and, therefore, lack of compassion. 

Because no one with cancer complains much. Talk about their symptoms. Dwell on the situation. I know now, from some of them, it’s because in order to survive, positivity is key. Keeping your chin up. 

But when I’ve asked about their treatment side effects, I got answers like, ‘my skin blistered and fell off,’ ‘my fingernails popped off,’ and ‘I could feel the burning inside my body.’ Then there were the flu-like, can’t get out of bed, hope tomorrow is better days. 

Now I know what warriors cancer survivors are; I already see these traits in my husband. He’s stubborn. Tenacious. A fighter. And he’s ready to kick some @ss. 

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