and on Dec 23...

My wonderful wife went to the christmas party at her job (where everyone just about fell over when she walked in), went christmas shopping, then went to the Boys From the County Hell christmas show and hung out until one in the morning... then drove my drunk ass home.

For the last two months I have had a fucking laundry list of concerns and worries... but mostly, and perhaps selfishly, I miss hanging out with my best friend. Tonight I got her back for a minute. I am beside myself. I could not be happier... one day after one of the hardest treatments and worst days of this entire ordeal she found the strength to visit with dozens of our friends and talk at length with most of them about how she is doing. She is amazing.

... and yesterday WAS rough. For real. All of the side effects seemed to be peaking. They gave her demerol. They set up a new and different apparatus to perform the second internal radiation, requiring a long wait for another cat scan and calculations... a LONG wait. Like more than two hours total. Doesn't seem like long? You have no idea. At one point a nurse walks in and says "what is your pain level one to ten"... Phoebe says nothing which makes the nurse look her in the face. She then says "OK. So that's a nine or ten then". More demerol. It's not helping. I feel helpless. Finally they cart her off for treatment. When she returns she feels a little better, probably mostly because it's over.

After the treatment I pulled one of the nurses aside and asked to speak with Dr. Fleming. I was worried about how much pain she was in and was hoping for some positive news... He said that everything that was happening was very normal for someone undergoing brachy so soon after external radiation (normally they wait at least a week, but because of the holiday it ended up only five days apart)... but he also said the internal radiation is most effective immediately after the external. He is still very hopeful about the outcome of the whole course of treatment. I like this guy and, to be honest, I don't like a lot of people. Dr. Fleming is a great example of someone who SHOULD be a doctor. He is warm and personable, intelligent and passionate... on top of this he is clearly a gifted technician. This guy is a rare, rare breed. I'm glad we ended up with him on our team.

That was yesterday. This is today. Her dad, who has beaten cancer more than once, keeps saying "Every day is different. Every day you learn something new". Godamn right. Today was awesome. Tomorrow will be better.


Steve Brown said…
Love you guys so goddamn fucking much.

Jenni says "I love hearing Ryan write, because I know he'll never say these words out loud. There's some comfort in Phoebe having Ryan for something like this, since he loves her so very much."

That girl of mine is so incredibly correct. Ryan, I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly fucking grateful I am, every single day, to know that she's got you. Thanks, man. More than you'll ever know.
Mum Nan said…
Amen, Steve! And thank you Ryan for this "best blog news" ever. I am so happy to see you both have some normalcy returning to your lives together! And thank you Santa for bringing me my present 2 days early - I am one happy Mom! Love you both.
Gary/Dad said…
Ryan you are right in saying that Thursday's 2nd internal treatment day was THE WORST. As a dad watching Phoebe go thru this was excruciating. I just wanted to switch places with her. Having you there demonstrating your love and commitment to her made a huge difference for me. As individuals you two are special. As a couple you are FUCKING AWESOME!!!!
jim nelson said…
Ryan...Just like Phoebe, you, too, are amazing! I am sooo grateful you are there taking care of our girl! Soon this will be a distant memory, and facing this challenge together will only strengthen your beautiful and loving relationship! I am proud to be one of your fathers-in-law. You are awesome!.....daddy jim
r'n'r-RN said…
i often think about the happiness that phoebe has brought to you and how lucky you two are to have each other. you are truly a team, a fine example of what marriage should be about. love is a mighty fine healer. keep on keeping on, brother.
Gale said…
Hi, Ryan,

I'm Gale.

You are awesome. Phoebe is awesome, too. I only know this recently via this blog, because I only met her once, when she was a newborn!

In any case, thank you for being her everything: husband, best friend, advocate, lover, fierce all matters, and we all love you for it.

Phoebe, hang in there. Jim & Nan, hang in there, too. All of you can feel free to contact me if you need to vent, rant, reflect, ask questions, or anything else. Please do not be shy...there are many people out here who go way back with you, and who love you.

I am very excited about the new year and all the exciting things that will be happening, all the good news that will be made, and especially that Phoebe will be better. I am glad to hear there is a Doc you can feel the 'it' factor with. like when you know a wrench gets it and when they don't. I seriously think about you every day man I really do.
Daniela said…
The only thing that makes not living in Cleveland even 1% okay during all of this is knowing that Phoebe has you, Ryan. I wouldn't trust my best friend to just anyone. Thank you for being awesome.

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