10 June 2009

Choices

There are a couple of sayings, "You can't please everyone all the time" and "You can only please half the people half the time." Ford's philosophy is pretty much, "Who would be foolish enough to even try?" Well, that would be me. There I am, still fighting against the odds.

Since the middle of January, our lives have narrowed to focus on Ford's battle against cancer. We are keenly aware that many of our decisions are different from what others may have chosen.

We have tried to make our way through massive amounts of information about Ford's type of cancer. Along with that, we have read what the mainstream treatment has been and what is being researched. Our doctors and some friends have given us materials and access to a lot of information. We have read about alternative treatments and about nutrition, diet, and exercise. There is not a single guaranteed system and no one magic pill.
Being imperfect beings in an imperfect world, finding our way through--that is pretty much what is has been about. There are many that have battled and are battling this same disease. I dare say that no two people have done exactly the same things to overcome this disease. It is not something we would have chosen to experience. We have learned and are still learning--a lot. What is still ahead of us is very daunting, so we focus mostly on the here-and-now.

Mostly, Ford and I are a team. With the exception of a 4 day period of time (when Ford was in ICU and in a coma), Ford has been THE team leader. He has had the final say-so in what course to follow. I have enormous input and he does rely on me, but Ford makes the choices. I cannot fight this fight for him. I cannot make him well. The proverbial ball is, and always has been, in his court. The choices have been his to make.

It has not been a easy to miss so much while trying to protect ones self from infection.
Ford misses the contact with people at work, Church, and the Temple. Ford would rather be working at his office. He would rather be biking on his trike and playing frisbee every day. He feels a great loss not being able to attend Sacrament Meeting and to attend and work in the Temple regularly. He loved his Church calling in the Sunday School. He has found no great pleasure in having a niece move, missing a visit with his sister from Reno, or sitting out other visits with family, including one that has been a longstanding tradition--the condo at Park City. We have missed graduations, receptions, and celebrations of many kinds. He has chosen to give these up for a short time, so he can ultimately live much longer to enjoy all these things. Ford made it clear to me saying, "I am making choices based on my health, not on other people's feelings." Ford's thinking is that it is better to remain somewhat isolated and wear a mask when needed, rather than ask everyone else to be constantly vigilant. "Expecting every else to wear a mask, a gown, and to scrub up for my protection...? I don't have that much of a god complex." His way simplifies things a bit. Me, I started out by buying a large box of masks and containers of hand sanitizer to distribute to anyone in very near proximity.

Along with Ford, I have chosen to be guarded in my own contacts.
If I were to get sick, it is obviously a short line back to him, given that I am his primary care giver.

We are grateful to all those of you who have been caring and understanding. We have not intentionally slighted or offended anyone. We would ask you to forgive us if any have felt offense due to our decisions. We cannot afford the rippling effect of negative feelings to, in any way, fracture the enormous unity of support and caring we have felt. That unity of support and caring is a large part of why Ford has done so very well.

We are anticipating that this course of treatment will come to an end in the next several weeks and that we can be back out and among all of you again soon.

2 comments:

  1. We love you guys and look forward to seeing you at church. Hang in there. Chambers family.
    PS we probably offend people without a good reason like you have:)

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  2. Oh Margaret, as family we totally understand. We miss you and feel bad for you to have to miss so much, but you don't offend us at all. You are literally in a fight for his life and we get that and that's part of why we haven't even tried to visit. It seems one or another is constantly sick, so we prefer to love him from afar and pray constantly for both of you.

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