Where The Popsicles Are-109

Joanie, the caregiver.

My caregiver, Joanie, stopped by my room later that afternoon, and I was a bit more alert. We talked for a while, and I told her I was going to take a nap again, and there was no real reason for her to sit there and watch me sleep. I suggested she go home, get something to eat, give Bailey and Brandy some treats, and I would see her later.

I wasn’t sure how she was handling all of this. I knew she was worried about me, and at the same time, I wasn’t the same kind of patient she was. I was a very impatient patient, and all I really wanted to do was sleep, wake up the next morning and go home.

Joanie had come back after she had some dinner, and hung around for awhile, until I finally told her around eight o’clock to go home. I was going to doze off again, and there was no reason for her to hang around. She reluctantly agreed, and told me she would be back first thing in the morning. I conked out.

This was the first time 50 years since I had spent a night in the hospital as a patient, and I really wasn’t a good one. By the time the next morning, when my regular doctor, Doug Moen had come by to check on me and tell me I could get ready to go home, and the doctor who had done the surgery, Bill Altringer had been in to see that I was doing fine, I was ready to go. There was a brief period when I had some words with the staff there as they were reluctant to let me go because of my blood pressure, but I was quite emphatic that since my doctors had told me I could go, I was going to go. If that meant unhooking the IV myself, I told them that was the way it was going to be.

While this was going on, poor Joanie sat there, now more worried than before. Joanie was conflict averse, especially when it involved things in the hospital, me, not so much. Joanie was always concerned that I was going to get myself in trouble.

I voiced my desire to leave in strong enough terms they called Doug Moen, and he told them to give me a booster for my regular blood pressure medicine and wait for about a half hour and check it again. I agreed, and I think Joanie was relieved. The time elapsed, my blood pressure was reduced, and we got the hell out of there. I think they were glad to see me go too.

Joanie drove me home, which was again a switch, and this time I got the couch for a while. Not long, but for a little while. She wanted to take care of me now, and I did my best to assure her that I was feeling fine, and if I wanted something I could get it myself.

She was trying her best to take on the role of caregiver, and under the circumstances I couldn’t help think what an incredible woman I was married to. Here she was, still with cancer invading her body, and looking at resuming chemotherapy in about a week, and this time it was her bringing me a Cherry Popsicle, and worried that I was going to heal up okay.

We didn’t do much that night, but I did suggest we have a glass of wine to celebrate what had been a successful surgery. I was healing up fine, and that night, I could see how relieved she was, and realized again how much we meant to each other.

The next day, thoughts about my surgery faded quickly, and our attention turned to what might be in store for her for the next round of chemotherapy, and if Dr. Carson and Dr. Thomas had made a decision on what the dosage would be for the next four treatments.

We had no idea of what to expect, except we knew that what they had done for the last three treatments really hadn’t accomplished much, and we were hoping they had come to some kind of conclusion about what might work better.

We would find out on October 3rd.


About Bob Kallberg

Retired reporter. Concentrating now on recounting Joanie's 12 year battle with cancer, a battle she waged with extreme courage, determination and an indomitable spirit, that, for me, serves as an example.
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