Saturday, April 25, 2015

My husband still has "it"

There are many moments that will forever be held in my heart. 
The moment Josh asked me to be his girlfriend. 
The moment that I fell in love with him and knew I was going to marry him. 
The moment he asked me to be his wife in the backyard of my parents house. 
The moment when I became his wife in front of our friends and family on the cruise ship. 
The moment we got Archie. 
The moment Josh was diagnosed.  
And now, the moment I witnessed my husband getting hit on for the first time!

After finishing his March chemo session with flying colors, we were anxious for what April held. We had gone a little crazy and bought concert tickets for two different shows, two weeks apart. We are ambitious (or stupid) about making our life seem normal. When we were in Italy, we vowed each other that if a concert came up we both wanted to go to (or if we wanted to drag the other to), we would buy tickets and go. We love concerts, I dance around and sing at the top of my lungs and Josh acts like he doesn't know me. It's a great experience for us both. We asked his Neuro Oncologist and he said it was okay as long as I kept Josh out of the mosh pit (uh duh) and that if there were a ton of lights, Josh looked away. Easy peasy. Our first concert back in the states was to see New Found Glory in Silver Spring, Maryland. The line up was perfect, slow songs, acoustic sets, and all around a good vibe. By the third band, Josh was exhausted. His feet hurt. His back hurt. He just wanted to sit down. In a crowded club, that's hard to do. I took him over to the side of the bar, where he proceeded to sit down on the ground. I was standing off to the side when I see a girl approach Josh. Josh will tell you that "she wasn't bad looking" and I will agree. But she smelled like a walking bottle of Jack Daniels. She spotted Josh sitting on the floor and asked him if everything was okay. Assuming he was just as drunk as her, she sat next to him to start up a conversation. Still standing off to the side, I wanted to see how this played out. She inched closer and closer to my husband, getting a little more friendlier by the minute. I have never experienced my husband getting hit on. We are usually out with friends or together so much people just stay away. My poor husband was SO uncomfortable. I decided to relieve him of the situation and walked up, which he promptly introduced me as his wife. Immediately she shot up and shook my hand. Started some small talk and when I turned around, she was gone. We never saw her again after that, I assumed she got to drunk and passed out some where. We enjoyed the show. I danced and screamed at the top of my lungs...Josh pretended he didn't know me from the comfort of the floor. I lost my voice, my purse broke, and my ears were ringing for days but I was on cloud nine that I was able to experience a concert of my all time favorite band with my husband.

The second concert we went to was a band that we both like, Cartel. I have seen them once before, then we saw them together in Italy our first year of living there. They put on an great concert. This year is their first albums 10 year anniversary, so of course we were going. Like the last concert, the line up was good. This venue was in downtown Baltimore, hello city driving! After me having a panic attack getting through the city, we got to the place with 10 minutes to spare before the first act. The last concert we took bottles of water in, having absolutely no problems. This one, I thought would be the same. They took our tickets but didn't check my backpack. Oh well, right? Maybe they just don't care what we bring in. We got into the place and went to the bar so Josh could take his pills. After he took them, a security guard came up to us and told us we had to step outside. I thought to my self "Oh well, here we go.." Once outside he looked in my bag, took the three water bottles I brought and threw them away. I was pissed. I kept saying "He needs those. He has cancer. He has to take pills." Nothing changed this guys mind. Oh well, I told Josh to drink as much as he could and we went back inside. Within a few minutes, the same security guard came up to us and gave us three free bottles of water! I was floored! Here I thought he was just an asshole. Yes, he was doing his job. but once's just water! Through out the entire night he kept checking in on us and kept offering us water. I guess I need to be not quick to just write someone off, they might surprise you. The concert kicked off. We were pretty close to the stage, behind these two girls that had started drinking well before the concert. They were already drunk. Based on his last experience (and his confidence boost) Josh turned to me and said "I bet you one of those girls is going to hit on me tonight." I shook my head, oh honey you are so humble! By the second band, Josh was exhausted. Did I mention he was on his second day of Chemo?! Oh yes, we are THAT crazy! Instead of sitting on the floor though, my husband would plant his happy butt in a brand new camping chair that we bought earlier that day. It folds up to two separate pieces that are small enough to fit in a back pack, how cool is that? We got a lot of looks. I kept telling Josh that those people were just jealous that they didn't think to bring their own chairs. So he sat down for a majority of the concert, which was fine by me..I danced and screamed my lungs out. Between the last band and Cartel, we were sitting by the bar and low and behold, guess who walks up to my husband?! Ms. Drunk girl herself! She introduced herself to the both of us and bent down to talk to Josh. I couldn't hear much of what they were talking about and honestly, I didn't really care. I know she asked him if he thought she could get back to see the band and for some reason, she asked him his age. She started touching his leg, getting more and more comfortable with him. I was about to say something, when just like the last girl, she disappeared! Josh almost died of laughter. I have no idea who she thought he was, I assumed a security guard..he was sitting down in front of a room that had curtains around it..little did she know he was doing nothing but sitting in front of room that had bar stools behind it! Needless to say, my humble husband's confidence has gone through the roof. He has been hit on twice in the past month. I will not steel his thunder by reiterating how incredibly drunk these girls were, but merely laugh whenever he brings it up (which since then has been brought up on a daily basis!). The concert was great, like I thought it would be. Josh and I had a great time!

Along with concerts, we also had a chance to meet some of the players from the Washington Nationals! It was apart of their USO tour and we received a text earlier that morning from our Navy Liaison telling us about it. We were able to get a free hat and walk around to meet some of the players. I'll be the first one to admit it, I don't really like baseball. I love going to the games, but I don't follow it and I definitely had no idea who any of these guys were. My dad gave me a few players to see if I could find, but instead I just walked around and asked for random autographs! They actually do their spring training in Viera, which is near my home town. I grew up going to the stadium they do their training at, so it was cool to talk to some of them about the area. They were all really nice guys, they all signed our hat and actually talked to us. I have done meet and greets in the past where they just sign things and pass you on to the next person. They act like they don't want to be there, or that we should feel grateful that they are taking time out of their busy day to meet with us. Not these guys, and not the people we get to meet through this base. Every single person we have met, from football players, to Bradley Cooper, have taken an interest in us. They never ask us why we are here, they don't need to know that. Instead the ask what branch he is in, how long he has served, where we grew up, how long we have been married etc etc etc. It makes me happy to see my husband light up when he meets someone famous! Now if any of you guys have any connections to Stan Lee, or Marvel in general, send it my way. I have a devoted fan who would literally shit a brick if he was to meet them!

Within our awesome month, Josh also started session number 5 of Chemotherapy of Tuesday. His blood work came back normal this time, so we are slightly back on schedule. He hasn't been sleeping much, but we have a consultation this week for a sleep study. Hopefully they can help us and figure out what to do next. He celebrated his 7 month smoke free as well, yay! Josh has also been going to a class that is to help improve his memory and life management skills. This has been going on for about a month. We have a hard time with Josh remembering what pills to take and when to take them, so I handle it. He has a hard time organizing appointment times, so I do it. The added stress of taking care of not only myself, but him as well has overwhelmed me more days than I can count. I was at my breaking point. His doctor enrolled him into this class. Is it a complete turn around? No. Is he back to his old self, remembering important things and taking control of things? No. But he is getting there. We have always had a 70/30 marriage, where he takes care of more things than I do. It's the military in him, he has always taken care of the banking account, insurance, and anything else important. Since diagnoses it's flipped, it's become a 90/10 with me taking care of everything. Now it's getting easier, I can get him to take care of his own pills, his own appointments, and he is able to have a complete conversation without forgetting what he was talking about. Slowly, everyday, I see my husband coming back to me. Slowly he is shedding the weight of the diagnoses and accepting what he life has become. Slowly we are becoming the couple I am proud to be apart of. It's a process, but we are making it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Since being diagnosed, the word "normal" hasn't been something to describe our life. In the past few months, our life was completely flipped upside down and we were left to put the pieces back together. We have developed our new normal. We have formulated routines. Medication has been evened out. The seizures have stopped. We are able to go out in town and not be constantly worried about medical issues that may arise. I hate to say it, but I have become comfortable with hospital visits, doctors prying into our lives, and just the overall medical world. Our normal is a new kind of normal, something that most people don't experience. Something that most people won't have to for a very long time. In some ways, I am proud of our new normal. I am proud of where we are now versus where we were a few months ago. I am proud of the struggles we have been through and the obstacles we have overcome. We are not perfect and it's all been trial and error. But I look back at the people we were a few months ago and I can't help but feel anything but pride. We are making it through this, one day at a time. We are stronger people. We are a stronger couple. We are more compassionate towards each other. We take time during the day to just lay next to each other and talk. We talk about anything, everything, and nothing all at the same time. We are slowly getting back to the couple we were and slowly shedding the negative things we used to do. I feel as if this whole situation is molding us into the people and couple we should be.

Round 4 of chemotherapy is complete! Josh's lab work finally came back normal last Tuesday and we were able to start that night. I hate chemo week. I know it's something he has to do and right now it's saving his life, but I HATE it. In the beginning, it was the week where I was constantly worried, was constantly on edge, and lacking the most sleep. Any noise or movement he made during the night I was up and ready to take him to the hospital. By the third session I had calmed down enough to allow him to actually sleep through the night without me worrying about the small movements he makes. I guess it should be known that we don't sleep in the same bed right now. I know, I know! How can that be?! I always looked confused at couples who said they do this and think, HA that will never be us. Well, two months into doing this and I realize that not only is it great for us (Hello so much space in the bed!) but it's good for him. All amount of being a deep sleeper is gone for him. He sleeps in total 3-4 hours a night. Mixed in with me moving and what not during the night, he would get 1-2 hours. So since we have the spare room, we decided it was best to do this. I'm not saying he sleeps like a baby now without me in there, but he at least get's some sleep which is good. All of this adds into hell week, I mean chemo week. I'm not right next to him, I'm down the hall in the spare room. I can't randomly wake up in the middle of the night, roll over, and just check to see if he still breathing. Yes I am creepy like that, haha. As far as chemo goes, he's only been sick the first session. Like I have said in past blogs, they have found the right anti-nausea medication for him.

This session was SO good. In the past, he would sleep all day, be very lethargic, and moody as all get out. This session, he was almost..dare I say it..normal?! The whole time I kept saying "don't say this is going good, you'll just jinx it." I was literally waiting for the day when chemo symptoms would hit. He was tired, but no where near what he did in the past. He actually took his E6 advancement exam on Thursday. I was dreading it because I thought he would be to tired or nauseous to do it. I thought that I would have to push him in his wheel chair and explain it to the Chiefs giving the test that he may get sick during it. Nope. None of that happened! He woke up, had breakfast, got dressed, walked to the test site, and took the test in uniform! I was so proud to see him in uniform again, he looked so happy. We won't know the results for awhile, but I'm kinda interested to see how he did compared to a few months ago. We were told that he could sign a wavier to not take the test due to chemo brain, but Josh said he didn't want to do that. He isn't to concerned with advancement, what's the point of wearing it if he can't actively be one. But I think deep down inside he wants to prove himself. He doesn't want the cancer to be the thing keeping him from taking the test. He want's to be treated like every other Sailor, something that I can completely understand. After seeing him act this way, I figured I would go ahead and splurge on some hockey tickets for Saturdays game.

I never thought in a million years that two kids from Florida would love hockey as much as we do!
We have been to four games over the season and are planning on more before the season ends. This game was at noon, which I was grateful for as he could still go and do his chemo at night. He was tired on the train ride there, but once he got in his seats, he was ready to go. He loves the game, he really gets into it. He was screaming along with everyone else. Whenever things got heated between the players, Josh would scream "Drop your gloves!!" so loud that I swear those who were watching it on TV could hear it. I was dumbfounded that this person sitting next to me screaming like a mad man was the same person who would go home and take his chemotherapy. He was so normal, so like himself. In that moment, I had my husband back. For three hours, I was able to not be the caregiver, but I was the wife. The hockey fan. The girl embarrassed because her husband was being a devoted fan. The Capitals lost, but that didn't matter much to us, we had fun. Yes, the tickets are expensive. But who cares?! It's moments like that I will remember for ever, the memories that will last a life time. I honestly have no idea what we are going to do when hockey season is over, I guess we will find another sport to fall in love with!

On a holy crap that is a thing moment, I just passed 2,000 views on this blog! I am completely amazed. I know it's just family, friends and whoever shares this with others but I am blown away at how many views I have, I didn't set out to do that. When that book deal comes my way, I will remember all of those who have supported us along the way. For that, I leave you with the most updated picture of Josh's hair. Don't freak, he actually had to get a hair cut! He wasn't in Navy standards, haha!

 Now all he has to do is work on connecting one side to the other, haha