Living with Cancer

Like most homeowners, we periodically find ourselves needing to fix and replace various fixtures and appliances around the house.  Over the past year the fan and overhead light in our bedroom have become possessed.  While there is one button for the light and one for the fan, they do not work together.  If you’re trying to turn on or off both the light and fan at the same time, not only will both of them fail to respond, but this will cause one or both of the fixtures to become temporarily disabled for an unspecified amount of time.  Last year, in an effort to trouble shoot and fix this problem, my husband, Travis, disassembled the whole apparatus.  He didn’t discover anything amiss and re-assembled the whole thing without really fixing anything.  This process was apparently enough to cause a temporary “fix” in the system for the rest of the summer.  Now that the warm weather has returned, we’ve been wanting the services of a ceiling fan again and it has become apparent that it is back to its old ways.

One really nice thing about Travis as a husband and roommate (and probably co-worker) is that he is not only handy around the house, but he aggressively fixes problems.  I would probably say he is in the top 1% of spouses in this category.  He decided he needed to fix this problem right away and a new fan/light fixture was needed to take care of this once and for all.  He immediately began his search for a new fan.

On a side note, one interesting thing I have learned from being married to a do-it-yourselfer is that when installing your own light fixtures, faucets, doors, appliances, etc. there are generally only a few styles or selections that will work for your house.  I feel like it is deceiving when you enter a lighting, plumbing, tile, or home design store to see all of these fancy options, when in fact only two or three options are even a possibility without spending thousands of dollars re-wiring or moving things around.  When we initially replaced the 1980’s era ceiling fans in our bedrooms ten years ago, Travis gave me three rather ugly choices to pick from.  Basically all the same simplistic style in three color options, white, light brown, and dark brown.  I just picked one and moved on because, another thing I’ve learned from being married to Fix-It Felix, just let him do his thing.  Sometimes it’s not worth the hassle.

Back to the most recent fan replacement.  This is where the cancer life makes it appearance.  It was bedtime and I was reading a book by my favorite comedian.  I happened to be reading the chapter where she was talking about the process of her mother dying from cancer and the last few weeks/days of care.  As a person in general, but especially a person with cancer, end-of-life care is important to me.  I want to be ready for it and more importantly, without depressing everyone around me, I want my family to be ready for it.  In the book, the comedian (who is obviously well-off and probably provided the best end-of-life care for her mom) stated that she briefly left her mother’s side and when she came back her mom was covered in vomit.  I began to ponder how much that would really bother someone in the midst of dying.  Do you realize you are covered in vomit?  I doubt it.  How much would it scar my husband and kids to find me in that situation?  Possibly quite a bit, but in the grand scheme of losing a loved one, maybe it doesn’t even matter.

In the middle of all of this pondering I was doing (all while falling in and out of sleep, because that’s how I read/fall asleep at night), I observed a soft light and footsteps trudging up the stairs and I sighed with annoyance as my husband started heading over to me with his laptop.  This was not a time to have a family discussion.  I was not only in the middle of falling asleep, but now I had the foggy thoughts of death in my mind. He wanted me to look at a fan.  Just like ten years ago, there were two ugly choices and both in silver/gray which goes against the whole “warm” color scheme he has going on in our house.  I didn’t even bother to look at the fans, but rather just snapped back “They’re the same fan!”  No, they were not the same fan, one was rounded, one was square.  Finally, I just said “Whatever, I don’t care!” and went back to the more important problems in my head at the moment (and for the next few hours).  I find myself thinking less and less about the cancer these days, but sometimes it’s just there and everything else in life becomes background noise.

Author: katiewardstage4

I am a 42 year old pharmacist and mother of two currently living in Madison, WI. In my spare time I enjoy running and baking. Starting this blog has enabled me to record some of my feelings about being diagnosed with breast cancer and has also given me the realization that writing for a living would be much more difficult than I would have guessed.

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