5 February 2014
Only 3 weeks ago my tumor was discovered and my journey as a colon cancer patient began.
Today I am as though I had never been ill. I still have a bandage covering the still slightly tender incisions required for surgery. But, other than that I feel so much better… it is at times difficult for me to remember that I was sick, much less that I was life-threatening sick.
As I reflect on the last three weeks, I am filled with an intense gratitude … for the doctors… for the nurses… for the staff of the hospital…. for the “universe”.
I laugh to myself as I think of an atheist’s prayer … “Dear God, I don’t really believe in you BUT thanks anyway.”
My cancer was a Stage II Grade 2 Adenocarcinoma… technical jargon a T3 N0 M0 …. All that stuff means is that it was a slow growing cancer that had not spread beyond the colon… had no lymph nodes involved and no spread to other parts of the body … IN SHORT … the surgery appears to have successfully removed all of the tumor. There are no HIGH RISK factors for recurrence. But that does not mean I can relax … still have tests every 3 months and a yearly colonoscopy… small price to pay to prevent another emergency surgery.
So, what am I? A cancer survivor? Cured? A statistic? Or am I just one very lucky victim who escaped the onslaught of a monstrous giant seeking to devour all who come within its shadow?
No I am just a guy in whose body some cells had their software go haywire and grow crazily. Luckily it was discovered in time and the mal-programmed cells were removed before they could spread their bad programming elsewhere.
Til and I are now walking between 3 & 6km every day. We shopped for running shoes. I now hope to do some long distance running again. My first goal… 10k…. then maybe a half-marathon. Never thought I would run ANY distance again.
So I am on the mend… PHYSICALLY
Flashback to 28 January…
I just finished a call with Chris ( my son)… my world has been rocked with a 9.5 emotional earthquake. Chris has been fighting an infection in his jaw…. now after a biopsy the preliminary diagnosis is CANCER. The doctors are planning a second biopsy to confirm the result but his primary doctor is not holding out much hope. How I pray it will turn out negative.
“Dear God… I know what I said about believing in in you BUT can you do a repeat for Chris? Thanks in advance.” and I try to chuckle again…
how do I deal with this? It was easy when I was sick… but this is my son! My eyes keep watering up… i really feel… NO it is too early …have to wait for the 2nd biopsy results… there is always a chance… i am almost afraid to say “a mistake” because I might jinx it. And my mind fills with images and memories… Chris at 3 wearing his bear claw slippers kicking a football around the living room… his best imitation of Rich Karlis… Bronco barefoot kicker (Chris heard BEARfoot) I smile and then the eyes water again…
Flash forward to yesterday… 4 February
This may be the worst day of my life so far… Chris called early. the 2nd biopsy confirms… Cancer. Surgical removal of part of his jaw will be required. Then, reconstruction of his jaw with bone taken from his leg bone(s)… then chemo and radiation therapy.
I am in a state of shock, astonished, gob-smacked, stunned, … my first thought turn skyward… “WHY?… WHY Chris? …. “ I want to rage, rail and scream…
Then the eyes water up again… I see the little boy running ….with his football, not a care… tossing a baseball to me and catching the return throw… I want to grab him up & run like hell to safety. ONLY the little boy is a grown man now AND there is nothing I can do… I can’t even take on his burden and pain as every parent wishes they could for their suffering children.
My God, how the emotions flow… alternating between profound sadness and rage… I want to cry one minute and scream the next…
Two things occur to me simultaneously… One: none of my emotional drama has any effect on Chris or his condition… Two: this emotional drama is not conducive to my own health and well being … SO NOW that I am back to NORMAL (as normal as I can be), it is time to focus all my thought and concern on Chris. And keep sending my positive vibes to him.
“Dear God …