Writing about this has been on my mind because that’s how I process information best. But writing about this means that I have to accept a cold, hard fact: A malignant mass has been found in my Sweetie’s colon.
He had his first colonoscopy last week and the growth was discovered then. A hungry, healthy man walked into the doctor’s office with his wife and an overwhelmed, bewildered couple walked out two hours later. A biopsy was performed and the results came back confirming the malignancy yesterday. So indeed, it is a fact that, at least for the time being, Scott has cancer.
The stage and scope of the disease will be determined by the results of a CT scan scheduled for the 31st. Many scary questions will be answered on the following day when we have a consultation appointment scheduled with the gastroenterologist. That’s the day we’ll learn what we’re really up against here, including the state of the cancer (has it grown into the colon wall/spread elsewhere?) and next steps.
We are gobsmacked, to say the least. And frightened. And sad. And distracted. And confused. And angry. We feel as if we’ve been punched in the stomach, in our minds, spirits and bodies. The time between now and next Thursday afternoon is going to feel like an eternity. And as gut-wrenching as this waiting period is going to be, we fear what we may hear. We want to know and don’t want to know simultaneously. It’s agonizing.
I’m worried about Scott. Scott’s worried about me. How are we feeling about/coping with/bearing all this at any given time? We, of course, are trying to stay calm and think positively for each other as well as for ourselves. We’re trying to keep our minds and hearts focused on the “what is” rather than let them spiral forward into even more scary scenarios. But I have to tell you, it’s no easy task. Lots of breathing, meditation and comforting hugs are happening around here (yes, more than usual…). As much as we’ve been through in our 26+ years together, this past week has been far and away the most challenging and heartbreaking.
We’ve already told a select few about what’s been going on. And now I feel I can broach the subject, reluctantly, with the rest of you. It’s not that it’s any kind of secret but it was really hard to talk about. The support we’ve garnered these recent days has been staggering; the good wishes and prayers deeply appreciated.
Our strategy to weather this storm is to cling to one another, depend upon one another and never hesitate to share our feelings with one another, however sad or frightened. We will arm ourselves with as much information as we can gather and give ourselves permission to feel overwhelmed – or positive – as needed. It’s the only way we know how to get through things – and it’s always worked for us in the past. So don’t knock a good thing, right?
I recently heard from my mother-in-law Sharon, herself a three-time cancer warrior, say that the moment you are diagnosed, you are officially a cancer survivor. That sentiment right there is where we’re hanging our hat.