Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is Susan. I am a breast cancer survivor - I have now passed my six-year mark cancer free. I always thought that, due to my history, I would be the one with health problems. George is in great shape - healthy, fit, and extremely active. He can outrun, outclimb, or outski me any day of the week. When he told me he had a lump on his neck I thought nothing of it - I just assumed it was some kind of infection or allergic reaction. Then when he called to tell me that the doctor had sent him over to another doctor's office for a CAT scan and needle biopsy, I started to get scared. The whole thing was starting to bring back bad memories - of how a seemingly innocent diagnosis at first ("hey, we just need to get another mammogram because we thinkwe missed something") can turn into, "Guess what? You have cancer." When the ear/nose/throat doctor told George he had to have a bigger biopsy, we knew we were in trouble. I went with George to see the doctor pre-surgery, and he told us he suspected lymphoma, due to the fact that George was otherwise healthy and had no infections. During the surgery i was trying not to panic - my sister showed up to keep me company and she helped by letting me vent all my fears. What if it's really bad? What if George is in a lot of pain? What if he dies and I'm left all alone? What does our future hold? Then I decided I'd better relax - as George is saying, "I'm not quite dead yet!". We have agreed to take this one day at a time - not jump to conclusions about what is going to happen, but to take the path that is in front of us, do the work we need to do, and try to find a little bit of joy in every day that we have together. And really, isn't that all that any of us can do, cancer or not?