Tuesday, March 30, 2010

5 years ago today.....

don had a colonoscopy.  there was a lump in his colon.  it was cancer.   cancer!   cancer, cancer, cancer.  the word is easy to say today.  not so much 5 years ago.  surgery, chemotherapy, illness, depression, FEAR.  gut-wrenching fear.  he did chemotherapy like a champ. 6 months worth.  i cooked him healthy, easy on the stomach meals.  

we took it easy that summer.  my dad came every. single. week. and mowed our lawn for us.  he also did any odd jobs that needed to be done around the house.  my mom took care of austen when i was working.  i had to call austen's 2nd grade teacher and tell her that his dad had cancer because she sent a note home that austen had been crying in class.  i guess we didn't realize how much a 7-year-old boy would pick up on what was going on around him.  i suppose you can't hide cancer.   he wouldn't let me go to chemotherapy with him.  he didn't want me to see it.  he knew it would scare me.  and it did.  my mom or his mom would drive him.  they came and sat with him when he was sick and sleeping.  

don played the cancer card with me and talked me into a dog, something that i had managed to avoid in the 13 years we were married up to that time.  i'm not really a dog person.  (i'm still not...shhhhh!!).  

it has been 5 years.  he is cancer free.  he hit that magical 5 year marker.  and we can now breathe a great sigh of relief.  

i wrote the following post on my old blog one year after he was diagnosed....the day before his one year follow up colonoscopy:

this man.....

is my world. i love him. i would give my life for him. today is the night before his repeat colonoscopy...just one year ago he found out he had colon cancer. it changed our lives, shook us to the depth of our being, knocked us for a loop. who would have thought that this could happen to a 46 year old who was athletic, exercised and ate (kinda) good. 

in december of 2004 he had an appendix attack. while removing it, the doctor found a lump at the base of his cecum (where the colon meets the appendix) but thought it was swelling or infection. he told him to have a colonoscopy after 3 months..so we did. we were stunned. his colorectal surgeon told us there was a 95% chance that it was cancer and scheduled him for surgery the following monday. don was holding out for the 5%...i told him they don't schedule surgery that soon unless they know. they knew. he was lucky though. his was stage II which meant that it just barely penetrated the colon wall {with 35 clean lymphnodes} but penetrated enough that they wanted him to do 6 months of chemotherapy :( it was a very tough summer. 

don was sick, out of work and depressed. i on the other hand looked at this whole thing as a huge blessing. had the appendix not gotten infected, they would have never found the tumor, which they thought caused the appendix to become inflamed. he wasn't due for his screening colonoscopy for another 4 years. he had no prior symptoms, he would have never known. he considers it a curse, i consider him extremely lucky and i remind him to count his blessings often. even though the chemo has been done for some months now, every little change in bowel habit or stomach pang causes him major anxiety. like this week leading up to his colonoscopy tomorrow morning. he just can't shake the feeling that something is going to be wrong, that they are going to find something. i have told him that this is the very best possible time to have this colonoscopy because he is so fresh from chemotherapy. nothing has had time to grow. i have no doubt that he will be clean as a whistle. now i just wait for tomorrow morning so he can be relieved as well and i won't have to see him scared, depressed and unable to function from the fear of the unknown. please pray for him.

he was clear.  and has been since.

we are lucky.  we have been through a lot in our 18 years of marriage.  children, stillbirth, cancer, unemployment.  but he is here and we are together.  and we have beautiful children and grandchildren.  and a wonderful family.

we are lucky...and i am blessed!!


Brandy said...

That is such awesome news!! My father, at the age of 51, died of colon cancer, only 8 months after being diagnosed. I LOVE hearing stories of people who've beat this nasty cancer!!

AmyPunky Photography said...

Great news! Your post is very touching!

Cecelia---Sis---Mom said...

Wonderful news and a great Blessing for your husband and your family. My Mom is now a 12 year cancer survivor. YAY


Janean said...

truly blessed. i celebrate with you on a big marker in life!!!!!

what good family to pitch in.

what a brave man your husband is.

what a loving woman you are.

thank you for coming by and becoming a follower of old sweetwater. double yay!

Musings Of A Gem said...

Just to say thank you for following my blog...I REALLY appreciate it!

It's great news that your husband has got through it! The post was very touching : )

I hope to read more posts from you in the future...

Gemma X


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