life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

it's amazing, 
how one day, you're doing your thing.
running your errands, grabbing your coffee, getting cash out, taking the kids to school.
the next minute, could stop you in your tracks.
with a phone call.
EVERYTHING is halted.  
geez.  it seems the trees even stop swaying, clouds stop moving.
you feel like you're sucked in to this vortex of unbelievable & overwhelming 
pain.
fear.
anger.
completely paralyzed.
a fear & sadness so strong, what you wouldn't GIVE for a fast foward button on the side of your brain, to shove you through this agony, this worry until it's all resolved.
and bring you right back to the sunshine, the hot cup of coffee in your console.
the beautiful healthy children in your rear view.
your healthy, amazing husband.
but that's life though, isn't it?
it's not all peachy.
of course, you can't sit around & wait for those moments, which are inevitable, let's be real.
we are all human, & because of that, 
will be & can be effected at ANY given moment, 
with a story.  of someone else's struggles, someone's else's pain.  our own.
if you know & love another person, you won't get through life without feeling this pain.
but again, it does you know good to sit & WAIT for those moments.
to WORRY about the 'what if's.'
heh!  and i'm the LAST person on the planet that should be telling anyone that.
but we're (i'm) finally getting it.
for those of you that know us personally, 
know my husband caught a 
'touch of the cancer,' (as we like to call it. . .like it was a cold he caught.:)
awful i know.
but that's how we deal with stress, pain & fear.
laughter.  joking.  we have a joint & VERY sick sense of humor.
but it's who we are & gets us through.
but this little touch of the cancer,
made this past winter. . .um. . .challenging.
maybe someday i'll share the story.
actually, a real 'God' thing that happened to us.
what prompted brian to a 'self-exam' that actually lead to 
FINDING something.  a tumor.
one of THREE.
doctors moved swiftly.
before we knew it, he was recovered from surgery
back at work 
and beginning chemo.
it went fast, but it didn't.
especially the chemo part.
but we got through it somehow.
with a few months to catch our breath, scans & blood test looking good,
i was able to reflect back 
at that WHIRLWIND that was cancer in our family, through the holidays.
in my husband.
and i found myself weeping AFTER the fact.
how did we get through that?
how did we survive something so big?
how did i not have a nervous breakdown?
i was close.:)
but we've thanked God, our lucky stars. . .the universe for spinning things in a better direction.
but it has instilled this new fear, in both of us, i think.  
an increased awareness of our bodies & the importance of 'early detection' & being more proactive & aggressive than your doctors.
BUT, more importantly, to live in the moment.
because YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.
when, you'll be doing your thing.
and before you know it, there you are.
begging for a way out of this situation, offering up ANYTHING & EVERYTHING to get out of it.
now, i WILL say, both brian & i are dramatic.
and well, when it comes to cancer, doesn't matter, where.  what kind.  what phase.
it's cancer.  and it's serious.  and you can be as dramatic as you damn well please.
we've had 3 lovely months between the scheduled blood tests & scans.
brian's most recent meeting with his oncologist, tuesday.
dropped 'said moment' (above,) heavily on our laps, tuesday morning.
after reviewing his latest blood test, his oncologist reported that his 'tumor markers' were up.
(a specific protein in the blood they test for cancer.)
it being 'up.' is not good.  and she said, 'typically' means something's going on.
HOWEVER, the CT was clear.
GOOD news.  no tumors that they can see.
that news though, tuesday morning, before the sun had even reached midday,
sent both our minds back packing, to this past winter.
more chemo?  more surgery?  oh dear God.  i was hoping we were through this.
we were supposed to be done with this!
again, that's life.
it's not always that easy.
unlike my husband, the realist & logical thinker. . .the mature one, :) i was living in la-la land.
had to & WANTED to believe that we were done.
well, of COURSE my brian is of the 80% who's cancer doesn't return following a good round of hard core chemo.
but tuesday morning, it wasn't looking that way.
and we again, had to start preparing ourselves for more. . .maybe more chemo.  maybe surgery.
another blood test was ordered in case the FIRST blood test was 'off' for some reason.
a PET scan was ordered immediately as well, wednesday, to look at the lymph nodes.
that was the oncologist's suggestion. . .that because the CT was clear, but the tumor markers were up, that 'typically,' that means there's stuff going on where they can't see it.
the lymph nodes.
ugh.
no sleeping, lots of praying, lots of hand-wringing, lots of cleaning & home organizing. 
anything to keep my mind busy & distracted from this hell.
M-I-R-A-C-U-L-O-U-S-L-Y,
the PET scan came back CLEAR!
?!?!?!?!?!?!?
here we are preparing & assuming the worst.
AND, the 2nd blood draw, showed his tumor marker levels back down to 'normal range.'
ok!  what just happened here?
a hospital error?  did something brian ate the first blood draw, throw off the results?
did our oncologist not know what she was talking about?
who the hell knows.
but we (he) dodged a bullet, so to speak.
to go from feeling that total despair & agony to feeling like you'd just won the lotto.
you don't even know what to do with yourself!!!
ah, amazing.
now.  again, my husband the realist & his oncologist, agreed, he's not out of the woods.
'you still make me nervous,' she said.  
we need you back here in 8 weeks for another blood draw & PET scan, to make sure nothing is developing.
but there's nothing there now.
which was music to our ears.  music.
and again, teaching us to LIVE.IN.THE.DAMN.MOMENT because you just don't what's to come.
to REALLY.SOAK.UP.LIFE.
your babies.
your love.
your dog.
your book you're reading.
the beer you're drinking.
savor it.
when moments like this happen, it's actually quite humorous.
awful, but humorous.
how INSTANTLY, life is put in to perspective.
that trip to return stuff to target, that project you wanted to get done while the kids are in school, those emails you wanted to return,
suddenly become ridiculous. 
silly.
if we get anything from this.  anything GOOD from this.
it's that. 
that when all is said & done.
there is nothing but love.
nothing but family.




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