Wednesday, July 11, 2018

...In Sickness and in Health...

Us, about four weeks ago, trying not to think
about what was going on. I almost managed.
I apologize for the seemingly distant and impersonal announcement, but I honestly don't know of another way to do this without a freak out or a melt down. Sometimes distance is better. So, here we go.

About four weeks ago, Cathy went to the doctor complaining of abdominal pains. They took some scans and promptly freaked out. They took more scans and then sent them to a specialist in Wichita Falls. To make a long story short, they quickly determined that she had cancer. It was somewhere in the reproductive system and it was big enough to send us to an oncologist. We spent a month imagining the worst, but we finally have a diagnosis: ovarian cancer, stage 3.

This is both good news and bad news. Ovarian cancer is one of the silent killers, in that it's not detected until it's stage 4 and metastasized. Sometimes it's caught at stage 1, and the doctors perform a hysterectomy and that's it. They either literally nip it in the bud, or they tell you to make a bucket list. In our case, we lucked out, in that stage 3 ovarian cancer is treatable, if we hurry. But the treatment will have to be extensive, involving chemotherapy, and then surgery, and then follow up chemotherapy. And here's the best part: even after all of that, there's still a 40-50% chance it will come back.

We are, understandably, in shock. And because the cancer is where it is and is where it's at, the doctors have been moving fast and talking even faster, which is freaking us out even more. We finally got a gyno-oncologist that could calmly give us the info we needed. Not that it helped, not really. We're still looking at each other and wondering what the rest of the year is going to look like. What next year is going to look like. We don't know much of anything right now. It's all day-to-day appointments and stuff to deal with. These last four weeks have been rough. One minute we're laughing at some really dark, black humor and the next minute we're sobbing in each other's arms. It's emotional whiplash.

Backstage at the Backdoor
Theatre, during the run of
Sexy Laundry. We played
a married couple. It was
a stretch.
I'll tell you what it's going to look like. The next three months is going to look like a donnybrook as we knuckle up and gird our respective loins to fight this. And we will fight it, but it means that, among other things, the rest of my life is going to take a backseat to Cathy's--and by extension, my--health. I may be out of pocket, or completely unavailable, for days at a time. I'm going to try to keep the people that want to stay informed as up-to-date on things as possible. I'm also going to want to take a break from cancer and talk about movies and comics and goofy stuff.  This blog is going to get really weird for a while. Fair warning.

I will attempt to mark future entries with a notation in the title, for those of you would like to skip the cancer bulletins, or for those of you who'd like to read them, whichever. I urge you to subscribe if you want to keep up, as I may not be making Facebook posts about what's going on personally. I also completely understand if you want to step away for a while. You do you.

I want to talk about this. I need a place to put my dark and off-kilter thoughts. I can't give that energy to Cathy. She needs love and peace and laughter and good vibrations and all of that stuff. If you're friends with her on Facebook, feel free to send good thoughts and funny cards and messages of encouragement to her.

As for me, I will be okay. I am in a pretty good place, mentally speaking, and I'm ready to support her in whatever she needs. I've been doing some work, getting healthier both mentally and physically. It's still a work in progress, but it is progress and you can see it. Now we're going to put it to the test. Oh, yes we are.

October will be our fifteenth wedding anniversary. You know, when you say those vows, there are a few of them that you mouth out of tradition, not imagining in a million years that one day, that check will come due and you've got to reach for your wallet. With some care, and a little luck, and a lot of drive, we will come out of this stronger. We've got to. She's just got to.

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