The Anatomy of a Conversation upon Cancer Diagnosis~

I’ve had these conversations in the past.  Its human nature.  Someone you know, someone you love, has been diagnosed with cancer. Nothing else is really known.  Its the waiting room before you get the details-what kind of cancer,  how wide-spread is it, what will be done about it….all those details that will determine a life for the unforeseeable future.

Its almost humorous, but of course, not, since it is the man I love more than life.  He has cancer, it is rare, the doc opened his wrist up, intending to remove the entire tumor, saw that it wasn’t what it had been thought, did a small incision to send to pathology, and closed it up.  Cautious not to disturb anything until he knows what exactly he is dealing with.

Here is where my own internal conversations start, and the conversations of those around me.  The “at least” conversations.  This is what we know.  And this is where we go from here….

     “At least he’s a cautious doctor.  Good thing he didn’t just go blowing in and remove it, disturbing it, and taking the risk of spreading it. That’s good.”
     “At least it is contained.  He’ll just have to go in and remove it, and life will continue. That’s good.”
     “At least, the doc is proactive. Going to get in there and get it quickly. That’s good.”
And that’s all true.

From there, (and I’m not meaning or trying to project anything here!), the conversations go outward-you know, once the doc tells you that its a little more complicated than he thought:

     “Its a very treatable cancer. That’s good.”
     “If you were going to HAVE a cancer, this is the one to have.” (the cancer lottery?)
     “This is definitely treatable.  We’ll get things started right away.”
     “You’re strong, you have a great attitude.  That’s good.” (I’m sure everyone who gets cancer strives frantically to have a good attitude, as if that is the magic cure)

And, as it develops, and treatments are offered and gone through, and our lives change drastically in order to accomodate it, the conversations, which began at the center of the circle, widen, and the “at leasts” get a little more shallow, and the “that’s good” get a little less certain.  Which, interestingly, is not to say that I feel pessimistic about any of it.  And one of the primary reasons I don’t feel pessimistic is because it is just too unreal a thought.  I can only think of this as a blip on the screen…

Cancer and my husband?  Nah, it just doesn’t go together.  Yes, its isolated, and that’s good-but don’t all cancer diagnoses start out with good possibilities?  But what I want to know, and didn’t have time to ask about, is what are the implications of it being so fast growing?  Isn’t that bad?  It seems bad to me.  Even if it is localized.  What is feeding it that it is growing so fast?  Shouldn’t we be concerned about that?  What if, as careful as the doctor is, and we do like him and trust him, a minute miniscule particle, really so small as not to be noticed, part of that liquid sack leaks into the surrounding area, and shoots through his blood system, and he seems okay but it pops its’ head up again in a few months?  We all know that can happen.

Next year this time, I tell myself, we’ll be out traveling somewhere again, with this in our past.  Shoot, by the Spring, this will be in our past, right?

It makes me not care about money.  We try to be careful in what we spend-Donald Trumps we’re not.  But, given this, who the hell cares?  My first response was to go out and buy a box of chocolates and a 6 pack of diet pepsi.  Coping tools as far as I’m concerned.  Oh, and a bag of cheez curls.  Who cares really, if it helps me deal with this.  But you know what?  I quickly realized I could do this for only so long.  Who needs to be fat and unhealthy while dealing with something like this?  So, yes, it all got demolished, and lord knows, there are worse ways to cope, but that was a one time only pass (until Tuesday when we get the pathology reports possibly).  It makes me not care about so much-the small shit that I really don’t care about anyways, I’m thankful to say (after all, this is my continuing year of my “I don’t give a fuck” tour.)  I am eternally thankful that I long ago realized that those I love and who love me, are what its all about.  And I have been living in the moment, enjoying my life with Handsome Husband and feeling blessed.  So this is not going to suddenly reveal a huge life lesson to me about priorities. It will strengthen my resolve to continue loving my life, loving my husband, and strengthen my determination to spend the next months, AFTER this is taken care of,  being with him, and going off on our own to further explore this country we love.  THAT is my biggest thought-

Mainly, I’m calm, interspersed with wild thinking, and the fear tears can be fully operational when talking with anyone about all of this (words spoken aloud make it all so real).  Day to day life resumes, and it has to be lived while we’re waiting.  Today, the house needs to get cleaned up, I need to organize my belongings (it will help me organize my brain), and I intend to do the 30 day hooping challenge, both for working off the inches around my hips/waist, as a stress buster, and to just have some fun.

We are so surrounded by love, it boggles the mind.  Between my angel sisters, and Handsome Husband’s friends, and our friends in common…the support is more than I could ever imagine.  So, despite THIS, life is still good….

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