|Mike & I - Niagara Falls, Summer 2005|
We had had just received the results from the MRI. Mike and I were sitting, a little bit taken aback, in that pastel-colored room with this new revelation that there was going to be a lot more to this than we had thought. Or that we had hoped for. Mike was holding my hand and his eyes were all watery. Maybe it was just my eyes that were all watery but everything was kind of a blur. Literally and also figuratively.
We were trying to absorb everything we had just been told and were so stunned that we didn’t even know what questions to ask. Finally I asked one. It seemed to me to be the only one to ask at that moment. “What do we need to do to get rid of this?” I was actually starting to get a bit angry and I just wanted to get going on whatever I needed to do now to kill this cancer. Dr. Surgeon felt that we should start with chemotherapy first in order to kill any cancer cells that might be in my body. This would prevent anything from growing or spreading and it would also help to shrink the tumor so that the surgery might be less invasive. Apparently this cancer was quite aggressive.
|Happy Couple - Manitoulin Island,|
He called the oncologist (I will refer to him as Dr. Oncologist), at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre. The two doctors spoke on the phone about me while we waited. When he left the room to make this phone call we just looked at each other. My tall, strong, handsome husband looked like he was about to cry and it was breaking my heart. I hated that he was so sad and hurting so much. Mike told me that he was sorry because he was supposed to be the one that was being strong for me but that he just couldn’t help it and here he was the one that was falling apart. We just held on to each other and I knew that he would love me through this and beyond. This was happening to both of us and we would need to lean on each other. I could understand how he felt because if it was the other way around I would be feeling the same way. I knew that he was feeling helpless and just not too sure what to do or what to say. He had convinced himself that we were going to come to see the doctor today and find out that the lumpectomy would be scheduled and maybe some radiation and then I’d be through it all in a matter of weeks. He wasn’t prepared for what we had just found out. I had the worst case scenario in my mind so I suppose that eased the news a bit for me. Either way we were moving ahead now with the next step in the process. Whatever that might be.
|Mike & I - Montreal, Easter 2012|
Dr. Surgeon finished his call with Dr. Oncologist. They had decided that I needed to see the oncologist as soon as possible and together a decision on next steps would be made. Neither of them wanted to delay this and did not want to wait for an available appointment. Dr. Oncologist asked me to come in on Friday and he would see me as soon as he was done with his regular appointments. The fact that they were rushing this scared me because it made me feel like my time was running out but it also comforted me to know that there were specialists looking out for me. Since it was Wednesday I had two days to wait. Again we were leaving with more answers but a whole new batch of questions. Everything was happening awfully quickly. I had heard the word “oncologist” before but I never really knew exactly what it meant. Now I know that an oncologist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of patients with cancer. I would be seeing a few of them over the coming months.
We drove home with our hearts heavy and our heads pounding. We were both on information and emotional overload.
NOTE: Listen to this song. Really listen to the words.
It is amazing. I cry every time I hear it.
I'm Gonna Love You Through It - Martina McBride