Reflecting on My Cancer Battle (Part 3: Celebrating Three Years)
From March 20, 2008:
I met with the surgeon for a consultation and left feeling like I’d just been gut-punched. This is going to be way more than I imagined. Friday I have a CAT scan to see if the cancer has metastasized anywhere else in my body; next Thursday another internal exam and ultrasound to pinpoint where the tumor is and how large it is. Then he’ll decide on the best surgical procedure. Right now, because the tumor is located low in my colon we’re looking at a full incision, colon resection, a month or more recovery off work, then 6 months of chemotherapy. If the tumor is larger than expected we’ll be doing radiation first to shrink it, then surgery and chemo.
Now, for the honesty: I know I’m in God’s more than capable hands. I know He’s in control of this and this hasn’t surprised Him one bit. But still I’m scared. This thing has me bug-eyed scared. I have no where else to turn but to my Lord.
Telling the kids I had cancer was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. How do you explain cancer to children five, seven, and nine years old? How do you convey the seriousness of it, the gravity of the situation without scaring them? Jen and I wrestled with how to tell them and finally settled on, “There’s something growing in Daddy that shouldn’t be there and the doctor is going to cut it out.”
Their first question was: “Is Daddy going to die?” It wouldn’t be the first time we had to answer that question.
I’ve often thought how scary it was for them, my girls, to hear of this cancer thing and not fully comprehend it. To see Mommy and Daddy scared and serious and talking quietly and not know what the future held. To deal with the doctor appointments and phone calls and cards in the mail and not lose hope.
I wanted to take away their fears and uncertainties, answer all their questions, but I couldn’t. I had to give them to God. I had to. I had no other choice.
It was harder than I thought it would be.