I have never used the “F” word so much as I have in the last few months. We had such high hopes with the first round of chemo done, being told that it did what it was supposed to—the tumor and two lymph nodes had shrunk, the lining of the abdominal cavity was thinner and more normal—and the surgery was a success.
Then we meet with the surgeon for your post-op appointment.
We went in all hopeful, almost giddy, and then slap! Twenty of the twenty-two lymph nodes taken out at the time of surgery were cancerous. The cancer had spread more than first thought. Fuck!
A week later, an emergency room visit…
that ended with an ambulance ride back to Fargo. Fuck! You were in so much pain! It was initially thought that you had a blocked bowel which would need immediate surgery. Luckily it was not that. It is thought that you had blood clots from the surgery that broke off and were going through your system, which can cause this pain. Thank goodness, no more surgery—but what a scare!
A couple weeks later, we meet with the oncologist.
Not good news. Now we are stage 4 incurable because of the number of lymph nodes cancerous. Fuck! You will need radiation after this round of chemo and a year-long immunotherapy. If you don’t do radiation, you have maybe three years to live. If you do it, there is less than 10% chance of curing it. FUCK! We just can’t catch a break!
Here is an excerpt out of my journal during this time:
Fuck! Mitch’s diagnosis is incurable now that they found 20 of 22 lymph nodes coming back as cancer. Now we are on the trajectory of prolonging his life not curing the cancer. This SUCKS!
I’ve had 32 years with him and yet it doesn’t seem long enough! I’m too young to be a widow and he’s too young to die.
I feel the whole weight of everything on my shoulders. Trying to keep my children from despair. Zach from going down the dark hole of depression and never coming back. Lexi losing her lightness. Me to nothingness.
Mitch is such a good husband and father. He would do anything for us, including taking away all the anguish we are feeling right now.
My goal, at least it’s something I can do for him, is making this new house a home for him where he feels comforted and safe—a haven for him to fight cancer and beat the odds.
Fuck you, Cancer!!!
With all my love –
PS Readers, this was written before the Lord took Mitch home.