Walking Into (And Out Of) A Whole New World

I really don’t know how to start this post except to say, it’s a pretty far left turn from my weekly stories.  I recently learned that I have endometrial cancer.  In what felt like a nanosecond, I was saying goodbye to my doctor as she referred me over to a gynecologic oncologist. In that initial fog of shock, I didn’t realize that there’s a good chance I won’t see her again; I’ll have nothing left for her to test. I need surgery to remove everything.

I had laid awake at 4:00 am that night running the news over in my head. I soon realized that my husband Dennis had been doing the same. He said “do you want to talk?” and I said yes.

“What “oma” did she say again? She said it quickly like carcinoma or sarcoma.” This suddenly seemed important to clarify at 4:00 a.m. He wasn’t certain.

Within days, I had my first appointment with the oncologist. As I arrived at his office, it really wasn’t an office at all. I looked up to see the words Cancer Institute on a large building complex.  I was walking into a whole new world.

It was here that I got my answer. I learned that it was carcinoma cancer with “characteristics of sarcoma cancer.” There’s a 70% chance of it being stage 1 or 2. The grade is 3. The doctor did not want to discuss chemotherapy or radiation until after the surgery as he would know more then. I was given a surgery date for what is now next week. I’ll have a CT scan in a couple of days.

I’m tired. Not so much because of my illness, but because every night now I wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning. I lay still trying to fall back asleep but the worries press down inside my head, the “what ifs” piling up on top of each other. We’ve all been there where the darkest thoughts come to pass in the darkest hours. Sometimes I will take a sleep aid and hope for slumber but sometimes, I just get up. I know that post-surgery I will sleep a lot.

Last week was Thanksgiving. We were scheduled to host. Initially, I thought “no way.” My head and energy were not in a hosting space. But after some consideration, and the surgery being almost three weeks away from the time of the diagnosis, I realized that it might be a good idea to keep busy and have family over; especially because I will not be able to drive the 2 ½  hours to be with them at Christmas. I’ve been told recovery takes 4-6 weeks. I’m a little scared about what happens after that.

Here, my blog is about my mother, about how all parents age and the unique challenges every adult child faces on this path. But I didn’t expect this. Who would? That the adult child is suddenly the vulnerable one? In a perfect world, I’ll heal and be helping her again in a couple of months. I just can’t be there right now, but I know she’ll be safe. My sister Hailey handles so many of the day-to-day responsibilities and Betsy who is my sister-in-law/third daughter for my mom will help too.

And this takes me to the thinking I want to share; why I’m writing this today. I do have some stories from the past few months that I can still post. But the timing may be irregular. I am thankful that I have a guest author who will provide my first guest post next week. If you are inspired to write one, please do! Information is on the home page.

I remain committed to the theme of this blog, although my health may occasionally intrude as a topic. It really depends on the extent of my post-treatment. But please know, I’m a strong person. I’m a positive person. In fact, cancer has no concept of my stubbornness. I will only concede that it may take me away from writing at times. I hope (pray) that readers will still be interested and stick with me. I have so much more to say.

Cancer

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. You probably know your blog brought tears to my eyes. It was so beautifully written and your positive attitude definitely shows through! You know we are all praying for you! Looking forward to your continuing blogs no matter when they arrive. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your courage inspires me, Melanie. Life is full of curveballs, and you just got thrown a doozie. Don’t take the lack of response by some as not caring. Being able to express the right words and feelings is hard for many of us. I think it is incredibly healthy to share what you’re feeling and going through. If it helps someone along the way, all the better. What attracted me to your blog was exactly that because I saw a person willing to share her struggles with her mom to help others. It is the most worthwhile pursuit.

    I’m going to my writing group tomorrow, and one of my dearest friends, Nancy, is part of that group. She has touched my life first as a mentor teacher, a principal, and now a friend. She is eighty-one years young and one of the most incredible people I know—still volunteering in schools. She is one of those people who never makes it about herself,—regardless of what is going on in her own life. I mention this because she always used to tell the students one thing that I never forgot—the greatest gift is the gift of yourself. Thank you for giving that gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you for your warm and uplifting comment Pete. I can only be me and my writing is a hybrid of my journalistic background where facts and details educate (and honestly, make a story more compelling because of its truth) and a strong pull to tell stories. Non-fiction memoir writing is such a natural fit for me. For a writer, there is no greater joy than a reader finishing your story and walking away having been either entertained, or learned something or been inspired by your words. I feel that if it’s real, then the greater likelihood a reader can benefit from it. And when they do? That’s a huge gratifying gift to me. Thank you Pete for encouraging me on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie, I am so sorry to hear about your news, and despite the positivity about treatment and prognosis I can understand how worrying and stressful it must be for you and your family. I can only send my best wishes and hopes that you will keep us updated when you feel able. I am currently sharing posts from bloggers who participated in the Posts from Your Archives and will share one of your recent ones in today’s blogger daily…hugs Sally ♥

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: