Well, It’s been a month since my first writing concerning my lovely wife’s cancer diagnosis. The missus is still handling her situation (her journey – as she puts it) like a brave trooper. We met with Rhonda’s chosen doctor back in December, to learn the specifics of her condition and to form a game plan going forward. Rhonda’s initial prognosis was, in my opinion, pretty encouraging (after the shock wore off) considering what it could have been in the cancer world. There was no mention of “stage four,” “lymph nodes,” or any “has spread to…” speak. Rhonda will have to undergo a lumpectomy though. There is a cancerous area (not an actual lump) in her left breast that needs removed. Sounds harmless enough.
However, this is where confusion entered the picture. We were given so much information in so little time. Rhonda heard stuff. I heard stuff. But it was not necessarily the same stuff, or even interpreted the same way when entering our ears. I do know we both heard the word radiation. I’m also sure the both of us were trying to decipher in our minds what the technical terms, next to a hastily sketched picture of a boob – created by the doctor, actually meant. Both of us certainly heard the command for Rhonda to ditch her birth control pills immediately – and forever. I guess those tiny pills feed cancer! (Plans for a vasectomy are in the works.)
Next, we were ushered down the hallway to meet with my wife’s referred surgeon, and she confirmed a lumpectomy was in order. The surgeon then ordered an MRI and a genetics test (since Rhonda’s paternal grandmother had breast cancer in her lifetime, and her maternal grandfather died from pancreatic cancer). I suppose my wife’s surgeon was just being thorough, but I felt like she was poking a sleeping bear. The surgeon then informed us that depending on those two results we may be having a different conversation. It’s definitely been a whirlwind of emotions since Rhonda’s original diagnosis.
In an instant, I went from being somewhat assured of a positive prognosis to being drastically distraught. The only consolation prize that day was when the surgeon told us Rhonda’s cancer was a monthly/yearly spreading disease and not a daily/weekly growth. We were then told to enjoy our Christmas in Iowa, and to try not to worry about the future results of the tests. Yeah, right. The now not knowing and the “what ifs” destroyed any chance at normalcy, at least for me, for the next couple of weeks.