I’m going to do something different. Typically my blog is all about the humor. Or at least what I hope others will find humorous. This idea/experiment might occasionally include humor but it’s going to be serious. I usually publish my posts to Facebook and a few other social media outlets. This once a week post will only be here on WordPress.
A little over twelve years ago, the morning after we had attended a Halloween party, she found it. A lump in her breast. Testing over the next two weeks confirmed that it was breast cancer. A surgery was scheduled. The recommendation was for one breast and a few lymph nodes to be removed. Being a medical professional herself, she opted for the most aggressive course of treatment, a double mastectomy, to hopefully decrease the risk of a return in the future.
That’s the thing with cancer. You have to be as aggressive as it is if you want to survive. If the surgery and subsequent chemotherapy and medication regimen don’t obliterate every single cancer cell it will come back. It only needs one single cell. One little fucker that starts replicating again. That’s why chemotherapy lays waste to the human body. It kills most of the fast replicating cells in the body without discerning between cancer cells and those that we need, such as the ones responsible for our hair. At the time, the treatment seemed as bad as the disease.
At the time I didn’t know what to expect, so I went into everything optimistically, assuming that because I’m Phil it would all be all right. I had never lived with someone with cancer. It was the worst year of my life. I wouldn’t wish either cancer or caring for someone with cancer on my worst enemy.
But she survived and twelve years later we own a shitload of pink ribbon clothing, decorations, and stickers on our cars. My wife even has a pink ribbon tattoo on the back of her shoulders that says “Hope”
Today is my birthday. I’ll probably spend the day responding to hundreds of well wishes on Facebook while I sit waiting as my wife has a bone scan and MRI to determine the extent of the cancer that has returned. It’s like when they make a sequel to a great movie from a long time ago and you’re like, ‘Where the fuck did that come from? I had forgotten all about it.” Remember that Baz Luhrman song Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen) ? Remember the lyric “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.” That’s pretty much how it happened just two weeks ago when she found a lump in her chest. Twelve years out I had thought we were OK.
So possibly for my own sanity, I’m going to write about it once a week. If you just want my funny posts, feel free to skip these and read the others. I know I would. I try not to acknowledge things that scare the hell out of me, like I did as a kid when I’d hide under my blanket because I believed that if I did, the monster in my room couldn’t see me. The monster is back and I’ve got no blanket. If you’re one of my real life friends who came upon this, please don’t share on Facebook or anywhere else.