My Life is Forever Changed

6/09/2011 03:15:00 PM Posted In Edit This 4 Comments »
Just about a week ago, my life changed forever. Really, that sounds like a profound statement, but doesn't my life actually change forever every single day? The past month has been a roller coaster of emotions (so cliche'). Truthfully, my whole life is a roller coaster. But this post is about what is happening now. I got a phone call following some tests, and heard the words that we all seem to dread, "You have cancer."
That was on Tuesday, May 31, while I was hauling a cart load of books from my old office in one building to my new office in another. I will forever remember exactly where I was at that moment. I will also remember how I felt. Surprisingly, it was more of a, "Wow, so this is how it feels to hear those words" and "Hmmm, even though they kept saying that it didn't appear to be cancer, there was always this nagging doubt".
I didn't feel mad or sad or anything, except maybe that it couldn't be, because cancer happens to other people. But I have found out over the last several years that I am "other people" (more about that in a future post). Over the past month, I had been researching like crazy, just in case. And in the past week, I learned more about endometrial (uterine) cancer than I could have imagined.
Right now, my life is kind of in a holding pattern. In some ways, nothing has changed. I am teaching summer school and just living a blessedly normal life. I feel fine. And I check the lab report that says "Endometrioid Adenocarcinoma With Squamoid Differentiation, FIGO Grade 1", just to make sure this is real. On June 21, I will be seeing a gynecologic oncologist (OMG, oncologist - why would I need to see an oncologist - that's for people with cancer...not me) in Wichita. At that time I will find out when I will have surgery. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
In a way, I can't wait until June 21, because waiting and not knowing is agony. The staging won't be determined until during and after surgery. On the other hand, as long as June 21 never gets here, I will continue to live in my "Gee, I can't have cancer, because I don't feel sick" bubble. But I am starting to get my ducks in a row. I have told my immediate family (husband Alan, and four children). We have told our parents and siblings. I have told my boss so that he could arrange for someone to take over my summer school classes for me. And I have told all of my "peeps" what is going on, because they are my friends. I know that I will need a support net for me and my family if things get rough. I have been blessed with a huge number of incredible friends, and I know that they will hold me in their hearts and pray for me. Knowing this is allowing me to keep a positive outlook, which is so important. I know that I have some tough times ahead, I am not in denial or foolishly oblivious. But I also know a lot of other things. Over the weeks to come, I will expound on some of them.
What I know (in no particular order):
- I have been incredibly blessed.
-Cancer (especially endometrial adenocarcinoma) is not an automatic death sentence.
-I am alive now, and each day is a celebration.
-I have more true friends than I could have imagined.
-I have an overwhelming sense of peace about this whole thing (yes, I have cried, and I am scared; but I know that everything will be okay - whatever that is).
-God has spent my whole life preparing me to face this next hurdle, and He will not abandon me now.
-This stuff we face helps build character, and I am apparently not yet enough of a character.
-Having a diagnosis of cancer cannot immediately wipe out my sense of humor.
-If any of your body parts are trying to kill you, it is best to get rid of them if you can. In my case, those bitchy little lady parts have been put on notice and will be evicted within the next month.
-There are worse things than cancer.
-If you pray for something, be specific. I kind of indicated to God that I wanted a break from teaching and would love a journey or vacation. I was thinking more along the lines of a cruise. I didn't mean an "Oncology Spa"!
Until my next post, pray for all of those folks who have it worse than I do. There are way too many to mention. Thank you for taking the time to share in my journey.


Audrey Frelx said...

Oh, my sweet Susan!!! This is not what I expected to read on my visit to you. I really don't know what I can say, however, I will say that God is good, God is great, and he'll be there with you whatever it is you have to deal with -- you are not alone. If there's anything I can do, please let me know.

Of course you'll be in my thoughts each day and in my prayers every night -- miracles do happen, and prayers certainly do help! You are a Blessed friend and I know you have many who love you and will also be by you. I hope you can feel my love!

I'll be back as often as I can, my friend, to keep track of you.


Jennifer Rzasa said...

Susan- I don't know what to say- I was never good at digesting this kind of news. I hope you keep us posted as you embark on this difficult journey, so all of your blog-world friends can continue to support you. You'll be in my thoughts!

Seleise said...

I'm thinking about you today, my friend, and am hoping you're getting a good plan of attack from the doc!! Keep up your positive spirit and keep living the good life! love ya!

Curt in Carmel said...

I'm so very sorry for the news Susan. But after reading your post, I had this thought immediately: "She is going to do great because her attitude is great." And it is. I loved reading the snipits of humor,but more importantly, I actually could feel the strength and conviction between the lines that tells me you are going to kick this cancer's ass! I'm here for you kiddo with warm thoughts and prayers for your complete recovery. You can do this, I know you can. It still makes me sad that you have to go through this, but your line about being more specific about what you pray for made me laugh out loud. It was a great line and I will always remember it. You take special care of yourself, and please, please keep us posted on what is happening. I hope everything went well today. I'm sorry I just got around to read your blog, but now that I know what is happening, I'll be back often to check up on you! Take care dear lady. . . Best, Curt