Unfortunately, cancer has been an unwelcome, despised guest in our home many times. My mother, a beautiful woman, tall, intelligent, begging to live, suffered extremely without mercy from the cancer that ravaged her body. She died at 49. Ten years later, my father died with cancer.
My wife’s father died of cancer at middle age in 1971. He went into the hospital at the beginning of the week not feeling well. He was gone by week’s end, leaving a grief-stricken family of eight. His oldest son, my wife’s brother, died with brain cancer at 51. Her sister had breast cancer, requiring a mastectomy.
Over several years my wife has been treated for cysts, and has been monitored carefully. Two years ago she had a lumpectomy, requiring no further treatment. Four weeks ago, she underwent another surgery, this time the results were different. The pathology report, confirmed by a leading cancer center, revealed she has triplet-negative breast cancer. This type of cancer is rare, and is not a typical breast cancer. It can occur anywhere in the body. She will undergo chemo therapy, probably beginning in a few weeks, followed by radiation. She had another surgery which confirmed the sentinel lymph-nodes are clear, and cell margins are now clean. That, obviously, does not guarantee there are no more cancer cells anywhere.
My dear wife of nearly forty-five years, has been very brave throughout this journey, so far. We have received hundreds of notes of support, positive thoughts, and prayers, for which we are incredibly thankful. Even our Twitter and Facebook friends have been amazing. People we have never met, and probably never will, have expressed kind words of support and encouragement.
We meet with the medical oncologist tomorrow to learn more about the chemo treatment and will then have a better view of what the months ahead will hold. Even though my wife is scared, she is confident. Yes, a person can be terrified and confident at the same time. It would be unnatural to not feel a sense of fear facing this kind of situation. She is confident, however, knowing that the doctors will be doing their best to reach the highest outcome possible.
We will soon see how the chemo treatments will affect her. She is determined to continue doing the things she loves, which includes drinking plenty of coffee. And, of course, I will drink lots of coffee to support her. Our mini-golden doodle, Maggie, will be in irreplaceable part of the healing process.
Speaking of coffee, I need some.
– Dale Parsons