One year ago, I wrote a blog called Be Brave .
It’s hard to think back to that time without feeling the drop in my heart all over again.
Joe’s cancer was back and badder than ever. All of the hope and hard work was gone in an instant. Every chance we had at “cancer free” was gone.
March is colon cancer awareness month. I hope you’ll read what I wrote one year ago and stop to think about all of the people you know who are suffering. I hope you’ll take a minute to separate your every day worries and feel thankful for your health. I hope you’ll know that an entire family gets cancer. The people who are loving and taking care of that sick person are also diagnosed with a deadly disease.
Joe’s dad often told us people get tired of talking about cancer. They want to go about life in a happy way and often friendships and family can fall apart because it just can become too much for people to deal with daily.
If you have stopped talking to someone who is hurting, it’s time to pick up the phone.
Turn colon cancer awareness month into a month of caring and kindness.
Joe would have given anything to be here today. He would love to see his little girl and all of her personality. He wanted to throw a ball with the dog. He wanted to go to work and make a difference.
If you woke up today, you are here for great purpose.
Don’t forget, it’s our turn to live #JoeStrong.
It’s the best advice a friend sent me today. To be honest, I feel like it’s our only option– be brave.
What else can you do when a doctor tells you you’re dying?
We don’t have time for cancer, yet we can’t waste time to have surgery because we need to try and buy as much time as we can. Read that over again and try and make any sense of it.
The cancer is back.
The scan shows lymph nodes up and down Joe’s aorta. His cancer marker was a zero after the big surgery in October and now it’s 25. That’s a big jump.
Our surgeons eyes filled as he told us what he saw. Joe choked back tears and shoved a picture of Mira in our doctor’s face.
“She’s beautiful”, was all the surgeon could get out without falling apart right along with us.
I think I blacked out as the doctor penciled some circles on a piece of paper to show where the lymph nodes are. Joe asked about options as I held my breath trying not to make a sound as tears were streaming down my cheeks.
What do I say? How can I comfort Joe? What about Mira? How long do we have? Why is this happening? Can I work? Should we book a vacation? Is he going to be sick? Are we making the right decisions? Is there anything else? How do we tell his mom? His brother? Where will I go? How will I do this? This is not the plan. We can do this. It’s going to be okay. How will it be okay? Can I keep it together? How will I afford to live? How will he die? Is it going to hurt? Why are these tissues so scratchy at the doctor’s office? Did we make a mistake doing surgery? How will I raise our daughter? Who will teach Mira math?
Some questions I asked out loud, others seem to chase each other in a circle around in my head.
Chemotherapy—- the surgeon said we have to do it. It’s the only choice. He said we have to at least try it. Joe asked if it ever gets rid of the cancer completely. The doctor said, “rarely”.
Buying time and at what cost.
Quality vs Quanity— a conversation we’ve had many times.
Joe says he doesn’t want to be around long enough that Mira will know who he is. He doesn’t want to hurt a 4 year old, blue eyed girl when she loses that guy who has always been around.
I don’t want that but I love Joe for loving Mira so much he can’t stand to cause her any pain.
What would you do if you knew you were dying? If you knew you were buying time?