“I Have Some Bad News For You, You Have Cancer…”
The 24 hours before I heard the news, I was prepping. I went to work started on an all liquid diet, after work began drinking magnesium citrate to clean out my system and was actually kind of excited to have an early morning appointment so I could then get onto a three day weekend. In all honesty even after having red flag symptoms for the last seven months I was not expecting terrible news. I thought possibly an ulcer. I awoke at approximately 3:30 am to begin my last bottle of prep, my appointment was set for 7 am. We drove to the hospital, got checked in. I was taken back to the pre-op room where I dressed in the hospital gown, opening in the back (you know the drill). I joked around with all the nurses, planned happy hour with them at end of shift and was just my normal happy Ronda self. I think I was finally wheeled back around 9:15 or so for the doctors to perform my colonoscopy. I was starving since I hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours was throwing up and using the bathroom constantly, so as the nurse wheeled me on the hospital bed down the hallway I had one more funny joke in me before my procedure, I asked the nurse if we could swing by the cafeteria first to grab a bite.
We entered the room where the procedure was going to happen. The room was big, really bright, and ice cold. There were big machines, lots of medical tools and supplies and several people scurrying around. The anesthesiologist approached me, gave me some oxygen and started injecting my i.v. with the medicine to put me to sleep. The white creamy medicine going into my tiny baby veins was painful, I asked him “is this supposed to hurt?” He responded, “only for about 2 more seconds”...and I was out!
The next thing I remember, I opened my eyes and I was out of that big scary room. I looked over and there was my love of 26 years sitting by my side. I kept asking him how long I was asleep for, because they told me the procedure would only take 10-20 minutes and it felt like hours. My husband said, “It’s been about an hour”. As I sat waiting for word from the doctor and trying to get my wits back, I joked around with the nurses, was having cold shivering spells from coming off the meds and really just couldn’t wait to get about my day. At one point I saw the nurse who was in the operating room walk by and when she did I noticed something kind of odd. You know when you are out, lets say at the grocery store and you are just not really in the mood to see anyone you know and then low and be hold you come around a corner and there is one of your neighbors or child’s teachers and you do that quick turn of the head like you never saw them. (yeah I’ve never done that either, but I know some people do. shhhh!) Well the nurse did that.
Several minutes later I see the doctor making his way to me. He asked how I was doing, and I said,”well I woke up, so that’s good!” then the words came flowing out of his mouth like a record player on slow speed. There was no pause and no hesitation, it was like tearing off a bandaid. He needed to tell me and get the tough part of his job over quickly! He says, “I have some bad news for you. You have cancer.” The look on his face as the words came out of his mouth were of pure devastation. At this point I feel like I stepped out of my body for a second, like I was sitting back watching someone else get given their life sentence. The words automatically brought me back to all the times in my life I have sat in front of doctors or family members with that same devastated expression on their face as they knew in their heart that they just changed your life forever. I became numb. He went on to explain his findings, he had pictures of the tumor. He said something about polyps, and tumors, and centimeters. I honestly don’t know what he said after the “C” word. “Do you have any questions? Do you have history of Colon cancer in your family? I am sorry” all I could say was, “no history, thank you for giving me answers, and it is what it is.” and then we left the hospital. The drive was quiet for the most part until half way home I realized I was going to soon be walking into the house to my three beautiful babies who had just awoke from their slumber. I started sobbing and said to my husband, “what am I supposed to say to the kids when they ask if everything is ok?” “I’m not ready to die! “I can’t die!” “ I can’t tell them!”
I’ve had a lot...A LOT of worst days of my life. When I was four the worst day of my life was when my house burned down and burned my favorite blanket I carried everywhere. When I was 18 the worst day of my life was when my favorite person in the world died in a car accident. When I was 20 the worst day of my life was when my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and died four years later. When I was 33 the worst day of my life was my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer and arranging her services shortly after. Just five years ago was the worst day of my life when I gave birth to my son who went to join my loved ones on the other side. And now at the age of 44 the worst day of my life was having to hear the “C” word once again pertaining to me this time.
I LOVE life! I’ve had a good one. I have seen a lot, I have loved a lot, and I have lived a lot. I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. I have been through too much to give up now. I have had a lot of best days of my life too! The day I was born was the best day! The day I became a big sister was the best day! The day I met my husband was the best day! The day I got married was the best day! The day I had each one of my children was the best day! The day I get told I am cancer free and I have a new lease at life will be THE BEST DAY and I can hardly wait to celebrate!