The Cancer Tsunamis

Posted by: on Apr 3, 2017 | No Comments

The Cancer Tsunamis

On November 14, 2016, my mother-in-law (Ina) was told that she not only had a spot on her pancreas, but she also had spots on her adrenal gland and liver. As I was sitting in the doctor’s office with her and my wife, I was 99.99% sure I knew what that meant. You know the 5 stages of grief? I skipped the first 4 realizing that I needed to be the one to keep my emotions in check while others around me might not be able to. That was Cancer Tsunami #1.

A little more than 2 weeks later, Ina would have a biopsy (actually for the second time). That same day, I was on a business trip to Syracuse University with my friend (and fellow SU alum) Betsy. I called my wife to check in, when she informed me that they had done a rush biopsy and that the cancer had been confirmed into 2 locations. 99.99% is now 100%. I have to go into a meeting and keep my shit together. On the ride home, I inform Betsy of what my wife are about to speak about. December 1, 2016 – Cancer Tsunami #2.

After spending most of Christmas week in the hospital dealing with post-chemo and pain issues, Ina moves in with Linda and me on New Year’s Day, 2017. The next 2-1/2 months are a whirlwind of doctors visits, chemo treatments, pain management (Fentanyl – a.k.a. legal heroin; morphine supplements; other stuff), most of which falls on Linda. FYI, I’ve been told by certain family members my Nobel Prize is waiting for me! Cancer Tsunami #3.

But the big CANCER TSUNAMI is the floodgates that were opened when all of this was swirling around Linda and me. It feels like cancer is an epidemic and once it hits you, the epidemic comes at you like a huge tidal wave…a tsunmai. Everyone you speak to, everyone you interact with in person or via social media, everyone is touched by cancer. Relatives, friends, business colleagues, casual acquaintances. I feel like I can’t go on Facebook without reading a post from someone who isn’t dealing with cancer on a personal level. They are raising money, they ask you to pray for a friend or relative, they post stories and photos of their own battle with cancer. Every time I hear or read about someone with cancer, I feel like that tsunami is pushing me down beneath the wave. I know that I can survive the tsunami and that I will eventually come up for air. I also know that there will be days when the weight of the water will make me feel like almost all the air is being squeezed out of my lungs.

Even when the tsunami has me down and almost out, I know that the battle against cancer is one we must wage so that we win the war. That the tsunami will end and leave only calm waters in it’s place.