Here we go, I’ll back to telling my story, so this post follows the “C” word. Be sure to go back and read that post as this is where the story picks up.
First thing is I have to correct the order in how things played out after receiving the initial phone call from the Doctor. I actually did make some phone calls before I headed to the hospital, my memory is foggy on a good day, so please excuse this small mistake. The first call was to Tracy, who was working an hour away from Brantford, the call was difficult and involved a lot of tears. I told her to take time and gather herself before heading back my way, as to not drive while this news fresh in her mind. I then called my parents in an order I can no longer remember, I think shock and bewilderment would be a good way to describe those conversations. Emotionally draining would be the word used to describe these first initial calls, I had expected to call everyone after the pathology report came in, but figured in would involve maybe a small treatment to take care of minor problems. To have to tell those closest to you that you basically have a death sentence is definitely thought I’d never have to do….ever.
After those calls is when I made my way down to the hospital to start what has become many visits. After speaking on the phone for a couple hours I can remember being exhausted, but not tired….not sure if that makes sense, SHOCK then takes over. Sitting on my bed for hours, with my laptop researching neuroendricine cancer is how I spent my time after coming in from the hospital. I remember being frustrated with the lack of real information I could find and a lot of it seemed to be conflicting, so LOST would be another great word I’d use to describe how I felt then and a word I still use to this day. The day I found CNETS certainly helped with that early lost feeling, but more about those awesome people and organization later.
Both my sons were in school or working when the calls started, so they missed the doctors first call and I waited for Tracy to come home to explain to them what was going on. I honestly draw a blank on how the whole conversation played out, I don’t know how two teenagers are supposed to react when they here news like this about their Dad, a man who they never saw sick, hurt or injured very often. I think it’s still hard for them to process it, as I don’t portray a sick or ill man and still go about my life as I did before my diagnosis. My oldest son, still calls and when we talk he always asks how I’m feeling and if there’s any new updates in my health. My youngest avoids it, I think, and honestly I don’t think he means to’ like I said not a lot to them has changed much. I think that would be different had Covid not hit and they would’ve come to some of my appointments with me. They would see that quite a bit has changed. I try to look at it through their eyes at that age, both young men trying to sort out their own lives, I’d be a little confused, you know, them having to realize their Father has cancer, but still acts the same. I think it would be much simpler for them to understand, if I was this sick, tired guy sleeping a lot or not doing much. That’s just another beauty of this disease, sarcastic of coarse, is that unless you can see inside me and my mind, you’d have no idea. What it’s done to me is try and pay attention to every little detail of my boys, soak in all the details. My guidance for them as a Father has changed, always it was get a job, get an education and have money. That has changed to something very simple, just be happy…..do what makes you smile, it will all be alright!
Over the next few days we would exhaustively call those who were close to us and break the news, most people were shocked and it was always the same reaction…..you, Steve, you have Cancer….how does that happen? I never had an answer, I still don’t….it’s a question that will probably never get an answer. Neuroendricine tumors are a sneaky, devastating and terrible disease, usually widely spread through the body before diagnosis and no cure. Treatment helps very much, but through awareness hopefully early detection can be achieved, it is doable….
Tracy was recently watching the Doctor show, New Amsterdam, a good show for show, but there was one scene and when I heard it I asked her to rewind and play again. The main character, a doctor, who had cancer and beat it woke up one day and something in his throat was wrong, I think. So, the next scene is him going through a CAT scan with his Doctor friend monitoring. Her exact words to him as he was being scanned were, “When you hear hoof beats think horses”, meaning the problem in his throat was probably just a sore throat and nothing else. Our animal is a Zebra, because that’s the hoof beats doctors also need to hear….something rare happens from time to time and all us Zebras know that first hand……I hope I explained that right, it’s easier to say then write…..
My next posts will be containing another one of my passions I’m excited to share, canoe camping. I’m heading to Algonquin park for 4 night and will be keeping a daily log. I hope after reading those posts it get’s you out doing it, there’s nothing like the adventure of a canoe trip….Stay tuned…