Cancer: That Unwelcomed Guest Has Returned

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Love Is Composed Of A Single Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies:  Aristotle 

Saturday’s revelation that ‘The Little Ones’ cancer has metastases to his spine was devastating.  Two years past his radiation and chemotherapy treatment for esophageal cancer, we are back facing this vicious disease.  ‘It’s’ been knocking on the door the last few weeks; it is difficult to acknowledge this unwelcome guest has returned with new vigor and new strength.

I am not sure I can accurately describe our emotions at this time.

Concerned for the past few weeks that the tumor was active again, Friday’s MRI and CT scan proved our suspicions true.  While the news is unwelcome, we are thankful that at least we know the source the pain and discomfort which will allow us to act accordingly.  Palliative radiation is a new term that I learned on Saturday; TLO will immediately start palliative radiation treatments to help relieve the serve pain that suddenly came upon him Thursday night.

Scary does not do his pain justice on Thursday night; nor how we feel right now.

Imploring the attending physicians at the hospital to consult with TLO’s primary care physician helped avoid an unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedure which would have been dangerous and certainly unnecessary.  The cardiologist was sure his issues were cardiac, ‘he has the classic symptoms and history of heart disease,” said the cardiologist.  ‘That may be true, but before we make any decisions on doing a cardiac catheterization, it is important that we first find out what is going on with the tumor; we are not doing any invasive procedures until we have the MRI and CT scan’, I suggested. The cardiologist was working out of his area of medicine and we respect that.  

The harsh reality of the news creates an immediate void to an unpredicted 1385583_607513719290066_905165614_n (1)future.  The last twenty-four hours back at the house has found both of us to be just a bit sad and depressed.  We both have to watch those emotions so that they do not permeate our decision-making process. Depression often plays such a strong role in how disease functions in the body.  While we are both cognizant of that, it comes down to mind over matter.  As I’ve said before…”It just ain’t easy!”

A whole set of new and intense emotions intrude on us right now.  Worry, detachment, mortality, anger, fear of abandonment and having to live life alone. These gut wrenching emotions lurk in our minds when faced with a life-and-relationship-altering illness.  Often times, you have to give up things that you lovein order to care for the one you love.

Over the past 24 hours, we have had the chance to talk openly about what lies ahead of us.  As we begin to accept the raw news that was delivered yesterday, TLO is insistent that we continue to advocate for those who have no one to advocate for them.  “What would have happened to me if I had gone ahead with the cardiac producer; what would have happened to me if I had no one to advocate for me,” TLO exclaimed!  We intend to be as open as possible with everyone as we move forward with treatments.

We will push ahead because life’s journeys are not often driven on smooth roads, but we can always hope for a gentle wind at our back. This gentle wind is always fortified by our love, our faith, our friends and our trust.

Thank You for being a part of this journey with us!

You see…we might have cancer, but cancer does not have us! 


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  1. Linda Brendle on October 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Chris, I am so sorry. There are really no words except to say that my thoughts and prayers will continue to be with both of you and with all the doctors and other medical personnel with whom you’ll be interacting. Keep the faith.

  2. crabbycancerwife on October 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I have been reading your blog for years, and was so sad to read this news today. You and TLO are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Chris MacLellan - 'Be A Healthy Caregiver' on October 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    We appreciate your kind words and prayers…we’re all in this together!

  4. Chris MacLellan - 'Be A Healthy Caregiver' on October 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks Linda! It is our faith and friends that will help get us through this….I appreciate you! Chris

  5. Jill on October 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    First I cried for you, then I cried for me, then for all three of us. Then I took a deep breathe and remembered to be strong and ready to continue to give yet another fight and to appreciate every day.

  6. JoAnn Jordan on October 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

    TheHolding you in my prayers.

  7. romie3 on October 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and TLO. Make the most of each day with each other and try to find joy and hope wherever and whenever you can. Big hugs to you both.

  8. painspeaks on October 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

  9. Chris MacLellan - 'Be A Healthy Caregiver' on October 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks JoAnn…we appreciate your prayers and support!

  10. Chris MacLellan - 'Be A Healthy Caregiver' on October 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks Sonia! We appreciate your prayers and support!