Thursday, May 3, 2018 was a good day. 85 days before this pic was taken, we received the diagnosis I wouldn’t wish on anyone. To say that these weeks have been challenging is the understatement of understatements. Unless you’ve lived with it, you have no idea… I count myself as one of those who had no idea.

It’s cancer.

Not a cold.

Not a broken bone.

It’s f—ing cancer.

After the initial panic, depression, denial and anger, you realize that from diagnosis point on, you have a new roommate. They won’t chip in for the mortgage or groceries… they sure as hell won’t clean up after themselves.  They’re there.  They’re ALWAYS there.  It becomes your full-time part-time job to get them the hell out of your body and life.

That job, for lack of a better description, sucks.

  • Doctor appointment
  • Tests
  • Diagnosis
  • Tests
  • Appointments for tests
  • Surgery
  • Post-surgery
  • Pre-radiology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Mapping
  • Tests
  • Treatments

The order may have been a little different, but you get the idea.  Any one of the last 85 days can fall into one of these bullet points.  There was a space of about 7-10 days… in between the mapping and the first ration appointment where it felt like life felt more pre-diagnosis. As treatment number one came close, we remembered we still had that roommate to deal with.  But we dealt with it.  Lez, while feeling bent several times… never broke.  She came close.  I did too.

They don’t talk much about the bending or breaking part in any of those appointments. Everyone bends differently.  Some break.

From beginning to end, the medical teams we’ve dealt with have been outstanding. Outstanding. Lez and I would like to extend a special thanks to the doctors, nurses, techs and staff at Radiation/Oncology of Upstate Cancer Center in Oneida. Especially Lisa and Rachel.  They made the daily treatments bearable… for both me and Lez. All the state-of-the-art medical technology in the world at your fingertips is great… but no technology can do what a kind, genuine smile and feeling of safeness can. They’re damn good at what they do. Doctors and surgeons may get all the glory… and justifiably.  But, they can only do what they do with help from outstanding nurses and outstanding support staff.  Period.

I’m not just saying that because my mother has been a nurse for 40+ years. It’s just a fact.

So we start May 4 by taking a different type of breath. A good breath.  A breath not attached by my counting the days since diagnosis or number of treatments remaining.

And by the way… Lauren?  Whatever we did right with that kid I hope we keep doing.  She’s been another rock for us. Whatever that kid ends up doing in life she’ll be unbelievably amazing at it.

My family, Lez’s family (especially Art and Roxanne) all of our friends and every single fan of Bob the Squirrel… thank you for your support and concern.  Lez and I will be pricing storage facilities this weekend to have a place to keep all the good vibes, thoughts and prayers sent our way.

Lez will never be the same. Even though the roommate has been evicted, you never know if or when it’ll come knocking again.  We can’t live our lives waiting for that knock.

We just live.

Thank you all again.

 

 

Bob the Squirrel