On February 7, 2018, we received the news that no one ever wants to get.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma; moderately differentiated.

A mammogram revealed a small mass.  Lez was set up an appointment to have a biopsy…

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma; moderately differentiated.

Lez called me from the doctor’s office.  She called there earlier to maybe get the results over the phone.  We hadn’t heard anything for a few days and were obviously concerned.  The office told her to come in for a face-to-face… never a good sign.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma; moderately differentiated… Breast Cancer.

My first reaction: “F-ck!”
My second reaction: “What are we going to do now?”
My third reaction: “Why wasn’t I there with her when she got this news?”

Lez tells me what the doctor said and my head is spinning.  I can only imagine what her head is doing.

The call ends.  I go shovel the driveway… snow came down pretty heavy all day.  The parade of questions and emotions continued in my head. What about Lauren? How are we going to do this? What if Lez is out of work for a long period of time?  How much time can I take off if she needs me?  Can I carry the household bills by myself?

The one question that NEVER entered my mind was: What if she dies?

Because …the FIRST thing the doctor said to her (after delivering the results) was: “You are not going to die.”

I finish the driveway and immediately do what the doctor told Lez NOT to do (at least not that day)… I researched her results. What Lez has is what 80% of diagnosed cases are.  Caught early, elimination and recovery is extremely probable.  Still, I’m not feeling at ease.

Lez comes home.  I give her the biggest hug ever.  I tell her we have 24 hours to feel like shit and wallow… then, it’s nothing but optimism.  We’re going to beat this… I keep saying “we” .  If I could I’d take on those cells myself and leave her out of it… but I can’t.  I remind Lez that she’s descended from a long like of tough chicks… which manages to get a small laugh out of her.  One of my main jobs from that day forward was/is to make sure she continued laughing.

Lauren was at Lez’s parents’ house.  Lez went there and told them… with predictable reactions.  I talked to Lauren shortly after that… telling her that the best thing we can do is treat Mom as we normally would.  Lez is going to beat the hell of this… and before we know it, it will just be a story we tell at picnics and on holidays.

Later that night, I ask Lez if it’d be okay to put this in the strip.  If she gave me “the look” or told me where to go and how to get there, the conversation would be over.  She say’s no…it’s a no.  She didn’t say no… but she didn’t want me jumping into it that night.  There were people she wanted to tell first.  No problem.

Her fight is our fight.  Her challenge is our challenge.  It’s our life…it would have been difficult NOT to include this in the strip.

That night I wrote this in my journal…

…referring not to the story… but to the word: cancer.  I still can’t.

From this moment on:

Bob the Squirrel isn’t going to turn into the “Cancer Strip”.  The thing I’ve learned so far is that there’s a LOT of life to live in-between the medical stuff.  Life is just life… boring, exciting, challenging, normal, daily life.  The next few months will be sprinkled with appointments, tests, procedures and treatments.  We’ll have good days and bad days… laughs and tears… you know, life.

In some way I think… if I put this in the strip, I can control the story and make it a happy ending.  Silly, but it keeps me strong.

Lez’s surgery is later this week.  After a few weeks of healing, her course of (radiation) treatment will begin.  Her mass is classified as Stage 1.  It was caught early.

The ass of the mass will be thoroughly kicked.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with us.

Sometimes life is nuts… it’s good to have a squirrel around.

Categories: announcements blog bob cancer