It’s crazy to think that it’s been two months since I have published a post. I have written many private posts or drafts, but none have met my mental criteria to be put out there for the world to see. I vowed to myself that today I would put a stop to that.
I suppose this story starts in mid-November. My long-term boyfriend had a surgery to remove some swollen lymph nodes on his neck.
The nodes would be biopsied, and the doctor assured us that it was most likely a benign type of tumor. Optimism ensued.
On the weekend before his 42nd birthday, we celebrated alone together at the Cheesecake Factory in downtown Seattle. We each had our favorite, the steak diane, with several Blue Moon Ale’s and a lemoncello cream torte for dessert. I remember how he wore his grey beanie instead of a ball-cap. For some reason all of these details stand out to me as if they are important, when they aren’t. I think I have committed them to memory because I clearly remember his smile as the glow of his candle hit his face, right before he blew it out. I remember that moment and thinking that he seemed happy.
The day after his birthday, he met with his doctor to get his biopsy results and was diagnosed with follicular B-cell non-hodgkin’s lymphoma.
I was at work when he told me the news via text. I felt like I was in a time warp while the rest of the world kept on going. It seemed impossible to keep performing day to day tasks while my world was seemingly hanging on by a thread. Memories of my parents came to me over and over again. A bedside commode next to a frail body. Pill bottles covering an entire table. Tar black coffee to be my only meal as I sat in the hospital for an entire afternoon.
I really just wanted to break down, but that seems entirely selfish. Sure, I have my own part in this. I have to play the role of caregiver, once again. I have to helplessly watch my loved ones suffer. I don’t want to be one of those people that makes it about them, though. I am not the one that has to go through chemo.
After his diagnosis, he had to have a PET/CT scan to determine where the Cancer had spread throughout his body. The doctor told us at the time that he probably had stage 1 or 2, and might not even need chemo. Optimism ensued.
Before the scan he had to eat a low-carb diet. I was in HEAVEN because in my efforts to fit into skinny jeans I have researched diets galore and finally had someone to bore to death with my findings. For three days we both ate a Ketogenic diet, and after his scan we enthusiastically ate a full breakfast of biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit and juice from the hospital cafeteria. Hospital food had never tasted so good.
Yesterday he met with his oncologist and was told that he has stage 3A lymphoma.
People say to remain optimistic but if you expect the worst you will never be disappointed.
Okay, it’s not that I expect the worst. I mean, I don’t think we should start picking out caskets or anything. The new diagnosis was simply a slap in the face considering we have been told every step of the way that it was likely a better outcome. It seems like trying to remain optimistic is a jinx.
The next step is a bone marrow biopsy to see if the Cancer has spread there, and if it has he will become a stage 4. The doctor said that she doesn’t think this is the case because he has no symptoms and his blood work is great. I am not going to be fooled into optimism this time, though. Fool me once, shame on you…
I keep wanting to throw a pity party. Every time that I see him tearing up. Every time that I think about going through the Cancer rodeo again. I keep wondering why this is happening again, but I don’t think I will ever have these answers.
Regardless of this staging I am hopeful about the prognosis. I know in my heart that we have many years left together.