November 8, 2012 – one year ago today – was the scariest day of my life. It was the day that Andrea had her cancer surgery…and I remember the feeling of helplessness I had as soon as she walked through those doors to the OR. She was in the operating room on her own, and I was just left with this lonely, helpless feeling. Sitting in that hospital room, on a cold, grey November day. Just waiting. It was honestly the worst day of the whole cancer ordeal, for me, because it was the one time that I could do nothing to help. Even at chemo, or during our marathon hospital stay, I felt like I could always contribute something – even if it was just getting Andrea a glass of cranberry juice, or distracting her from the needle while Dr. Smith inserted her IV. Doing little chores like those made me feel a little more in control of the situation..even though neither of us were in control of anything.
My strongest memory of that day, though, is the feeling of pure, absolute relief that came over me when then Dr. Runi came in to our room after the surgery and reported that it was a success. That Andrea was OK, and that we had taken one very big step towards beating her cancer.
Here’s the post I made as soon as it was over:
Andrea is out of surgery and resting comfortably. The surgery went very very well – no complications and most importantly, no evidence that the cancer spread to her lymphnodes, etc. This is great news! Now we just need to rest, recover, eat some ice chips and keep the pain meds flowing.
Looking back on that day one year later….it feels like soooo long ago. Much more than one year; almost as if when we reminisce about the events of diagnosis, surgery, chemo, we’re talking about two totally different people: friends of ours who went on a long, strange trip together. I suppose that it’s a good thing. A sign that we have started to live a life together that’s not centered around cancer, doctor appointments, hospitals and worrying (or maybe I have, anyway). Many times, I just like to forget about all of it. I’m just happy that the treatment phase of cancer is in the past, and want to focus on enjoying the life that we had to put mainly on hold for that year. Days like today help put it all in perspective a bit, and remind me that in a strange way, we accomplished something together. Most importantly, I want to remind people that are going through the same thing – especially people that we’re close to – that it does get better and that there is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
On November 8, 2012, I was really really happy to report that Andrea made it through surgery. And was really proud of her for taking a 200 yard long walk around her hospital floor under her own power. On November 8, 2013 I’m really happy to report that we really did survive, and made it through the last year of treatment. And really proud of Andrea for all that she’s accomplished: getting better by the day, keeping an awesome attitude through all of the shit, and even getting ready to go back to work. We’ve come a long way!