Dear faithful blog readers,
There’s no easy way to say this. There’s no mincing words or beating around the bush. I’ll tell you straight out. The motherfucker is back! Cancer has once again invaded cells, minds and hearts. Yes, I’m mad. Yes, I’m sad. I’m so, so many things.
But I’m not the one who is sick this time … the man who I love more than anything in this world is.
Andy has cancer.
That’s part of the reason for blog silence. We’re in Oakland, dealing with medical tests and dealing with stress — although because we’ve “been there, done that,” the journey is easier this time. But it’s just as sad.
To recap: After our winter season in Zihuatanejo, we went on a one-week, whirlwind, driving tour of the East Coast and Midwest, seeing family and friends in four cities. Then we flew to the Bay Area, picked up our fancy cruise clothes, drove to L.A. and boarded a cruise ship for a 28-day cruise to Hawaii and to French Polynesia. The cruise was great, although we agreed we don’t want to do such a long one again. There just wasn’t enough to do on the ship; I think 21 days would be quite enough. The highlight of the cruise was Bora Bora, the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The people who reside in French Polynesia are lovely, and the color of the water in Bora Bora was indescribable. The photos you see of Bora Bora in no way do justice to what you see in person.
Right after the cruise, we drove from L.A. to Oakland. We ran errands. We went to see our doctors. I saw my oncologist, and Andy saw his general practitioner to talk about some stomach issues he’d been having before we left Mexico: slight abdominal pains and bathroom visits of the numero dos variety that weren’t up to snuff. Initially we assumed it was a parasite, but its lingering nature had Andy thinking something might be up. Based on his symptoms and age (54), his doctor recommended a colonoscopy.
Hello colon cancer.
Half of us are cancer free, and half ain’t. Bad odds. We’ve both been diagnosed with cancer way too young. Both under 55.
My husband of 21 years needs surgery to remove a tumor in his sigmoid colon, and he may need chemo, too. We won’t know until after the surgery, maybe as much as a week after. Luckily, because the tumor is in a “good” location and the cancer hasn’t spread to any nearby organs, he will have laparoscopic surgery and won’t have to be cut open. But all we really know right now is that the cancer is not stage 4. If it’s stage 1 or 2, then no chemo is necessary.
If he does need chemo, we’ll stay in California for at least six months. Right now, we’re in wait-and-see mode. In the meantime, Andy’s actually feeling pretty good. He’s occasionally a bit more tired than usual, but he’s been seeing some Bay Area sporting events, hiking, walking, drinking some good coffee and working a bit on his “job” as a freelance copy editor for J. He’s in good spirits.
If he doesn’t need chemo, we’ll be on our merry way, probably back to Morelia, Mexico, where we plan on staying until the end of November (although another city or even another country could be in the offing now that we’ve been dealt a curveball). He’ll probably need a full month of recovery time after surgery, so we’ll lay low until he’s feeling up and at ’em. Fortunately, we had no obligations in Mexico this summer. No leases, no down payments, no nothing. We do have a four-month lease starting Dec. 1 in Zihuatanejo, so that’s our only known next step.
If you have seen us in the Bay Area, we thank you for your kindness and good wishes. For those of you who have housed us while we wait for surgery, we are SUPER-DUPER appreciative. And we can’t give enough thanks to our friends Iris and Bob (who we know from Zihuatanejo but who live near Oakland); they have offered us their lovely home for three weeks while they go on a cruise! Another friend has offered us her in-law studio for a few weeks in June. Yes, there are many blessings in our lives, even with cancer once again rearing its ugly head.
Andy’s surgery is scheduled for May 25. I’ll post another blog when I know more about the success of his surgery and his future course of treatment.
You can leave well wishes for him here, or just shoot him an email if you want to.