I can’t believe that it’s been nearly a month since my last post, but then when I think of everything that has happened it makes sense. At first, I was avoiding blogging because family needed to know what was going on with my sister prior to the world finding out. After that, life got pretty busy and pretty tough extremely fast. I guess the only place to start is at the beginning. . .
Around midnight on March 6, 2012 my sister went into the hospital due to excruciating abdominal pain. Immediately, the E.R. staff performed an abdominal CT which showed lesions on the liver and swollen lymph nodes. She was promptly admitted and scheduled for a colonscopy the following morning. Upon completion of that, they found a large tumor in the colon which was biopsied. Although it had yet to be confirmed by the biopsy, it was pretty obvious by that point that my sister had colon cancer. Due to the tumor in her colon, they also biopsied her liver to discover if the lesions there were cancerous or not as well. The results came back that those lesions were also cancerous, and suddenly we heard the term “Stage IV Colon Cancer.”
Our lives were completely flipped upside down that day and almost instantaneously we became familiar with words that previously never entered into our conversations “Chemo, radiation, oncologist, Folfox, Avastin, cancer,” etc. Things moved pretty quickly after that, and she has already had two chemo sessions and has met with a surgical oncologist up at Northwestern. I will post more in detail about what’s going on with her within another post.
Due to the diagnosis, life was pretty hectic for David and me, and we were trying to spend as much time as possible with my sister. Just as things felt like they were returning to a somewhat regular pace, we learned on March 29th that my father-in-law (David’s father) passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. The news was shocking, and yet again our world was flipped upside down. We immediately headed up to Michigan so that David could help his brother with arrangements. Then we came back to Illinois, and returned to Michigan a few days later for the wake and funeral. My father-in-law was a great guy who always complimented me on my writing and my personality. He took the time to make sure I knew how special he thought I was, and I will always be grateful for that. In the very near future I will be writing a dedication post to him.
Life has been difficult since then, and we miss him dearly each and every day. We have been trying (yet again) to reach that sense of normalcy that we once had. Sadly, while trying to recover emotionally, we found out that my great aunt passed away on Good Friday. We will be attending her wake and funeral tomorrow evening and Friday morning respectively.
To say that March was a tough month would be the understatement of the year. March was extremely difficult on us, and we clung to each other harder and more often than we ever have before. As sad as the situations have been, the one benefit is that our relationship has become stronger than ever before. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we will handle whatever is thrown our way as long as we are together. It’s truly amazing to feel that love and that bond with your significant other; it’s beautiful in spite of all the heartache.
In addition to all the sadness we have felt, we have talked extensively and felt that it was time to share the other big issue we have been facing lately. Late last year, after trying naturally to conceive a child, it was discovered that I have infertility and that we will need to go through some sort of fertility treatment to manage a pregnancy. The reason I have chosen to share this is because I unfortunately do not believe that enough women talk about this, and the subject is seen as very “taboo” in our culture. Sadly, because of this many women feel alone and frightened throughout their journey. My hope, when I began this blog, was to help someone else in some way, shape, or form. If I can possibly help someone who may also be going through infertility to not feel as alone, then I will have succeeded in my goal. The scope of an infertility diagnosis and what our options are is too large to condense into this (already long) post, and therefore it is yet another topic that I will be writing more thoroughly about in the near future. When I write about infertility, I will not be giving all the details and specifics, but will share my journey as much as possible. Please bear with me over the next few weeks as I begin to blog about all that has been going on, and please don’t hesitate to e-mail me or comment with any questions you may have!