Kicking a wretched bastard to the curb

I vividly remember it as if it had happened yesterday. On July 22nd, I was frantically driving from work through rush hour traffic to meet my wife for dinner at Black Angus. Unfortunately, I arrived late but eventually found my wife sitting at our table soberly staring at a glass of red wine. I sat down beside her, apologized for being late, then inquired about her day. She began by telling me that she had received the test results from the doctors then turned to me and said through tears three horrifying words I hoped I would never have to hear: “I have cancer”.

Months before, my wife had been experiencing unusual levels of discomfort in her abdomen. Symptoms included bloating, nausea, vaginal discharge, cramping, and fatigue. After consulting with her doctor, a CT scan was immediately performed. When the scan results arrived, the images revealed a mass above the uterus along with a sizeable buildup of abdominal fluid. A biopsy of the abdominal fluid later confirmed the presence of cancerous cells.

On July 27th, my wife underwent an operation known in the medical community as a debulking procedure. This three hour procedure removed all of her reproductive organs including the uterus, both fallopian tubes, and both ovaries. The surgery also drained several liters of abdominal fluid and removed all detected cancerous tissues. Fortunately, no life sustaining organs were disturbed during the surgery and the colon remained intact. The surgery confirmed a cancer staging of IIIC.

After several weeks of physical healing from surgery, my wife will undergo a grueling 18 weeks of chemotherapy.

The subject of cancer has always terrified and angered me. Cancer is a disgusting, vile, and merciless disease that slowly claims thousands of innocent lives every year. My wife and I have several dear friends and acquaintances who are either battling cancer or are survivors. I honestly never in a million years imagined we would ever have to host this unscrupulous killer. Now it has come to us.

When I envision cancer, I picture an unwelcome visitor who barges into your home without being invited in. It lies on your sofa and kicks off its shoes. It smells and looks awful. It disrespects your possessions, eats your food, and vomits all over your carpets and floors. After a few days, it begins to destroy your home and threatens the life of you and your family. Eventually, you are left with no available options but to call in the local SWAT team. When the officers arrive armed with automatic weapons, you shove the unwelcome visitor against the wall and command the SWAT team to open fire on the visitor until it wheezes its last breath. After the smoke clears, you toss the lifeless blood soaked body into a trash dumpster and begin the process of rebuilding your life and home. That’s cancer in my nutshell.

We are committed to fighting this because it simply has to end. For us, cancer is just one more spoonful of mashed potatoes dumped upon a full and creaking plate about to collapse. My wife and I have miles of road in front of us to explore and years of living to finish together. We just ain’t got time to deal with this shit. Attention cancer, this is your final warning. We are coming after you and you are going down.

It’s time to call in the SWAT team and kick this wretched bastard to the curb.

If you are interested in following our journey, please visit my wife’s CaringBridge site here.

Ellen Surgery

My wife coming out of surgery to install a port for chemotherapy on September 4, 2015

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