Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cancer…it’s not just a Zodiac sign.

In February of this year, my ORMom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wish I could tell you what stage and all that, but quite honestly, I was too stunned and just can’t remember. All I recall is Daddy calling to tell me and ORMom crying softly in the background. My heart went out to her. I thought to myself, how could this happen? She’s a nurse for crying out loud. But it happens to nurses and even doctors, too.

She will be the first to tell you that she should have caught it on her self exam. But she, like most of us, I would presume, get a little lax with our self exams. Hers was found on her mammogram and it was already pretty big and aggressive.  Treatment started immediately.

She had several months of chemotherapy which proved to have shrunk the tumor to the point the doctors suggested a lumpectomy. My ORMom did not want the cancer to ever come back, so she took the unbelievably brave step of having both her breasts removed. She said they’re over-rated anyway, and besides, Daddy never was much of a boob man. In a few months, after they have injected her and stretched her every which way from Sunday, they will give her a brand new set of breasts. I know they will be beautiful and that she will be alive for many, many years because of her bravery. I only wish she hadn’t had to go through it at all.

Some facts about breast cancer:

  • 96% of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer free after five years.
  • 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, the other 7 will know someone who has.
  • Self breast exams, along with regular mammograms are the surest way to catch breast cancer in its early stages.

A week after ORMom was diagnosed with breast cancer, CGMan was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Yep, two cancers in one week, with the hubby moving to Abu Dhabi two weeks after that. It was quite a blow, but we didn’t have time to cry and wonder over it. We had to research and decide his future in a hurry.

Considering he is young(ish) and otherwise healthy, it was suggested to completely remove the prostate. Because CGMan had to report to his new job in two weeks, he asked if there was any way to postpone this surgery for about six months. Luckily, his tumor is very small and still contained in the prostate.

The doctor was not too keen to wait six months, but because it was contained and prostate cancer tends to be slow growing, he relented. CGMan would have to agree to a shot of hormones that would last six months. This cancels out the testosterone which feeds the tumor.  CGMan agreed to the shot and all the side effects that might occur, such as crying being a little moody, weight gain, hot flashes and other assorted PMS kind of stuff. Bless his heart, it wasn’t an easy six months.

That was six months ago. When he came home last week, I could tell some of his testosterone was coming back, mostly due to the salacious looks he’s been giving me. Of course, it could just be that football season is next week. That’s usually enough to get the ol’ testosterone a-flowing.

CGMan will be in surgery today to remove his prostate. The surgery will take about four hours, and he’ll stay a night or two. He’s only a little terrified nervous about it. The upside is that with the complete removal of the prostate, there will be no need for chemo or radiation. My CGMan will get to keep the little hair he has left. And he’ll be cancer free when he walks out of the hospital.

Of course, he gets to come home and be pampered for a week or two. Did you hear that CGMan? Only a week or two. Not a month!

A couple of facts about prostate cancer:

  • more than half of all prostate cancers are found early, while the tumor is still localized, and the five year survival rate for these men is 99%.
  • Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in  men, behind lung cancer

Now, you want to hear something really weird?

ORMom and CGMan are both Cancers.

By tonight, they will both be cancer free Cancers. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am or how proud I am of both of their fighting spirits.

8 comments:

  1. Ugh. Cancer sucks. I'm glad your two cases are effectively being conquered and that CGMan gets to keep his hair. :)

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  2. Our thoughts and prayers go out to CGMan. I know you all want to get this behind you. BTW, hair is overrated, too.

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  3. Keeping you all in my prayers today for a successful surgery and a quick recovery! Sorry that you are all having to go through these trials right now. Good luck to you too as the caregiver.

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  4. You know I'm thinking about you guys today. And over the next week or two as you have to be mom to a baby all over again. (Aren't all men babies when it comes to things like this?)

    Hang in there.

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  5. Oh my, so sorry that all that is going on, but you are definatley in my thoughts and prayers. And whatever you do, don't give the guy a bell. It'll never stop! HUGS!!!

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  6. ORMom sounds very pragmatic but CGMan, oy. Those six months would've made me nervous.
    Speedy recouperations all around!

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  7. Oh, wow, that's a lot to deal with. I'm sending good thoughts their way!

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  8. Hugs for all and glad to hear everyone is on the mend! What a relief......

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