Hello, My name is Patricia and I am writing this to hopefully provide some support to another caregiver facing cancer with a loved one.
My story begins in September 2020 when my husband went in for a routine colonoscopy. He was 49, not even 50 yet as we thought was advised (now it is advised to get a colonoscopy at 45), and I thought it would be a good idea for him to get one asap. Not sure why I had that feeling, I just did. I remember sitting in the car for hours waiting for him outside the hospital reading a book. Looking back now, it’s crazy that life would never be the same again after he got in the car. Let me just add here that I was 35 weeks pregnant with our first child.
When he got in the car, I asked him how it went and he said the doctor had felt something and he didn’t get a good feeling about it. He could tell by the doctor's demeanor. At this point, I started freaking out.
We got his pathology report two days later and it was confirmed that it was cancer, adenocarcinoma. To be honest, I don’t really remember much of the first two weeks after diagnosis. All I remember are the doctor’s appointments to get his treatment set up before the baby came and the medical degree I was trying to obtain on my own from reading everything I possibly could about his type of cancer. I went down so many rabbit holes. None of it was mentally healthy for me, but when you are scared to death, you just want answers.
Pete was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer. I still have clear as day in my memory waiting in the car as he was getting the PET scan to see if the cancer had spread, it was one of the worst days of my life. We were actually happy that it was Stage 3 since we were so scared that it could have spread and been Stage 4. We just didn’t know. Within two weeks, we had his chemo scheduled, then radiation, and a surgeon.
Pete had his port put in October 6th, his first chemo treatment October 10th, and our baby boy Max arrived October 14th. Pete was very lucky that he took the chemo and radiation extremely well. We like to say that Max has been the best medicine for him. Some days were hard for him and as a caregiver, it’s hard to know what to do. You don’t want to always ask them if they’re ok to constantly remind them of the cancer. I’ve had to learn how to navigate this.
I’m writing this on May 14th, 2021. Pete has his scans this afternoon and we see his surgeon on the 18th to see what radiation did and if he needs surgery. Chemo was able to shrink his tumor by half and also the lymph nodes. The anxiety is building up again as all caregivers can also relate. We pray that everything is going to be ok because IT WILL BE.
I will be posting an update at a later date. I am happy to speak with anyone going through this that needs some support. Patricia