Cancer. My wife has, or hopefully by now, had Cancer.
See that To Do List in the picture at the right there? That's how awesome my wife is. This is her list for the day of the surgery that would remove organs and important stuff and lay her up for many weeks.
God forbid one should enter a major surgery with a messy bathroom or unkempt toenails. This is just how my wife rolls and I think she's awesome.
It's been a crazy several months since this Cancer was picked up by the lab during a routine check up. This was then followed by a PET scan, a surgical procedure and then another more major surgery.
School was starting soon for the kids, my wife is embarking on a new career and had classes all week. I needed to prep and attend the BUILD conference, be in the keynote, host 4 hours of live TV, plus deliver two talks. Just to make the point - life was happening when Cancer happened.
Let me tell you, Cancer is damned inconvenient when you're trying to live your life. It blindsided us completely but we continued to manage all our commitments while our little boys played and danced even though "mommy had a tummy-ache."
As of today there will be checkups every 3 months for some years. We think it's all handled and gone but now we wait. We wait five years, in fact, because that's when Cancer People graduate and get the "cancer-free" label.
I asked my wife when we could get her an "I beat Cancer" T-Shirt. She said that it's a little early. I may just buy a "She beat Cancer ->" shirt for myself and stand next to her.
They took so much out of her it hurts me to think about it. Weeks later, dressed to the nines for the family Christmas party but with a hidden catheter bag on her leg, I've never been prouder of her strength and patience. Two months into various side effects while she is at a low point I am reminded she is only human, and as fragile as I. We're both a mess but we're together.
She's handling this whole thing with grace and aplomb and I'm so proud of her. If I could have taken it away and been the one that had Cancer (I always see the C as a Capital C when I say Cancer in my head) I would have.
The boys don't know anything about this, but perhaps 5 years from now we'll tell them that Mommy beat Cancer when they were younger. Even better if in 5 years medicine will find a way to keep Cancer from needing a Capital C.
Why am I telling you this, Dear Reader? Because we found this on a regular checkup. Please, get whatever regular screenings are appropriate for your age and gender. If you haven't been to the doctor in years, go today. These things are easier to beat when they are found early.
Let's hope that 2013 is an easier year.
UPDATE: A number of kind people have asked about funds and bills. We are fortunate to have insurance and will be able to pay our bills. If you want to help, please read Troy Howell's family's story and donate. He will die soon and they are raising money to cover the funeral costs and medical bills. http://www.troyhowellcancerfund.com
UPDATE #2: My wife and I have taken 6 months of our personal audio Cancer Diary and turned it into an episode of This Developer's Life. We hope you enjoy it.