My dad had a saying when I was younger; “Son, into each life, a little rain must fall.” That’s a nicer way than saying “No one gets through life without having to take a bite of the shit sandwich.” Our portion came in the form of a diagnosis this week that my wife has ovarian cancer.
This is the “worse” part of the, “for better or worse” promise we made to each other 20 years ago.
Last Wednesday, during her annual medical exam, her
His advice to us was to focus on the positive aspects of this discovery, the first being how early this was detected. There is microscopic evidence in two areas of remaining cancer cells, but he added that chemotherapy does its best work at this level. She will meet with an oncologist in two weeks to determine the next level of treatment.
In the initial minutes after the doctor left the room, we sat in silent disbelief, trying to get our head around what exactly this will mean. Karen’s first response was, “I guess I’m not the first woman to find out she has cancer.”
How instinctive our nature is to take solace in community.
I remember when Karen first became pregnant 20 years ago, and miscarried that pregnancy while only about 8 weeks along. As a young couple, we were obviously sad and uncertain about what had just happened. Then, a surprising number of women came to her side with a similar story, “That happened to me, too.” It didn’t make the pain go away, but knowing that there were others who knew what this felt like and could articulate it was more than helpful; it was incredible.
At this point there are more questions than answers. Karen will be off her feet for a few weeks and away from the restaurant. Thanks to the many of you who have sent flowers, email and text messages saying that you care. We do have a good community.