So I decided I had to vent a little about the things life has decided to throw at me recently. I am currently sitting in the atrium of a hospital as my wife is going through a surgery to remove cancer (melanoma) from her body and I need to get some things off my chest. Since no one on this site really knows who I am, I feel a lot more secure ranting a bit. I am 26 years old and my wife has cancer- I am angry, scared and very uncertain about life. But I have to be a rock for my wife, show her that nothing can harm her as long as I am vigilant. Just so she can have a little stability and shelter from the this horror show.
To start the story out, let me give you a little background. In January of 2005, my soon to be father-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. My then fiance and I were in the midst of planning our wedding for the upcoming June. We struggled daily with trying to plan our future lives and all the happiness that is supposed to surround a day as important in ones life as the wedding day. When in the background, like a sickening green backlight, my wife's father was slowly dying. The cancer had spread to almost every system in his body by the time the diagnosed it. To make matters worse, the cancer should have been caught 6 months earlier. When the initial cancer spot showed up on his neck, his dermatologist misdiagnosed it as basil cell cancer. Basil cell cancer is a very slow moving, usually non-life threatening condition, that when removed, usually poses no more risk. 5 months after seeing his dermatologist, he began to have back aches and went to see his usual doctor. This doctor surmised that he was getting some arthritis and assigned him a prescription of pain meds. When the back got worse and worse, they decided to x-ray it. They found a tumor that had completely destroyed his vertebrae and he would live (for as long as he had) with a broken back in constant pain. After many second opinions- it was determined that it was melanoma and it was very advanced. During the months leading up to our wedding, we watch him become more and more ill.
He eventually decided not to try to treat the cancer- in order to be able to function and enjoy our wedding. By the time our wedding had come, the cancer had started to spread to his brain and you could see tumor protruding through his clothes. We went on our honeymoon to Ireland dreading the call that we would have to hurry back home, to try and be there before he passed. Then 3 weeks later, we moved from Wisconsin to Massachusetts. My Ph.D. advisor had started a new job as a department head out here, and we decided, before everything happened, that we would follow after our wedding.
So my wife left a very good job in Wisconsin, left her family, left her dying father to follow her husband 1500 miles East to a place where we knew no one. Her father died 3 weeks after we moved, on my wifes birthday. She made it back that night, to hold him as he died. 8 months after her father died, my wife got a call from her dermatologist saying a routine biopsy came back malignant.
She had cancer.
After 10 days of trying to get her scheduled for surgery and complete insanity, I sit her in a very nice, sun lit atrium hoping that the doctor calls and says everything went well. That it has not spread. That I won't lose my wife before we even have children together. That I won't have to be that pitiful man who has to bury his wife before he even gets out of (expletive) college- before he can show her that he can earn a decent wage- before he can buy her a new car- a house- a home.
I am angry and sad and hopefull and scared.
I just got the call that the surgery went well. (it is 4:37pm on Tuesday, April 18th) Amazing Grace is playing on the speakers in the atrium. The surgeon said they removed two lymphnodes and the lesion completely. I have to wait for the pathology to come back on the lymphnodes to be get my hopes back. Now there is crappy elevator music playing on the speakers... I now await the call to go and see my wife... I am still uncertain, but I am less scared. I really wish I didn't have to deal with all of this so early in my life... At least it is not worse, the horror show still has a chance for a second act with the pathology.