Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just a dream?

One short week ago I was given the devastating news, the tumor was cancerous. Is this just a dream? How can I have cancer?

I'm supposed to be healthy, I eat better, I exercise more, dammit, I feel good. Surely there's been some kind of mistake.

The nurse from the doctors office called a few days ago and left a message to call her. Yeah, that's it, they finally discovered the mistake. I went to see her the next day; there was no mistake, just a copy of the surgeons and pathologist reports that confirmed the reality. OK, it's sinking in; I have cancer.

Cancer doesn't play by a set of rules, it finds it's way into many unsuspecting peoples lives. Sure I wonder "why me," but what about the 8 year old boy with leukemia, the young mother that discovers ovarian cancer, the coal miner with lung cancer that just wants to provide for his family? None of them deserved their fate either; I'm sure they all wondered why too.

"Why" is a tough question. Is it science, is it lifestyle, is it genetics or is it just fate?
Maybe it was years of smoking,
Maybe it was the constant handling of lead and chemicals in my early career,
Maybe it is the will of a greater being, striving to make me a stronger person.

Well, regardless, it's not a dream. I'll never really know why, so it's time to focus on the future.

The roller coaster of emotions I've felt the past week has been draining. I'm strong and determined one moment and crying the next. The outpouring of support from friends and family has been tremendous and believe me, I appreciate each and every email, call, or any kind of response. I'm learning to cope and with the help of my wife, I'm going to be fine emotionally. Sue is my rock! I'm also learning again how to pray; yes I've been distant from God in the past, but I look for His support too in my fight.

This week I go see a urological oncologist at KU Med Center for a second opinion. He is a surgeon and a specialist in these type cancers. I just want to be sure that more than one doctor agrees with the course of treatment. I'll update more after that meeting.

Thanks again everybody for all your thoughts and prayers.


Anonymous said...

I’m kinda nervous about this commitment, but I’ve told you in the past “ya sure I’ll be at your next run”. This times it’s in print. I’m at the starting line with you are your next run. Hopefully you’ll be waiting for me at the finish line, when its dark. Please don’t make it a 26 miler. DanK

Dan Kompo said...

Just wanted to get rid of the "anonymous". The google setup was easy. DanK

Kosh said...

Rich, You are a strond person and even the strong break sometimes and thats OK. John and I are here 24/7 for you and Sue as you know. I will see you soon. Take care and give each other a hug from me. Love you Kosh

Alisunny said...

Rich. I'll make a commitment to walk the next race! As you know running isn't my forte, especially in the mud. Live strong, like Lance. You'll beat this and then win the tour de Olathe! Matt

Kim said...

Hey Rich...Doug and I are thinking of you and your family. Keep us posted. If there is anything we can do, let us know.