Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Cancer. We hear the word pretty much every day:
There is a new cancer study.
It is ______ cancer awareness month.
Please donate to cancer research.
But, when it touches you personally, the word becomes so much more than just a word. It is a fear. Your worst fears realized. Last Thursday, my sister Jo-Anne was diagnosed with colon cancer. Hearing the words just did not seem real. I had no words to come out of my mouth. Even the next morning, I woke up wondering if it was just a dream.
This is my sister. She's a wife. A mom. A daughter. An aunt. A friend. This is not supposed to happen to her.
I've learned in the past few days that colon cancer is very rare in someone Jo-Anne's age. Also, because she is so young, her immediate family will need to be screened as well. That means colonoscopies for myself and my siblings.
On Friday (the day after her diagnosis) she went to have some blood work done and a chest XRAY. While she was getting the XRAY, she asked the technician if she knew how long the wait would be for her CAT scan and if she should just wait for a phone call. She had been told the day before that she would be put on an urgent list and it should be within 3 weeks. (Three weeks is a long time to wait when you're waiting to see if cancer has spread or is contained!) When the technician asked her circumstances, she was very sympathetic and said she would check on it. Amazingly, she came back to tell Jo-Anne there had been a cancellation on Monday morning at 9am...would she like that appointment? Wow!
So, Monday morning, she went for the CAT scan. We weren't really sure how long it would take to get any results, but I got a phone call from Jo-Anne that night. The doctor had reviewed her results and wanted to let her know that upon first look, it appears the cancer is contained. That is great news!
We are now just waiting for her to have her surgical consultation and book the surgery. In the meantime, my sister Connie has her colonoscopy booked for Friday and my doctor was putting in a referral for me today. (not sure if my brother has started the wheels in motion yet!) Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. They have meant so much. I know it is a tough road ahead, but for now, I feel a bit of relief.