Friday, August 24, 2012

Cancer, you suck.

Apparently my last blog post freaked a lot of people out.  Sorry, that was not my intention.  Sometimes I use blogging as an outlet for venting...obviously it doesn't always paint the best picture.

Like I said before, this week was a big week for our family.  On Monday Sean had a big job interview.  It would have been PERFECT for us.  Apparently too perfect, because it doesn't look like it's going to work out.  Bummer.  The search continues. 

The second thing that has been on our minds over the past few weeks was Sean's doctor's appointment he had on Thursday.  A few weeks ago Sean went in for his annual physical and got the normal blood work done.  He got an alarming phone call the next day when he was asked to come in asap to get the blood work re-done because his general practitioner was concerned about a few of the results.  His platelets (cells that help the blood clot) count was really low.  They said best case scenario he just produces low platelets, and might have to be medicated for it.  Worst case scenario, it could be leukemia, or some other type of blood disorder.  I am a natural worrier (Sean reminds me I'm going to be one of those really annoying worrisome mothers),  so of course I was freaking out.  Sean on the other hand, is the cool, calm, and collected one of the family ( a lot like my Dad).  Sean never worries...about anything.  Most of the time this is a great quality, and a wonderful balance to my excessive worrying.  So naturally when Sean became worried about this, I worried even more.  

Sean is a much more private person than I am, and he didn't want to worry anyone more than he had to, so he asked me not to tell anyone.  I'm really good at keeping secrets, but I kept thinking if Sean were my brother, or my son...I would want to know.  I let Sean's immediate family know what was going on, and asked them to please keep him in their thoughts and prayers, and also to not let Sean know I had told them.  Of course Sean's closest brother Nate immediately called him.  Haha, so much for being discreet (love you Nate-thanks for caring).  Sean being the laid back husband that he is wasn't mad, but just laughed at me when he got off the phone with Nate.  That evening I called Aunt Marlys and asked if Uncle Del could come over and give Sean a blessing.  Aunt Marlys LOVES Sean.  After I asked if Uncle Del could give Sean a blessing she said in her concerned voice, "WHY?!  WHAT'S WRONG WITH SEAN?"  Seriously love them.  Uncle Del and Jordan came over and gave Sean and I both blessings.

He went back in the next day to get his blood work re-done, and his platelet count was even lower.  At that point, our GP told us she was sending Sean to an oncologist who specialized in hematology.  Sean asked me what an oncologist was, I blurted out, "'s a doctor who sees patients with cancer."  My heart sank.  I had already been through this with my Dad, Sean is only 27 years could he have cancer?

Sean started joking around to try and lighten the mood (typical).  He mentioned how it was a good thing we had just gotten life insurance within the last year, so now I could finally pay off our school loans.  Not funny.  So Sean called the oncologist to make an appointment, the soonest they had was 2 1/2 weeks away.  Whhhhhhhat?!  My husband might have cancer, and you're going to make me worry about it for almost 3 weeks?  Ugh, awesome.  For the past three weeks I don't know if either of us have slept, had normal BP, or gone more than 5 minutes without thinking about our looming appointment.  I've honestly never seen Sean worry like this before, and that scared me the most.

Yesterday was our appointment with the oncologist.  I took off the afternoon to be with Sean, my boss was actually really cool about it (shocking, but also really nice).  We walk in to the office and it reads, "TEXAS ONCOLOGY.  CENTER FOR CANCER."  Ugh, thanks for reminding us while we're here, like we had forgotten or something.  Really?  Are the all caps necessary?  It's like the sign was yelling at us.  As I filled out his new patient paperwork and health history, my hands were a little shaky.  They wanted to know his ENTIRE family's health history.  I thought my hand was going to fall off.  This form was clearly not made for big Mormon families.  There's 8 kids in Sean's family, 2 sets of grandparents, 12 kids on his Dad's side, 9 on his Mom's, 5 nieces and nephews, and then 60+cousins.  They wanted to know all of their ages, names, cancer history, gender, and whether or not they were living or deceased.  I did all of them except the cousins...are you joking me?  I would need at least 10 more packets, not happening. 

Sitting in the waiting room was the most depressing place I've ever been.  There were multiple bald patients with head wraps on (clearly in chemotherapy), geriatric patients who could barely walk, women clearly missing breasts, children with canes, and much more.  I literally wanted to slit my wrists just sitting there.  I kept thinking, is this what we have in store for us?  Is this our future?  After what seemed like an eternity, the nurse finally called our name.  For the love, get me out of that waiting room.  She took us back into our room...just as bad.  As the nurse asked Sean some additional medical history questions, I started looking around the room in horror.  The flip chart sitting right in front of us read, "Stages of cancer."  What the freak?!  Haven't these people ever heard of positive energy?!  No wonder everyone there is depressed.  I knew by the look in Sean's eyes he was thinking exactly what I was.  More posters on the wall listed multiple types of cancers, blah blah blah...kill me now, kill me now.  All I wanted to do was break down and cry, saving face is a lot harder than it seems.  I am clearly not the calm one in our relationship...and let's be honest, I suck at it.  There is a reason I married Sean...he is the one that keeps me calm, sane, and worry-free.  I am not cut out for this type of facade.

Finally the Dr. came in, it took him long enough.  I kept waiting for him to say, "you have cancer" or "you don't have cancer".  But instead, he continued to ask Sean questions about his family history, medical history, and then did an examination on his liver and spleen (all normal).  Then he told us he wanted to do more blood tests.  Seriously?  This kid is going to run out of blood already.  He told us he was going to take a LOT of blood, and do a series of tests.  He wasn't kidding, I had never seen that amount of blood taken.  He walked us down to the lab and told us he would talk to us after he got the results.  That's it?  Hellllllo?!  Tell us if he's dying or not already!

 Sean is such a huge pansy, I just knew he was going to pass out.  He's been anemic for as long as he can remember, and he always passes out giving blood. The nurse asked him if he wants any juice, and he said no.  What?!  I butted in and said yes, he needs a lot.  Do you see how skinny this kid is?  Bring as much as you can.  Sean started chugging apple juice and 13 blood viles later, he finished. I could not believe he didn't pass out.  Thank goodness.

The Dr. had us go back out into the waiting room to await the test results.  Seriously?  I started looking around, trying not to focus on all the depressing surroundings.  I looked down and see this...
Oh my gosh...I thought I was going to lose it.  After all the juice I forced Sean to drink, he excused himself to the restroom.  As soon as he left, the Dr. came to get us.  Really?!  Then what seemed like an eternity after Sean returned, he came back for us.

He brought us back and told us the news.  Everything is all right.  At that moment I felt my heart come back into my chest.  He explained that some people just produce low platelets.  Sean is young, has no family history of blood disease, and that everything should be O.K.  I said, "so he doesn't have leukemia?  Or cancer?"  He said no, the numbers look a lot better, still low...but a lot better.   He wants to monitor him over the next few months.  

As we were walking out Sean put his arm around me and I started crying (shocker).  Sean said, "Becky why are you crying?  I'm not going to die!  Is this because you're not going to get all of that life insurance money?"  Ha ha.  I had just been so worried and had so many emotions that I was keeping in, as soon as I was allowed to let them out, they came billowing out.  Such. a. relief.  We just sat in the car for a few minutes not saying much, but just hugging and thanking Heavenly Father for answering all of our prayers, and for answering all our angels who were praying for us.  

After my last blog post I have been overwhelmed with the concerned  phone calls, texts, emails, and messages I have gotten on our behalf.  Most of the people who were praying for us didn't even know why they were praying for us because I was trying to protect Sean's privacy, but they so lovingly prayed for us anyways.  The few friends and family members who Sean told texted and called us all throughout the day, and I truly felt so loved.

Health scares like these quickly put things back into perspective, where they should have been all along.  I'm so grateful to have a cancer free hubby, and I hope we never have to go through this again.
  I love you Sean, I'm so glad you're okay. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012


 I've had a mixture of feelings about family over the past few months, disappointments really.  People that I thought should have been there to love, care, and support us haven't.  I've realized the word "family" doesn't have to be someone you're related to by can be the ones you surround yourself with.  

We've had a few changes in the past few weeks, some good...some not so good.  Sometimes I feel like Sean and I are all alone because we don't live by our parents or siblings.  But over the past few weeks, I have been assured we are not.  I've honestly never been more touched by our loved ones.  A few friends and family we've reached out to have gave blessings, fasted and prayed for us, and given us their support.  In some of our hours of heartache, these people have truly raised our spirits and helped us feel the love of our Savior. 

I'm so grateful for the few family members and friends who have been such a comfort to us. 

This is a big week for our little family...some big possible changes.  I've never prayed so hard in my life.  I know we don't always know why things happen a certain way, but I do know that our Savior does.  I guess this is what they call "faith". 

I know Mother Teresa and I don't have many things in common, but I've always loved this quote from her, and lately I've felt it to be more true than ever.  "I know God wouldn't give me anything I couldn't handle.  I just wish he didn't trust me so much."