I will never forget the day we heard the "C" word for the first time. CANCER. It hit you like a big blow to your gut, with no remorse. It left a knot in your stomach accompanied with a sick, nauseous feeling. You just wanted it to go away......the feeling, the nausea, the word.........IT! But little did we know at that time, that the C-word nor this feeling would not be going away for us and our family, anytime soon, or even at all. That C-word would have a new meaning in our lives from that day on, never to be looked at the same again.
It was April 4th, 2007, Avery's birthday. It was a beautiful spring break day. Joy and I had taken the two girls to the beach for the day. The sun was shining, the sky was a gorgeous shade of blue, with not a cloud in the sky. There was a breeze blowing, just cool enough to keep us from getting too hot. The kids were playing, and we were soaking up the sun and enjoying the weather. We knew what day it really was. We knew where Mom and Dad were. We knew it was the day Mom was having her reccommended colonoscopy, but we did not really think much past that. We knew she had been sick, but also knew there would be a very simple explaination for it........so we thought. After months of just not feeling good, she was now doing some tests with the doctors to find the root of her sickness and we were confident that they would find just the right prescription to "make her better." Afterall, isn't that what doctors did? It was just irritable bowel syndrome, or maybe an ulcer, or possibly even contaminated peanut butter that she just knew she had at her house. It was all over the news. She had even taken her jar to the doctor's office to have them check it out! She was always so cautious and preventitive and pro-active with her health. She wanted tests run on her jar, and tests run on her. That is where they first found the "fishy" blood test results.....from the stupid peanut butter testing! I hated peanut butter for months, blaming it for causing us to have to hear the C-word in the first place! But later realized it was the contaminated peanut butter that led us to the answers and doctors that would be her help for the next 20 months.
It was about noonish and we had stepped away from the beach for a moment to grab some lunch. Joy answered the phone. Silence came first, follwed by what she thought sounded like Dad's voice. She was not able to make out what he was trying to say, and then, silence again before the call ended. "That was wierd," she said. Then moments later, another ring, where Dad forced himself to tell us of the findings from Mom's colonoscopy. All I remember was, "not good" and "possibly cancer." The phone call was brief. It was all Dad could get out at the moment. We sat, emotions and thoughts raging. Looking back now, I think we were both in shock. We did not say much, we did not know what to say. "It's ok," we thought. "It will be ok." "She will be ok." "Right?" "Of course," we thought. "She has to."