Why does everyone greet everyone by saying "how are you?".
What are you supposed to do if the answer is not OK. Especially if you don't want to talk about it. Do you lie and say "fine?". I tried to dodge it, but not very well. I am sure some of my friends think I am rude. I am equally sure they will understand when I tell them - but there's another thing - how do you tell news like this? How were your holidays? great - how were yours - not so good, Yogi has cancer now. It's kind of hard to bring it up, especially if you are a big fat wuss and are feeling a bit fragile. I Went to the schools today to put off the school fees for a bit - they were great about it, but I couldn't seem to get the story out without crying. I hate crying, esp in public, it makes me feel stupid. Everyone was really nice, but seriously, I just wanted to come home, hide and eat copious quantities of chocolate. I didn't. I went to the gym,(somehow all this has reinforced for me the need to take care of MY body - if we can't always count on him, then the kids need to be able to count on me, and I need to be the best I can be) and dodged a bit, until one person too many asked me again "how are you?". And that time, I managed to say "MY 39 year old husband is having surgery, probably next week, for bowel cancer" without crying. A breakthrough. It's easier to be tough when the kids are around, and after all, the sugar-coated, positive thinking version we are telling them is probably the way it will all turn out, and definitely the best way to deal with it all anyway. Maybe I should keep them all home from school? Yeah nah!
I should mention that the surgery is an almost total resection of his rectum. Lovely dinner table conversation this! Apparently we don't really need our rectum. Which has had me thinking about all the optional extras we carry around. THink about it - we don't need our tonsils, our appendix, our adenoids (not sure if I will spell these all correctly, forgive me if I mess up), we only need ONE of our kidneys, we can get along without our gallbladders, and we don't seem to need a spleen too much either....what was God thinking when we were designed? How much lighter and more aerodynamic would we be without all this extra guff? We could have a whole new stream-lined shape. Maybe there's a weightloss program there waiting to happen - I wonder how much your rectum weighs?
Anyway, I digress.Apparently you can't tell until after the surgery whether it was actually necessary. The idea is that removing that part of him will stop it from spreading, but until they remove it they can't tell if it has spread. There really is no other way to be sure. It all LOOKS good, but the only way to tell for sure is to take it out and kind of check the back - the bit you can't see. I am thinking, why can't they sneak in the back way to look at the back, but apparently it can't be done. And if it hasn't spread, then the surgery wasn't necessary, but YOU CAN'T TELL IF YOU NEED IT UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE DONE IT! Evidently we have at least 6 months of tests and medical appointments and surgery ahead of us. Nice. Happy New Year.
On the up side, I just got an sms to say that he has spoken to the folk at his work, and they are very supportive, and hopefully we will be able to work out something regarding his leave....maybe he can owe them time or something....and our fantastic neighbours have been awesome already, keeping an eye out for the kids while we sat for an eternity in the waiting room.