When I was in high school, I remember hearing a stat that 1 in 3 men in the US will develop cancer within their lifetime. This was a bit shocking to me as I knew nobody with cancer. Granted, people probably had it, but they weren’t talking about it, or I wasn’t paying attention. But 1 in 3 was a lot, and it was only a matter of time before it effected my life one way or another.
On October 7th, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. #fuck
Honestly, when I hard the news, it didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks like I would have assumed it would. Instead, I was more in disbelief. The doctor went directly into his plan which included a CT scan, pre-op appointment, followup appointment to discuss more, a COVID test, and surgery; all within about a week.
One of the things we were told was to focus on what we could control and not to Google anything. That’s actually something I’m good at. I don’t worry about the future too much, I just focus on what’s in front of me. I was still going to work, still doing my daily routine, and that made it easier not to focus on cancer. However, as I informed more people, and ended my work week, it started to sink in more. All my distractions were becoming less distracting.
If you’re wondering what you can do, you can see your doctor. You can schedule a yearly physical, talk to your doctor about a colonoscopy if you’re over 40, and talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Some people put off going to the doctor because they’re busy, or they feel healthy, or they just don’t like going to the doctor. Without going to the doctor, I’d still be ignorant to the fact that cancer is living inside me, growing and infecting more and more every day. Go to the doctor. Go at least once a year. Learn about your family medical history and encourage others to do the same.
My cancer is not due to any known family history, it’s not because of anything I did, it just happens sometimes. I’m pretty healthy, and the warning signs were so minor that I could have easily ignored them. Thankfully I went in to the doctor, and now we can deal with it before it gets worse.
What happens next is still a bit up in the air. I know I’m going in for surgery tomorrow, Monday October 18th, but how long I’ll be in the hospital, what recovery looks like, and any chemo is still a bit up in the air. We have basic information on the first two, but most next steps will be figured out after surgery.
What I do know is that I’m glad we found it, that we’ll be taking care of it quickly, and that I have a great family, a good job, good friends, and people who care. Even little things like an email, text message, or a friendly wave as people drive by is always appreciated. Thank you to everyone who has already offered up your support and I know many others will follow.