Saturday, August 13, 2022

One Year Ago

James's Cancer Journey | On The Creek Blog //
One year ago today, James, my dad, & I sat in the surgical waiting room at Cleveland Clinic in preparation for James's tumor removal surgery.

There was so much hope that this would be James's saving grace & every treatment afterward would only have to be done out of caution instead of necessity. The whole cancer thing would be simply an insane memory in our lives.

As you know, things didn't work out that way. We didn't know then that the surgery only bought James more time.

When we saw James after the surgery, he remarked how he was so glad when he opened his eyes & was still alive.

The surgery was not simple; his tumor had doubled in size shortly before surgery. James also lost quite a bit of blood, so what was initially an outpatient procedure was a hospital stay.

We had no idea the worst was yet to come.

Throughout this entire ordeal, there was never a time when I ever gave up hope. It was hurdle after hurdle, but nothing that made me absolutely freak out. It was just something else we had to do to get James better.

I was hopeful because melanoma research has come so far in the last 5 years. The problem with these treatments is that the patient must respond. In James's case, while he initially responded to treatments, the cancer was growing too fast. It literally took over his entire body in a few short weeks. It was insane to see James go from practically healthy to passing away within 7 months.

I'm just so thankful that I didn't realize I was doing difficult things while doing them. James's Cancer Journey | On The Creek Blog //

Looking back now, I did some tough things. Because of COVID, I navigated miles of Cleveland Clinic by myself & I'm so directionally challenged I could get lost in a cardboard box with the lid open. I sat in an ER room by myself at midnight while an ICU doctor explained that while he wasn't a cancer doctor, he couldn't see any scenario where James would make it out of this alive. I sat in the front of an ambulance, not knowing if James was dead in the back after his tumor started gushing out blood. I watched my husband and my entire life for almost 16 years be ripped away on a random Wednesday morning for reasons I'm not sure I'll ever fully know.

I could go on forever about the unfairness of it all. If anyone deserved the best in life, it would have been James.

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