November 30, 2009


A week ago today we were hit with some devastating news ... Nick has cancer. Thyroid cancer to be exact, and as he was been told by his Dr, if he were to wish for any type of cancer, this type would be it. Not sure how much easier that made hearing the news, but ...

They don't *think* it's a more aggressive type, so they've given him a 95% cure rate. He'll have to have his entire thyroid removed, and have a round or two of radiation. They're confident that by doing that they'll be able to get it all. He'll have to be on thyroid hormones for the rest of his life.

What makes this more scary... during a scan of his back to locate herniated and torn disks, they also spotted what they believe is a mass in his spine. They have to do further testing in order to get a more clear picture, and figure out exactly what it is they saw on that film. That test should hopefully be done sometime this week ... we're having issues with our insurance company. Infuriating!

The endless scenarios that have run through my head regarding this is enough to make me crazy. The possibility that his cancer isn't isolated to his thyroid, that's it's spread, that it could be in his spine, in other organs, it's ... it's too much to take right now. I am making myself stay positive. We don't have any other information right now, and worrying about the possibilities isn't going to help anyone or anything. We can deal with the things we do know thus far, focus on the good ... like a 95% cure rate. That's high, and we're grateful!

In all honestly, before this news, Nick and I were separated. He moved out, completely. It seemed I had finally reached my breaking point with him. He pushed and pushed and pushed, and finally pushed hard enough. He was done with us, and I no longer wanted to dig for the energy to fight his self destruction. It was over.

This news has brought us together again. He's doing his best to see this cancer as a blessing. As a sign. As the wakeup call he's wished for for years, but wasn't strong enough or confident enough to make happen on his own. He's realizing how much time he's wasted. How much life he's taken for granted. He was finally hit with the sobering reality ... he could die, and our children (the younger two especially) will have never known the great great man he once was. Larson was only 4 when Nick left for Iraq. While he does have some memories of before, none of them really about the drastic changes in his Dad. Rylan was only about 6-7 months old when he left, and Owen was obviously not here yet.

This has been one of the hardest things for me to cope with for years. I cry often about it. About our kids never knowing the man I fell in love with. Our kids being robbed of the wonderful Father he could have (still could be) been. I cry thinking about all the time that has been wasted, and how different it could have turned out. Owen is 5 now, a year older then Larson was when all of this started. I dream of how drastically different our lives would be if he never would have volunteered to go.

The only thing I can do now is hope he's right ... hope he lets this cancer positively influence him. It would be easy to let this be another excuse to self destruct, and he fully acknowledges that it tempts him, but he also says that this news has given him a strength he hasn't felt in a long time. Strength to choose the harder path... knowing the rewards will make the uphill battle more then worth it.

Hope... it's all we have.