Sunday, December 31, 2017

Breaking the News

Even if you've ever thought about how terrible it would be to have cancer, you've probably never thought about how terrible it would be to tell people you have cancer.

Telling the people you love is the worst part.

My dad lost his father, my Grandpa, to cancer a few years ago.  Pepe, my mom's dad, was diagnosed with colon cancer recently and is recovering from surgery.  Knowing that I had to tell them that I was next was heartbreaking, because I knew I would be completely breaking their hearts.  And then to tell my siblings?  My in-laws?

But before all that - we needed to tell the kids.

Jamie and I were in our bedroom when we talked to Dr. Le and got the news.  We cried.  A lot.  And we knew that when we came out of the bedroom the kids would know something was going on.  So we decided to go ahead and talk to them right away.  We sat them down on the couch and told them that the doctor's appointment I had a couple days before had been to run some tests, and that the doctor had just called to let us know that it was breast cancer.

They took it as well as can be expected.

Miles provided comic relief ("You'll be bald?!") while Gisele tried to stay strong, but cried.  But we kept talking to them and encouraging them to ask questions.  We reassured them that we were going to fight this as a family, and that we weren't going to hide anything from them.  That nothing anyone did caused this, and that no one else could catch it.  We talked about how I was going to get really sick, but there were a lot of things the doctors could do to make me better.  And we talked about how I was probably going to lose my hair.  They've both latched onto that as the funny, tangible thing to talk about.  But they're talking about it - not keeping it all in - so that's good.

We got the news Thursday evening, and waited until Sunday to tell my family.  Mom was in Missouri and Dad was in Texas, and I wanted them to have each other when they heard.  So when they got home, I called.  It killed me to tell them, and I think it was worse for them to hear.  And soon after we hung up, they sent a text to let us know they would arrive at our house about 3 1/2 hours later.  It was exactly what we needed.

After the call to Mom & Dad, I called each of my siblings.  Jamie had already let his family know.  And then the news went on the blog and Facebook.

We have a good support system.  We have wonderful families, and wonderful friends.

We can do this.

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