Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Today marks the first anniversary of the day we learned Michael had cancer.

Michael started coughing many months before, in October of 2008 actually. He had been on the road for several weeks and when he came home in early October, he felt rundown. The cough started up shortly thereafter. At first we thought he had picked something up while he was traveling. When the cough persisted for several weeks, I started suggesting that he go see the doctor about it, but he didn't do so.

After coughing for three months, Michael finally saw our GP in January of 2009. She treated him for allergies. Then when he saw a pulmonologist, he was told he had asthma. I thought he had MAC or tuberculosis because of the night sweats and the weight loss.

But cancer never crossed our minds until May 18th last year.

After Michael's inflammatory markers came back high on some bloodwork the pulmonologist ordered, he sent Michael to get a CT scan. I remember meeting Michael at the medical center that afternoon. We were both happy that he was getting the CT scan because we thought we'd finally get some answers about the cough. Whatever it was, we assumed it would be treatable, and we'd do what we needed to do and get on with our lives.

After the scan, we went home. But it wasn't long before we got a call from the pulmonologist. He wanted to see us that evening so he could go over the results of the scan together. Once again, in our ignorance we were just thinking we'd get a diagnosis and a treatment plan and move on. You know what they say - ignorance is bliss.

Needless to say, our meeting with the doctor was devastating. When he said he thought we were looking at some sort of cancer (pancreatic or kidney), our world came crashing down around us. We both held it together while the doctor made arrangements for Michael to have a biopsy the next day, but once we left his office I started crying and couldn't stop. Michael was in shock. I had the presence of mind to drive us to first my parents' and then to his parents' to share the bad news.

It was one of the worst days of my life. And in the days and weeks that followed, as we came to learn what kind of cancer Michael had, we knew the odds were against us. But even then, I would never have expected that he'd be gone less than a year later.


  1. More hugs. More tears. Lots of prayers for you today.

  2. Joannah - I know today is another difficult anniversary of sorts for you. I wish I knew what to say, but I don't. So...just know I'm thinking of you and hoping some sunshine comes your way today.

  3. Oh Joannah, I know the ache I just felt in my heart reading that is only a tiny fraction of the pain and overwhelming sense of sadness you felt that day. Sending lots of love your way today. xoxoxoxoxox

  4. No one can possibly know the pain and sorrow you feel inside. No one. I wish, above all else, that I could take that pain from you.

  5. Joannah, all of these "firsts" are just a painful reminder to you, I'm sure. Praying for you as I type this.

  6. I am glad that this "first" is going to be behind you when you wake up tomorrow. Have a peaceful night...you are in my thoughts...wear the necklace I sent and remember the words.

  7. Oh Joannah,

    There are no words, no words....

    Our hearts, tears, love and prayers go out to you...

    Sending (((HUGS))),
    Jan, John & Jillian Rose

  8. Sometimes the calender is so harsh on the heart with all it's reminders.
    Hugs to you, gentle but caring hugs.

  9. Crying for you. I love you. I have no words. Hugs and kisses, Janine


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