Monthly Archives: July 2012 - Page 2

Day Four – News Day

My name is Rick and I have cancer.

My decision that I was going to survive whatever diagnosis I received made a difference.  Last night, I slept through the night.  Of course a smoke alarm malfunction woke me up at 6AM (more bad luck, when is it ever going to end?) but at least I slept 7 hours.  I feel a little better with a solid night’s sleep… I am still drained but better.  I also ate a little better yesterday.  I still have a hard time eating in the morning but as the day wears on I am able to eat.

Today is going to be a weird day.  I am going to go into work and tell them the situation.  I am going to try to get some work done but I don’t know if I will be able to.  I feel that having meetings is probably OK but sitting by myself, analyzing, thinking, writing is going to be tough.  It is very hard to concentrate on anything other than my personal nightmare.  Sometimes when I sit here and type this, my arms have a little tremor in them just from the stress.

I am really worried about the father-in-law.  He looked bad yesterday and I fear that he will not be much better today.  He is going to dialysis and they will be able to take better stock of his situation.  If I were to predict, I would think he will get sent to the hospital today by either the center or his doctor.  That means that Suzy, now alone because her sister flew home yesterday and sister-in-law is driving back this morning, is going to be dealing with both of them.  She really is going to need my help and I am probably going to get my bad news today.  How am I going to reconcile that?

I have fantastic friends.  I went to breakfast with someone I have known for years and care for a great deal.  He showed what a compassionate and wonderful person he is in 2 amazing ways.  First, he allowed me to talk.  It was my FIRST adult, face-to-face conversation about my situation.  I got the news over 3 days ago, and this was the first.  It was great to talk and he was great to talk to.  He listened well and gave just that right amount of sage advice.  That was the first amazing way.  The second thing he did was this; he is going to delay giving blood in the outside chance I may need some “clean” blood.  Wow, I was blown away by that gesture.

I went to work and told them the news; I have cancer and that I am going to try to get all my work done.  I will be missing some days and will help wherever I can.  They were cool about it.

I came home from work to be with my daughter.  She had babysitting lined up for most of the summer but this week and next are light as her steady family is away.  We ran errands and played tennis.  It was fantastic and it totally took my mind off things.  In the middle of our play, the doctor called ostensibly with the news from my biopsy.  He was insistent that we talk later since I was with her and promised to text me his mobile number.  It is now 3 hours later and no call.  Figures.  In my mind, I am certain I am going to get the worst news possible so every hour that is NOT confirmed, is a good hour.  I don’t care when / if he calls me with the news.

It is 8 o’clock PM on “news day” and I feel actually OK.  I am not anxious and was able to eat a pretty good meal tonight.  My wife is home from taking care of her parents.  They are doing much better so that is a huge relief.  There was a very real possibility that she was going to have to tend to both of her parents in the hospital at the same time.  Instead, the mother is steadily improving and whatever was making her father sick seems to have passed.

She is home now and I must come up with a way to tell her my terrible news.  I have been thinking about what and how to say it for days.  There is no easy way.  My friend told me a joke about someone hearing about his or her cat dying while on vacation.  The person just blurted it out “your cat died”.  When the receiver heard it that way, they complained that they could have lead up to it a little better.  They then asked about their parents to which they started skirting the issue.  You can find the joke here (  One way to tell her is to actually just have her read the blog I am writing… hummm that may work.