Jon has colon cancer.

I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.

I’m pretty sure I previously mentioned Jon’s new doctor didn’t buy all the celiac stuff (diagnosed by the MI doctor) and that the next step was a colonoscopy and an appointment with an immunologist. Well, he had the colonoscopy on Tuesday morning.

I went back to meet him in recovery and expected to find a groggy and cute sleepy man who would need help to the car. Instead, he was totally alert (because they used propofol) – and his doctor followed me.

I hadn’t been in the sheet room but about 30 seconds when his doctor made the announcement. I honestly/SWEAR TO GOD thought he was kidding. Why would someone joke about that? I don’t know. My brain just reacted with a “what an asshole” response and expected him to lean over and laugh and tell Jon he’s been worrying about nothing – just like all of the other doctors.

This time, though, he repeated his statement and asked if Jon could hear him.
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Jon had a PET scan yesterday morning and we learned late yesterday afternoon that the cancer has not spread. Up until that point, we had been living in complete and utter terror – so we’re feeling a little better and much more optimistic.

We are meeting with a surgeon today to discuss his upcoming surgery. They will be removing a section of his colon (and hopefully all of the cancer) – but that’s all we know right now. He has cancer, it’s contained to the colon, he’s having surgery within the next few days.
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I totally and completely fell apart. I generally pride myself on being very capable in a crisis situation, but this time? Jon? I’ve only cried once this morning – and I haven’t thrown up – and I was able to eat breakfast – so I’m making progress.

Jon was initially very angry. He has been describing symptoms of colon cancer to doctors for a year and a half. Three different doctors. The initial family doctor blew him off for several months before referring him to a gastro at Jon’s insistence. The University of Michigan doctor diagnosed celiac and told him it was fucking STRESS even though we now know an issue with his bloodwork (that Jon repeatedly asked about) was indicating a malignancy, not ALLERGIES. His current doctor took his complaints seriously – so here we are.

We were told he’s likely had cancer for 2-3 YEARS.

So. Anger.

Me? Guilt. I asked him to go to a therapist because all of the doctors kept telling him he was fine and that it was stress, etc. I understood he felt what he was feeling, but didn’t know what to do with it since all of the doctors blew him off. I thought maybe he was dwelling on physical stuff because he was unhappy or depressed or extraordinarily stressed d/t MI and our life upheaval. It happens.
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He seems to have quickly moved past the anger and says he feels very relieved to know what’s wrong. One of his first statements to the doctor after the diagnosis was “well, at least I know I’m not crazy.”

Jon has this tenacious personality that makes him really good at what he does professionally – and it’s the reason he now knows what’s wrong. His doctors failed him and told him to quit traveling so much. I trusted them and pushed him to fucking therapy. But he knew.

I will probably never forgive myself for not being a better advocate for the person I love most in this world.
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So. I initially banned googling, but I’ve started some research now that I’m feeling more in control and out of the shock fog.

It’s rare for someone so young (43) to develop colon cancer. It’s likely a genetic thing (though there are no incidences in his immediate family) – but just about every basic website indicates that a high fat diet is linked in some way to colon cancer. I don’t know why yet – or if they’re citing valid/decent studies – but damn.

We’re absolutely about to do another major life overhaul.

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