There’s something about the end of summer, the thought of Fall just around the corner and the need for cleaning out corners of rooms that have collected odds and ends over the last few months. In my house, one sheet of paper turns into a pile over night. At least it seems that way. So I bought some big plastic containers and started to sort through those piles.
I found a small, hard bound, black book with the words “Travel Journal” on the cover.
Inside, on page one, I had written “Leroy’s Journey” and dated the page, August 10, 2001.
That was the day of his “routine colonoscopy.” The day he heard the words, “You have cancer.” The day it all changed.
I’ve been sitting here reading my words and remembering that day and the many days that followed. The journal covers the first 29 days of our cancer journey. How Leroy, in his drug haze from the colonoscopy, kept asking the doctor “Am I going to make it?” I wrote about watching all the other people in the waiting room who were there to drive home their loved ones and one by one, they left the room, and life went on as before, but not me. The nurse called me back to where Leroy was waiting. The doctor eventually showed up to tell us he’d found a large cancerous tumor in the lower part of the colon.
The day it all changed.
There are many pages devoted, day by day, to the wonderful family and friends, so concerned about his condition. I remember how hard it was for him to made so many calls, repeating over and over again, that he was now a cancer patient.
And I was so excited, but still reserved, when the scans came back clean and the lymph nodes came back clean after his surgery and he was told to go home, heal and have a good life.
No one said “Go home, heal and have a good life for four years.”
I was surprised, as I read through my thoughts of those 29 days, that I had doubts about his full recovery. I mentioned many times how sad I felt and wondered what would I do without him, if the cancer wasn’t stopped.
So here it is, this little journal of memories. A life changing event 13 years ago, almost to the very day.
Once upon a time…..