As I Was Saying…

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Facing the C Word

September 23, 2008

“C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me,” sings Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. It’s a cute song and an engaging character, especially as re-imagined by Stephen Colbert. The problem is that C stands for a lot of other things, too.

Cancer, for example.

Last Friday, Marge and I sat listening to Marge’s newest doctor, a gynecologic oncologist, while he let us know as gently as he could that Marge has ovarian cancer. I felt as if I’d been slapped. In fact, I actually tried to get a look at the name on the case file the doctor had open while he was talking to us because I was convinced there was some mistake. Surely the message he was giving us was intended for someone else. But no luck on that one.

The cancer is apparently already advanced, and there may be several tumors. The next step is surgery, perhaps on September 30th, a week from today, but we don’t have a confirmed date for it. We’ll meet with the doctor again on Friday for more information about the surgery and the overall treatment strategy. I do know that the surgery will be both treatment and diagnostic tool. We have little specific information now, but there will be a mountain of it following the surgery.

The last four days have been long and difficult. I don’t know of a harder job than this waiting and waiting and waiting to learn how bad the bad news really is. The outpouring of love and support we have received and continue to receive from family and friends, however, is wonderful. I mentioned this to a friend yesterday, and her tone was matter-of-fact as she said, “Of course. You’re wonderful people. Everybody loves you.” I’m braced for bad news, but kindness can make me cry. I cried when she said that.

Today I’m in the process of setting up a CaringBridge site to record our journey through this. The URL is although not much is there just yet. I’ll post treatment and recovery information over there so that it doesn’t take over this blog.

And so, friends, if you’re familiar with prayer, please pray for us now. If you don’t know how to pray, it’s time you learned. We need everybody here.

5 Responses to “Facing the C Word”

  1. Mike Nichols Says:

    Pete, Marge and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thought I’d let you know!

    Sorry I didn’t send this earlier — just checking my newsreader tonight.

  2. gerry rosser Says:

    I can only send my hopeful thoughts to you.

    Our son-in-law survived two bouts with cancer, and every day is a gift.

    Do not despair.

  3. donna Says:

    h, crap, that sucks.

    Just found out I have to go in for another surgery for high dysplasia cells in my colon (pre-cancerous, so far..). Sigh. I haven’t even managed to call the surgeon yet to schedule.

    Lots of thoughts and prayers for her…

  4. Anne Says:

    My thoughts and good wishes for a positive outcome are with you as well. I wish you courage and perseverance for the hard times, and may they be few and far between.

  5. tamar Says:

    My thoughts are with you both on this journey. I don’t know how to pray yet I do know how to have hope, which usually trumps my fears, despondency, or despair.

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