Words change everything.

“You have cancer, Stacey.”, I thought I heard the doctor say.  “We need to begin chemo-therapy before we can think about surgery.”


One little extra word (NOT) would have made such a big difference in what was about to happen to me.  You do NOT have cancer.  We do NOT need to begin chemo-therapy.  We do NOT have to consider surgery.   I did NOT return back to my classroom that afternoon.

I think I must have floated out of the Royal Victoria Hospital that day because I have no memory of what happened next.  I do remember a few talking heads and I do remember yearning to be home.

“What do we tell the kids?” I asked my husband.

“The truth.” he replied.

And only seconds later our daughter arrived home.  The look on her face told me that she had it all figured out already without me having to speak any words at all.  It was that both cars were home in the middle of the afternoon that gave everything away.  “You have cancer, don’t you!?”


The words were like knives in my mouth.   I wished I could have said I do NOT have cancer.

The memories of that day are lost in the haze of chaos.  What did we say to her?  What did we say to our little boy?  What did we say to our oldest son?  I really am not sure if I can remember or just block it out in an effort to not return to that moment.

We shared our news with family and then friends.  Their faces, too, told it all.  We were all in shock.  I am healthy.  I eat well.  I exercise.  I am too young!  What were the signs?

“Did you have any signs?”

“No.  Well, not really.  Well, I thought I had had a burst ovarian cyst in November and a gall bladder attack in February.  My liver has been hurting me – but I thought that was gall bladder. I went to the doctor to have a wart removed from my foot and asked him to check my stomach since it continued to give me pain.  Thank goodness he sent me for an ultra-sound and blood-work that revealed a problem in hormone levels and my liver.”  I replied.

I was referred to a gynecologist who referred me to an oncology gynecologist (who knew that even existed?) who scheduled me for an hour-long appointment.  Not knowing why it would take an hour, I told my class I would likely be late that day, but to start without me and I would be back.

I would NOT be back since that hour-long appointment was purposed to tell me the news.  My husband had come with me that day – not really because I needed him but because he wanted to come.  Did he know more than I did?  In any case, he was there with me when yet another of life’s major events transformed our lives.  We would NOT ever be the same.

It was only several days later that I received my first chemo-therapy treatment.  And my husband was with me.  That’s when we met Mark and Bea.  They were a couple my husband and I would NOT forget.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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20 Responses to Words

  1. Stephanie Jones says:

    Wow Stacey! I had no idea. I know you will beat this, quite simply because you deserve it, because the world could not go on without a spirit like yours doing all that you do for everyone else. You have changed the lives of so many people, mine included. I would not be where I am without your love, education and positive encouragement. Everyday I will send love back your way. You’ve got this!

    • MyDadandI says:

      Stephanie, thank-you. I am very pleased to know you are sending me that love. You have some very powerful medicine yourself. You are too kind. I would not be the same – where I am today – without you either!

  2. Karen says:

    so beautifully said. NOT what I wanted to hear about you. NOT why I thought you were calling me. NOT what I thought I’d read in that email from you. NOT going to stop you.

  3. Janine Baines says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Miss your smiling face. Xo.

  4. Andrea says:

    Reading this has brought tears to my eyes. Can’t even imagine what your going through. Your going to beat this Stacey it’s not going to beat you. Your an amazing strong women. You have helped so many people including me. I will always be greatful for everything you’ve done for me. If it wasn’t for you I probably wouldn’t of graduated. You will always have a special place in my heart. You and your family are in my prayers ❤

    • MyDadandI says:

      Andrea – thank-you but you give me too much credit. I was the right person at the right time and you were ready to roll baby! It has been my pleasure to work with you and watch you grow into a fine young woman. Thank-you for being there for me now.

  5. tellie says:

    “Strength does not come from physical capacity.
    It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma ghandi

  6. I am overwhelmed, as you can imagine. I, we, will be thinking of you constantly. The good news is every instance has its own promise. Each promise will be kept. You are under orders. Promises to keep.

    • MyDadandI says:

      Yes – and I always keep my promises, Brian. And occasionally I do follow orders. Thanks for being there for my family and I – and of course, thanks for loaning me your parents too! Your family means a lot to me!

  7. Luis Landín says:

    I am very impressed by your post. I have shared in Twitter. I wish the very best for you. 😃

    • MyDadandI says:

      Thank-you. I suspect the writer’s craft is not as in-tune as it should be but the matter was too close to the heart to edit. And thanks for the Twitter – I have never been “tweeted” before.

  8. 409 525 peguis street says:

    well i am overwhelmed but the words that you have written about you and your situation. if you are anything like your brother you have love and strength beyond words. you will be able to fight this because you are strong and have a great support group to call on when needed. but when times get tough i will send you an angel to help you through and to show you that god is watching you also.

  9. Pingback: A Stitch in Time Saves…..57 Others? | In The Corner

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  11. I had my cancer surgery Oct 7th 2014 and radiation lasted til after New Years. I know where of you speak. Here’s to a healthy future for both of us!

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