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3 Years Post-Diagnosis

(4) I’ve officially reached 3 years since I heard the 3 words i never dreamed I would hear from someone I loved. It was about 6 months after a routine colonoscopy that came back clear but seemed to awake the hidden monster inside her. It was about 5 months since I had lightheartedly told her “You really need to see a doctor” because her stomach was always in pain and she was struggling to have bowel movements. It was less than 1 month since we were in Mexico and I read a buzzfeed article listing the symptoms of Ovarian cancer which i showed to tbone and said “i’m pretty sure this is what my mom has.” (Turns out that may have been where the cancer originated.) She had basically been bedridden since we got home from our trip. We were changing her clothes and sheets multiple times a day because she couldn’t make it out of bed to throw up the most foul smelling, green fluid you could imagine. I came home from work on 12/16/16 to ask how the exploratory surgery went. She told me they weren’t able to complete it but that she had colon cancer and then i let her rest. I can’t remember if it was that night or the next day, she was in the kitchen and i worked up the nerve to ask her which stage - which of course I had googled immediately after our previous conversation. Praying it was caught early. Knowing her symptoms had only just started but deep down that they matched those of the advanced stages - “stage IV.” I cried. She cried. She assured me we would be okay. .

My mom always said I was never a crier and that’s how she knew when i was truly hurt. Well, nothing has ever hurt me more than that news and I’ve cried more in the past 3 years than I had in all 26 before them. It started off in quiet moments, usually drives, when I’d think “Holy shit, i’m going to lose my mom.” Now it’s turned to “Holy shit, I’m really never going to see her again.” I feel it in my chest every time.🖤

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