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My Cancer Journey (Part 1)

My Cancer Journey (Part 1)


I came home from a visit to the doctor’s office with a life-modifying
experience. The doctor just informed me that I have cancer. Clearly,
that isn’t something anyone wants to hear. It wasn’t completely unexpected, as I had been having symptoms for some time. About ten days earlier, I had the necessary biopsy, on the hopes that cancer could be ruled out as a cause of my maladies. It wasn’t ruled out—it was ruled in.

Thus, my life’s journey begins a new phase. It is my goal to become a
cancer survivor—and if I can keep writing—you can follow along. If the story ends abruptly, well, so be it. But for now, we’ll plan on writing for a long time.

Something went wrong several years ago. In hindsight, I’ve had this cancer growing in me for that long, at least. The symptoms weren’t clear at that time. But, now, the story seems obvious. No doctor wanted this answer, and of course, I didn’t. So, we just pushed the problems aside and attributed them to lots of things.

The Beginning of the Story

Let me go back to the beginning of the story, as best as I can remember.

From there, we’ll follow the symptoms, the errors, and the treatments, as I hope to do so as this disease is fought. It started, first I suppose when my wife suggested I should get more life insurance. I applied, and that led to an appointment for a nurse practitioner to give me a check-up. Insurance companies don’t want to insure sick people—so they give you a physical before issuing a new policy.

The results came back on October 30, 2016. They wouldn’t issue me a policy, because I had a high A1C. Now, I had never heard of A1C before, but a quick search of the internet produced the implication that I had diabetes. I needed to see a doctor. I hadn’t been to a doctor for years. I didn’t even have a doctor. I have never smoked, never drank alcohol, or parachuted. I figured I was a shoo-in for a life insurance policy. Apparently this A1C deal was important. I called a local doctor’s office and scheduled an appointment for November 1st, 2016.

I told the doctor my symptoms: I was getting up in the middle of the night to pee. Sometimes, I had to pee urgently. This would sometimes cause a problem at work when I was doing something important, and suddenly I had to go. It was an issue. And, finally, I was always thirsty. Those were the issues I was having.

The doctor diagnosed me with Type II diabetes, put me on Glipizide, a drug used to treat diabetes. Then, because I was overweight, and my father and grandparents had died of heart disease, he also added a statin to my regimen. I had gone from a healthy person with no need for a doctor, to a sick person on two life-long medicines in a single doctor’s visit.