I wanted to take the time to tell you about the biggest struggle our family was faced with in 2015.
For those that know me, personally, I want to thank you all so much for your continued support and words of encouragement throughout the year. I can honestly say, I don’t know where would have ended up without it.
For those curious about the small details or just getting to know, please continue reading below.
For a young family, with two children, then aged 10 and 12, we might not have lived in the biggest house or had the most expensive furniture, but we were full of love and happiness. Things started to drastically change in March of 2015, while we knew in advance that my husband was going to be laid off in April, we had no way to prepare for what was about to happen. Mid-March, Rick started to not feel well, upset stomach, back pain, extreme abdominal pain that continued to worsen over time. We made multiple trips to the emergency room, the doctor’s office and had multiple tests done – we were nowhere close to finding out what exactly was happening. April 1 came and went, as did his income – the promised layoffs were completed at his company. The weeks started to pass and his health was declining He wanted to go out there and seek employment to help our family stay on track financially. His health had other plans. At this point, he had lost most feeling in his legs and could barely move. Finally his doctor requested some nerve testing to be completed at the hospital. The downside, there was a waiting list of 4 months long. On May 20th, we got the call from the Ottawa Hospital – General Campus that there had been a cancellation and that they could schedule his test for May 22nd. We were hopeful for answers. At Rick’s appointment, the doctor (I don’t know her name) explained to him that while he did pass the actual nerve test, he had failed the physical exam. She explained to him in that moment that he was to go and present himself immediately at the emergency room of the Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus. She explained that the doctors were aware of the situation and that they would be waiting. He called me immediately and I left work to meet him there.
Several hours passed, we saw a dozen different doctors come in and complete the same exam. The head doctor advised us that in order to get a better idea of what was going on that Rick must have an MRI. A couple of hours after the MRI, the doctor came in – with one glance we knew it was bad, but we had no idea how bad it was. Dr. Kingsley was tasked to inform us that not only would Rick have emergency spinal surgery that night, but that he was 99% sure that Rick had a cancerous tumor that was crushing his spine.
It was in that moment, that I looked over at Rick – I half-smiled trying to hold back the tears as best I could. He was scared, I could see it on his face and he knew I was worried, so I tried hard not to let it show. That was the first day of our family’s journey through life with cancer. Rick had Stage 3 Lymphoma Cancer in his spine (we were told that this was rare).
I know that it was Rick’s journey, but it was our family’s journey too and we were there every step of the way.
2 surgeries, 20 rounds of radiation and 7 rounds of chemotherapy in 9 months. In February, the doctors announced that we were cancer free. Rick had won this battle with cancer.
I may not say it enough, but Rick is a strong and great man. His continued positivity was one of the reasons that I was able to be strong and hold it all together. ❤️