If you’re reading this, you know that I launched the site redesign two weeks ago. Big stuff! A bit stressful, but ultimately so rewarding and a great move for this little corner of the internet.
But that is not the only thing I have had going on these past couple of weeks.
The day after the new site launched (on Tuesday), my momma had a colonoscopy, during which they found 6 polyps. That Thursday we learned that she has colon cancer.
Boy, cancer is a terrifying word to hear. It brings with it so many questions, so many unknowns. It brings with it the frightening realization that yes, indeed, your loved one is as human as anyone else and, despite your previous beliefs that they must be immortal – because the ones we love always seem to be when we are young – something could certainly happen to them. Our family history does not favor our colon health – my maternal grandfather has battled cancerous polyps for half of his life and Momma’s uncle died from colon cancer.
And yet, in so many ways we are blessed. The cancer is very early stage – the doctors will be performing a resection this Wednesday afternoon, during which they will remove the portion of her large intestine that contains the cancer. The doctors are quite confident that the surgery – which will be performed laparoscopically and will have a relatively short recovery time of 2-4 weeks – will take care of this. Apart from having to have colonoscopies every 6-18 months for the rest of her life, she should not require any additional treatment.
I write to tell you all of this for a number of reasons.
First, I will be heading home this week to be with my parents during and just after the surgery. Things may go a bit silent around here and on social media. Please bear with me as I spend time with my family and make sure Momma Swope is ok. As much as I love you all, that is the most important thing right now.
Second, I ask for your prayers. While the doctors feel certain this is easily managed, I ask for prayers that this would indeed be the case. That the surgery would go brilliantly with no complications and that her recovery would be short. Pray also for my daddy for physical and emotional strength as he cares for her during her recovery (I will only be able to stay for a few days due to work).
And lastly, please do me this favor: take care of yourselves. Colon cancer is so preventable. Are colonoscopies fun? No. (Trust me, I know better than anyone – due to my ulcerative colitis, I had 4 of them before I turned 25.) But truly, they save lives. If you are having any suspicious symptoms, go talk to your doctor immediately. My great-uncle waited for a year after first seeing symptoms to speak to a doctor. By that time the cancer had spread so far that he had no shot against it. Even if you, like my momma, are not having symptoms, go get yourself checked. If everything is hunky-dory, you won’t need to go back annually. The Colon Cancer Alliance has great info available about screenings, who should be screened, and how family history and genetics come into play. Educate yourself and help spread the word.
Thank you all for your love, support and prayers this week and always.