Certainties and Inevitabilities

If it were me, I’d pretty much know what do about this.  But it isn’t.  If it were me, I’d at least feel a little bit in control of the outcome.  But it isn’t.  So it is out of my control.  Imagine how this makes me feel.

What am I talking about?  Colorectal cancer, that’s what.

My wife has been diagnosed with this cancer, and the final diagnosis is in.  It’s Stage II.  Emininently treatable.  The oncologist says he would like to treat it with chemotherapy and radiation to reduce its size before the tumor is excised in surgery, but the state of the tumor was such that he felt that surgery alone would be workable.  All the doctors who have examined her so far believe that there is a good chance that she can avoid a colostomy: just cut it out, reattach the two ends, and all should be well.  Apparently, the cancer has not metastasized; it’s all right in one spot, 5 cm across.  Her sister had a similar (though smaller) tumor successfully removed last year.

From subtle indications we have had over the past couple years, it has been growing since at least that long.  It hadn’t been discovered to be cancer before now because my wife has a great distrust of modern medicine, to put it mildly.  One thing that should have been done a year or so ago would have been to check out her colon — she was complaining just this morning in fact that the doctors should have suggested it.  But would she have even gone along with the suggestion if it had been made?  I doubt it.  In fact, just recently she put up with two weeks of excruciating abdominal cramps, pain and constant diarrhea before she finally agreed to go to the doctor.  And chewed me out twice for being some kind of shill for doctors when I suggested that she needed to be seen by them.

So now we know.  And after the consultations and tests, the decision is made: she will not be treated by medical doctors.  She has decided to go 100% with alternative “medicine”.  No radiation.  No chemotherapy.  No surgery.  It’s going to be herbs and so-called “oxygen therapy”.   I’ve told her that I will support her in her decision — what else is there to do?  I cannot convince her otherwise; she is very stubborn.  I am still going to try, but based on past performance, I am unlikely to succeed.

Well, the outcome of this, even if she had decided to go the medical route, wasn’t 100% guaranteed.  But with this decision of hers, I am cast into a bleak certainty.  I have little trust in the efficacy of what she has decided to do, and my expectation is that I will soon be a widower.  Her colon is now 80% blocked by the current state of the tumor.  When it hits 100% there will not be much time left.  I expect there’s about a year left.

It’s going to get ugly. 

 

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