My extraordinary wife Sonya joins me today.
People who do not know us well may not be aware that Sonya is a 30-year cancer survivor. When we were in our early 20s, not long after the arrival of our firstborn, Sonya correctly diagnosed herself with Hodgkin’s Disease (now known as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma). It is cancer in the lymphatic system.
She diagnosed it after reading in Redbook magazine of a case that matched her symptoms.
Several lymph-nodes were biopsied, as was a section of bone marrow taken from her hip. The cancer was Stage 2, treatable. Not in the marrow.
The treatment regimen in those days called for spleen removal, and radiation. No chemo.
After the radiation was over she had CT scans every six months for about two years. At the end of five years the cancer had not returned and she was pronounced cured.
Hodgkin’s is odd in that if you ever beat it (seven years clean) your chances of recurrence are no different than a person who has never had it. (Or so we were told.) Still, we’ve had a couple of scares over the years when doctors could not be sure about one thing or another with her health.
Everything through the years turned out to be false alarms.
But, that radiation.
Because of radiation treatments Sonya has been at an elevated risk of another kind of cancer.
This past December she found a lump. Mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and CT scans later: Stage 1 breast cancer, two different kinds. Three very small masses. Encapsulated, considered non-aggressive. The doctor said, “If you have to get breast cancer this is what you want to have,” which sound good enough, except no one in their right mind wants to get it in any shape, form, or fashion.
Sonya joins a minuscule number of people who have experienced three different kinds of cancer. It is my prayer she will soon be among those who’ve beaten three kinds of cancer. Would you join me in that?
Over the next weeks and months Sonya will have a lot of stuff going on, little of which will be detailed here. Not all of it has been decided, but none of it will be easy. The ball rolls April 18 with surgery.
Needless to say, this was not on our To-Do list. Not this year, not ever again.
Yet, here it is.
Today we forego the theological reflection, and simply ask for prayer.