Happy Birthday – you have pancreatic cancer

Happy Birthday – you have pancreatic cancer.

“Did I hear you correctly? This was just a routine exam.”

The walls in the room began to pulse despite the deafening silence. Should I speak now? Just get up, walk out and return to yesterday? Compose myself and garner questions as if I had taken the Cancer Course?

What the hell. I am a busy mom in the prime of my life, looking good (as good as ‘prime’ allows), feeling good, working out, playing tennis, caring for my parents & my aging pup, and oh yes, running a successful business.

Do I even have time to even deal with this emotionally and physically? Pull the emergency break… “What now”, I asked?

That question on February 20th garnered a long answer that is only 6-months into a 12-month process.

Immediate high risk 8-­hour surgery. The Whipple, ever heard of it? I certainly had not! Followed by a nine ­day MGH hospital stay – don’t ever say Jello again! Then six weeks of ‘bed’ recovery – gruesome to say the least, although Grace & Frankie provided a much needed diversion.

April – chemo began – I hadn’t taken the Chemo Course either. Trials, tribulations, dosages and side effects all too numerous to even make sound somewhat interesting.

Let’s wrap this up as no one really wants news from a Debbie Downer. My treatments end on 12/24. Merry Christmas – your chemo has ended. My 30­ days of radiation begins 2 weeks later.

Happy New Year – welcome to the radiology department at MGH ­ here is your ugly hospital gown ­ size XXXL.

I now find myself in September and it has taken me all this time to sit and compose my thoughts and feel comfortable sharing. My business has been on hold and I have only shared my news individually with clients along the way. I just haven’t had the heart, energy or willpower to physically work with clients (except for virtually) and no doubt will not rev up until March.

Yes – a year­long process. But alas if I can pull through this, beat this terrible diagnosis and get on with just plain being me, it will be a small sacrifice.

I have been lucky enough to have an amazing, supportive family and group of friends who have nurtured me all along the way with love, food, cards, calls, messages and visits and I am eternally grateful. Every bit of support has been needed.

I have copied a touching quote from Joanna Gaines (my TV time well spent with her on HGTV Fixer Upper).

“Every season looks different, and each one is no less significant than the other. I believe that each of us, in every circumstance, has what it takes – that built within the construction of who we are is whatever that moment in time requires. We all will have trials, we all will have miracles, and because of grace, I believe we have it in us to handle both – no matter what that looks like.”

I will continue to accept whatever life may throw at me, expected or unexpected, and will endure and celebrate my milestones with you in 2019.

Thank you for your continued support and well wishes.

See you in 2019, Doreen

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