Jay, who has lived in the Waukesha area for over 20 years, is an active volunteer who has served on numerous local boards and committees. He's married to Colleen with three kids having gone through the Waukesha schools. He is the VP of a local distribution company.
(Note: On September 5th, 2008, I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Tongue Cancer - Stage 4. Following is 5'th blog on my journey)
Finally, the shock of cancer has settled in and I am in full-battle mode. It is time to quickly absorb what the experts are telling us and move forward with "The Cure". The sooner we start with treatment, the sooner my life and my family's life can resume normalcy. The good Dr. Campbell has told me I have the aforementioned, so let's move quickly and decisively.
"I need a PET Scan and a biopsy to confirm the type and location of the cancer?" What?! I've already accepted it's what Dr. Campbell said - now let's get going!
But that's not how it works. I really had accepted this cancer and found myself wanting to start the curative process (before the rules could change...).
And now the wait - when the doubts inside you build: "What if the cancer has spread? What if they find it's a completely different cancer? What if this now unidentified cancer is not curable???" And yet you remain strong to your family while honestly worrying deep inside on how a change in news could impact their lives...
"Mr. Walt - Good news - the cancer is exactly what we suspected and where we thought it would be."
This perverted disease twists and turns you and your family inside out - emotionally and physically.
The best underlying message to the above was we could now proceed with a preselected combined treatment of 7 chemo and 35 radiation sessions. Education from many sources at Froedtert also became important as nutritionists, "journey coordinators", counselors and more weighed-in.
And as Colleen and I made decisions, I internally experienced what could best be called a huge burst of optimism. I was being given treatment choices which, if followed, would provide a very good cure rate - and that means we win - and the cancer loses!
But as we were to learn shortly, cancer does not lose easily, nor does it relinquish it's tenacious grasp within your body readily.