July 28, 2005
I show up nice and early, the receptionist is very happy and cheerful to me. I think something is up, but think nothing of it, content that both an aneurysm and lymphoma have been ruled out. It must be something minor I’ve convinced myself. When I see Dr. Gillis he has his little mirror on his head just like when he took the samples last time. Not again I’m thinking, this time I’ll probably pass out before he even touches me. He talks about the results and calmly tells me that I have Hodgkins Lymphoma. I didn’t really know what it was, only the basics. I ask him if it was cancer, “Yes.” That was enough for me. My brain shut-off and he took more samples from the tumor (yes, now I thought of it as a tumor). I was in such a state of shock I didn’t have a chance to even worry about the fact that I had a needle in my neck and completely forgot to pass out.
I walked out in a daze and called my Dad at home. I cried quite a bit and told him that I was coming home. I called my girlfriend and told her the news. She was already in a predicament with her leaving for Europe the next day and their hotels were booked for the wrong month. She was crying in the travel agents office, who told her she would take care of things and sent her home. She made her way over to my house, as did my Mom whom my Dad had called after I hung up with him.
I just kind of sat at home with my girlfriend and my parents for most of the day. Talking now and then, asking questions, but mostly we just cried, hugged or sat quietly in disbelief. I sent out an e-mail to some of my friends explaining the news and sent one to work saying that I wouldn’t be in for a bit. My life is going to be completely different from here on.
Written by Mike Cousins who lives and works in Calgary building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter