I’ve been quiet here for most of September, mainly because as soon as school starts it’s increasingly harder to find time to blog (when I do take the time to put together a post, I feel guilty for not spending that time on something more important or pressing, like laundry or housecleaning or lesson plans). For the last couple of weeks my other social media pages have been fairly quiet as well. We’ve had a sudden turn of events in our lives that has caused me to step back and examine my priorities, have some one-on-one time with God, and to open my eyes to the wonderful gifts He has given me.
September 23 was the day that life threw us a curve ball. Ray had scheduled a colonoscopy that morning, and I had taken time off work to be there with him. That evening we planned to drive to Blacksburg to attend the homecoming game between Virginia Tech and East Carolina on Saturday. As Ray was waking up from the anesthesia, the doctor came in and announced that she had found a mass so large that she was unable to finish the procedure. She had biopsied the tumor (she already was calling it a tumor), and he would need bloodwork and a CT scan immediately. We delayed our trip until the next morning, and had a great time at the game and with our family, even though we were worried.
The tumor was found to be cancer, but the CT scans and other tests showed that there is no spreading, and no other tumors or polyps in his colon. We don’t yet know how aggressive the cancer is, or whether it has invaded the surrounding lymph nodes. He is scheduled to have surgery on October 27, and they will examine the tumor to see whether or not he will need chemotherapy. I won’t be running the Marine Corps Marathon. Tomorrow is the fourth annual Hokie Half Marathon (my third, and my tenth half marathon) and I will be running it for him, my family, and for everyone who has suffered from cancer both directly and indirectly. I’ll be thinking of my friend Mary, who passed away in 2014, and who I dedicated the Hokie Half to that year. I’ll be thinking of her husband, their adopted son, her parents, and her brothers. Every step will be a prayer for a full recovery for Ray. We’re optimistic.
I will continue running. Running helps me process my emotions and my thoughts. I have been praying a lot, and I know I’ll be spending A LOT of time with God over these next few months. We’re placing Ray and our boys and this cancer before the feet of Christ, and I know He’ll work things out. I hope I’ll keep posting here from time to time, and keep geocaching every once in a while. (I found one in Blacksburg today, and there’s an Earthcache off I-81 that’s calling my name. I might just stop by there on my way home tomorrow and get the International Earthcache Day souvenir.) Once the dust settles and Ray is on the mend–which he will be, even if the road to healing will be difficult and painful–I’ll sign up for something big!
We have so much to be thankful for. We are surrounded by people who love us and are willing to bend over backwards for us. Many people are already praying for us and offering help. Colon cancer is scary but treatable, and we seem to have caught it early enough that we’ll likely have a good outcome; but we won’t really know until after the surgery and the road to recovery begins. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers!