Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oncologist Visit

I feel emotionally drained.  Michael and I went to meet with an oncologist in Murray today and pretty much all of my biggest fears were confirmed. I was told that I definitely have cancer, I definitely will lose all of my hair, I will have to go through 6 36-day cycles of chemotherapy, I have a 50% chance of infertility, and the set of drugs they will be giving me that make up my chemotherapy are so physically taxing that I will need to go on long-term disability and not return to teaching for the rest of the year. It's just hard. I had some really beautiful plans for me and Michael's lives, none of which involved me having cancer.

It still seems so unreal that this is happening. This shouldn't be happening. This is the kind of thing you see happen to other people, you feel really bad for them, and then you get down on your knees and thank Heavenly Father for your own health.

Here's a confession that I can't believe I'm making on a public blog. I have been really interested in cancer since I was really little. I went through phases where I would check my body for bruises, and anytime I saw a bruise I thought I had leukemia. I read probably at least 10 books by Lurlene McDaniel (author whose "characters have grappled with cancer, diabetes, organ failure, and the deaths of loved ones through disease or suicide," says wikipedia.) when I was in elementary school. Morbid, I know. That's why it almost seems ironic that I do have cancer now. 

Anyway, tomorrow I will have to tell my principal exactly what is happening and let him know that in a few weeks I will leave and not come back. Probably the day after tomorrow, I will have to sit down with my students and tell them that I'm sick and can't be their teacher anymore. They are old enough that I will probably make a powerpoint and teach them about what cancer means, and what (more or less) will happen to me. Wish me luck! And for those of you who do believe in God, I could really use all the prayers I can get. 


  1. Your kids love you and your presentation will help them to understand and to have some sense of closure as you leave them mid year. I know you will do it well and with sensitivity. My prayers are with you.

  2. Oh Crystal...my heart hurts so much for you right now. I was tearing up I was reading your blog out loud to my mom. We sure both loved Lurlene McDaniel- I'm sorry if I was the one that got you on those ;). I would love to come visit you whenever and wherever you want! I can crack out Mystery Mansion and Splat if you need some pick me ups! :)

  3. You're definitely in our prayers, Crystal! Even if we live to far to bring you dinner or lend a shoulder to cry on, we're doing what we can for you. Your optimism is such an example, and I know everything will work out exactly the way The Lord intends it to. We miss you guys!

  4. Praying for you...You sound like me..I used to think I'd get malignant melanoma as a child.As a teen, I came face to face with cancer in a friend's mother's life. As an adult,I came across it in someone younger than me-like you. I hate it and every blog I come across, I read avidly.i have this weird need to know the reality.I don't know if it's an African thing but people here only know leukemia,so when I asked a friend what cancer her brother has,she didn't know the name nor anything about it.I saw it-or the treatment-putting him in a wheelchair, a bright university student...You guys help me understand what people seem to be too scared to verbalise.Thank you..I just wish I didn't end up 'falling in love' with bloggers.Cos then your pains..I wish I could take them away.Your fears see me searching your blogs for updates.Anyway, all this to say,you've found a reader in South Africa who'll be cheering for you.