Thursday, February 9, 2012

When Life Throws You A Curve Ball

This is my family. They mean everything to me. Like all families, we have been through some tough things together. Well, maybe not "average tough", as we have had things like disabilities to deal with; a move across the country away from family and many, many dear friends; losing several close family members in just the past few years.... lots of stuff like that. But we deal with it. Together. And even though I know a lot of my friends often say things like "Wow- you have so much on your plate!" or "I don't know how you deal with all you deal with" or similar remarks, I really don't get what they mean. I love my life! I am so, so very blessed! I have sooo much to be thankful for!

But yes, life can throw us curve balls. And usually when we least expect them. We had a few last year. Including when both of my husband's sisters died just a month apart. We hadn't really felt as if we'd come up for air after losing my brother at that point, so it was really pretty "heavy".
So I think when the new year came, we just had it in our minds that this year was going to be a lot better. Easier. We were "due"! ;-)

Well... maybe not just yet.

We got hit with another curve ball, I am afraid. I debated weather to post about this. But I think for several reasons it's a good idea. I suppose most of you come here to see my cards. But I know many of you have said you like when I throw "other stuff" in here, too. I have been so busy being on design teams and making cards for them that for several months, that's pretty much all I have posted about. And I'll admit, I kind of miss adding in the "personal" stuff here and there. Lately I am afraid I just haven't had time. But now I am going to make time. Time to post something not so "fun"- but I think "post worthy" never the less.

Typically, I'd be sharing my weekly card for The Perfect Sentiment challenge blog. It feels so weird not having a card to share with you today for their challenge! No- I have not left the Design Team! Thankfully, Jennipher is so awesome and understanding that she not only has allowed me some time off, but insisted on it as well.
The reason: My husband has cancer. Wow. Just typing that kinda puts a pit in your stomach. Bottom line: to put it lightly, it stinks. I mean really stinks. But at the same time, I can honestly say I am so, so grateful. And the reason why I feel that way is the reason I am sharing this with you.
You see, we have a lot to feel grateful about right now. But it would not have been that way if things didn't come about as they did. All because of awareness. Awareness because my husband read an article in a magazine while he was on an airplane on a business trip. Thanks to Mike Ditka's name catching his eye, my husband (also named Mike) read an article that may well have saved his life. And this, my dear readers, is why I am writing this post. Because I hope that you will become aware and urge all the men in your life to get tested for prostate cancer! According to Mike's doctor, had my husband waited until his primary doctor said it was "time" to be tested (or for symptoms to begin)- it may have been too late. Wow- if that doesn't get your attention!

You see, Mike read that article and it bugged him. Enough so that when he went in for a routine blood pressure check he asked to have the exam for prostate cancer. His doctor actually said it wasn't needed- that he could wait. But thank God, Mike pushed the issue until the doctor agreed to do the exam. Imagine the surprise when it was found that there actually was cancer present!

I won't go into all the details, but will tell you that I am writing this just hours before Mike is to have surgery. I am really tired from running around getting things set for the kids since I will be at the hospital all day, and for Mike for when he comes home, etc. But I decided to write this in hopes that by writing this it may get the attention of you all and even if just one life can be saved by awareness as we believe Mike's has, then it will be the best thing I can do! My husband had absolutely no symptoms. So please, please don't think because a man feels great that there can not be a problem. They need to be tested. But sadly, most men just want to bury their heads in the sand about this. They don't even want to think about it, much less face the possibility and get tested. But we must convince them not to put it off. You just never know when it might hit someone you love. If you don't believe me, check out these numbers. This was reported just a few months ago by the American Cancer Society: (And this is just for one year!):

  • About 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed
  • About 33,720 men will die of prostate cancer

About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.

So.... there you have it. Not a typical post for me, but one I feel compelled to write. I hope some of what I have said will convince you of the seriousness of this and get you to urge the men you care about to get themselves tested.

I'll be back soon and give you an update. (And a card again soon, too!) ;-)
If you don't mind my asking- if any of you are like me and believe in the power of prayer, I'd be so very very grateful if you might say a quick one for my husband. I will be praying that all of the men in your life get tested- (with good results!) for prostate cancer. But saving lives all starts with awareness!

Thank you for letting me share this with you.

Wishing you many blessings,


jennfontaine said...

My dear Sarah, you and Mike and your family are in my prayers. Even more so today as you go through this step. Thank you for caring enough about others to make them aware of prostate cancer and to be checked. I pray health, healing, wisdom for all involved, skill for the surgeon, peace for you and your family and many more years of love and joy as a family unit. Big hugs across the miles- love you girl!

CSeeger said...

It's easy to see that God has been watching over your husband in this, and I know He will continue to to hold you both in his loving hands. Prayers for healing, medical wisdom and continued blessings coming your way, Sarah!

Barb said...

You and Mike are deep in my thoughts and prayers today!!! You always are, but more so today then ever!!! Thanks for taking the time to post this and hopefully make others aware of the need for check-ups. Love you and I'm sending {{BIG HUGS}} for you, Mike and the kids!!!

Rochelle Sodipo said...

Sarah, my thoughts are you with you, Mike and your children during this difficult time. I don't want to sound cliche and say "I know you'll pull through" or "you're so strong", I'll just say, if you need to can message me, if you need to scream, you can message me. And you have the right to feel your feelings and express them. Lots of love going out to you!

Diana said...

Sarah, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I will keep you in my prayers through this ordeal. Please take care and take time for yourslef - be strong!

Diana said...

God bless you Sarah. You, Mike and your family are in my prayers. Please keep us updated and please take time for yourself as well.

Reny said...

Sarah, I will be praying for you all, and especially for Mike to make a full and speedy recovery. Our God is a Great God and His mercy endures forever!


maureendb said...

Thinking and praying for you my DEAR friend. PLEASE call me if you need anything. Love Always...

Jennipher said...

You already know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so glad you are taking this time to be with your family. Designing positions come and go but family is forever. Not that your position is going to go anywhere! No worries there at all. I'm glad you posted this and I'll be thinking about you and Mike tomorrow. Keep me posted. Hugs & Prayers

Patty said...

Sarah, someone once told me "When life throws you a curve ball, remember that God is the Ultimate Catcher". I pray for you and your family at this time and believe that this whole 'game of life' is in His hands.

Kate said...

Don't forget to take care of you!
Believe in the miracle of the rainbow.

Dianne said...

Cancer sucks!!!! I am so sorry and will keep your hubby and you in my prayers. Thank you for posting. I know you have opened eyes for a lot of people.

Susan Joyce said...

Sarah, So sorry to your news, hope your husband will make a speedy recovery. Thinking of you both. Hugs, Sue

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and your family Sarah.