Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Title: SCREAM!!!!
Title: Speechless
Title: You have to be kidding me?
Title: We have no real power or control over anything in our lives...really....

I have to say that I have no idea how to title this blog post. But the important thing is that i have wanted to post something for about a week and finally feel ready to do so. A shout out to friends and family and friends i havent even met for you support to this point and I will rely on you more and more each day.

Last week My lovely honey was diagnosed with Colo-Rectal Cancer. I will spare you the details but it was a routine colonoscopy ( PSA, if you are 50 yo get it, dont wait) and he was asymptomatic. My first thought was "so what, you remove a polyp and it is fine. I mean didnt Ronald Reagan have a polyp. or five?" He died of Alzheimers not cancer. ( i think??) but funny what pops into your head. We have a wonderful GI doc that called Rich to tell him the news not 24 hours later and from there the rubber side was no longer on the road. Or the spot of bother became more than a nuisance. I could write a book on the tumor and what they found and the onslaught of diagnostics that he has now been thru, but the take home message really is this:
We are so lucky that from the CT/MRI/Ultrasound there is no metastses. On the cellular level we dont know...we still have yet to meet with an Oncologist. I keep saying that the glass half empty is the aggressive surgery we are 99% likely to have, the glass half full is that this surgery allows for the MOST LIKELY CHANCE that the cancer will not recur. I mean is there no right answer??

In all of this I have struggled with feelings of shock: NO WAY. To denial : Ok dont have surgery the friday before my race, ok? To even telling him: "you know i would not race. that would be ok." to which my loving fiance said "you are kidding arent you?" to which I honestly had to say " HOLY COW, I mean I am still not believing this!!!"

1) The races i have left are FOLLY. I mean really. I feel like i shouldnt do them. But at the next breathe i feel that I should. I can. He wants to watch. He can watch. He feels fine. I am healthy. I can. So i will.

2)Even if they are FOLLY, I need to try to keep some semblance of my normal life. For some a normal life may not be training twice a day. And for some a normal life may not be emailing their coach to talk and ask for support and emailing freinds to go jump in a cold lake in late September. But for me, while we are in this limbo, that is normal. And we may even jump in a colder lake in October. Who knows. When the MD appts call and when he calls I am there, but when I have the time and the presence of mind i have to keep my life as normal as possible. Whatever normal is:)

3) We have no control over anything really. Stay in the moment and enjoy it.

4) One surgeon we talked to replied to a question I had as such "When you have had cancer, you still live in fear of cancer even if it is cured" thanks. And yea I have been looking over and over again at my melanoma site and looking hard at my skin to make sure i dont have anything suspicious. But as some of you may know once your body "knows" for lack of a better term "HOW TO MUCK UP CELLS AND GO HAYWIRE" it could do it again. So i have had to be strong and not get all wrapped up in my own fears of my own cancer coming back. or my mom's. or my co-workers, or...

5)Why do bad things happen to such good people? I mean to a man that if you havent met him is the one that works so hard to take care of people with serious oral /dental issues, that operates on children with Cleft Palate, that volunteers at his church, that is always giving of his time and his presence to his family and friends and of course the most unselfish fiance and friend a girl could ask for. I mean really? And then we return to the shock->disbelief-> denial stages.
And we try not to ask WHY, no risk factors...the surgeon was smiling..." I love seeing a trim person. makes surgery so much easier" which makes you think he doesnt see them too often in cases of colo-rectal cancer. I dont blog i can be judgemental if i want.

6) Our future as ONE is still just that. But the wedding ceremony will be postponed. We are deeply saddened but obviously we have to focus on his health. Hope is there that we can still figure something out and thanks ( even tho they dont read the blog) to those folks that have gracefully refunded the ooodles of downpayments we have made to date. To the others I have not heard from or that say "you signed a contract" I say.___________. Yes. I did. Life is good. I wont worry. It is money. It is just money and you get no more of my energy.

And as I ramble on and on I do ask you this:

Tell me funny movies to watch...we are already planning to watch the BIG LEBOWSKI over and over again. Not sure we can do the White Russians or not...Other ones we like Curb your enthusiasm series, The Office series, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Best of Show....send others!!! WE need some laughter!!!!

Oh and in the mean time I intend to just keep watching the FED hit the most amazing shot EVER and the look on Novak's face. Roger is pure joy!! hitting a CLEAN is such a sweet feeling...scroll down and watch it with me!

Thanks for reading and thanks for lifting us up in prayer or whatever your higher power is. We need the energy!


Molly said...

Doesn't matter who you are, that's a hard blog post to write. ((((HUGS)))) No matter how you react, it's the normal way, because we all freak out a little differently. When my sister was diagnosed with brain cancer (after emergency surgery to remove the tumor), I remember thinking "Cancer? No biggie, we can handle that. But about the big hole in her head..." I was more concerned with the immediacy of what had happened, the cancer part seemed remote.

You are right - so many things aren't worth your energy or worry right now, it does put your life a bit in perspective. I'm glad you are still training - I don't know about you but that's where I work out all my issues in my buzzing brain. You're on the right track with focusing on laughter and funny movies (I am partial to the Monty Python & Holy Grail and Caddyshack type stuff for stupid humor.)

HUGE hugs and good thoughts to you and Rich as you go through this journey. May it be a smooth and uncomplicated as humanly possible with immediate good outcome!

Rebecca DeWire said...

I am so sorry to hear that this is happening to you guys. CANCER SUCKS!!!! What horrible news and I think you have every right to question how this can happen to wonderful people who don't deserve it.

I noticed that you liked Best in Show and that is one of my all time favorite movies. Have you ever seen A Mighty Wind? It is a lot like Best in Show. I will keep thinking of other movies and will send them along.

StevenCX said...

I'm hoping for a good outcome for him!

Kate O said...

Expect something in the mail from me next week. It's something we both need--but it's not wine or cupcakes. Many hugs to you.

Jennifer Harrison said...

You know I am thinking of you both and wish I could have an answer why "bad things happen to good people" and I sure SOME people have that answer, but not me. As you know, I am thinking of you two and sending all my healing vibes to you both. xo

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Julia - I am so sorry.... I didn't know....I'm thinking about you and Rich. Can't imagine how hard this post was to write - you and he both are so brave.

Don't know why bad things happen to good people....that one still gets me....each and every time.

I'm thinking of the two of you - sending all the positive energy, love, hugs, good vibes, etc...

Movies...hhhmmmm..... I'm a HUGE fan of British Comedy. I LOVE love love Fawlty Towers. But "Keeping Up Appearances" "Are you being served?" and "As time goes by" are some other really good ones as well.

Hugs and love to you both!

Chip said...


First, thanks for your comment on my blog! It was really encouraging, and got me to come to your blog.

Second, your "news" (cancer) trumps my "news" (broken ribs) hands down!! I am SOOOOO sorry to hear about what you are going through. I've been through it with both parents; and no matter how you cut it...cancer sucks. Period. Full stop. It leaves you feeling helpless, that no matter what we do to try to control the trajectory of our lives, out of nowhere comes something like this to throw it completely off-kilter.

Your idea of getting some laughter, funny movies, that sort of stuff is right on. I personally think there is still nothing much funnier than some of the best Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy and Three Stooges stuff...goofy stuff that even though it is 40 or 50 years old, still makes you crack up!!

Hang in there...just remember that today more cancer cases get cured or go in to remission than ever before.

BTW -- I am also a HUGE Roger fan and am lucky enough to have gotten to know him rather well the last few years through work. In person, he is even more of a class act than you could ever imagine. And, Tony is equally great...not bad for a Dartmouth grad!! :) Seriously good people, with great hearts, no ego and full of goodness.

Good luck with the fight ahead.

Kim said...

julia, im so sorry to hear this news. im sending so many positive thoughts and prayers your way. FUCK CANCER.

Beth said...

Dumb and's so dumb you HAVE to laugh. I think I've watched it 20 million times and I still laugh. ;)

Well you know you and Rich have been in my prayers and will continue to be so every day!

As to why bad things happen to good people? Well I certainly don't know the answer but my theory is...the GOOD people like Rich have to show us all how it's to take such a bad thing like cancer and fight it hard and still live life and live it with passion AND compassion for other people...and come out on the other side still smiling. And then think how much inspiration he will be to so many? You both are already an inspiration to me.

cheryl said...

Julia - sorry to read this, but you sound like you have a great attitude, and are both strong people. My thoughts are with you... and I'm going to beg my 48 year old husband to start going to the doctor and get the checkups he should be getting.

favorite funny movie is Legally Blonde, silly, but it just cracks me up. Stay positive!

Angela and David Kidd said...

You are very brave for posting and Rich is lucky to have you as a support system. It's hard because we think because we are fit we should be able to avoid this crap but life just isn't fair. I guess the bright side of all this terrible news that at least he had a routine colonoscopy scheduled when he did. Hopefully your post encourages others to get checked.

And for movies I love Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 40 Year Old Virgin and Wedding Crashers - "Erroneous!" (I love to say that)

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Oh man, I cannot believe this! I am definitely giving you a call. It totally sucks, but I know that you will all pull through... as you are too well aware I have a lot of empathy for people who go thru a s**ty year, or when life takes a turn and we just don't know where it is going to end up. The best thing to do is keep trying to do normal things, that's what has helped me the most and you are already showing what a fighter you are by doing the same... ok enough serious talk... Movies: Blazing Saddles (family fav) and seriously broke a lot of taboo comedy ground when released, A Fish Called Wanda or any Monty Python movie are my favorites.. Oh and definitely Dumb and Dumber.. now you know just how high brow our family is - oops!

Heidi Austin said...

You will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers. it sux when bad stuff happens to good people. seems like life isn't fair sometimes. i guess as shitty as it is~it's about putting it into perspective. Please let me know if there is anything you need at all!

but have you seen "i love you man"? it's super cheesy and kinda funny if you need a new laugh :)

sending good vibes your way!

Herrad said...

Hi Jul0ia,
Thanks for sharing, must have been a difficult post for you to write.
Sending you good thoughts and big hugs for you both.

Herrad said...

Hi Julia,

Please check out my post on

Have a good day.


EZnJ said...

OH BOY! hats off to you to get on firm ground and write this up. you need the support and so few would know if you didn't... we'll all be praying so deeply.

I'll hope to see you Sunday am for a big hug...

love your spirit. rich is strong and has awesome support.

xoxoxo - julie

Charisa said...

Oh how scary!!! Hang in there -your desire to watch funny movies and keep upbeat is just perfect. I would recommend Beverly Hills Ninja or any Chris Farley movie :) I will be thinking of you both and you'll be in my prayers. Hang tight!!!

dennyj said...

Sorry to hear the news. How quickly life can change. We're currently trying to cope with my brother-in-law's, out of the blue, lung cancer diagnosis so I understand some of the feelings. Our thoughts are with you and Rich. I like sweet cartoon movies like Finding Nemo and Wall-e to cheer me up. Best wishes, sounds like you got it early. Things will work out!

Darcy Franklin said...

I will be thinking of you tomorrow as I raise money for colon cancer with "Fight Gone Bad" at Crossfit. WHile the fundraiser is raising money for two great causes, the Wounded Warrior Project & Colon Cancer, the whole time I was approaching it more with Wounded Warrior in mind. Now I will have both causes on my mind and hope we can raise enough money to help research to help cure it!

Damie said...

Hey chica-just read this post. I have so many thoughts, just like you- wouldn't even know how to write them down. Thinking of you....I am so sorry to hear about this, and I hope everything will work out well at every test and check-up.

juliemac said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Rich.
Thanks for sharing.........your words are so helpful to day at a time is a great way to live.

Kim said...

Oh man.. I'm just catching up with your life and you alluded to this a few posts ago and now I get it!! Thinking of you guys and praying for you both...really..I seriously will. You are totally focused on the right things. Stay positive, read books and short stories about people who have managed to kick this things hiney from here to Tuesday, rely on your family and friends...I'm trying to think of movies right now but I am totally stumped. I love all the classics - ha..that probably really aren't classics like - old school, wedding crashers etc. Keep your head up..keep racing..and just try to be thankful for the fact that we have amazing treatment in this country and he is going to get the best of the best!! Let me know if you need anything.. I'll try to send some PA sunshine (which is non-exsistant today) to Michigan!!!

Eclectchick said...

Julia -

Holy cats. I just went over to your FB page to see what you've been up to, which sent me over here and . . . Sheesh. I'm so so sorry to read the news. What a bomb has exploded in your lives.

(deep breath) Damn this disease. Every time I think I can't hate it more, it rears its ugly head to touch the lives of people I care about. It makes me mad as hell!

Since the loss of my dad to it 7 years ago, I've also grappled with the question of cancer has to tear up good people who do nothing but spread light in the world. I wish I knew. I wish it would stop. I wish we could cure this scourge of a disease.

For funny stuff, I recommend 30 Rock and the movie musical version of "The Producers" comes to mind. I'm sure I can come up with lots more. So let us know if you get low on laughter inducers!

Thinking good thoughts and sending good vibes to Rich and to you. Hang in there! What a blessing to have each other in rough times. Take care.

Ellen said...

Wow - I can only say we'll be hoping for good results for Rich and your life together.

Someone I know had this tattooed over their thoracotomy scar:

Luctor et emergo - it's Latin for "I struggle and emerge" and it sounds like what you are both going through right now. And a blog is the perfect place to talk about what you are struggling with - don't worry about judging or being judged.

Sadly, I would have to chose anything (well, almost anything - not that MI3 thing) with Simon Pegg. Hot Fuzz is a bit hit with us knitters.

Soul Rider said...

Oh... Julia, I'm so sorry to hear this is happening. I'm thinking and praying for you and Rich. Please hang in there! You're right, focusing on laughter and fun stuff is definately good.

Funny movies, hmm. Clue is brillently funny and a stand-by in my house. Jeeves & Wooster BBC series is always great for a laugh (or several), too.
Give my greetings to Rich and don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail or a phonecall if there's something you need.

EmilyBlanche said...

I'm really so very sorry to hear this. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary Bradbury said...

I am so sorry! Dealing with the unknown is the hardest thing to do, but you couldn't have a better attitude. Carry that with you as often as you can. My mom went through this with ovarian cancer about 5 years ago. I wish I had been tougher, but then again, you don't need to be tough. My mom found great comfort just having family around. Rich is lucky he has you. Now just go find some laughter every day and continue to do what you love. My thoughts are with you!

Greyt Times said...

During rest week I catch up on blogs and I find this. So hard to hear - I'm sorry. Cancer SUCKS! It just does. :(

My fav funny movies - the ones I go to when I need an instant laugh:
Blades of Glory
Baby Mama
40 Year Old Virgin

Be strong. :)