Saturday, July 08, 2006

this is the day your life will surely change
-the the

July 2005
One year ago today our life took a major turn.
Hans was feeling unwell; he was weak and dizzy. I had been poking at him to see a doctor and on July 8th, 2005 he finally agreed. His friend, Karen, at work knew someone at a local Dr's office who could get him in that day.
Hans went to work like normal, the kids were spending the day with their grandparents and I went shopping.
After lunch time, Hans was driving south on the highway towards the Dr. I was driving on the same highway, north, to meet him there. He called me and said that he was feeling so weak... it was hard for him to stay awake even. As we were talking his left side went numb and his voice started to fade.
At this point, I'm screaming at him to please pull over... please keep talking to me... no, please call 911. Please don't die. Please don't have a heart attack. Because you have to be having a heart attack.
We hang up and I call 911. The girl says that they have Hans on another line and an ambulance is on the way. I'm still so far from the hospital, screaming and sobbing at how helpless I feel.
Please tell me he's talking? Yes, he's talking.
I've called his parents and his dad is already in his ancient mercedes that can still haul ass...he's on his way to find Hans on the side of the highway somewhere.
Finally, we are in the emergency room. Hans can talk and smile. The paramedics have been teasing him about losing the Food Network show. They tell him that he's not having a heart attack; he's just in shock from what happened on that show, because Hans was the best one there.
Almost everyone and their mama around here watched Hans on that show.
His blood shows a hemoglobin level of 8. The nurse says that a man of Hans size..6'4" and over 200 lbs should be at least a level of 12 to 14.
The first doctor comes in and actually lectures Hans about eating more red meat. Idiot.
Another doctor comes and says that Hans must be bleeding internally.
They give him two bags of blood that night and schedule an upper endoscopy for the morning.
After the endoscopy a doctor comes in armed with pictures. I ask brightly "Hey! How'd it go?".
He shakes his head and looks serious "I don't like what I see", he says.
I start to feel pins and needles across my face.
He shows me pictures of a tumor in Hans' stomach. A bleeding tumor.
We are sitting in front of the window, our knees almost touching. Hans is asleep on the bed. I want Hans to wake up... I want theis doctor to go away... I want us to go home and pretend like none of this happened.
The doctor is saying everything but what I know he's really saying. I finally ask, "Are you saying that this could be cancer?"
We are in a room just down the hall from where Hans' sister died the year before. Sonja was 34 years old and her little body couldn't fight the breast cancer anymore.
My mom comes to the hospital. She's hugging me and saying, "honey, it's not the same. It's not like your step daddy. It's not the same"
But it is the same. I know that it's cancer. I don't need to wait a week for the stupid test.
My step father was 29 when they found cancer in his esophagus. He died from the surgeries. The same surgeries that Hans would have a month later.
On July 12th, 2005, the day before Hans' 33rd birthday, the doctor calls to say that it is cancer.
Here we are a year later. 65 lbs lighter.
In remission.


Kristy said...

Wow what an incredibly moving post.Thanks for sharing and happy birthday to Hans for next week.

Jan said...

There's nothing more frightening than hearing those words, *it's cancer*, and it must have terrified you all, considering your family histories. I, too, heard those words almost twenty years ago when my children were about the ages of yours.
I hope that this is only the first of many, many years of remission for Hans. My heartfelt best wishes to you both.

Belle-ah said...

A year later, here you are... I thank God.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

tears fill my prayers are being said for you and your husband, courage and faith, cancer is an awful word to be branded with, I wish I could erase it for you! Godspeed!

sjdecorates said...

friend of Belle-ahs here, and how wonderful to hear that you are moving away from this year and looking to the next....Hope Houston was good to you, although I know it holds memories of pain and suffering! Take care ya'll!!

Anonymous said...

Let's go get some of those sweet soft corn tamale patties from
Gringo's soon!!!!!!

marcella said...

Wow, incredible story, thank-you for sharing. Prayers and hugs go out to you.

Alicia A. said...


What a story. I found your site a year ago reading Loobylu, which of course led me to Hans' site. I have been following his story ever since- never commenting, but quietly sending positive thoughts. You are both such strong people. And your children are just beautiful.

Oh, and your creations are amazing too! Keep it up!

booda baby said...

A year can be a spectacular and perfect amount of time to ... well, sort of re-paint the picture we have of our life. Yours looks delight-ful and like you're all living in gratitude. It's so very cool to have a glimpse of.

Happiness to you on this anniversary!

jen b said...

wow amy! i too have been following you and hans story quietly. sending positve thoughts for him to stay well. take care.

Number Twelve said...

Wow. Incredible story. I am moved. Thanks for sharing.

weirdbunny said...

I'm so glad every things ok now and hans is in remission. Hopefully one day the horror of that day on the motorway will fade away.

AnastasiaC said...

very touching story - Ive got tears in my eyes reading this
My very best wishes to you all and may Hans go from strength to strength.

norththreads said...

That is such an amazing thing to share, i am so happy to see him in remission, as cancer has taken almost all of my family. Happy birthday!!

Alicia P. said...

Hans and Amy,
My most heartfelt and sincere best wishes, the very very best,
love, alicia