this is the day your life will surely change
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.