Finding Our Way Through Uncharted Territory

Our life is currently in a state of turmoil. Upside down. Completely unrecognizable as our own. Why? Well, in a mere three months, we’ve transformed from a very happy, healthy couple of loves, married for 25 years, to a couple dealing with a husband’s:

  • colon cancer diagnosis in October, 2018
  • colostomy in November, 2018
  • chemotherapy beginning any day

How’s that for a reversal of fortune? Never in our wildest imaginings would we have ever conceived that what is happening right now would be a reality in our life.

It’s more important than ever to focus on the positives, but sometimes, truthfully, they are difficult to find. It seems more like locating the least shitty thing among all the shitty things. One significant item squarely in the “Win” column is that Scott’s colostomy is reversible. With the chemotherapy’s toll on strength and immunity, however, it will be delayed by several months. There’s no doubt that we’re looking at an extremely challenging 2019.


We’re trying to keep this ordeal in as manageable a perspective as possible by thinking of it as a temporary (albeit a significant) bump in our road. The expression “take one day at a time” has never rang truer or helped in a more tangible way than it does now. Each day that stacks behind us is another victory; one more down. It’s difficult, but we’re trying to remember that this is not our forever fate; it’s just our now – and it straight out sucks. Scott and Gina stick together and find their way – always have and always will. We’ll weather this physical and emotional storm together with our particular brand of compassion, humor and irreverence; someday it will be behind us.

As a writer, processing events and emotions by putting words to them comes naturally. Writing has always helped me make sense of things and find perspective. So there’s no question I’ll be writing frequently and passionately about this experience. As I ponder this wordy undertaking, it occurs to me that my account of our upcoming months may be of interest – and maybe even help – to others also going through life-altering circumstances like this. So my reason for sharing this deeply personal and emotional journey here on Once a Time a Time is twofold; as a personal journal of sorts, recording this experience, and as a potential source of support and inspiration for others. I’m sure my observations won’t be entirely unique, as many have walked this path before me, but I hope that perhaps they will resonate with someone.

That being said, I have no intention of turning this blog into the Cancer Chronicles. I will continue to ponder, amuse, delight and recount stories that spark my spirit and imagination. That’s the only way I know to keep my emotional life alive and maintain a sense of normalcy that we will sorely need.

I hope you’ll follow along with my observations at this intense part of our life and continue with me once we’re on the other side.

Here’s a little something to remember when facing difficult times because remember, laughter is the best medicine.

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