We successfully made it through S's colon cancer surgery! Yay!
From what the doctor said, everything went well, and the part of the colon he removed had "clean edges," which means cancer free to the eye (his chemo and radiation did it's job). S still has to have a final round of chemo beginning in a few weeks, so that any microscopic cancer cells are destroyed and chances of recurrence go way down. The surgery lasted a couple hours longer than initially planned, and the doctor told me it was because he is carrying extra weight so it took longer to create the ileostomy. This is a health issue S said he plans to address going forward, fingers crossed.
I may not have mentioned that S has to have a temporary ileostomy for six months. It would normally be 9 weeks but he has to recover from this surgery, undergo chemo, then recover from chemo, then have the ileostomy reversal surgery. So, yeah, it is a lot of treatment and recovery, but it should be completed by summer, thank God.
I had a moment of feeling really overwhelmed and questioning whether I could handle going through this with S considering our level of commitment... my thoughts were that this is the kind of thing where you would automatically jump into supporting your spouse if you were married, but S and I are not married and were even having some bumps in our relationship a month or two ago. For one thing, I want to pursue having or adopting a child and S was uncertain how he felt about that.
But in the days prior to the surgery, we talked about these issues and worked through them. S still isn't as excited as I am about having a child - for him, another child - and admitted he had been hoping I might let that dream go (really? after all I've been through and all you know about me? grr), but I said that I needed him to be supportive and to make the situation "better" with him there than "worse." I said I knew it couldn't be his focus with so much on his plate but that I potentially wanted to move forward within this six month time frame of his treatment/recovery and needed to know he would be supportive. I'm happy to say, he agreed. *As a caviat, I want to say that moving forward would assume that I either nailed down another "for sure" college counseling job or my business took off in a way that would provide a consistent, livable income.
Also, I was able to wrap my brain around the six months (!) of treatment and what that entailed and, though we didn't say specifically we intended to get engaged/married, we did broach the subject. He indicated he valued me bringing it up and wanted to talk again in the near future. Yes, a lot has gone down in the last few weeks!
S gets out of the hospital today, and I will pick him up and take him home to his house. His daughter is arriving today from the DC and intends to stay with him tonight, so I will probably go home later and give them time. I admit I'm nervous about that, though, since she would be staying in a separate room downstairs and what if, God forbid, something came up where he couldn't call out to her. We will see how things unfold.
I will post more on other life happenings soon. Hope your year is starting well and less dramatically!