Welcome to the
Last month, I didn't put out my monthly newsletter. I pulled back on social media, too. My family received some news that has shaken us and I really just needed to focus on my family and on my clients. But, I think there is a part of me that felt like if I communicated this news to the world that it would be a declaration that it is indeed true. And, this terrifies me.
At the beginning of September, my husband Jeff noticed he was feeling full quicker than normal when eating a normal-sized meal. He, also, was losing a bit of weight. Nothing major, but it was something he decided to check out with his doctor.
The doctor wasn't concerned, but sent Jeff for a scope to be sure. On the way to the scope, we were joking and laughing. I was thinking he might have an ulcer since he has done so much for our family, being the primary care giver to our children and making all the meals for our family since my brain injury occurred five years ago. There is no doubt that Jeff has carried a heavy load of responsibility.
But, it was not an ulcer the doctor found. After a whirlwind of tests, Jeff was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I had never heard of this kind of cancer before. My first thought was 'thank god, this is not one of the fatal kinds of cancers.' I was wrong.
Esophageal cancer is one of those kinds of cancer that you don't know is upon you until it is well upon you. It has already spread to Jeff's stomach and surrounding lymph nodes may be impacted. This cancer is devastating to the majority who encounter it. So, here begins our journey. I want to share with you our story, "My Husband's Cancer."
Enjoy the ride!
Chief Engagement Officer
My Husband's Cancer
To see a picture of my family on social media, we look almost perfect. Two beautiful, blue-eyed blonde little girls, an athletic, handsome husband and the quintessential golden retriever and me. Social media is this century's biggest PR machine. But, social media often doesn't tell the story behind the photo.
My family is amazing, but severely broken. Not only do I continue to recover from a brain injury that occurred five years ago, but my husband was diagnosed recently with esophageal cancer. This is the kind of diagnosis that takes your breath away, that leads me to cry openly, walking down the street because the pain and fear inside are so intense that it is wild and uncontrollable.
By the time the cancer was detected, it left him with a six centimetre tumour and cancer that has spread to his stomach and surrounding lymph nodes. If you were to go on the Internet and search for his prognosis, you would understand why we are so terrified.
Every time we look at our girls, our hearts break for them. They are 6 and 8 years old. They know their Dad has cancer, but we have kept the outlook very positive for them. We don't want to burden them with worries about the struggle their hero is facing as his treatment begins, to fight like he never has fought before, to save his life. To live to see them graduate elementary school, high school, university, to walk them down the aisle at their weddings and to meet our grandchildren. There is still so much ahead of us. Read more of our journey.
Today's Thought: "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell
Carey-Ann Oestreicher (pronounced O-striker), Chief Engagement Officer for Potential Unlimited, works with individuals and companies to help them reach their full potential.
Nominated as one of Canada's Most Powerful 100 Women, Carey-Ann has held a variety of senior positions including vice-president level and she has worked in industries such as: financial services, automotive and transportation, publishing, cosmetics and fashion.
Carey-Ann's media appearances include CTV's Canada AM, Global TV's Survivor series, CBC NewsWorld, TSN. She has also been quoted in numerous publications such as The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine and Canadian Business magazines.