“He has a Bleeding Ulcer”

8th – 9th August, 2015

When we got to the hospital, Gordon was transferred to Intensive Care because he had lost so much blood. They decided to do an endoscopy and put a tube into his stomach to see what was causing the bleeding. When the specialist came to us, he saidwrite your cancer that there was a huge ulcer that had haemorrhaged. I asked if the bleeding ulcer had been caused by stress, and the doctor replied, “No, it’s been there a while. We have to do a few more tests and will get the results back on Monday.”

He said a few more things, but it was when he mentioned the word, ‘benign’ in a passing sentence that I knew. Sometimes you just know.

I had caught a cab back to the hotel, so needed a car. Gordon’s car was too difficult for me to drive, so our fabulous brother-in-law dropped tools and came all the way down the coast with my car. He took Gordon’s car back and was incredibly supportive. Who else has a brother-in-law who would do a 200 kilometre round trip for them?

The hardest part through all of this was having this feeling that Gordon might have Cancer and I couldn’t tell anyone.  I didn’t want to seem over dramatic – you know, like when you stub your toe and you act as though you had broken your leg? But I needed to talk to someone. This is where Gordon and I differ in personalities.  He will process inside his head and be very quiet while doing so, while I need to talk things through out loud.

Eventually I talked to one of my best friends, Pete. Pete had come to visit and had had a brain tumour partially removed ten years ago.  I took him aside and said, “Pete, do you think it could be cancer?”

I could see the look in Pete’s eyes, but he gave me the best advice that day.

He said, “I don’t know, but if you prepare for the worst and hope for the best, you’ll at least be prepared if the news is not good.” So I did.

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