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I am now a member of a club that everyone truly wants to avoid.

I have cancer. What a thing to say aloud. To think and try to comprehend. Tio asked, “Is it weird or what to know you have cancer growing inside you?” Weird? It’s positively creepy.

The lab tests were positive on the tumor but negative on the lymphoma. So some good, some bad news. We have a long way to go before we know the depth, damage and potential lethality of this thing that is growing inside me.

So be it. Creepy as it is, scary as it is, and potentially disastrous as it might be, is not the first issue we have to tackle. I say “we” have to tackle because I’m not in this alone. There is a famly of people here just as worried and just as confused as I am about this. We need to face it together, learn together, and recover together. There are so many layers to accomplishing this that I can’t fathom them in my mind’s eye. Tish’s first object is to look after me, Buddy sees his role as to make sure the household will function, the three boys all need to protect themselves from pain of possible loss and I feel my job is... um, there you have me. For the first time, I don’t know what my place is here. Victim? Not a chance. Humble and compliant patient? Not likely. Rogue tough guy unwilling to admit pain or defeat? No.

Regardless of my condition, I’m still the head of this family. As such, I need to make sure that everyone still feel safe no matter what may come. They need to know I am not giving up, I am not frightened, and that I am there for each of them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to sacrifice myself for the family. That’s nonsense. I’m a member that needs looking after, too. But to survive this together we need to be a team and this may be the event that finally makes us one.

Ex vis malis venit. (From adversity comes strength)