Cancer…the ultimate reality check

Who ever thinks they’re going to get cancer…really?  I do have family experience with the big “C”, but how many times can lightning strike in one place?  Apparently, as many times as it wants!  Both my parents had horrible cancers at an early age.  One survived for 26 years, one lived only 3 months. It has always made perfect genetic sense to me that I might follow in their footsteps.  Still…any way you look at it, it makes no sense at all, why should it?  Other people get cancer, not me, right? When I was in the hospital a few weeks ago with Pancreatitis for the second time in 7 months, I began to wonder what was going on.  Since October they have been telling me the pancreatitis was “idiopathic” meaning there was no apparent cause.  The Saturday morning before Mother’s Day, a Dr. came in to give me the results from my latest CAT scan.  When he sat on the edge of my bed, I thought “This can’t be good”.  I’d only met him once before, so for him to use his very best bedside manner on a virtual stranger did not bode well.  I really only remember one word he said to me with his warm sympathetic expression: “…found a MASS on your pancreas…”.  HUH??? So much for “idiopathic”.  It wasn’t all bad news though. He promised I could have popsicles for Mother’s Day. I had been NPO (nothing by mouth) up to that point.  Yipee for me!  Who cares about cancer, I get to eat soup and pudding!  Mother’s Day was actually a very good day.  Lots of phone calls and family visits.  Of course, we all immediately started hoping that the mass was a cyst or something benign. Isn’t denial great? In the next 3 days, the biopsy showed a malignancy, and the endoscopic ultra sound showed a tumor about the size of an egg in the head and neck of my pancreas. I had no idea that my pancreas had that many body parts! We waited to get the full results until we could gather together as a family.  Reid and I, Kate, John and Rachael were there in person.  Scott was out of town for work and Andrew lives in California, so we had them each on speaker phone.  When Dr. Dickenson shared the news of the cancer, there were many tears shed.  It’s not the kind of news you ever expect to hear.  Pushing past the fear, I had an overwhelming feeling of understanding and love.  It was a very spiritual experience.  The amazing Dr. Dickenson told us our family would receive many blessings from this, and I believed him.  We have already seen an outpouring of tender mercies and miracles that sustain us daily.  We have felt the love of our Savior with us each step of the way.  I know God will continue to guide me and my loved ones through this scary new adventure.   At the end of the day, denial isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I prefer information and more importantly, faith. Faith is an incredible, tangible thing. I know that whatever happens is the Lord’s will. I also know that what my Mother always taught me is true: “It never hurts to ask”. So, I am asking to be healed. I truly believe that our Heavenly Father wants to bless us and will do so if at all possible.  I don’t know how many prayers have been offered in my behalf, but I know they are countless.  I am so humbled and grateful for each one of them. I have received so many loving expressions of kindness and hope. They mean more than I can say. Thank you and bless you all.


About Sue Robinson

I was just walking around minding my own busines (literally) when I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2011. And not the "good" kind, mind you. Not the, oh well, we'll snip this out, put you through a little chemo and you should be good to go. I'm not quite so lucky in that I have pancreatic cancer. And just so you know, there is no "good" kind of pancreatic's all pretty scary. If you aren't faint of heart, you can read the statistics (about 6% survival rates), just below lung cancer. Oh well, I say "Go big or go home"! This blog is for me and my loved ones (you know who you are)...the rest of you morbid curiosity types, stick around, maybe something here will help you someday. So, this is what it's like to have serious, life threatening cancer...wait for the disclaimer....from Sue Robinson's perspective. You may not agree with everything I say and do but hopefully this will be well enough written and engaging that if I don't inform, or inspire, at least I might entertain!
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16 Responses to Cancer…the ultimate reality check

  1. David Kenison says:

    Beautiful message, Sue! Many of us have been down that path that leads from denial to acceptance and then to faith – it’s one of the great growing experiences of mortality. May the Lord continue to bless you in the journey!

  2. Jill says:

    Praying and asking right along with you.

  3. David Brower says:

    Sue, I am sorry you are going though this. I do appreciate your sharing like this though. When people go through something this awful, but still take the time to strengthen others like this, it is uplifting for everyone. It also lets your extended circle keep you in the forefront of the prayers in their heart. I certainly hope our prayers are returned to you as an exponential increase in the uplift you have shared with us and that the increased faith results in decreased suffering and faster healing for you!

  4. Stefanie says:

    Dearest Sue,

    Thank you for sharing. Your experience has filled me with the spirit this morning. You are so very kind to do this. Thank you for your example of faith and courage. I sure admire and love you and am grateful to count you as my friend. I look forward to reading all your ups and downs and strong times and weak times.


  5. Sue, I sure love you! So happy to be your cancer buddy!

  6. Linda Coleman says:

    You are an amazing woman, mother, daughter of God. Your faith and positive attitude is a healing to all others. I pray that it will be for you as well. You are in my prayers continually.

  7. Susan says:

    It never hurts to ask. I’m joining you.

  8. Sue,

    This is the first I’ve heard of this. It’s always shocking to hear such news about friends and loved ones. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, so I won’t pretend to understand. Just know this: You’re loved by so many! I sincerely appreciate your friendship and all I’ve learned from you. I’ll be pulling for you in any and every way I can. Let’s get you better quickly! 🙂


  9. Hi Sue, my dearest BFF,
    I taught RS on Sunday and my topic was: taking things for granted and recognizing and giving thanks constantly for the blessings that surround us in whatever form they take. You were my inspiration. How could you have NOT been. I sat watching over you as I prepared the lesson. It was last Thursday, your second day of chemo and you were so sick and weak it scared us all! When you slept I cried and when you woke I got bossy. “Drink, drink more! Can you drink more? Are you thirsty? Have you eaten? What pills have you had?” It was great when we couldn’t figure out between you, Reid and me just what you had taken. Yikes! How I wanted fix everything. I am a fixer and I wanted to protect you and make it all go away. I have taken my BF for granted all these years. (Yet, I do think you know that I love you.) OK I slipped a little in Paris when I (WE) left you with Omar, but come on…if it had been me, you’d have done the same thing and laughed even harder! (I know you are guffawing right now!)
    I want you to know that you have been an amazing blessing in my life. How would I ever get by without my SooPoo. You have also been a second Mom to each of my children. The open door, open frig, and open video borrowing policies will ever be appreciated. But it is your open heart that really hooked us all. I think we can both agree that we have shared more than two people ever do or should – no I won’t go into details, I’ll just say that if you ever need me to run blocker for you, like you have for me, I am here for ya baby! I still remember the look on Kate’s face during that long drive to California and she was sitting in between us, trapped – with no way to escape – listening to unwanted dialog between two “old ladies” who were “gross”! Ok let’s just say we know each other well. We’ve dragged each other around the world basically. Thanks goodness YOU CAN READ A MAP and I can decipher SPACIAL DISTANCES or we’d both be in a MESS! Anyway, we are sisters with one heart and you know I love you and will do anything at all for you. You name it. Hey, I installed the bowl breeze didn’t I?
    Love you,
    Ter xoxo

    • time4sue says:

      My dear dear Terry,
      You are the ultimate definition of a BFF. I do know that you love me…I hope you know how very much I love you. You called yourself my “protector”. What a great way to describe it. You have always been my “go to” girl when I need a meal sent back or to sneak into the Disneyland pool, or get on a flight out of Newark. Your skills are unmatched, but lately, you have gone far beyond the call of duty. I feel so loved by all the sweet, kind, motherly things you are doing for me during this crazy time. I feel so badly that it makes you sad, but it just shows how compassionate you are. We share so many hopes and dreams for ourselves and our families, sisters couldn’t be any closer. Thank you for watching over me and even being a little bossy (sometimes I really need it). We have been through the good (lots of good), the bad, and now the ugly together, and I know we will get through this too. Thank you for truly being the BEST friend I will ever have. I love you! Soo Poo

  10. Maria J. says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. We are all cheering for you. You’re amazing!!! Lots of love, Maria

  11. Jackie says:

    Dear Sue. I have been thinking so much about you these last weeks. Reed said I should come visit, but I really want you to rest. You, me, and the dogs. What a joy they are. The Geordi you found for me was my best friend for a long, long time. I cannot imagine how the treatments feel, because I have not had these things, but I am sure they are part of some process, whether it be physical or spiritual. Hang in and know that I am here. Love, Jackie Voyles

  12. Krista says:

    I’ve been asking but I’ve asking for J. Suzanne’s tumor to shrink.

  13. Ina Gayson says:

    :Ok, I’m a big wuss! i can’t handle all of this. I want to say the right thing, be in the right place, Living in Cedar doesn’t exactly lend itself to my being there for you. I’m definately jealous of Terry. I’m a good nurse! I’ve had plenty of practice with Elizabeth! So much has happened to you since our last being together, I’m so far behind, I had no idea everything had started already. I’m soooo sorry I haven’t been there for you! I want to be, I’d give anything to NOT have to work. I’d move right in and make you Chocolate Chip Cookies at midnight like I used to. Please know my prayers are with you CONSTANTLY! You Have to be part of that 6%! We have many more memories to create! The 3 Musketeers MUST go on! I love you!

    • Sue Robinson says:

      Hello Ina Jayne!
      Thanks for the sweet message. Try not to worry too much…just a bit, OK? I wish you were here too. We’ll have to settle for emails, and blogs, and Facebook for a while. Please tell Jeff thank you for feeding Andy when he came through. He really appreciated it, and enjoyed visiting with Jeff. I’m doing pretty well but my next chemo is on Wednesday, so please keep praying. 🙂 I’ve changed my blog to so I won’t be posting on this site anymore. Check me out there! I love you so much!

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