Cancer

I am not sure how to deal with this.  There is no book or learning module on how to deal with and accept cancer.  It is a word that people hear you say, then withdraw from you because, really, what can they say?  When I say, “My husband has cancer…”, it seems people step back speechless.  All they can say is that they are so sorry.  Well they don’t bring it up in conversation.  It is like it is a part of my life (it is my life) that is excluded from conversations.  Someone could ask, “How are you feeling and dealing with this?”  or say, “I know I can’t truly know how you must feel, but I am here and am very willing to listen”.  It isn’t going away.  It doesn’t stop being my reality.  Yet, I feel that everyone I know acts as though it is a minimal part of my life and gives it no major place as part of who I am.  After all, once Cancer comes into your life, it becomes a huge part of who you are.  It is a huge unfortunate occurrence, yet it defines who I am.  I am a woman who has a husband.  He is the man I love.  He is my other half.  I am a woman who says in her mind countless times each day and night, “My husband has cancer…”

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110 comments on “Cancer

  1. Hi Laura,
    Your blog moved me. My son is a cancer survivor. His sophomore year of college–Hodgkins Lymphoma. People react differently when the vulnerability of life smacks them in the face. I believe you’ll do well….you’ll help your husband deal with his cancer. I wish you and him the best of luck during this trial.

  2. I am only 17 years old and i know exactly what your talking about. My mom has cancer and i have been dealing with this for half of my life. Nobody knows how to take and understand it when I tell them about her. They will just say that they’re sorry or they feel bad. So I just don’t talk about it, most people never even realize that I have an issue like this in my family. The reason for that is because I don’t let them know, I always have a smile on my face but when i get home its a total different story. Your husband is all that matters. I wish you and him the best of luck.
    #staygolden

    • You made me tear up. You are such a strong brave young girl! I just want you to know my heart is with you and I will pray for you every single night. Send me an email and let me know where you are located just in case we are close. I want to help you. Maybe we can text when we need support. Like text pals, instead of pin pals. laura83010712@gmail.com

      • Hi just wanted to let you know i was looking through your other posts and I came to you about me post. We have more in common than I thought. My mom also has stage 4 colon cancer, and my grandpa is a colon cancer survivor! I emailed you a while ago and if you ever want someone to talk to I am here whenever. I have been going through this since sixth grade and I am graduating in a month. So please dont hesitate to contact me!

  3. Hi,

    My sympathies to you both, naturally – but at the risk of saying something someone else may have mentioned, may I suggest a book written by a microbiologist named Young, called “the pH Miracle”.

    Having cancer at the moment I scoured everywhere for information, and endless reading led me eventually to this book. By following its ideas I managed to raise my pH level from 5.5 to an average of 6.5 and, occasionally, 7.5 in two weeks. The difference it has made to my physical health is astonishing. I probably have never had a normal pH level; in fact, with the food I’ve eaten all my life, it’s impossible. At an older age, the immune weakens and the acidic body starts to make itself home to enemies the immune system should never have had to battle for so long.

    The book explains much about the roots of cancer that the surgeons don’t tell you. I wish your husband a full recovery, of course, but I strongly recommend you get hold of this book, and I’d be delighted to send you a copy if you wish. Cancer is scary inside the hospital, but outside, one starts to think, and reason that there must be a traceable cause, if only because of all the cancer-free years until now.

    Best of luck, and kind regards

    Iain

  4. When I* was diagnosed with thyroid cancer about 8 years ago, I was stunned to learn that I could tell someone I had cancer and they wouldn’t. say. anything. I took it as they didn’t care, until I learned people care so deeply their speechless. The first time I said “I have cancer” and someone responded “I’m sorry to hear that” I burst into tears. I told her how nobody usually says anything. I thanked her. She said, “I know, because I lost a daughter last summer. I get the same reaction.”

    It can be painful to receive those reactions, and like you, I’m more careful about who I talk to about my cancer. (I’ve had two recurrences, was too soon to do a third surgery so we’ve been “watching” the tumors for three years.” But more than anything, I try to be the person someone needs when they share bad news instead of telling my own story, like I just did.

    I am so sorry to hear that your husband has cancer. I am so sorry that your marriage has taken a turn you never planned. You were planning happily ever afters. May your love have the strength to make this time of suffering still a happily ever after. Blessings to you and your hubby.

    • Mindy, as a pastor, I preferred to say nothing at all, hold their hand – put an arm around their shoulder – or hug them – dependent on their comfort level, and shed a tear with them. Keep up your fight. It has been my privilege over the years to share this burden with countless families. It taught me more about the grace of God and life and death than seminary could ever teach!

  5. Sometimes I think it is harder for those standing by than for those of us with the disease. I used to be one of those who didn’t know what to say. However, now that I’ve been diagnosed, I realize how important it is to talk about it. Sometimes you have to walk in someone else’s shoes to totally understand.

    My prayers are with you and your husband. I know first hand how it changes you even when you don’t think it will. I’m glad to see you’re following my blog as I touch on it from time to time as well. Hopefully between the two of us, we can educate the world a little more about our situations.

    I think if you keep being honest and open, it will open doors for those who so desperately want to help but don’t know how. Thanks for being a voice. Blessings to you both.

  6. Dearest Laura. I AM the husband who has cancer. And there are moments every day that I wish that my wife wouldn’t have to suffer that reality and that I could just deal with it alone.. Seems selfish in some ways, but then we realize it is because of the love we have for each other that we have to allow ourselves to work on sharing our feelings about it.. My wife calls it the “elephant in the room”- just cannot be ignored. Blessings to you in your patience as there is indeed no manual for how spouses should deal with the reality of cancer.

    • mgert – my wife and kids do not always appreciate my gallows humor when I refer to my stroke as premature rigormortis of my left side or say I’m half brain dead already, but as a hospice chaplain I know we are all terminal – we most of us don’t know when, My timetable just got bumped up a bit with the stroke as I struggle to retain the little I have

    • Thank you! I am glad we have this wonderful community to find that there are others that can relate to what we are feeling as we go through these unfortunate events life has placed in our path!

  7. Thanks for stopping by, liking and following my blog.
    Having lost friends to cancer, dealing with someone else having cancer is hard. You never know what to say or how to express your feelings. You never want to seem insensitive or uncaring nor do you wish to have your feelings taken as “being nice” instead of being true. More so than other diseases cancer seems to go to one extreme or the other.

    • Yes, it is hard when people act like you (I) am just living a normal carefree life like everyone else. It feels like I am dealing with this alone, well my husband and I deal with it together. I guess it is true that others just don’t know how to respond to it without worrying that it might come out the wrong way if they speak about it or start treating me differently. I will say this, I felt like I was dealing with it alone until I started this blog and found all of these wonderful and amazing supporters that can relate to what I am going through. I am very thankful for being blessed with the bravery to start this blog. I never dreamed it would lead to becoming my sole place of coping and support. I am thankful to everyone that is a part of my blog. Much love from my hearts goes out to all of my followers.

  8. Modern humans are strange creatures. Our brains seem to be wired in a way that instinctively reacts with real compassion when we are confronted with painful news, particularly where it impacts friends and family, but then tends to block it out and hope and pray for the best. God bless your husband and I pray for his complete recovery. Today’s medicine is remarkable, and I’m sure he’s in good hands.

  9. Thanks for following my blog about my book after mum got bowel cancer. You are so right there is no manual for how to get through it. Until a year ago I knew little about cancer yet alone bowel cancer. I have learned a lot over the last year and my experience is that these days people do ask about mum and her illness and maybe the fact I published a book to raise money for the bowel cancer charity has meant that I have been more approachable too. I have a good support network of friends around me and have great support on the web too. I hope your husband makes a complete recovery from the cancer.

  10. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’m one of the ‘lucky ones’. Caught early. High probability of survival. Cancer took all four of my grandparents. My mother is now five-years clear of colorectal cancer. And, we’ve experienced more than I thought I could stand this year with my brother’s death, a miscarriage and another diagnosis as well.

    My brother’s death came before my cancer diagnosis. A loss like that had already placed me in the “I don’t know what to say” sphere for many people. Friends I expected would be there for me were suddenly distant, and I felt hurt and angry. But, champions appeared. Other friends, ones I may not have been as close to at the moment my life fell apart… and then continued to fall apart… these people who had suffered their own losses came to me, and gave me strength.

    I’ve learned the power of asking. People feel so powerless and helpless because there is absolutely nothing they can say to make any of this better. But, I found with my people that if I asked, reminded them I still needed an invitation to dinner, or the movies, or help with my grocery shopping, they were there.

    We live in an odd culture that teaches us to give people space and privacy in their times of grief. And, while we do need to be able to take space as we need it we also need love and support and friendship. I think it’s terrible that we don’t focus on how to give to people in need in a loving and supportive way that does not mean leaving them alone.

    My take away is now to pay it back.

  11. As a cancer Survivor and as an out of a job caregiver this path we walk together with our loved one is never easy. I have been fortunate to have friends who were there to offer a shoulder to cry on, they have gotten pretty wet sometimes with my sobs of sorrow, yet they remain. Find your shoulder to cry on. Make happy memories and try to laugh at the stupid stuff.

  12. I understand.
    It’s a quiet and lonely existence when people don’t want to talk about this. Cancer. About what came into your life that is causing you pain. They may not know how to deal with it. But thinking this doesn’t make it any easier to be alone with it. It’s just a reason. And it’s sad that we humans don’t know what to do with “bad news”.
    I’m glad to know you are speaking about it here. That’s why I began to blog. Because no one (except a slim few) wanted to hear about my pain, my loss, my truth.
    Until now,…

    My thoughts are with you and,… I’m listening.
    Take care. And keep sharing ❤

  13. Most of the Fears about cancer relate to the termination of Life, which doctors pronounce upon a patient.
    In the case of those afflicted with cancer, they are at least given some information about the probable date( which is an absolute non sense)
    A healthy Individual does not even have this information.
    Who knows I may drop down dead after writing these words.
    So dwelling on these jokers of Doctors of Life is meaningless.
    Yes, it is painful but so is living.
    We have to get on with it nevertheless.
    More than the Disease the constant thinking of it casuses anguish.
    Let pessimistic people not come near you.
    The Day we are born we are dead.
    let there be people who enjoy Life be around you.
    Take Medicine , Have Faith, every thing will be alright.
    Your Husband Be with as much as possible and do not talk about sisease, enjoy Life as if Cancer has not come in between.
    Love can cure, more than every thing else.
    In the days of feminism and self centered hedonism, your Love and concern for your husband shall cure him
    He will out live me, though I am Healthy,I am sure.
    God is with You.

  14. Hello, I can not say I know how you feel, I can not even remotely relate to you and your husband. I have known a few people in my life that has had this horrible disease … some have made it through. One being a little boy I know that now lives in TN. I have read the stories of children from St. Jude and it just sickened my heart. Having a loved one with this must be devastating. I don’t know you – but will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  15. I hear you! I too am a spouse of one who had cancer and was unfortunately taken away by it. I think the avoidance comes from fear we all carry with us about cancer. It’s hard to be around denial of something that has such meaning in your life. It is important to surround yourself with a few good people who understand. My thoughts and prayers walk with you.

  16. I wish illness came with instructions, or better yet did not exist. My thoughts are with you and everyone else that suffers alongside you and your husband. My grandfather spent six years fighting leukaemia, and we all spent that time alone, it became a secret that could not be spoken of within the family. And my friends refused to believe that an 80 something could have leukaemia as ‘thats a young person’s cancer’.

    It takes real strength to understand the feelings you now have, let alone deal with them enough to explain it as eloquently as you have.

    I hope to read about your husbands full recovery soon, but in the mean time, don’t forget to smile every day just because you are both still able to. And, although you do not know me, I am here (with all the blogosphere) to help if you need someone to talk to.

    Suzie x
    http://iambutwandering.wordpress.com

    • Suzie, I wish life came with a manual, Sadly, we deal with it as it comes up, hopefully with the wisdom of those who have gone before us, but most often with the help of those around us.

  17. Hi, Laura. Thanks for the visit. That looks like the “lighthouse” on Sheridan Road just north of the Northwestern campus! This diagnosis is a real weenie for you both. Day at a time? Really works. I surprised myself with how well I took the news, listening to songs of the French Foreign Legion on my iPod while marching to the doctor. I resolved that the main meaning of the diagnosis was that I had more Stuff for my To Do list. That sounds like evasion, doesn’t it, but it worked in that the year following I had a great time, working out first thing every day and going to a spa in Thailand.

    Ever since 1981 I have been surprised to meet people fighting cancer long-term which does not, in all honesty, mean they all will survive to what we merely think to be a well-deserved age. I probably won’t make 90 but who would want to be a scary great grandfather imposing a burden on children in their fifties?

  18. Mahalo/Thank you for your interest in following my newly begun blog.. as I will now follow yours. Do hope I can create a few smiles if not more for you.. Wishing you well and will keep you in my prayers..

  19. That word “cancer” has played a big part in my life too, first my mother when I was 11 double radical mastectomies, cancer of the lymph nodes, chemo radiation, but the 40 years cancer free. Then it claimed my father-in-law in 1996 my Mom in 2007 and my father in 2010. As a pastor it has been my privilege to do hospice with many who were terminally ill with cancer. They taught me much about death with dignity, both my parents were in the program as well as my father-in-law, so if the situation is that dire, seek them out, if not, think of my mom who fought it and beat it for 40 years to raise all her children through college, and see all her grandchildren!

    • Thank you for your inspiration. My husband talks of giving up the chemotherapy often and it really hurts me to hear him say that. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for him to be so ill during his treatments. He does say he does it for me and our two girls. In my heart I know he will not give up.

      • Chemo is rough, between that and radiation, Mom lost all her hair, her fingernails, and was weak as a kitten for a year, My Aunt Vi came to live with us I was chief assistant in charge at age 11, my older siblings being too involved in highschool, and the younger two being too young to be of much help. Mom’s constitution was never the same again, but as I said, we got 40 years from her! My prayers for his difficult fight, you and your girls and the struggle of watching and feeling helpless. My mom took great comfort in her kids and Dad. Just doing the daily routines! Is he able to stay at home? hospitals are a lousy place to get well – even doctors will tell you that!

  20. Just…..God Love your heart….may he see you through this time. Inspire new revelations in you that will help you to better understand this complexity we call life.

  21. In the “club” no one wants to join. That’s how I see myself now that I have had cancer- and it is gone for now. Although you don’t want to seem needy or a downer, if someone is truly your friend, tell them what you need. They may want to help and be clueless. Even those who do not want to talk may be inclined to shop for you, or drop off dinner, or run an errand…. At first I closed up and waited, but discovered that sometimes people who care just need direction and knowing that they are not intruding, or “bringing it up”; that they cannot “fix it” but listening without judgement goes a long way.

  22. I work in a cancer center and I wish I could give you advice, but I quickly learned that going through cancer – as the patient or the caregiver – is a deeply personal experience and very individual. Too many would prefer to deny cancer’s existence – and if that means pretending they don’t care about your or your husband, well, that’s something they’ll have to live with and shows you how true they really are. I’d like to suggest you check out this blog ( http://nicoleskibolaesq.wordpress.com/ ) she had cancer and writes deeply and personally about her experiences.

  23. Laura, you have garnered a group of supportive followers. Not much that I can add to the collective voice of support and compassion.
    I have lost a sister to breast cancer and I have many friends who are presently undergoing chemo/radiation treatments for cancer, or are survivors of cancer. Being a registered nurse, I also encounter it at work. So, talking about cancer is a part of my weekly topic of conversation. At least my personal and professional experience has helped me to be more “comfortable” talking about it, and better at understand what to say and what not to say.
    Thank you for your daily insights and for visiting my blog site. I will continue to follow your journey through your postings.

  24. Thank you for deciding to follow my blog. I am sorry that you have to be a “caregiver”. Your husband has my best wishes. My wonderful husband is my caregiver and a truly caring person. I hope my blog can shine a light on the “elephant in the room” and get rid of both the silences and the platitudes surrounding cancer.

    • This community I am discovering is helping pick up where others seem to be silenced. It is a very big help to be a part of a community of others who are living with and experiencing many of the same things I am dealing with. Thank you for your comment.

  25. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This was so interesting to read as it gave me an understanding of what my husband must be going through. I wish you and your husband well on your journey.

  26. I have given a great amount of time and mental energy to the consideration of scientific research articles on the subject of cancer causation. Exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is well documented as a causal factor for cancer. POPs are contaminants of animal fats. All animal fats including those in foods of the mainstream food supply contain POPs.

    I am aware of a significant number of people who attribute a recovery from cancer to a change in diet that eliminated animal fats. This makes a lot of sense to me because stopping the exposure that caused a cancer is likely to change the chemistry of the body sufficiently to decrease the rate of growth of the cancer cells. If the rate of growth is brought to zero, the cancer cell line comes to an end and a recovery has been achieved.

    If someone I loved had been diagnosed with cancer, I would encourage that person to eliminate animal fats from her/his diet. Additionally, I would advise the stricken loved one to seek an alternative treatment. The Burzynski Clinic appears to have success in treating cancers with antineoplastons. I have concluded that surgery is a useful step in cancer treatment. However, chemotherapy and radiation are not courses of treatment that I consider to be acceptable. These forms of treatment cause much harm to the body and are quite ineffective.

    Your husband is a most fortunate man to have a wife who has a beautiful mind. I wish you great good fortune in creating his recovery.

    • You say “If someone I loved had been diagnosed with cancer, I would encourage that person to eliminate animal fats from her/his diet. Additionally, I would advise the stricken loved one to seek an alternative treatment” – in a perfect world where people with cancer aren’t nauseated and vomitting, suddenly changing their diet (IF they even feel like eating……anything) seems unreasonable. And in a perfect world, money would be no object to seek any kind of treatment available or desired.
      You also say : “However, chemotherapy and radiation are not courses of treatment that I consider to be acceptable. These forms of treatment cause much harm to the body and are quite ineffective” – even after admitting the above “IF”, well I guess it’s a good thing that it’s not up to you to decide what’s acceptable and effective.

  27. Hello, I found your blog today via another WP blog.
    I walked your walk 7 years ago – our two youngest children (of 7) were 11 and 14 years old. My husband had a leg ache that turned out to be stage 4 metastasized (bone) prostate cancer – he was 47 years old when he passed away less than two years later.
    I don’t want to be a downer and negative but I’m just saying that I DO understand your journey.
    Blogging is a wonderful world that wasn’t available 7 years ago. Keep expressing yourself and we’ll keep listening! Thank you for sharing.

  28. My mother currently has the same type of cancer. Your blog is very meaningful. Thank you for following and may God comfort you during this season in your life.

  29. Thank you for sharing you world. Thanks for reading my blog, you more than most can understand. For us it turned on a dime from 6 months to one week. What we discovered was the amount of support that appeared from everywhere. May your husband recover quickly and the two of you enjoy the adventure.

  30. Hey Laura, I feel privileged you chose to follow me, thankyou for stopping by. After reading your work I can only say the beauty shines out of you. Your recent blog on cancer also touched a nerve with me. It is very true often people just do not know what to say and often choose to say nothing, or cross the street to avoid the awkward conversation they beleive they are going to have. Cancer, there I have said it twice now, it is a big part of your life and you will find there are those who can listen and share your pain. There will be good days and bad days as you know. I will pray for you and am very happy you have chosen to share your feelings with us as an outlet for you. I also like the raw honesty about your writing and I can see that reflected in your pictures. Sending hugs, courage love and strengh your way. x Allie Colledge

  31. Laura, Sweet Laura, I am stopping by because you started following my blog yesterday. I am reading your posts because I always like to know who is following me…you are my friends in the blogging world…in life. God gives us each people for the journey to walk along side us. Your husband and you were given each other. Cancer is awful. I have watched it affect so many…friends, family, etc. One of my new friends in Florida walked the journey you are walking now. Her husband died, but on a chemo break…they had a child…her name is Grace. Grace. That is the one to cling to. You may or may not have a child. However, GRACE is always there for you and for your husband. God absolutely loves you both on every step of this journey. I struggled BIG time with anxiety and depression…that’s why I started blogging years ago. First on blogspot…filled that one up, then moved over to word press. Blogging is good for me. I hope it helps you be strong for each day! Hugs! p.s. Read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and the Bible…my two favorites! Start counting God’s gifts in your life. It’s ALL grace.

    • I named my daughter Grace because she was unexpected and many were against having her, but I knew she was a blessing and Grace would have a purpose here. Thank you for your kind words.

  32. here’s the thing… how did you find my silly little blog? why did I click on this post to see who my new follower is? .. because the energy of the universe needs me to learn from this, you have stopped in my path for my growth, I am sure of it. .. I am not a nutty wwoooo wooo folk, I am a normal follow the path, pull up my sox every day, ordinary joe… yet, my world is surrounding me with the need for change… I must find the courage to take this new journey… in this moment you have touched me with your courage and your honesty… we just never know where our words, our energy will land.. thank you.

    • I am very glad that I have reached out to you. That means a lot to me that I have touched the heart of someone through my writing. Thank you for sharing that, it made my day!!!

      • when my mom died, my husband said… I want to be there for you, but I have never faced a loss, and I don’t know what to say or what to do… his honesty helped me understand a part of why we avoid what scares us. Serious illness is scary. those who care for you may not now what to do, they don’t want to intrude… they have no idea what to say… would you be comfortable to reach out to one of them and open the conversation? There are still times when I don’t know what to do, don’t know if I am a ‘close enough friend’ to make that phone call…. hugs to you each day…

  33. I am currently undergoing a stem cell transplant following on from three different schedules of chemo over the past 18 months. There is no manual for how to deal with the impact on the life of the loved one afflicted, you as the carer, wider family and friends. Some will as you and others have noted not want to confront what is in effect a stark reminder of their own mortality. Others will want you to take the ‘ glass half-ful approach and to see this as an opportunity to experience a heightened awareness of life and “live in the moment. Whatever, living with cancer is a journey of discovery into the unknown which requires you to draw on all of your peersonal and physical resources. I am blessed with having a supportive and understanding family and a group of wonderful friends (I soon found who my true friends were and it wasn’t the ones who always wanted to talk about either disaster stories or miraculous recoveries) It is those who are not afraid to talk genuinely about how either myself or my partner are feeling.

    I have found Mike Marqusee who writes for the British guardian newspaper and has lived with bone marrow cancer for some five years now quite inspirational. I have linked to some of his articles on my blog This Patient Life http://thispatientlife.wordpress.com/

    All the best on your journey – it is often a more difficult one for the carer
    Warm Regards
    Andrew Norris

    • I greatly appreciate your support. I am truly touched by all of the response coming from others. I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers. Thank you again!

  34. Thanks for visiting and following my blog, and for also introducing me to your wonderful writing… I am now following you and look forward to reading your post.

  35. I’m on the other side of this post- I’m one of those friends who was taken aback when my friend recently told me she had cancer. I didn’t know what to say, because there isn’t anything I could have said that could change the situation or have made it any better. Saying that I was sorry didn’t feel like enough. In the end, we talked and I told her I was just a phone call away if she ever wanted to chat (we are 2000 miles apart), and I told her that I’d pray for her and keep her in my thoughts even though I’m not big on religion. It still doesn’t feel like enough, but I can’t do anymore than she asks me to, because I’ve never experienced it.

    I’m glad you found an outlet. A place to be, a place to think through your feelings. I have to say, even more striking that what you wrote was what other people wrote in response. Strangers cease to be strangers when we let them in.

    I wish you all the best in these trying times.

    • Thank you for your response. It is very thoughtful of you to take the time to read my blog and I am, indeed, thankful I have found an outlet to express my thoughts and feelings.

  36. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. I honestly can’t even imagine how you feel or how you’re dealing with this. I’ve been watching my neighbor deal with her son’s cancer for the past few months and it’s been heart-breaking. I hope that you and your husband are getting the care and support you need.

  37. Laura, I know where you are right now. My husband was diagnosed with cancer when our 3 children were 7, 9 and 11. I was so scared, but knew I had no room to show it so I was tough. I was strong. I was a lioness mama and a powerhouse wife. i asked for no help from anyone, which is good, because almost no-one offered any. We live far from both our families and our huge community of friends…evaporated. I had one friend, one of my closest friends at the time say “all I can say is I’m glad it’s you and not me”. We got through it. He lived, the kids are good. I’m still a bit afraid of crying because it’s a deep well that has never been explored. You will learn things about yourself you didn’t know, and you will find strength you didn’t imagine you had. You will also find darker corners of yourself you aren’t proud of; anger, fear, rage, frustration and sometimes just sheer pettiness. It’s part of it. I hope your husband has good fortune and good care, strength and good doctors. Find room to remember who YOU are inside of this vortex, and if you have to, reach out to your scared friends and demand the love you need. They want to give it, but they don’t know how.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me. I am glad your husband had a good outcome. You are truly blessed. Thank you so much for caring enough to extend your words of comfort! It means a lot to me.

  38. It is a special kind of hell watching your spouse endure chemo then radiation. My wife endured some awful consequences related to the treatments, as if side affects and going neutropenic wasn’t enough. You are likely to find strength in yourself you never thought existed. I grew a bunch during our year and a half. And the bond between us became stronger. Here’s to love, faith, grace, integrity and honesty. I pray for a good outcome for you both.

  39. There really isn’t anything you can say. I wish it came with an instruction manual, honestly. I kind of know how you feel – I mean, I have cancer myself, but it’s still somewhat similar. It does become a big part of who you are, whether you’re the person who’s got cancer or if your spouse or relative has cancer. It’s important and doesn’t need to be marginalized into something that doesn’t *seem* important.

    There are no real great truths or answers that I can give you. This disease, this horrible, terrible disease that’s merciless and cruel, teaches us that life is even shorter than we figured when we were all growing up. A lot of people can’t accept that mortality. But it’s usually not out of fear that people don’t show that they care – or at least I don’t believe so. I don’t even think it’s that they don’t care that you’re going through this.

    Cancer is, what I call, the elephant in the room. No one wants to mention it. No one really wants to talk about it. It’s that thing that we could all get at any time and (probably most of us) will get eventually in our later years. It’s really hard to talk about with someone who’s going through it because, as you said, they have absolutely no idea what you’re going through. In my opinion, I think a lot of people forget that they can just listen without giving their opinion (I say, ironically giving my own opinion), and if they have no experience, then how can they listen?

    Even if the people in your life don’t understand what you’re going through or what your husband’s going through, you two have each other. The best thing you can do is be as strong as possible for him, even when you want to tear your hair out and scream. Before she passed away, my wife was having a lot of health problems and I was an absolute wreck. She did not have cancer (she was certainly lucky to dodge that bullet as I’m coming to find out), but a heart condition that required her to get 150cc bags of potassium pumped into her once or twice a week, otherwise her heart would have simply stopped. I encountered the same thing that you are. No one knows what to say; no one knows how to listen without giving some grand secret that will fix everything. Your friends are your friends because they compliment you in the places where you falter; that’s why we end up friends with the people we’re friends with. This just happens to be one place where they can’t necessarily be strong or help you.

    I hear you, though. You don’t know me or anything, of course. But sometimes strangers are good listening posts. Anyway, be strong. And thank you for writing this. It underlined a lot of what I feel about my own diagnosis.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write such kind words. It is good to know that I can find people like you to give me a feeling of understanding. I definitely feel better when I hear of others that have similar trials and it is a very scary thing to deal with. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and I will definitely be following yours as well!

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