February 4, 2014: Hello, friends. This is the Missus again. Please forgive my tangent, but cancer has touched my life in a very real way. I would just like to take the opportunity to make a tribute to some sometimes forgotten, but very special people on this day, which is World Cancer Day. They’re the ones in the trenches, helping in the fight.
I cannot express what a blessing the Mister has been to me through my own battle. He has been a pillar of strength, a source of comfort, a caretaker, a cheerleader, a welcome source of humor and interesting anecdotes, not to mention our sole source of income through it all. He is grace under pressure and the personification of love and self-sacrifice. And I’m not biased in the slightest! (Maybe a teensy bit but really he’s beyond wonderful.) <3
I have to say my Mom also has been a hero to me through all this, being so strong when I had to tell her my diagnosis after we had just lost both my dad and my sister to cancers so very recently. I was more worried about her than myself to be honest, but I needn’t have been, because she is a rock, and a decade-and-a-half-plus cancer survivor herself.
My brother showed me strength and concern as well, and did not let distance deter him from giving me the support I needed from him precisely when I needed it, no matter where it took him. He never let fear cloud his judgment, nor did he allow mere obligation to eclipse devotion in my time of need.
My in-laws have been simply amazing in so many ways. My church family and friends have been so supportive and rallied around me. A special neighbor has been a comrade and an encouragement as a survivor herself. Other patients that I met in the process have been inspirations to me as well, mid-battle, and I hope I was able to serve as such in return. All of the medical personnel that I have dealt with have been not only professional but also consistently compassionate; they have found their calling. And of course my fluffy little Peekaboo and Yeti the cats have been a peaceful presence as well as providing entertaining interludes, serving to remind me further just how much joy there is to be found in the simplest moments in life. There was no irony in my singing, “It’s a Good Day” in the dressing room for the MRI…I really believed it. Every day I’m alive is a good day!
It is not easy to simply love someone who is suffering with cancer…it gets much more complicated: it breaks your heart, and you are hit with a very human, natural desire to show a brave face for them – even when you’re really, really scared. That’s not easy. A caregiver’s other obligations also aren’t magically put on hold when they’re caring for someone who is sick, worrying about so much, putting up with occasional tempers, wrangling additional financial stress, and doing extra duty at home. They do it because of love – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Nothing worth doing is easy. But it sure deserves recognition and thanks. Thank you all.
God has given me strength I did not have on my own, unending love, and given me a wealth of caring people and animals surrounding me, and in this I am, in the most important sense, rich beyond all measure.
Though the meds continue, I am happy to let you know that today I am cancer free.
And my life is truly blessed.
To everyone, I am a walking success story mainly because I went in for timely exams. Preventative medicine detected what I couldn’t. Love yourself and those who love you enough to do the same.
To all those in the fight, and all those fighting alongside them: a World Cancer Day of hope and healing, and time beyond of vitality, courage, faith, influence, joy and peace.