Friday, December 25, 2009

Being the spouse

If I had been told that I was pregnant last March, I would be delivering a baby any day now. Yes... it's been that long since my diagnosis. Although I'm not about to give birth, I am celebrating new life this month. I'm going to paint a room this week and I'm even considering getting a part time job somewhere. It's nice to be back. I think I feel even better than I ever did after giving birth. Definitely no post-partum depression with this one. Quite the opposite. I samba'ed all through opening presents this morning. I've started exercising again, which along with getting Tamaflu day one of my symptoms, I believe contributed to my speedy recovery from H1N1 last week. But the MOST credit goes to, as usual, my husband.

While my H1N1 case was mild, my sister-in-law Sarah has been battling the same virus with everything she's got. She's been in the ICU for over a week and I'm sure the stream of prayers ascending to heaven have been nonstop. The vigil her husband Jimi and her sister Tracy have kept by her side has been constant. Most of the rest of us have had to rely on blog news to keep updated on her condition. Fortunately, the past few days... it's been all good news.

But I feel strongly that the men need their dues. These unsung heroes deserve an opus, but all I've got is a little Rob Thomas. Not long ago this former lead singer of Matchbox Twenty wrote a song about watching his wife suffer a debilitating illness. It's called "Her Diamonds" and I wish I could get it on my blog here, but I don't have the know-how so you'll have to find it and have a listen.

Since it has a great beat and you can dance to it...I recommend checking it out sometime on I Tunes. In the meantime, take a minute and look past us sick-chicks. You'll see real men. Real, true manhood standing there. When I was first diagnosed I was told about a study and the rate of men who leave their wives who have cancer. It was astonishing but I never wondered about the stability of my own guy. He's proved me right without fail. This one's for the boys.

But don't wait to celebrate your guy until you've fallen ill. it now. Afterall, they put themselves out there for us every day and unlike Wilma Flintstone, I've never thought that being the breadwinner is easy by any stretch of the imagination. They are all heros. Some, like the men in my life who have had a little extra cryptonite thrown at them lateley are proving themselves in remarkable ways. No doubt in lots of ways, it's harder to be the spouse in such extenuating circumstances. But oh how they shine when they come through for the women they love!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Cancer that Saved Christmas

Last week I had my last radiation treatment. Because of some goofy things they are doing with my husbands insurance at work, we had to cram the last two weeks treatments into one week, but it all worked out. I just feel awful that someone had to come in to work just for me over the Thanksgiving break. But how nice was that!? I'm sure my puny little $10 Cinemark gift card made it all worth his while. ha!

So now the radiation will keep burning inside and outside of me for about two weeks and then my skin should start returning to normal. Normal. I like the sound of that.
Oddly enough, I will really miss my radiation staff. It was actually sort of nice to start off every day with our little visits. And donuts every Friday didn't hurt either.

So far, having cancer hasn't given me the big life changing epiphanies that I thought it would. Cancer's lessons have been small.. but sweet nonetheless. One of them I realized rather recently. Up until this year, my opinion of Christmas and all that goes with it had become rather...worn out. I'll spare you all the reasons, but let's just say; Christmas had become another chore for me to do. But when we put the tree up last week, I rather enjoyed it. And shopping hasn't been the burden I remember. I even bought a book full of snowflake patterns and we totally littered the kitchen yesterday with specks and slivers of tiny paper shrapnel making one beautiful paper snowflake after another.

So, ho-ho-ho and God bless us everyone. Ding-dong the Grinch is dead. "Wha-hoo dooray" which in Whoville means: little hair, big heart, bring on the egg nog.