Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our 24th Anniversary

We celebrated our 24th Wedding Anniversary yesterday though the actual date is today. We were given tickets to a great Christmas play at a local church that we saw in the afternoon with Vicki's cousin who was celebrating her birthday on Saturday. After the play we took Vicki's cousin home, went by the bank to pull some cash and headed to dinner. Vicki wanted surf and turf so we stopped in at a local Red Lobster and stuffed ourselves with steak, lobster, shrimp, crab stuffed mushrooms and various other goodies including two kinds of potatoes, rice, salad and refreshments. It was a great meal.

Thoroughly stuffed and bloated we headed up the 101 to Casino Arizona and joined about a bazillion people who had the same idea. After driving around to find a parking place we flagged down one of the shuttle drivers for a ride (since our parking spot was about as far away from the Casino as you could get and stay on the property) and made our way into the Casino.

On several different occasions we witnessed other customers beat us to machines, literally elbowing and pushing to get there first. Vicki is not in shape to contend though on one occasion I got the distinct impression she would have belted a pushy broad were it not for her weakened state due to the chemo.

It mattered not however as we managed to find a couple of machines that were fun to play and actually paid more than they took. In the end we played one last machine that ended up more than doubling our bankroll of $100 and we made our exit post haste.

Vic's cousin was having a birthday bash at a local bar so we made an appearance there, chatted with friends and relatives and were home by 11:30 or so. This was a big day out for Vicki and I was worried she would get overtired, but she seemed to do OK.

So a good time was had by all and we look forward to the next 24 or whatever portion of that the good lord will provide. I hope that you and your spouse can have as enjoyable a celebration on your anniversary as we had on ours.

Best to all,


Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Her Cancer"

In spite of all the good intentions and loving care a husband can provide, your wife's disease is still hers and hers alone. Sure the whole family is affected and the support group is deeply involved, but in the end it's your wife who undergoes the radiation and chemo. It's also your wife who deals with the building weariness and side effects of long term treatment.

So I've learned during my wife's time with cancer that just being there as a shoulder to cry on can be the most important role a husband plays. It seems simple, but if you're like most husbands you want to fix things. Because you want to fix things the temptation is there to offer advise and assistance when all she really needs comfort.

This for me has been the hardest thing to do, just be there for her to cry on. Sometimes it breaks my heart and sometimes I rage inside at a disease and treatment regimen that so depletes the patients immune system. Yet I know that she is getting the best treatment possible.

It's true that in some sense the whole family suffers from cancer, but the ownership of this diabolical opponent remains with the patient. It's up to the supporting cast to play their roles and assist the star in achieving her best performance. In this case success is survival.

I am thankful that with our 24th Anniversary coming up and with a total of 30 years together as couple gone by that I feel closer to my spouse than any time in our relationship. It sucks that it has to be under these circumstances, but you don't get to chose those.

Some marriages fall apart in tough times, some roll along about the same and some get better. It feels like ours has gotten better. Weird huh?

My hope is that your marriage will get stronger and better this Christmas too.