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.


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