It has been a month now. A month of trying to make life as normal as possible and knowing all along it will never be the same again. John is beginning his second round of chemo. Overall, he has had a pretty good month. He was sick one day during his first round, but other than that he has been feeling and looking pretty good.
He helped me finish up a couple more projects he wanted to complete, but found himself tiring out quicker than he expected. He has had an insatious appetite which had him gaining back the 14 pounds he had lost. We would come to find out his appetite was the cause of a medicine mix up (our fault, not the doctors). His last day on that medication was Thursday, we went to the doctor on Friday and by Saturday you could tell there was a change.
On Saturday John had been complaining about feeling like he had spiders crawling on his neck. I didn’t think much of it, but when we were in the truck he mentioned it again. He asked me, “Why do I have all these white hairs all over me?” He was wearing a black t-shirt. I looked and he was covered, front and back. I picked up one of the hairs and said to him, “It looks like your beard”. I grabbed his beard and more came out. I brushed the back of his head and his hair was in my hand.
He said, “It’s happening, isn’t it?”. When we arrived back at the house he said to me, “I thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones”. You are a lucky one I said. Then I slowly made it to the other room before the tears started trickling down my face. I find myself doing that a lot, stepping away. Trying to hold back the tears, trying not to spin out of control. Trying to be and act as normal as possible.
John has been diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. Which means it has metastasized. He has a small size spot on his brain. And yes, we did tell his parents he has cancer, but we did not know at the time it was stage IV or that it had spread to his brain. We thought about going back and telling them the depth of it, but what is the point? They were already devastated to hear he had has cancer. We figured that was enough bad news.
There are so many times I want to reach out, cry, scream and talk with someone, but that someone I want to talk with is my husband and I can’t go there. Yes, I have friends and family, but when it really comes down to it, they have struggles of their own and piling on mine just doesn’t seem fair or like an option for me. Plus, hearing about what I am feeling and or thinking might just be too overwhelming. So, for now, this will be my space to talk about what I am feeling and struggling with. If I have to be honest, the place I am in, is very lonely. It reminds me of my own personal journey of faith. It is my journey of faith.
Over the past month I realize with such intensity, more than ever before, that we are just one of many who is going through the exact same thing. I know I am not the only spouse who has the terrible thoughts of losing the love of their life. There are so many things that swirl around in my head late at night when the house is quiet and everyone is sleeping. I can’t help it. I just lie on my bed, stare out the window at the sky, and wonder about so many things.
The things I look at differently now. John, the boys, the house, my yard. Everything looks different to me. I find myself trying to imagine what life will look like in six months or a year from now. Will I be strong? Will I be sad? Will we have made it through all of this? Will we have lost our home? What work will I be doing? This is just the light side of thoughts that race through my head.
Cancer does not discriminate or care about what you have been through. Cancer does not care about your dreams or what your plans for the future are. Cancer just changes everyone’s life and we are just one of many it is happening too.