Cancer is hard. From the constant bouts of nausea to the debilitating pain. There is very few things I could say about it that makes anyone feel warm and fuzzy. I get poked by needles not once but multiple times a day. I rarely am able to stomach a full meal and when I do it generally tastes like crap. Everything that I once went to for comfort has been taken away in one form or another. When I would get angry I would clean. When I was tired I would lay down peacefully in my bed. My cancer doesn’t even allow me to lay down. I sleep sitting up so that the fluid doesn’t affect my lungs. It is a bit of a living nightmare. However there is a beautiful grace I get from the people in my life.
My Husband is not like every husband in the world. Yes he has caused me a great deal of stress in my life. Yes he does not do things the way I do, which makes my children complain to me daily about the lack of good food in the house and the loss of something that he has put away and we can not find any more. However, despite those little things my husband has showed his inner hero repeatedly over the last six months. My husband, Ken, left his work six months ago to take care of me. He prepares and controls my medications. He gives me needles when I am too weak or in too much pain. He cooks for me despite how much he hates cooking. He does my laundry. He puts lemon in my water because Cancer makes my water bitter. He makes appointments for me and takes me to them. He worries about me like a Mother Hen and most importantly he listens to me when I am taking mental breakdowns over the possibility of dying, even though he hates every second of that. He would prefer to live in denial but he doesn’t, because he knows I need to have the mental breakdowns for peace of mind. Very rarely does he complain. He takes a little fit every once in a while, but really I know how much this hurts him. I am grateful for his presence every day and Cancer has allowed for me to see how much he loves me. He also gives me more strength to do what ever necessary to live another day. My husband is my hero.
My children are the reason why I will not lay down and let Cancer take me. My Son, comes to my room everyday to say goodnight. He told me he put his money away in the summer in hopes that he could get a new car but he was ready and prepared to give me all of it so that we could live another month. He yells at me (I know weird but its his way of trying to get through to me something he thinks is important) that I am getting better everyday and I need to see that I am the person who is going to beat this. He kisses me on the head and tells me that he loves me almost everyday despite him being 19 and really struggling with wanting to get his independence.
My middle daughter gives me needles when I can’t. She checks in on me all the time and sometimes she leaves things that she enjoys doing to rub my head because she would rather me feel better than party. She reads to me my meditations when ever I am in pain and she saves my juice by hiding it in the back of the fridge so that nobody else will drink it on me. She kisses me on my head every night and says I love you. For a 16 year old girl she has shown a lot of growth in the past 6 months and I am grateful for it. She sometimes drives me to places so that Ken can have a break and she now goes to the store for us if Ken is too busy or too tired. Her help has been immeasurable. My cup runneth over.
My youngest daughter also learned to give me needles despite how much she hates it. She sits with me for hours at a time so I am never lonely and never lacking you tube videos. She sets up projects for me and her to do so my mind is always on something constructive or positive. She will bring me in one of her guinea pigs to brush when she thinks I need cute and cuddly company. She holds my hand when I am in pain and she will refuse to do things unless she is sure I am OK. She pays so much attention to me I sometimes wonder if she doesn’t know me better than I know myself. She is the biggest reason for me to wake up each day because she lets me know everyday how much she needs me. She tells me daily I am allowed to die in 40 years and not a penny less. She guides me to faith a lot. I am truly grateful for her.
My parents have shown me great love. My Mother pays for any extras that we can’t afford like a vitamin C IVs that may help me recover faster from Chemo. She and my sister cleaned and disinfected our entire house. She does our laundry sometimes and she comes over in a whim when we need somebody here. She takes my kids out so they can have fun too. She takes care of all of their financial needs like school stuff and school fees,etc. Her husband takes me to appointments and they visit me everyday I am in the hospital. My sister does errands for me when ever I need them done like grabbing me an air conditioner in the summer because I was roasting and couldn’t breath.
My Dad and his wife are uprooting their whole lives to come here and share the burden of running my household and taking care of me. My Dad calls or texts me daily to make sure I am alright. He was with me in the beginning of my diagnosis and was probably the reason why I got an oncologist as fast as I did because he went down to the Cancer treatment center and demanded it. He talks to me for hours about nothing to take my mind off of things and he sends me gifts like a Cd with funny shows on it or a piece of tape he had wrapped around his drill from when I was born.
My brother came up from Nova Scotia to visit me and now my Aunts are coming to visit in November. I have two friends who come to my house periodically and clean it for me. The Mormon Church has given us food from the beginning and their missionaries walk our dog sometimes. I have friends on Facebook that contact me almost every other day so that I never feel lonely. I have a friend who brings me alkalized water and is looking for grants for me. I have another who looks for cures for me. I have a friend who found us money and a way to pay for my $2700 needle and another friend who brings us baking and prays for me daily. I have a pastor who I also think of as my friend who visits me and brings me the gift of hope ( also a teddy bear with Hope written on it and a bird that watches over me at night). I have a cousin who did a fundraising campaign for me and another who messages me to tell me how proud they are of me. I have many friends who have given me money when we needed it and one that walked in the Terry Fox run with my name on their chest. I have cats that lay on my chest and give me warmth. I have nurses from home care that route for me and tell me that I am going to be their success story. I have a doctor who tells me that it is her job to try and meet my needs in what ever way she can. I have a God who brings you all to me to make me feel better and guides me to the things that make my life a little bit easier.
I am more than humbled by the graciousness and love I have seen over the past six months. Cancer has been hard but the people in my life have made it a bit easier. Each of you and your well wishes put a smile on my face. When you send me things you think would make me laugh it really warms my heart. When you get angry for me and fight for me it makes me feel taken care of. When you visit me in what ever way you can it takes my mind off of things. When you tell me your stories of life, successes or anything else I live vicariously through that. When you ask me advice or tell me about your bad stuff I feel normal and needed. You just being you makes me happy. So I am writing this as an Ode to the people who love me. You make me want to live each day and I believe there is a special place in heaven for those who aid in suffering. You are all my aids and I am truly grateful for you all. If not for Cancer I would never have known the depths of love like I have been shown. Thank You.