At the very worst of times during my late husband’s illness, we’d grown distant and apart. Fear, denial and exhaustion were the bricks in the wall that rose up between us. It was the only time in our marriage there was a disconnect. It was painful and unbearable. And it was two people at a point of simply just trying to survive.
Gary had reached a point in his healing journey post chemo and post radiation where we were without answers. He had a long list of symptoms and side effects and a whole stack of inconclusive test results. Itching, a constant cough, major lymphodema that made his legs swell until he felt like the skin would split. The year prior, his medical team had advised him that the next step in treatment to consider was a bone marrow transplant. He refused and we started down the long and expensive road of alternative therapies.
Two and a half years into his illness, it was taking a toll and it looked like our marriage might become a casualty. Until you’ve been there, you cannot know the price a couple pays while trying to make it through the cancer journey together. Each circumstance is unique and each couple handles it in their own way but most who have been there understand.
I was so afraid of losing Gary and so exhausted from two and a half years of the cancer roller coaster that I didn’t know if I could keep doing it. But the weight on me was so heavy, I could barely breathe. I was working long days in production and spending nights and weekends completing my massage and healing arts training to create an additional source of income for us.
In between, I was shuttling Gary to doctor’s appointments, creating his healthy meal plans and taking care of all the responsibilities around the house. During this time when I felt like I could hardly take a full breath, he really couldn’t. He shuffled from bed to the couch and back. On a good day, he might make it to the lounge on our back porch. It was agony for both of us but even worse for him.
At one point that fall, I struggled intensely with the feeling that maybe I couldn’t stay. It was horrible. How could I consider leaving the man I loved ever…especially while he was so ill? Find out how I used choice to create freedom in part 2 tomorrow. It’s the second part of a powerful story.