It’s been 5 years. Five years ago, our family was led on a journey I never envisioned I would walk. Or, perhaps, I didn’t believe that I would be forced down this trail so young in my life.
It was five years ago that Todd told me he needed to go to the doctor.
When your husband wakes you at 2:30 in the morning and whispers those words to you — you listen. You wake up, even though there is a 6 week old baby sleeping next to you. You don’t care that you’ll be exhausted. You listen. And I did. As I did I heard the fear in his voice. The worry. The unknown.
And I was afraid.
I remember walking numbly into our computer room at our old house — it was then 4 am — and searching on google for diagnosis. Symptoms. The more I looked the more fear crept into my heart. So I tried to sleep, but there was no peace for my heart.
When I called the doctors in the morning everyone dismissed us. But, I knew. I knew Todd had cancer. I knew it at 2:31 am on the night he told me. I knew. But, I still had to fight. Doctors didn’t believe he was sick. We didn’t fit the statistics. Time kept passing and passing and passing. Drugs and ultrasounds and more doctors. Till finally, on December 19, 2005, at 9:48 in the morning, I was told that my husband had cancer.
I could have told them I knew that for almost 2 months.
But, I didn’t. I nodded and thanked the doctor. He asked me if I needed a chaplain to come up to the 3rd floor surgical consult room. I gazed out the window, at the light snow falling, and told him I was okay. Even though I was afraid.
How could I walk this road? I was 30 years old (there–now you all know my age). I wasn’t to journey this way till we were older. Where would I ever find the strength to walk this path. I wanted to scream that I felt that this was so unfair. First we lost a job. Then he gets cancer? I was angry. And numb. And tired.
He knew I would be beat. He knew. And as I walked the painful journey of sickness — seeing my soulmate so weak that he needed help walking from the bed to the couch — I was not alone. My friends rallied around me. Money came from unexpected places. Meals were prepared. My sister sat with me while Todd had ct scans the day before Christmas. I felt loved. Even in the darkest of times.
So as the five year anniversary comes closer and closer I am unsure how to feel and how to define our family. Sometimes I wrestle with even talking about cancer — and thinking of us as survivors — because I deal with guilt — because there are many other families whose outcomes were awful. I never know when to talk about it, or write about it, or think about it.
But, truthfully, cancer is part of my story.
For the next six weeks or so, you might hear a bit about that story. You see, it is because of cancer, and walking a road of utter dependence upon God, that I am who I am today. That path shifted my thinking — about life, about God, and about truth. It became less about me, and more about Him. Those are the things I think I’ll share. Finally. I’ve kept so much inside, and prayed about it, and now I think it’s time to write.
That’s me. Rachel, wife of a cancer survivor.
I am so so grateful for five years.