This past week I sat with Carrie while she had her follow up appointment with her doctor to find out if her cancer had come back and to talk about next steps. Good news! It hasn’t come back. Bad news, she’s going through a round of fairly aggressive chemo treatments to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back. Nothing is guaranteed.
The chemo treatments were not completely un-expectant, but now that it is a reality it really affected her emotionally. I could sense it in her body. I could see it on her face. She took the rest of the day off and spent it relaxing on the porch. The next day she treated herself to a pedicure and chocolate cake. And then she did something that surprised me. After months of stress, of worrying about the unknown, and of feeling sorry for ourselves, she let it all go. She wrote a letter detailing everything that has happened to her over the last several months, explaining the cancer, explain the treatments, and sent it to all of our friends and family. Essentially outing herself to the world. No longer worried about what the future treatments will be like; no longer worried about people discovering the illness that she is dealing with; I could sense a new resolve in her. She then made a hair appointment to get her hair cut short to help prepare herself for when she would loose it. And she starting picking out scarfs and new clothes styles; anticipating the expected weight loss.
There is something to be said about being able to do something. Until this appointment we thought there would be nothing to do but wait. Now we have something that we can do. I can already sense a change in Carrie. She already seems stronger and brighter than she did a week ago. I sense a new resolve in her to face the cancer and the treatments head on! I feel better too. Instead of feeling like a victim, I feel like we have a plan. I feel like we have a chance to do something that will affect the outcome of this story.
We have a long road ahead of us and the treatments will be difficult; both physically and emotionally. But the chemo gives us something that we didn’t have lot of last week. It gives us hope. The new resolve I feel in Carrie gives me confidence and strength to face this together. And the courage that she is displaying in facing this makes me proud to be her husband.