Friday, 7 December 2012

#StrongisSexy Shout Out

So this week's #StrongisSexy Shout Out is slightly unorthodox and comes to you all in the form of a guest post from an online friend - Cameron.

You all have spent the last year listening to my musings about my many medical misadventures. You have experienced my ups and downs. And listened to my struggles as I navigated doctors appointments, recovery, and life.

But what you don't often get to see (mostly because he is very shy and hates when I try to take pictures of him on my iphone) is how much my husband has supported me this past year and how all of this has affected him as well. I know how hard it must have been to stand by and support someone you love so deeply, but never let them see the way you are hurting too. His strength has carried me through the darkest days of my life. And it is also how I know I married one of the strongest most incredible men going. And for that I feel a gratitude I could never express. He has been my rock, my biggest supporter, my best friend, and the love of my life.

Cancer, Heart Disease, and all kinds of Medical Misadventures affects the whole family. So today's Strong is Sexy Shout Out goes out to all those Strong Family Supporters out there, because we could never get through all of this alone.

Without further adieu here is Cameron to share his experience as Supporter in his own words. Thank you again for sharing!! 

How My Family Survived Cancer

I never expected to become my wife’s caregiver three months after she gave birth to our first and only child, Lily. I hope that this article will shed some light on what it is like to be a caregiver to a loved one with cancer.

Three months after my wife gave birth to Lily, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. As she cried, I wondered how we would get through this time in our lives. I was overwhelmed and about to break down when the doctor began talking about the many medical decisions we had to make, and I knew that this was just the beginning. That didn’t change the fact that I was angry and overcome with emotion. I spent a great deal of my time at first conversing with people using only profane language. I knew it was wrong and I had to be strong for Heather. I finally got myself together and did my best to be the source of positive energy and optimism that Heather needed.

My days at first were difficult. My to-do list was so long that I often wondered how I would ever get through it. Fortunately, I was offered so much help from our family and friends, and I quickly learned to accept it. I was able to prioritize my work, the travel arrangements I had to make, and I was able to care for Heather, Lily, and our house and pets. It wasn’t easy, but the help I received made it easier. I am so grateful to the people who helped us through this time.

The most difficult part, however, was the two months immediately following Heather’s surgery. We were in Boston for her surgery and Lily was in South Dakota with Heather’s parents. I had to work, and I knew that I couldn’t take care of Heather and Lily and work at the same time, so Heather’s parents took them in and gave them the incredible care that they needed. Heather was recovering from her invasive surgery and preparing for her next round of treatment for mesothelioma, so the care she received was invaluable. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I had to remain at home for work, I saw them only once during the whole two months we were there. I drove 11 hours through a terrible snowstorm one Friday night after work to see them. I had to leave Sunday to be home in time for work that Monday, which gave me only a few precious hours with them that weekend. It was a short trip, but I missed them so much that I didn’t mind driving so much for such a short time. 

It was so difficult being away from my wife and daughter during this time, but I don’t look back at it with regret. I look back on it with a feeling of gratefulness that we were even lucky enough to be able to and have to make a decision like this. I learned through all of this that nothing is possible without the help of our friends and family. Heather has been healthy for the past six years, and I hope that our story can help others who are also going through cancer to see that it isn’t hopeless and that difficult decisions are not only necessary, but can even be a source of comfort in a strange way.  These decisions, however difficult, give us some level of control over a situation that often seems completely out of our control.   

Wishing health and happiness this holiday season!
Thank you so much for sharing Cameron!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,