Things have been pretty crazy around my house and so this is a quick break in the middle of my “10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer” series. The following post I originally wrote for Misses Miscellany here, and with permission, I thought I’d share a sort of “Throwback Thursday” post! 🙂
My husband’s cancer journey started March of 2010, we had 5 month old, 2 year old and 4 year old. Now, 6 years later…our 6 year old, 8 year old and 10 year old barely know life without cancer or life without a sick Daddy. He’s been diagnosed 3 separate times and each time was completely different, and each time progressively worse. The first time it was new and there was all this strength to fight, the second more devastating, but we had done this once…why not again. The third time it has metastasized and so I feel defeated. I sat here this morning trying to figure out how I go on with life. He was given a couple years to live, but why does any doctor have the right to put an expiration date on someone else’s life. The doctor isn’t a fortune teller, he’s supposed to fix things! At the same time, if Travis only has a couple years I want to make the most of it. I go back and forth from denying the statistics and knowing he will be the one to survive, to wanting to crawl up in a ball under my desk in complete defeat…I could spend hours under there and no one would even know!
So, what do I do?! How do I go on?! Well, this is what I’ve decided:
- I do not have control over cancer. I do not have superpowers, I’m not magic, and I’m only a human with a limited knowledge of how our bodies work.
- I do have some control over my emotions. I’d be lying to say I had complete control, which was evident by the tears streaming down my face in the doctors while I kept saying to myself “keep it together Stacy…sheesh!” I can choose to find Joy in our journey. I hate making people sad and so as I tell them about cancer I have a joke prepared or something ready to change the mood. I can choose to let Happiness control me and try to spread that!
- I choose to believe in God’s plan and be grateful for my knowledge of God’s Plan of Happiness! I am LDS and I believe that this life is short and then I will have eternity to spend with my best friend!
- Live Today! I’ve had many people tell me that, our Office Manager joked that I should put a note on my shirt that said “Today” and so I put it on my desk instead! Today Trav smiled and gave me a hug, today he’s okay! I can’t promise tomorrow will be good, but we are okay today! I need to enjoy every moment, every text, every heartbeat, every cuddle, and every smile…but not just of Travis…of everyone! Truly we don’t know who will be here tomorrow, anyone can die at any moment!
- Keep moving forward! My life does not have to stop because Cancer happened. I still have work to do and children to raise. Cancer does not have to consume every moment and every thought!
But, this is only day 2, since the doctors said he has Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma and will only survive a couple more years. So, I am going to have days where I want to fix things, days I can’t stop crying, and days that I don’t care if I have eternity because I want Trav to be happy today. I am sure I will have to refocus myself, but these are my goals today! My husband has cancer and I don’t know what that is going to mean, but this is how I’m going to survive right now!
I want to thank Amber from Misses Miscellany for sharing their website and asking me to write for them months before I finally wrote this. Writing has become very therapeutic for me, and I’m grateful for this very honest post that I wrote days after the diagnosis. I think we all have moments of clarity that help us through life, and if we don’t stop to write them down we forget! As a result of this post my family often says”Today” to remind each other to keep our focus. Just this last week I was rushing to get home to take Travis to the ER, my kids were crying and asking hard questions and I reminded them of this post and reminded them to focus on Today, Daddy’s still here today, hug him tight because you can today. We made some bracelets that say Travis Strong on one side and Today on the other side, to help remind us to live Today in the moment and appreciate every moment God gives us. We are still unsure what our future holds but we are still surviving cancer!