Where to start? With Valentines Day coming up I want to dedicate this first chapter to the love of my life, who I truly don’t deserve and believe God chose him for me. My Mema used to always say God broke the mold when they made him. I have always had such pride in my husband and it’s funny because even my family wonders how I found such a great man!
“Through sickness and in health”? I have to admit I didn’t think too much into these vows at the time. I was young and in love and focused on “Do you take his hand…” and the “love and cherish forever”.
There is a whole different kind of Love I experienced that you can only feel when your loved one takes care of you through sickness. It’s right up there with falling in love, seeing your child born, the special maternal love with your children, the love for your parents.
My husband took care of me in the most loving and gentle way possible, both physically and emotionally. He knows me better than I know myself. So when I was faced with my diagnosis he was like Superman, he knew we would fight and win this battle, there was no doubt!
He was literally there for me every step of the way. Wiping away my tears, lifting my spirits, and being strong for the both of us when I was at my weakest. I’m not going to lie, I’m crying as I write this! This is so hard to go back to this time. I can’t possibly share every moment but here are some of my most memorable:
I just had 2 major surgeries with a complete hysterectomy, and 2 different ports put in for upcoming chemo and intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. My initial surgery was successful and my second surgery for staging and ports left me with a terrible MRSA infection that lasted throughout my chemo and ultimately stopped my last treatment. With all this going on my most devastating experience was losing my hair. I already had all my female organs taken out and my last piece of femininity was my hair. My husband knew this and talked me into shaving it together, privately. He set up the area and it felt like a private ceremony between us. As he gently shaved my head slowly he would keep telling me how beautiful I was. He wiped and kissed my tears away. He then shaved his head too. We were twinkies and in this together.
In the beginning I had a huge incision held by staples from my groin up to my belly button. I could not sit up or sit down without assistance. He always lifted me up so gently and with such care and he would gently carry me to the shower and wash me. Always assuring me I will heal and be stronger soon. I had those aweful thoughts of how can he possibly love me looking this way! Like an alien with a Frankenstein body? But he actually looked at me so deeply and lovingly and to feel that love when you’re at your worst is a special love, a cherished love, and it gave me a deeper stronger love for this man.
I think I had soo much chemo run through my body especially the abdomen I had a much stronger distaste for food. Everything was too sweet or too salty or spicy. Everyday he would ask what I want to eat and I would think of something that sounded good and I usually ended up not liking it. This man went to the store daily and made new meals daily hoping I would eat them. Towards the end I would wake up in the middle of the night with the worse hunger pains imaginable. I would go to the kitchen and try to eat anything, I couldn’t it tasted so bad. We finally figured the only thing I could tolerate was boiled potato chunks. He cooked the heck out of some potatoes and I still wasn’t eating well. I finally had a crisis weekend we both knew I needed to eat and drink. He begged me plenty times before to try alternative meds ( given to me by a friend) to get me to eat and I always said no, it was to be my last option. Well he knew I needed to eat and begged me and I did it and I was able to eat and get my strength back. I really think i might have starved to death without that.
Looking back I just can’t imagine how much strength, courage, love, and hard work he put into every single day taking care of me (and the kids, the bills, the house, the yard, the laundry, the cooking) was a huge weight both physically and emotionally for him. There’s no way to describe the love I felt, I only knew if I died tomorrow I would die knowing I was loved so completely and deeply… That I already had the best life and was grateful for everything.
I love you more than I can express in words my husband, also known as Dub ❤️