Saturday, January 24, 2009

For Better or Worse: Lymphoma

I have tried to start this several times and I’m still struggling with how to write about what’s happening to our family. There is just no easy way to put it….My husband has been diagnosed with Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a blood/skin cancer. What started as red, dry skin turned out to be cancer. Never in a million years did I imagine that this would end up to be cancer.

My years of being a nurse has trained me to be calm and not panic but there are moments that my mind succumbs to the many possibilities. I try not to get ahead of myself, but I’ve always been a person who considers the road ahead. Only this time, it is very fuzzy and this is a bit unsettling. I feel that this is a situation where I have no choice but to let God take over. I have to surrender to His Will. This is something that can be so overwhelming, only He can calm my heart and give me and my husband the strength to get through it. Experience has shown me how God can give me strength of mind and spirit when I need it most, and I have no doubt He will do just that in this situation.

As I slowly inform family and friends of the diagnosis, it is so hard to know how best to respond to their messages of sympathy and support. On one side it is nice to know that so many care, and on the other it seems I end up comforting them rather than they comforting me. Is this the nurse in me? I know they are afraid for me and my husband. There are times, I am afraid for myself.

I still haven’t heard from many and even this I understand because I have fallen into this uncomfortable situation myself. When one hears the bad news of someone having “cancer”, it is just very difficult to know what to say, so you say nothing. You want to say something that will comfort and reassure but there are so many unknowns you don’t want to say the wrong thing. Along the way, you eventually get up enough courage to say something to show you care.

While my husband continues to undergo tests to determine the extent of his disease and the course of treatment needed, I imagine that this will be a long road towards remission. With the advances in health care, better treatments are giving better outcomes and I am hopeful.

Life goes on and even as I grow older, I am learning to appreciate everyday the beauty in this world, the special moments I share with him, and the togetherness we have held these 32+ years. My parents will be celebrating 60 years of marriage this year. They are wonderful examples of love, sacrifice, long-suffering, and commitment The glue of love is strong in our families.

1 comment:

Adalia Savic said...

Oh, Diana, I am so sorry about the news of Walter's cancer. I don't know anything about his type of cancer. Your uncle Joe died of melanoma, which I understand is the worst of these types of cancer. I will pray for you and him. Life has a way of upending our plans. As I have said to many of my cannot plan your life but you can prepare for it. Be strong and if you need a shoulder...I am here. Call, write or email me. I am a tough "old broad".