Surviving the Cancer Crisis: Coping
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 is going to be a day I’ll remember for a very long time. By now most of the regular readers of this blog know that my wife, Virginia (Mrs Vulcan Stev) has been diagnosed with a fast-growing cancer. Tuesday the sixth, is the day the doctor gave us the diagnosis.
Needless to say our lives have been turned upside-down. We (my wife and I) went from “We’re cancer free and recovering” to “I’m sorry but she may be gone within five years”. This is not the type of news designed to make one sleep well at night… I’ll keep posting about her progress but today I am following the advice of friends and putting my own thoughts and fears down on “paper”.
I may end up raising two boys by myself. This isn’t as scary as the fact that we’re barely making ends meet on two full-time salaries. How am I gonna afford the things a family needs without sacrificing the time my sons will need from me?
I’m supposed to be the strong one here. How am I supposed to be a comfort to my wife when little things set off a steady stream of tears? Songs on the radio, male enhancement commercials, anything that reminds me of the fact that it is very possible that I won’t be growing old with Virginia, all set me off. The man is supposed to be the strong one in the relationship. (bear with me I know this is sightly sexist and a little old-fashioned but it is the way I was raised) I’m supposed to take care of my wife. How can I fight off something that is attacking her from the inside?
I consider myself God-blessed to have a woman who loves me for who I am. We’ve been together for 22 years. Yes we’ve had our arguments but Virginia has been a major part of my life for more than half of it. I do I go on without her advice, love, comfort, support…. I’ve been having nightmares about her being gone and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her.
My faith tells me that God will heal my wife. Either on this Earth or in eternity. I believe that God is in control of this situation but that does not change the fact that I fear it. Can God heal my wife completely? Yes. Will he? I don’t know I am not God.
Medical science tells me that my wife has 50% chance of dying within five years from some other disease that the liver can no longer fight off. She has 10% chance of living five years or more. She also has a 10% chance of being gone within two months. Is my God capable of miracles? yes. But, I know many Christian families who have lost someone to cancer. Is there a plan? Again my faith says yes. I just don’t see it.
I’m faced with the distinct possibility that my wife may not live to see our oldest son graduate from high school, let alone share in the wonderment of grandchildren. Do I sound self-pitying here? Believe me I’m not trying to be. Do I want Virginia to live out a full life? Yes. I want to grow old with her. I want her to see her children grow up. I want her to become the “coolest grandma” in the universe.
However right now she’s in pain, constant pain. I know I’d take the pain in a stone cold second if it was possible. Will we deal with the pain if that’s what we need to do? yes.
On a related note:
Many folks have asked what they can do to help the family out right now. Honestly, right now keep Virginia in your prayers. That’s what you can do right now. The only thing that has currently changed (other than our emotional state) is that we know Virginia’s cancer has returned.
She is still able to go to work. We’re still able to get done what needs to be done. So right now there’s not a lot that we need help with. Thank you though to everyone who has offered.
That said, if things deteriorate rapidly then I’ll need all the help folks are willing to send our way.
We have another appointment on Tuesday for a second opinion. I’ll have an update from that as soon as I can.
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