Cancer Crisis: the Aftermath
As I write this it’s been less than a week since Virginia’s funeral. I’ve spent the week at work, mainly because I needed to get back and spending the time at home in an empty house does no one any good. In that time frame I have worked on putting Virginia’s affairs in order; paying bills, getting the death certificate, and dealing with the estate.
I have been accused of being responsible for her death, that my lack of attention and “caustic enviroment” caused her to pass so quickly. I have been accused of whining over her death “Too #%@&-ing much”. I’ve also been accused of using her death for personal financial gain.
To the first, I respond that the move to Holland was not a popular one with my immediate family. Virginia and I agreed at the time that it seemed like the right thing to do but were troubled over why we had to do it. Virginia, the family and I shared frustration over the circumstances of our situation, however never once did she accuse me of “Lording it over” the family. In her last week of life, Virginia came to the conclusion that one of God’s reasons for having us in Holland close to my family was for the support that I’d need after she passed.
To the second, when you’ve lost your spouse of 22 years then you can tell me if I’ve been whining too much.
To the third, I never asked for the Vulcan Stev solidarity fund. That was started by the RPG community completely of their own volition. The news paper added the line to her obituary about memorials can be directed to the family, that was not my doing. Am I thankful for the funds that have poured in? Yes! Are times going to be tough for me and the boys? Yes, we lost half of the family income. But I have asked for only one specific thing for financial help and that was after the specific request of the individual over what immediate financial help was needed. Aside from that I have NOT asked for money.
Money can not and will not replace what I’ve lost. Most of my tears have been in private. If there’s one recurring phrase I’ve been hearing from everyone else it is how much my wife and I truly loved each other…
The picture posted with this blog comes from one of my Facebook friends. Virginia lost a breast to the cancer. Did I stop loving her? no. I married Virginia not her boobs. Virginia lost her hair due to the radiation treatments. Did I stop loving her when her crowning glory vanished? no. I shaved my own head in solidarity. I loved and still love the person, not the shell that housed her.
When we received the diagnosis that Virginia had in fact developed breast cancer we were shocked but yet relieved. Breast cancer was “curable”. We were going to beat this. Looking back at the year and a half since that diagnosis it is more obvious to me now that the cancer was taking its toll on her body. She was tiring out more frequently. Things that had once been easy were no longer.
The thing is now that I know more about breast cancer, I realize now that my wife was at a higher risk. Back in the 80s Virginia’s doctor put her on birth control to help regulate a hormonal imbalance. She took those tablets right up until the time we started actively trying for a family. From what I’m reading the cancer that killed Virginia had been estrogen fed. Did those birth control pills contribute to Virginia’s cancer?
Virginia had always wanted to breast-feed her children. We determined early on when Janae was a baby that her left breast had some sort of defect the precluded milk production. Was this defect a cause of the cancer? We don’t know. It is my hope that whatever scientists and doctors are working on developing a cure for cancer will take these facts into consideration. Do not let my wife’s death be in vain.
It is my firm hope and daily prayer, that I am the last husband to lose his wife. My children the last to lose their mother. Mom and Dad Young the last parents to lose a daughter.
Once the bills have been payed and the children provided for, we will be taking a portion of Virginia’s life insurance and starting a fund for cancer awareness.
Don’t let cancer steal second base…. or anything else for that matter.