10 years ago, in June 2008, our life changed.
My husband noticed a lump on his neck while he was shaving. He put off having it checked out for a few weeks. But he knew something wasn’t right and got in touch with his doctor. After that, everything moved VERY quickly. Within a day, x-rays, scans and even a needle biopsy were done. Within a week, a surgical biopsy was done and then we waited for the pathology.
As the kids’ end of year shows were happening, I went to them alone, holding this secret inside me. There was nothing to talk about until we knew what it was that we were dealing with.
Those felt like the hardest weeks of my life.
When we know what we’re fighting, we can roll up our sleeves and fight. Until then, we are at the mercy of fear.
At the start of the summer break, we got the report back that it was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The treatment would, best case scenario, be 6 months of chemo. But, don’t worry, this is “the best” cancer to get! The rates of recovery are over 90%.
Somehow, that didn’t help.
Before he started, we had a lot to figure out. Our 2-year-old wasn’t in school yet, and we were having trouble finding a spot for him on such short notice.
But then, I saw incredible kindness.
People I didn’t even know stormed the phone lines and went in person to a community daycare and made it possible for a space to be made for my son. This made all the difference for my husband and for myself. Allowing me to be able to be with him as he went through his treatments.
At such a difficult time in our lives, I learned so much about kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness and appreciation, that it truly changed who I am. The one thing I learned most, and it was my most difficult lesson, was how to accept help.
I always tell my kids that helping doesn’t mean doing what YOU want. It’s doing what needs getting done. What the person you’re trying to help needs to get done. For more suggestions on how to help out, you can check out my post about ways to help someone who’s spouse is fighting cancer.
10 years ago today, my husband finished his chemo treatments. I am grateful every day for his health.
To all those people who stepped in and stepped up to help us 10 years ago, I know I’ve thanked you over the years, but I need you to know how very much my entire family benefitted from the care that you showed me while my husband was going through treatment.
You kept me standing so I could help him fight. You changed me for the better.
Thank you for that.