EDIT: I first wrote this post ‘Dealing with Illness’ in November 2020, little did I know that a short 12 months later my husband would find his angel wings and leave this earth, leaving me behind to walk through grief and the feelings of heartache like I have never felt before. I wanted to re-share this post as it explains the very start of the cancer journey we were to take together.
Every day we go to bed expecting to wake up the next day in good health to do life all over again. But sometimes out of the blue you wake up and what was once your normal is now nothing but a distant memory. That is what happened to us in 2020! If it wasn’t already a year of forced change from our worldly normal due to COVID-19, this next chapter that was forced upon us was happening in my eyes, at least 20 years too early!!!
It took 3 months of “elimination” tests and my husbands health to decline further before he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer – even saying it, it feels wrong, because he has always been such a healthy person with the only tablets he would ever have being the occasional Panadol. But here we are, ready to take this next challenge by the horns and give it a right royal crack at beating!
Dealing with illness is hard – there is no sugar coating this. It is one skillset that you really can’t do a pre-practice run on. You are really learning in the trenches as it unfolds because every human being is different and this is the hard part – every persons experience will be different!
I think back to when I have had previous family members get sick due to illness and I noticed I really kept myself at arms length. Yes, I offered help and assistance if needed (like a token gesture) and yet not one person took me up on my offer. I was kind of glad in a way as I was not sure how I could offer support with what they were going through as I had not been there in their shoes before. Now I understand why!
When someone states “I am here for you guys, you just sing out with whatever you need” for me when this was said to us, I just wanted to scream back – “What we need is for this shit to be wrong, for this nightmare to be over, for the doctors to apologise and say they got it wrong and we want the miracle that religions preach”.
I know that this thought process was not fair, but I bet you $100 there is not one person who has stood in the same shoes as us who did not have the same thoughts, the only difference is these thoughts are mostly never aired/ discussed. My husband is the true champion in all of this, he turned to me and said “It is what it is, we can’t change it, now we just need to deal with it”.
Then I thought about my Bfree2be School and how this exact subject was a module I needed to create for the Life Skills Program I teach. What a fabulous way to have my husband be part of my legacy and teach from our experience. So as we work through our journey we plan to create a set of tracks for others to be guided by. With the hope that whatever illness you or your loved one(s) are going through we can help guide you to navigate each stage of the process.
Talking about illness is heavy, but we must remember that it is from our learned experiences that it can become a lighter subject for others to talk about, share and navigate.
Till next time!