Posts tagged blog
10 Things I Wish I Had Known When My Husband was Diagnosed with Cancer: 1.5 Years Later

It’s been a year and a half since Tommy was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It honestly feels like a lifetime ago. So much about our lives has changed, and so much has been learned. I woke up today feeling incredibly grateful for the place we are at right this moment. I say this moment because we have learned to appreciate the present in a way I could not have understood a year and a half ago. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but today, right this moment there is so much to be grateful for. I was thinking back to the very beginning of this journey, and wondered what advice would have been helpful to hear in those early days. I would not have been able to fully understand it all at the time, but I came up with a list of things that might be helpful for new caregivers/fighters.

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Using the 'Ball and the Box Analogy' to Navigate Living With Cancer

Recently I came across a picture being shared on social media that brilliantly illustrated grief. It is called “The Ball and the Box Analogy”. Lauren Herschel originally posted the photo (shown below) with the explanation that the button represents the pain you feel from grief and loss. When we first experience grief, our “ball” is huge. It frequently and easily hits the pain button, and it’s hard to avoid or ignore. As time goes on, the ball shrinks. This doesn’t mean that the pain hurts any less when it’s hit, but the hits become less frequent, with more recovery time in between.

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How Can I Support? What Cancer Fighters Find Truly Helpful

I spoke to a friend the other day who was looking for real, tangible ways to help a friend who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. He wanted to help but wasn’t sure where to start- what was too much, and what was actually useful. It can be difficult to find the words, and sometimes the fear of saying the wrong thing shuts us down. Believe me, I UNDERSTAND! Even as the wife of a cancer fighter, searching for helpful things to do or say is not always easy. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest impact. I shared with my friend the acts of support we most appreciated and found most meaningful, and then I decided to ask a larger group of cancer fighters what they would add to the list. Every person copes in their own way and likes/dislikes different things, but here are some ideas that might open the door for you on your mission to support.

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Why a Second Opinion Changed Everything For Us

Tommy started treatment (again) this morning. The past week has been a tough one, especially mentally, as we prepared for this next round. Gearing up to fight a battle you thought you won is not for the faint of heart. You’re tired, frustrated, angry, but have to get back in the game. I didn’t know what to expect from today, but I can promise you, I did not expect to feel light, supported, and overjoyed…but I do.

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Why 2+2 Does Not Equal 4, and Other Things I've Learned After a Year in the Cancer World

Yesterday we had a few preliminary appointments as we begin this new clinical trial journey. Tommy was poked and prodded as they conducted scans, blood tests, and EKGs. I sat in the lobby holding his coat with the other caregivers. As I looked around the room I saw the familiar determined anxiety on their faces that I have felt the past year. We are always the youngest people in the office, but I feel like a veteran at this point. I think it must be the timing, but it feels like we’re gearing up to begin ‘second semester’ after a holiday break. We’ve rested, prepared, and completed all the winter assignments, but we would really rather stay home.

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Being a 'Cancer Wife'. Can't I Just Be a Regular Wife?

I am still trying to figure out what it means to be a wife. What does it look like? What does it feel like? How can I serve this marriage, and how can this marriage serve me? I had less than two months before the term “newlywed wife” turned into “chief caregiver”. 

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