Alberta Cancer Foundation
The notion that cancer touches everyone is true. The burden on the family is as great as the burden on the individual. But, the notion that out of hardship comes unexpected blessings is also true. Any cancer patient I have ever talked to expresses, in one way or another, the gifts that come from the diagnosis. It changes both the person and the family.
Two months short of two years after her initial cancer diagnosis I watched my wife Linnea, my love, take her last breath. I held her in my arms and I wept, and I told her that it was OK to let go. To please let go. The room filled with unimaginable wails and I was only scarcely aware that they were coming from me.
It was for a good cause.
My life was forever changed in one diagnosis: cancer. After 25 years, I had finally learned that the rash on my body was the precursor to a rare form of cancer called for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) that would need to be treated with full-body radiation. My treatment plan was as unique as my diagnosis.
Everything changes when your partner is diagnosed with a terminal illness and enduring a brutal treatment. The routines and rhythms that establish over time in a relationship are turned upside down. The joys are whittled down and the worries grow with every appointment. I found myself racked with anxiety and unable to work.