I haven’t blogged in quite a while. My wife is cancer free and we’re both wanting life to get back to “normal”. I’m not sure there is a normal, it just comes down to whatever you decide you’re shooting for. Recovery from cancer and chemo for both you and your wife can take a while – it sort of has it’s own process each of you goes through, both together, and on your own. I remember discovering that I held most of my stresses inside, only to feel their effects after beating breast cancer. Funny the things you’d never expect to learn about yourself and your partner, but I suppose learnings like these are something everyone experiences during some tough times. They actually are a blessing in some ways because you discover new things about each other and yourself.
My outlook these days is very bright and optimistic. My wife is healthy with no cancer. Not every husband gets to say that, and I’m thankful to God that I’m so lucky. Even in these troubled economic times, I have a sense of enjoying the good things. I’m doing work I enjoy and it seems like every time there’s some new piece of bad news on TV, I make a new connection, meet someone interesting, or get an inquiry about work. Social networking, like this blog, my other blogs, facebook and twitter seem to bring about interesting things. I’ve always been a person who connects stuff together… pieces of ideas, things I observe, capabilities people show about themselves or ideas, things I can be a part of creating, etc. And I’ve come to marvel in how so many things are intertwined, how connected everything is. That’s what I like about the social media and product work that I do for my company and clients.
Last week I was contacted by a breast cancer husband whose wife has had her cancer return after four years. I won’t use their real names as I don’t have their permission. The husband contacted me after coming across the Breast Cancer For Husbands blog. Apparently he did a little Googling or checked out my other blogs and discovered we have a lot in common, including our mutual interests in music and contemporary worship, similar families and closeness in age. The “security guy” in me says ‘is this for real?’ and the connections part of me says, ‘ah, enjoy the serendipity’.
The breast cancer husband and I traded some bible verses, and he also shard a poem someone brought to them. I don’t know the source of the poem, so I can’t credit it properly but I hope the author doesn’t mind me sharing it with you. Whether you are “religious” or “spiritual”, or just believe in some kind of higher power, I hope this poem offers something for you.
God is in every tomorrow,
Therefore I live for today,
Certain of finding at sunrise,
Guidance and strength for my way;
Power for each moment of weakness,
Hope for each moment of pain,
Comfort for every sorrow,
Sunshine and joy after rain.
I shared with my new breast cancer husband friend a verse I find strengthening and inspiring.
Hebrews 4:16, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
We all find sources of strength and comfort in ways that work for each of us. It may be a book, a song, a bible verse, torah or other religious scripture. Strength can be found in someone’s story of their battle with an illness. A friend of ours was so inspired by my wife’s attitude and approach to taking on breast cancer, he wrote a song called Beautiful Day (which I had the pleasure of recording the guitar part on the CD). You can find Beautiful Day on iTunes if you like. (All proceeds go to charitable organizations.) Family can of course also be a major source of strength when they are on board as part of your “support team”.
Ultimately though, I think it comes down to one thing. At least it does for me. A while back, before all the breast cancer business in our lives, I came to the realization that you are what you think. What you chose to fill your head with determines how you view things, events, challenges, and life. Since then I’ve come to learn I’m not the only person on the planet who has this similar notion, so I guess that’s some form of validation, though I don’t think I needed it (but appreciate the validation.) If you think you’re a victim, you are. If you think you’re happy, you are. If you think your going to beat the cancer, you will. I can’t say with certainty that every person who believed in their heart that they’d beat cancer, did, but I’m pretty certain most everyone who was convinced they’d die of cancer did, and probably accelerated the process by believing that.
This idea may sound overly simplistic, but even if it does, allow yourself to try it. Believe the chemo treatments are working. Believe you have the strength to endure the battle. Believe you’ll do whatever needs to be done to support and love your wife. Your sources of strength to battle breast cancer with your wife are infinite so reach out and tap into them but know that it’s ultimately what’s inside you that counts. So try it. I believe this you are what you think idea will have a positive effect for you. (See, there I go applying it myself! lol)
I hope you’ll join me in sending a prayer for strength, support, love and great caring to this new breast cancer husband friend and his wife. Say a prayer, offer best wishes, think good thoughts, read a bible verse of poem for them, or send them some positive karma. I believe that stuff works. Knowing others are offering something from themselves to share with you as their support, even if they don’t know you, is a source of strength in and of itself.
My prayers for you.