What A Difference A Year Makes

I’m sorry if you thought I’d dropped off the face of the earth, Constant Reader, but I’ve been “off the grid” since Friday. Our cable/Internet was out because of a snapped line, and so we’ve been living in the Stone Age for the past couple of days. What a relief to be back online!

What I was writing about at the time of the interruption was the fact that it had been exactly one year since my dear husband, Will, was diagnosed with cancer.

What a difference a year makes. Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, the doctors told us there was basically no hope. That he had, at best, six months to a year with aggressive therapy, and three to six months without. That they were so sorry, and if there was anything they could do for us, they would.

I fully expected to be a widow within a few weeks. He looked so awful and felt even worse, and at one point we called in hospice because he needed a nurse who wasn’t his wife. Then hope came in the form of an urgent call from his oncologist, who told me that if Will had to get pancreatic cancer, he’d gotten the right kind. They had medicine for that which wouldn’t cure him, but could lengthen his life by months or even years by stopping the growth of the tumors and maybe even shrinking them a little.

He’s been on the drugs for nine months now, and not only have the tumors shrunk, he feels better now than he did for some time prior to his diagnosis. He does everything he wants to, rests when he feels the need, and generally enjoys his life. He is no longer grumpy and sour like he was before we knew he was sick; now he realizes that each day is a gift and refuses to be negative. He often meanders through the house whistling or humming…..and he is cheery when he comes to wake me up and bring me coffee in the morning, just like he used to be.

Best of all, we’ve discovered each other all over again, and it’s almost like being newlyweds…..only with the wisdom of people who have been together a very long time and know one another thoroughly. Falling in love again at this age and stage of life is amazing! We can make a trip to the grocery store fun. We act silly and laugh like idiots at each other’s dumb little jokes. And we reminisce about our early life together, raising the kids, making do and doing without, even the times when things weren’t so good between us.

Of course, with time comes a blurring of the edges and the memories of those times don’t seem as awful as they once were. That’s OK. We don’t mind.

Though the shadow of cancer still looms over us, we have both chosen to live in the moment and cherish each day together. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone; what good is being afraid all the time?

As someone much wiser than I once said, a life lived in fear is a life half lived. Will refuses to do that. Here’s to life!   

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

2 thoughts on “What A Difference A Year Makes

  1. Life makes us sad, and then makes us happy with surprising way we’ll never know. Great story, thanks for sharing, bpnurse!


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