Three Years ago...when Tom was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma. My how time flies!
And even though in most cases it appears that this cancer means that one's life may be cut short, it can also mean that life has a whole new meaning and that one begins to appreciate life in a whole new manner.
Everything takes on a new perspective for the person who has been given those words "You have cancer"...(and for that persons family) whether it be Cholangiocarcinoma or any other type of cancer. Some cancer is worse than others, but some cancer's can be 'cured' and others cannot.
So with a cancer such as Cholangiocarcinoma entering one's life your life's path changes. The person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with may not be there with you into your 'golden' years. The person you rely on the most suddenly becomes the person who relies on you! You find yourself doing all the things that he once did and more because your life changes based on his needs.
You sometimes have to find the joy in the little things in life, things that really didn't seem to matter before the cancer diagnosis! But things that now have taken on a whole new meaning.
In some ways I'm grateful for Cholangiocarcinoma because it has given me the chance to express my love for Tom in ways that I never thought were possible. Just by being there for him, giving him moral support, standing by him when people that he thought were his friends are no longer here. Family that he thought would stand by him through thick and thin no longer come around. (Is it that they are uncomfortable with how he looks now? Are they afraid that they might catch his cancer?)
I'm grateful that I've had the last three years rather than to have him taken suddenly from me with no warning (although sometimes I feel that would have been easier to deal with in the long run).
I'm grateful for my employer and the insurance that we have because of my employment. I'm grateful for being able to work at home which gives me more time with my husband.
So each time one of you caregivers want to give up and throw in the towel (myself included) try to stay positive and take a deep breath and remember what Cholangiocarcinoma HAS given you! Another chance to express your love for your spouse, father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin etc.
Go with God and KEEP KICKIN' THAT cancer.
I'm HOPING for ANOTHER three years!