11 years with cancer
1 month ago I lost my wife of 18 years. She was my best friend and lover. Almost 11 years ago she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Many doctors told us how rare the cancer was however when you are the 1 in a million, it's not rare. Anyway, we fought the cancer as best we could. She never lost faith, never lost hope. She was always willing to tell anybody about the disease and willing to support anyone else in their battle. She went through surgeries, chemo, and radiation, too many times to count. She did her best to always have a smile on her face, a smile that was infectious and would fill the room. We always talked about growing old together, watching the boys (15 & 23) grow, get married, and have their own kids.
We went on a cruise in January, we knew without saying anything to each other that it was our last vacation together. She ended up having surgery right after we got back. She never totally recovered. She became increasingly weak and eventually was not able to walk. She was bed bound, something that neither of us dealt with very well.
The last few days before she passed away I will never forget. She slowly slipped away. A good friend of ours is a nurse. She knew what was going as did I. (I was a paramedic for 17 years and have seen a lot of death). Anyway, she would stop by, hold her hand, help me clean her up, fix something for her to eat, etc. I could never explain how much having her here helped. For almost a week before she passed away, when we were alone, and she was asleep, I would stand at the foot of the bed looking at her. I would pray that if it were God's will for her to go with him that it would happen quickly. Neither of us wanted her to live this way.
On the day she passed away, I knew it was time. Our friend, the nurse, felt it too. She called me first thing in the morning and I told her that I thought it was about time. She immediately left work. About an hour after she arrived, my dear wife went to be with the Lord. She died in my arms. I will never forget that feeling and her life ended and mine forever changing.
I do not blame God for the cancer or for taking her from me. She did not die of cancer, she beat cancer and is living pain and cancer free in heaven.
I am learning to adapt to her not being here. It has not been easy. The little things still get me. The other day I changed all the calendars and cried through the whole thing. It was like I was closing the last chapter in a book. Life goes on and this I know. Where it leads from here only God knows.