What are the odds that a married couple will each go through a catastrophic illness together?
I know it's happened before. I'll bet most people don't really think about it though. I know we didn't.
I always figured that we would just grow old and cranky together, and that perhaps one of our kids would either take us in when we became infirm, or else find us a really nice Nursing Home. But that would be way off in the future. You know I'm talking Octogenarian here.
In 2008 at age 53, my husband Dave was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called myeloproliferative disease. At the time we were told that it was a very low grade, slowly developing cancer that could be controlled with medication.
After receiving over 58 blood transfusions over the course of a year, and many adjustments of a medication called Hydroxyurea, he finally achieved a remission of sorts and was able to resume his usual activities.
In 2012 (also at age 53) it apparently was my turn, as I was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian cancer.
Thank God that Dave was doing well because I don't know what I would have done without him.
Through all the chemo, surgery and occasional complications, he manned up and stood by me.
I was truly between a rock and a hard place but lucky for me, Dave was the rock.
In 2013 Dave's cancer rapidly progressed into Myelofibrosis. The Hydroxyurea (which was really only a band-aide) fell off. This past October he underwent an allogeneic stem cell transplant, and we were very fortunate that our donor was a 10/10 match. I say "our donor" because we are in this journey together.
I mean imagine a conversation where one of you says "Honey would you like to wear one of my knit baldy caps-they really are warm and they stretch too, so it will probably fit" Or perhaps "Babe did you pick-up my nausea pills?" "Not yet Hon, but just take one of mine, they're the same thing, and the expiration date is still good".
Sigh...Ain't Life grand? I'm so fortunate that of all the people in the world I found him.
Count your blessings people, for they are many.