An Unexpected Journey (Part 1)

The Diagnosis (12/10/19)

Helplessness. Utter sadness. Regret. That’s how I’m feeling exactly one week after hearing my wife has breast cancer. I’m also somewhat shocked because I truly thought that further testing would give Rhonda a clean bill of health – not a cancer diagnosis. But this is where we are. And I do not want this to be about me! But I’m having great difficulty keeping myself out of the equation. My feelings and insecurities do not and should not matter at this time. This particular season in our journey is about my lovely wife – and her only! That being said, I’m hoping that by writing down my current thoughts I’ll somehow feel better.

First of all, I do not want this to be happening. I realize no one deserves cancer. But Rhonda does not deserve this! She is the most thoughtful, caring, and generous person I know. Now add brave to that list. My feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. What can I do? What am I supposed to do? Prayer, of course. I did that Sunday morning. I prayed fervently – and aloud (well, kind of). After hearing my shaky voice say the word cancer to my God, I could barely speak thereafter. It was more of a broken whisper from that point on. My prayer was one gigantic sob-fest. Adding insult to injury, Rhonda was at Urgent Care coping with a horrific cough during this time. I had never felt so bad, so helpless, so sad for my wife than on that day.

I wish I could say I’m much happier now, but I can’t. I feel an emptiness. A void within my soul that I know cannot be filled until I’m told Rhonda is cancer-free. In the meantime, I long to be with my wife 24/7. I know I’m smothering her, but I don’t know what else to do. In this case, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Instead, it breaks my heart to be apart – even for a minute. Boy, I am one sad sack.

Regrets. I guess a side effect of learning of a wife’s cancer diagnosis, at least for me, is the urge to question, examine, dissect, and reflect on the past with genuine scrutiny. Rationally, I know the missus and I have had a great marriage. A marriage some people envy. We’ve also had our ups and downs which supposedly is normal. Normal, maybe. But I regret any and every time I was responsible for Rhonda’s hurts, tears, and for if ever making her (or her thoughts and opinions) feel “less than.” Any moment my lovely wife has not felt special these past 36 plus years is on me. I’m extremely sorry for that. I vow to do better. To be better. That is what Rhonda deserves.


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