It was daunting when we first found out that Chris’ treatment would take at least 12 months.
Just think about what you can fit into a year, 365 days, what you can plan for, what you can look forward to. As the New Year bells rang signalling the start of 2016 there wasn’t the usual excitement of what adventures we would get up to or what resolutions we would make and break within days but more a sense of dread caused by a year ahead of uncertainty.
Chris broke the year into thirds; six rounds of chemo, the amputation, 8, hopefully final, rounds of chemo. It became easier to comprehend, to manage. It didn’t sound so long.
Last weekend saw the first third complete, six rounds of chemo done, over with. It has gone quick yet dragged, if that’s even possible. It has been hard to watch, to live in. Being the wife, family member or friend of someone with cancer and dealing with the effects of treatment can often leave you feeling helpless, in limbo, needing to do something but with no idea what is right. Some days have been hard but some days have been good, really good and we have been able to forget cancer even entered our lives.
Unsurprisingly, to me anyway, we have managed to laugh, to smile, to steal adventures here and there. That’s what we do. Our relationship has been built on a foundation of laughter and it’s something that we have managed to instil in both holy terrors, I mean kids.
Some days laughter has been harder than others, on dark days when the light is hard to find there has been you. Sending messages, texts, jokes, cakes, meals, notes or offered hugs. You have helped to keep the flicker going to see us through the worst so far and we have got to this stage feeling, almost positive.
May brings us to the next ‘third’ of treatment, Chris’ biggest challenge yet, the amputation. This is something we again face with uncertainty. Not sure how this will affect the logistics of family life, I think it will involve me having to learn to cook at some point, unsure of the needs and demands and the alterations to the way we do things. Hopefully this won’t bring about change to who we are, that as Chris recovers and learns to walk again, we will hobble holding each other up to what will be our new normality.
I know that Chris will face whatever is in front of him head on. He will do it for his family and his friends. He will do it so he can watch Lily and Sam grow up and so that we can grow old, grey and grumpy together.
He will do it for himself so that cancer won’t win.
And you will help. You will be on this journey with him, it’s you. You are the ones that will get him to the end of the year, you are the ones who will get him running again, you are the ones that will get him riding a bike again, you are the ones that will help him to everything he ever did and more.
So, thank you for getting us through the last 18 weeks, and thank you in advance for getting us through the rest of the year.