” I married you because you are a fighter.  Now is the time to fight.”

Today was my first of daily love notes to my wife.  I used to leave notes like this under her pillow when I would go away when we were dating and living far from each other.  Now I can just do this via email when at work.

This note is for me as much as it is all those who know someone who has dealt with cancer in their lives.  As a husband of someone who just found out yesterday that their wife has breast cancer, I’m trying to figure out how I can deal with it too.  What does a husband say or do? Yesterday my wife was diagnosed with ductal cariconoma.  We will be getting more results today and have already set up an appointment with the surgeon for next Monday.  The waits are the worst.  Not just for the person with cancer, but their loved ones.  All it does is give you time to think, which isn’t always a good thing.  You can definitely overthink things.

Thoughts go from, “what about my children” and “I want to be there for them” to “am I going to need radiation or chemotherapy” to “what about our family vacation?”.  My goal is to get us to continue to live life WITH cancer for however long the doctors say we are going to be living with it.  But the important thing is to remind my wife that we are going to LIVE and that I am going to live it with her.

I’m not going into this blindly.  My mother just had breast cancer 4 years ago and my mother in law had it 20 years ago.  Both are survivors and are great examples for me and my wife.  Although my wife and I knew that cancer would someday be a reality because of history, it just never seemed like something we could prepare for.  You never truly prepare for this.

What we do know is we are going to fight.  That’s what all the books say.  From Lance Armstrong to Randy Pausch there are tons of inspiring stories for those struggling with cancer.  My job is to help my wife.  Help her stay positive and stay tough.  Help her to show a good example for our two young children, ages 8 and 6.

For the spouse of a someone with cancer this is hard.  You have to stay strong while not sounding unsympathetic.  My wife always tends to want to think things through with the glass half empty.  I’m trying to teach her about the glass being half full.

My message to her today is to begin to fight, but first she must tell some people and set the base.  The base is to be a strong foundation of friends and family.  These are people we want to help us to fight by showing a positive attitude and helping to distract us.  Yes us and not just her.  As a husband of a wife with breast cancer I am living with it too.  I’m going to help her beat it.