Five Years Post-Cancer

Five Years Post-CancerFive Years Post-Cancer

As I approach the one-and a half year anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death from cancer, I also got great news about my husband. He is five years post-cancer and has a clean bill of health.

He went yesterday for the last throat scope (no, you don’t want the details). He had tonsil cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes. The treatment was brutal (including a feeding tube, among other things), but effective.

I know that as I write about my joy at his outcome, there are many of you out there suffering in one way or another.

Joy and Suffering

As I think about this juxtaposition of joy and suffering, in certain ways, they seem a double-edged sword.

Our suffering cracks us open and reveals parts of ourselves we may not have known before. I am aware that my ability to feel joy is in direct proportion to the suffering I have experienced. And as we come through our struggles, they are our successes.

True, too, for the suffering of marriage “illness.” If you have gone in different trajectories, fight often, have lost intimacy, sex, or comfort, then recovering this “illness” leads to joy.

Your suffering is real, and the stress that goes with it threatens your health and well-being.

Preventing Caring

Figure out one thing you do that prevents your partner from caring for you as you want and need, and take action in yourself to make that better – not perfect.

 I know it’s only human to want it to be the other person that has to make a change. And it’s likely true, as well. Yet the only person we have the ability to change is ourselves.
Seek joy.

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Photo by The TaiChiClub @morgueFile