What cancer does to a family
When cancer strikes you wish everything could stop. You wish there was a pause button where you could collect your thoughts and figure things out. But there isn't life marches on.
When cancer strikes you wish you could devote 100% of your time and energy to the person with cancer, but since life marches on you are unable to.
Cancer hurts on so many levels, but one level is it doesn't give people much of a choice.
I know I am not the only who faces this so I write not just from my own personal experience, but I write probably from the experience of thousands of others.
Here is a dark truth about cancer. The bills remain the same. The mortgage still has to be paid at the beginning of the month. The car payment is still due on the 20th. The utilities and water must be paid in order for them to continue to work. The student loan, the internet, the cell phone. Paid, paid, paid. And people still have to eat so groceries must be bought and gas must be put in the car.
And so while one person has cancer and is stuck in the hospital and is getting cycles of chemotherapy, while one person is feeling the horrible effects of the chemotherapy the other person has to work because life marches on . And they are faced with the guilt of not being able to be with their spouse. And that is the cruelty of cancer. Nothing pauses. Nothing stops. The healthy one is faced with the choice of not getting paid but being with their sick spouse or getting paid and letting their spouse spend the days without them. It is a cruel choice. Yet is a choice that thousands face when cancer strikes.
I would want nothing more than to be by the side of my husband as he is getting chemo put into his body. I wish I could be there to hold his hand. I want nothing more than to be there when they draw blood for the 100th time and when the doctor comes in to talk to him about his treatment. I want to be there if he starts to get sick from the chemotherapy. But I can't because life marches on and you are faced with a cruel choice.
I made the choice to take 6 unpaid days off when my husband first started his chemotherapy and I do serve a God who provides and so even though my paycheck was almost nothing God provided and He made a way. And I don't regret that choice. But I now have to choose to work until my summer vacation (thank God I am a teacher) and I will be working while my husband is getting chemotherapy. And that is a choice I fear that I will regret. While my husband is in the hospital, my life marches on. I will have to make phone calls to students and pretend my life is okay. I will have to plan Live Lessons and pretend my life is okay. I will have to attend meetings and state testing and pretend that my life is okay. Because life marches on and you are faced with a cruel choice. And I know I am not the only one sitting in this position right now. I know I am not the only spouse who wishes they could be by the side of the one they love so much, but they know they have to work.And that is why I write this because thousands of people are faced with the reality that they really don't have a choice.
When your spouse is sick and facing the darkest time of their life, you want to be there for them and with them, But you can't because life marches on and you can't push pause.
And the choices continue to be cruel because not only do I have a spouse who is sick, I have a 4 year old and a 3 year old who need their parents. And so I have to make the cruel choice of either spending the night in the hospital to be with my husband or spending the night at home with my children because life marches on, There is no pause button.
And that is why my walk with God is so important. Because cancer can destroy a person. The stresses and the worries are huge when cancer is the diagnosis. But my dependence on God is so important, because I have confidence He will get me through. I may not always have a smile on my face. I might be full of exhaustion. I might cry because the choices I have to make are cruel. But I am confident in the God that I serve. I am confident that He will see me through. I am confident that He will us rest fo our souls.
But cancer is cruel.