Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Listening to Coldplay's song Fix You really strums my heartstrings. Some of the words perfectly describe my husband, Paul, and I in so many ways especially from 2007 to 2010 and for me now. When I listen to it the first thing that comes to mind is how I tried with every fiber of my being to fix him and make him well. Our Naturopath saw it and during one visit after Paul had spoken with her for awhile she sat me down next to him and looked me in the eyes and said Keri you are not Paul's doctor. Have you ever thought about how it makes him feel that you are trying to cure him? He has doctors working on his behalf let us do our jobs and you do yours for awhile. You are his wife. She then turned to him and said tell her how it makes you feel knowing that she is doing all of this work for you. He looked down and slightly turned towards me and told me it made him feel bad that I was doing all this "homework" as we called it for him because it meant I was always thinking about the cancer and he knew that and he had it, he lived with it he did not want to think about it all of the time. Tears streamed down my face. I had no idea. I tried to do my cancer homework early in the morning when he was sleeping but he knew I was waking up 3 hours early everyday to do it. He then coined the term cancercation and our rule was when he told me it was time for cancercation that meant STOP for at least 1 week and f***ing forget about cancer. So, I did and when it was cancercation it was wonderful....all of it was wonderful but being able to forget cancer for a week felt so good. I still got up 3 hours early but I meditated or did Jin Shin Jyutsu in those hours for those weeks. Thank God for Dr. Diehn she changed our lives and she gave us confidence and some grounding. More than that she believed in Paul and I like nobody else could and I will never forget her for that. She was very compassionate towards us both. Of his two doctors she was the one who came to his memorial service. I am telling this story because if anyone out there is a "caregiver" a term I did not like for myself because he was my husband and I was his wife not his "caregiver" but anyway, if anyone out there is caring for a loved one and reads this I hope that they will glean a little insight from it. All we want to do is make our spouse, mother, father, child, brother, sister, etc. well and comfortable and we will do anything we have to do to accomplish this goal sometimes without thinking about how our loved one feels about it. We must advocate for our loved ones but we must also remember that they are still the people that we love not the disease they are dealing with. It is a very tough place to find yourself in and know how to handle. These are people we love and they are being threatened it is normal for us to react as if we are at war because we are but what we have to remember is that the enemy and the person we love are one. That is unbelievably hard to live with and it takes a lot of deep breathing and mindfulness to wrap your head around this fact. My husband was and is my greatest teacher. I am still learning from him 1 year after his passing (next week). I will always have his influence in my life from the silly to the serious stuff. It is because of him that I can honestly say I am happy where I am at with my life right now. One year ago I could not imagine saying that or feeling this way. Cancer died a year ago, Paul did not, he lives on in brilliant ways and so do I in his honor!