Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Defending Your Life

I can’t believe we are fucking back here again. This is not supposed to be our story. This shouldn’t be anyone’s story. 

This is not our story.

I’m at a loss for words, but I am not at a loss for feelings. Outrage. Sadness. Shock. Fear.

I am afraid.

This time I am not the patient. I am not the Thunder Stealer. This time, it is my love, my rock, my everything who was given the diagnosis. Although it is my life we are fighting for too. It is for my future. For our future. Right now we are fighting to keep the precious future we have spent over a decade building intact.

And I am fucking angry at how unfair life seems in this moment.

Honestly, part of me expected cancer to remerge at some point in our lives. I prepared for it. I braced myself for it. I braced Brad for it. But it was for me. Never for him.

I was never prepared for that.

I feel blindsided. Being on the other end of this diagnosis. Being the spouse watching her love go through the pain and fear and endless set of decisions required. The never-ending questioning. The poking and prodding. The looks. Oh, the looks.

I don’t know how to be the caregiver. The supporter. The spouse.

It is something that came so naturally to Brad when Little Hodgy suddenly appeared in our lives. He knew how to handle me. How to handle others. He knows how to balance being strong and being vulnerable. Knows when to laugh and when to cry. When to quietly reflect and when to bring others in. He just knows. Knows what to do. How to handle life. Even when you've been given a shitty hand. It’s because of these innate qualities that I know Brad will be able to cope and handle everything this diagnosis throws at him. At us.

I just hope that I can do the same.

This is not our story.

I find myself fluctuating between channeling my inner Thunder Stealer - full of courage and fight - and on the verge of a complete and total meltdown. Between feeling terrified and also feeling comfort in the vast amount of knowledge we have.

Because we’ve been here before (sort of). We researched. We learned. We changed our lives. We aren’t starting from scratch.

But this is different.

I knew how to handle my own illness. I took control and owned it as best I could. I used this blog as my virtual punching bag, uppercutting f-bombs all over the screen to help me deal.

But this is Brad. My Brad.

I don’t know how to own this. I can’t even say it out loud. I can barely type it.

Stage 4. Metastatic. Rare.

This is not our story.

And because I can’t say it, I’ll let Brad say it in his own words on his own blog, The Road Taken. And if you don't know Brad, reading his words will give you a glimpse of the man he is. Calm. Thoughtful. Strong. While I write an angry "f u" to the world, Brad's words pour out with grace and beauty. He is the zen yin to my angry yang.

Honestly, I was hoping this blog would fall down the google ranks and into oblivion. But here we are. Pulling The Thunder Stealer out of retirement as a way to once again process what life has thrown our way.

And as I continue to use this platform as my virtual punching bag, Brad will be handling this in a different way - in a very Brad way. In addition to writing about it on his own blog, he’ll also be podcasting about it (along wth myself and his best friend Jeremy) - and encouraging others to join in on the conversation. To talk about what it means to live life courageously. Something Brad did long before this diagnosis.

Having deep and meaningful discussions has always been an integral part of Brad and whether we wanted it to or not, the universe just gave us a whole new set of topics. So listen along over at Defending Your Life (website coming soon) as we laugh, cry, and get weird together on this journey.

This is our story. Just not forever.