My mom came to visit us to see a doctor in our area in July of that year. She was diagnosed as being terminally ill. While my mom was in the hospital, my husband was diagnosed as terminally ill in early September. My mom passed away in October 2002 and I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread in November of that same year. I had breast surgery on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day 2002 in the hospital.
God blessed me with a daughter who is a nurse. She had her hands full with all three of us being in the hospital in 2002. My daughter lived 2 ½ hours away and could only help on the week-ends.
J.C. and I realized that we only had a few months together. We made the decision that we would have all the joy that we could have on a daily basis. The year 2003 was my husband’s best year of his entire life, so he told me. We were at peace. We lived only for the day and packed all that we could into the day. We listened to music, I would read to him, we talked and prayed. Sometimes on a good day, we would go out to lunch or for a ride in his new truck.
We had 11 hospital stays in the year 2003. We took chemotherapy together in the same room at our cancer facility. We packed picnic lunches and laughed and joked while drinking our juice and eating our sandwiches. The nurses all wanted to talk with us because we were happy people.
My husband knew he could not live long and he spent hours telling me what to do from time to time when he was gone. He instructed me to find someone what I could be happy with and remarry. He did not want me to be sad and alone. He told me to get out of the house and find something to do. He said that I needed to be active so that I could live.
J.C. lost his battle with cancer January 2004. My battle with cancer ended after my surgery. I have been cancer free for 5 ½ years now.
People were so kind to us during our illnesses. They always wanted to know what they could do. I found that most people do not know how to help those with cancer or illnesses. Things that I could have used are as follows:
- A gift certificate to a quite place to eat out
- Home made soups that are not highly seasoned
- A special desert
- Books or magazines that are good clean fun
- Cook a favorite homemade food (I wanted pot roast and gravy). If one in the family has cancer, then bring food for the other members of the family. Most family members are tired and always like good food.
- We were blessed with a cancer policy but many are not...money is a good gift (there are very few organizations that will help with finances)
- Gift certificates from a music store
- Offer to clean house or run errands
I could rejoice for my husband that he had gone to a better place. I know that he is happy now and free from all illness. He is receiving his rewards from our God. I still miss him so much. People told me that I would miss him less in a year, but that is not true.
I found another good man. God blessed me with two husbands who love me. My new husband Andre' will hold me and let me cry when I miss J.C.; he is not jealous of my first husband. What a blessing!
My life is full. I now have a great-granddaughter. She is a wonderful little girl who loves me. I still have that dream of retirement and traveling. God is good.