Saturday, September 10, 2016

Love Through Cancer

I've read articles about couples who commit or marry, and soon afterwards one partner receives a cancer diagnosis.  And other couples who commit or marry knowing that one has cancer.  Some of them tell stories of reaching levels of accelerated intimacy and authenticity that they believe wouldn't have been possible had it not been for the illness.  Others get lost in the maelstrom of hospitals and intervention, and they live their life at the crossroads of chemo and uncertainty.

I now know two people who are at the beginning of their love and cancer story.  They were both married before, and both lost their spouses to illness.  They know the caregiver role well.  Now he knows the patient role.

They met about a year ago, and their rhythms were a great match.  They are both smart, funny, and welcoming.  She's animated and active; he's more pensive and accommodating.  He wraps her in his larger bear of a body, and she curls, catlike, in his arms.  They suit each other.  And they have come to love each other.

Several months ago he was diagnosed with cancer.  In fact with two different cancers.  Sounds bad, but the doctors are hopeful surgery can eliminate both -- once the tumors are shrunk though chemo and radiation to a surgical size.

They recently decided to get married.  I haven't asked them why.  I imagine it has to do with love, and giving, and caregiving, and a vision of hope.  I applaud them for doing the normal thing in a situation of such............

Readers of this blog have deep experience with illness and its demands, and the hard, and often special paths it takes us down.  What thoughts or guidance would you offer this couple?

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