Some of you good folks who take the time to read my ramblings here know my husband, Mike. Some of you don’t. Regardless, it’s time to take a minute and tell the world why my husband is so amazing, and why I love him so much.
The basic, cancer-themed facts are simple: when I was diagnosed in December, 2007, Mike never flinched. (Well, maybe he did, but he was careful not to do it in front of me.) He did everything you could expect a loving spouse to do when faced with a life crisis like cancer. He never, ever once thought of running away – which, sadly, happens more often than I think most people realize when a partner faces a serious illness. Not only did he stick by me through the worst of it; he helped give me the tools and support I needed in order to rebuild my life once I was well again.
But Mike’s exemplary performance during the course of my illness doesn’t even begin to tell the story. Because I was lucky enough to find him, amidst the unpleasantness of law school, all those years ago, I had, when cancer struck, an unbelievably solid foundation in the most important relationship in my life. We were ten years into our exhilarating – and yes, at times frustrating – dance together when I got sick, and there is no question that the strength of our love for each other is what gave me the determination to fight as hard as I did to keep on living.
Mike is a Gemini, and though I am not prone to putting much stock in astrology, I have always loved his multi-faceted personality. He is intense and extremely goofy; piercingly intelligent, but sometimes just a little bit wifty; he has an astoundingly creative spirit, but is also immensely practical when faced with a challenge. He is kind, but tough.
These are just a few of the reasons why I fell in love with Mike so long ago, and why I continue to love and admire him just as much today as I did when we first got together for dinner and to play some Joni Mitchell songs that summer evening in 1997.
It has been all too easy, in the aftermath of cancer, to focus obsessively on the things I have done to rebuild my physical and emotional health, and the vital, sustaining relationships I have formed with so many people (mostly other young survivors) through groups like First Descents and Planet Cancer. Too often, I have gotten caught up in a refrain of ME, ME, ME. For the reality is, none of what I have achieved, none of the strength I have regained, would be possible without Mike at my side.
To be perfectly clear: the vitality, the positivity, the determination and the love – everything that I try to set down in these words, and to embody in my life – is borne of this precious bond that I share with my husband. I owe so much to him, and I am so blessed to be continuing our adventure together. May it go on and on and on…