Breathing

"I have a hard time allowing myself to make future plans because I wonder if Jeff will get sick again. Then I feel guilty because that means I am not really living or letting him live, I'm just holding my breath. But I'm learning to find a balance between saving up just in case and living like it's all going to be ok."

That was something I wrote on a discussion board last fall. It happened to be right before my husband's two-year check-up and amidst talk of planning a big family vacation. He also started talking of plans for my 40th birthday and I hadn't even turned 39 yet. He's a big planner. :)

And everytime he would talk of planning something in the future, my mind would go back to the summer of 2006 when he relapsed right before we were to leave on vacation. Our kids were great about it. The two older ones said, "That's ok, Mama. We'll just go next year." (My in-laws saved the week, arriving to pick up our kids and take them to their cabin. The kids were delighted!) But I just didn't want to go through cancelling reservations and breaking the news to the kids ever again. It was such a disappointment on top of everything else. I suppose I felt that if I didn't plan anything, I wouldn't have to cancel anything. I could control that one aspect of my future. (It's rediculous logic, I know. Especially for someone who claims to be surrendered to whatever God has planned. But that's how it was, nonetheless.)

Jeff wore me down, and in February, we did take the Disney vacation he started bugging me about last fall. He asked if he should buy ticket insurance in case he got sick. I said "No." (God had given me peace about going, so buying ticket insurance would have been like saying "I'll go, but I don't really trust you, God.") It was a successful vacation with the biggest "problem" being the flight down there getting delayed. Then he took me to Colorado with him last month on business, and it never crossed my mind that we'd have to cancel because of leukemia.

Well, I realized something on Monday. I'm no longer holding my breath! He has check-ups every six months now, and Monday was the day. I had forgotten about it!!! I realized it around 10 am, and thought "Hmm, if I forgot, I certainly hope he remembered to go." :) He is now 2 1/2 years cancer-free. And so I'm wondering, what should we plan for next year?

I'm breathing again, and it...feels...GOOD!

jeff and me - photo credit Megan Zwart

Comments

Shellmo said…
God bless you both. Your post reminded me of a quote:

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. ~Havelock Ellis
theArthurClan said…
I was so thrilled to hear that he had another clean bill of health as far as the cancer goes Adrienne. And I'm so happy to know that you are able to "breathe" again...

What a beautiful photo of the two of you!
I am so thankful. I didn't know this part of your story Adrienne. I just said a prayer for him and for your family! I am so glad that you are breathing again! And I am SO glad that God has kept him cancer free. What a beautiful couple!
Carol said…
Live every minute as if it's your last. Because it can be...and not just because of Cancer. I am glad you are able to do that now. God Bless you both..enjoy the gift he has given you...each other.

www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com
Plattner Ranch said…
I'm so glad to hear that you are beginning to enjoy not only the present but hopes for the future as well.

God bless you as you trust him in all these issues you face.
drewmark19 said…
That's awesome, Adrienne. The one thing about my dad's cancer that I never expected was that there really isn't a moment when you know everything will be okay. I always thought before that it would be a doctor saying, "Yep, he's fine now." Instead it's wait 3 months, now wait 6 months, now have a checkup in a year, etc. The nice thing is that the more time that goes by, the more relaxed a person can feel. I'm so happy to hear that Jeff has been cancer free for so long now.
Jamie said…
Adrienne you are both so blessed to have each other and to have such wonderful children. I will continually pray for your husbands good health!
i beati said…
I have cancer and I find short vacations and plans are the best and less stress free- stress to a cancer survivor or patient is hard.Short twerms , often things to look forward to accentuate life's journey.

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