In Sickness and in Health

About a week ago I came down with a cough and a fever. It quickly progressed into a high fever and nasty cough that then turned into vomiting that then turned into being completely drained and literally in bed for days. Thank heavens for my husband who quickly took up kid duty, cleaning the house, and taking care of me. Well, that is until he picked up what I had and then he, too, was flat on his back with a high fever, nasty cough, and all around draining sickness. It was a miserable week, to say the least. But we survived and none the better for it.

It’s interesting how dynamics shift when one (or both) spouses get sick. You just pick up the slack for the other and move forward. Why? Because you love each other and that’s just what you do. But, what happens when “sick” is not just a relative term. What happens when your spouse is diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness? My guess is that “sick” becomes a term that describes your worst fear and possibly the most trying time in your life (and marriage!). I’ve been blessed to only have a virus here and there to contend with, but I know of men and women who have endured much worse and I want to share a special post from one of these dear souls.

Megan Bell Smith is a young woman in my church with two very small children who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December of 2013. Her journey was one of faith and grace and I’m honored that she is allowing me to post this here for you to read. She has a Facebook page where she reflects on her journey and this page has helped so many who are also fighting this disease. Megan is truly an inspiration and if you’d like to check out her Facebook page I invite you to do so by clicking HERE.

Here is a recent post Megan made when it came to her relationship with her husband during her ordeal:

cancer sucks. it takes a toll on so, so many aspects of your life.. many of which you don’t even realize at first glance. bryan and i have had to work on renewing our relationship. he was a solid rock throughout my treatment.. taking care of me, working like a crazy person, commuting an hour each way to work, being mama AND daddy to our kids, and paying the bills.. just to name a few of his not-so-fun tasks as caregiver. events like cancer really, really put a strain on marriages. it breaks down communication because, as a cancer patient, you are forced to step down from your previous roles. you can’t be counted on for much of anything you did in your role as a wife & parent before cancer.. and that’s hard. for both parties. bryan had to work so hard to keep everything going while watching his wife morph into someone he didn’t even recognize.. which would naturally turn you very mechanical with your emotions. once i was well again, i sometimes resented him for treating me like a child [ which i was during treatment ] or not sharing things with me [ because he became so used to not having me coherent enough TO share things with for so long ]. communication broke down.. we went from talking about everyday life topics as best friends.. to talking about very little other than survival-like topics.. from paralyzing diagnosis fears to yucky chemo side effects. bryan is my best friend. we started dating in high school and i am closer to him and enjoy his company more than anyone else’s. luckily, he feels the same way about me. after many breakdowns & arguments.. we finally deconstructed our angers & resentments and understand so much more about each other’s perspective on the past year.. it has been so, so healing for us both and we are enjoying reconnecting with our long-lost best friends.. he said this week that he looks at me now and finally feels like he is “starting to get his megan back”. i’m pretty thankful for my [ patient, perseverant ] b-ryan and the blessing of finding yet another peak in the roller-coaster called marriage.



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