I picked a ‘good un’ in my husband, I am 100% certain of that. If I wasn’t before all this, I am now.
Firstly, and most importantly my husband saved my life. No two ways about it, he felt ‘it’ and commented on ‘it’, and if he hadn’t my story so far would be a whole lot different.
My husband wasn’t there on the day of my diagnosis, something that was my decision. It was a difficult decision for me, for fear of hurting him, but nevertheless I needed to hear those words on my own I think. From that point on though, my other half has been there every step of the way – and believe me that is no easy thing given how stubborn I am.
As a daddy he has bravely taken up the mantle from school pick ups, to making dinners – afternoons in the park and surviving bath time (happy hour, where everybody loses their patience or has a meltdown).
Our son adores him and is delighted that his daddy now gets to hang out with him more whilst I am out of action. To my son, his daddy is his hero through and through.
My daughter on the other hand, makes him work for it – in every sense of the word. She decides on any given day whether she will kiss him before he goes off to work in the morning. She will play with him, only on her terms (usually making him sit in amongst her teddies in a make believe game). She doesn’t hold still whilst he struggles to dress her and fathom her tights, or even attempt some sort of hair style.
I know that both my kids love their daddy for all of the same reasons that I do, he makes them laugh, he is kind and he has all the time in the world for them – he always will.
It is only right to say that breast cancer affects the men as well. I have found it to be similar to pregnancy in that they try to be there for you – but in essence, they are helpless in knowing what to do for the best (and that can’t be a nice feeling). Yes, it seems that at the sametime as hurting you, this crappy disease hurts them too.
On the decision of whether or not to accept chemotherapy treatment he applied all of his ‘Gamblers Club’ knowledge (a group he’s in with his old Uni friends) and boldly said that he would take the slim odds that they gave me for reoccurrence – the chances of the cancer cells coming back, without further treatment. However, he soon changed his mind (we both did) after the reality dawned on us that what we stood to lose was much greater than either of us could deal with.
He found my post-op mumblings whilst coming round from general anesthetic hilarious and although I can’t speak for him – I think he is secretly very pleased with the results of my ‘boob job’, as they are definitely new and improved. It is also safe to say that he was a little taken aback one morning in the hospital when I informed him that he was the 3rd man to see my boobs that day (following consultant visits).
He has temporarily lost his drinking buddy for our ‘crazy’ Saturday nights in front of the telly with a takeaway.
He has had to put up with a teary, tired wife for months, and has even lost embarrassingly at ‘Words with Friends’ (a Scrabble App) during my lengthy chemo sessions.
He has juggled the work – home life thing for months together with looking after a sick wife.
But you know what? He has not complained once. Not one single time.
Now on Fathers Day I have the quandary as to how the kids will go about treating their daddy. Scenario #1 is pay back for Mothers Day, where they excitedly wake him at 6.30am on Sunday morning with cards and gifts, happily bouncing on the bed or Scenario #2 letting him lie in until he naturally wakes up (a thing that all parents with young children crave). This year I am going for the latter because he bloody deserves it – every single minute of it*.
I can say now and with absolute confidence, that if there ever comes a day when I am not here I know that my children will be brought up in the way that I have always wanted – and as a mother there is not much more of a compliment I can pay the guy than that.
* Happy Father’s Day Gareth Matthews