This post has been a long time coming. A year and a half, to be exact. After we received the diagnosis that Mr. Style had liver cancer. Thirty years ago, I lost my father to cancer. Now, I’m faced with losing my husband to the same dreaded disease, which is why I hate cancer and hated it for a very long time. And I know many of you have lost friends and family to this illness. Because it seems this is a rampant disease that afflicts far too many of us. Whether it’s breast, lung, pancreatic, liver, colon, or ovarian, the list seemingly goes on and on, as more than 100 types of cancer exist. What a shocking statistic.
Why do I hate cancer? Because it creeps into your life like a thief in the night. Then start robbing their victim of their vitality. Cancer has been recognized for thousands of years as a human ailment. But there have been remarkable advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment in the past century. However, the fact remains that some forms of this disease are difficult to treat, like liver cancer. Have I mentioned I hate this disease?
From the get-go, Mr. Style has had a fantastic attitude about his prognosis. We understood that any treatment would only control the disease not cure it. Mr. Style’s main objective was always quality of life over longevity. And he wasn’t convinced he would have the quality he wanted while undergoing treatment: radiation followed by immunotherapy. My children and I fully supported his decision. Although I imagine when he saw the sadness in our eyes, he changed his mind and decided, “What the heck! What’s a treatment or two in the grand scheme of things?”
So last summer, Mr. Style underwent two radiation sessions in Atlanta, which seemed to do the trick. Until his second MRI scan in November. The cancer had grown, so he was handed off to an oncologist who suggested two treatments. Both of which came at a risk. Again, Mr. Style was concerned with the quality of his life. But after much back and forth with the children and myself, he decided to try one session of immunotherapy and then go from there. And one session was all it took for his body to rebel. Since the beginning of April, we’ve seen a steady decline in his health, which seemed to accelerate about the time of his 67th birthday on May 22nd.
It’s alarming to see your loved one deteriorate at such a fast pace. Hospice recently stepped into our lives. What a blessing they have been. I can’t sing their praises enough! Hospice care treats the person, not the disease, and their staff supports Mr. Style in every aspect. Our children are making regular visits to see their dad. And he counts the days from the time they leave until they’re back home under our roof.
Even though cancer has taken a toll on Mr. Style’s physical and emotional health, he’s determined to live with strength and dignity until the end. And me? Well, I’m standing beside my husband of 35 years, trying to give him the love and support he deserves. Of course, there are days and weeks when it seems I cry at the drop of a hat and I’m uncertain about my future. Then there are other days and weeks when I’m stoic, in control, and know that life goes on even when your heart is broken.
The past months have truly been a time of reflection for me and my family. We’ve been touched by the kindness and compassion given to Mr. Style in big and small ways, which is why I am now sharing our trial with all of you. I know we are not the first family to endure pain and suffering. And I know we won’t be the last. No one who walks this earth is immune from tribulation. That much, I know. But we can share one another’s burdens, which eases the load. And I know many of you dear readers are struggling similarly.
I will share updates with you from time to time regarding Mr. Style’s health. But the business of the blog will continue. Mr. Style was adamant about that. It’s the normalcy of life that pulls you through the pain. And the blog brings me such joy. I have all of you to thank for that.
Please keep us in your prayers. We will take every last one.