The day that my wife Heather was diagnosed with cancer is a day I'll never forget. Our doctor informed us that she had malignant pleural mesothelioma, and our lives changed forever. This was also the same day that I became my wife's caregiver, a task I was never expecting and certainly not prepared for. Our first child was born only three months prior and we were looking forward to celebrating her first Christmas. However, life had other plans, and we started down a long, difficult journey to beat cancer.
The two months following that were some of our hardest. While we'd both held full-time jobs before, my wife had to quit and I was reduced to part time in order to care for her and our daughter Lily. When I wasn't at work, I was arranging travel plans, accompanying my wife to the doctor's and taking care of our infant daughter. It was overwhelming and I was afraid of what might happen if my wife should die. I'd be totally broke, homeless and caring for a small child on my own. Regardless, my family needed me to be strong, so I hid my inner turmoil from them.
The one thing working in our favor was the multitude of people willing to help, ranging from loved ones to complete strangers. My advice to others is to take every offer of help you get. It's that much less that you'll have to endure. I can't debate that caring for a loved one with cancer is among the most difficult things to face, but it's important to never allow your despair to claim you.
My wife endured months of grueling treatments including mesothelioma surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Slowly, our lives became somewhat normal again. Despite the odds stacked against her, my wife overcame her disease and is still with our daughter and I today.
There is also a video you can view if interested.