Somebody to Lean On
What I’m about to write will likely seem fairly obvious, but it’s an important lesson learned over the past couple years.
If you’ve followed my desmoid tumor journey, you may have noticed I often write from a plural voice (we) instead of a singular voice (I).
The reason is simple: this isn’t just my journey.
While I am certainly the person who has to show up to every doctor appointment, undergo the treatments, and wear the braces, there is so much more to this (read: any) chronic health condition. And it really changes everything if you have someone (or multiple someones) by your side to help you through it all.
My person is my husband, Caleb. And I count my blessings to have him in my life.
As my person, this is his journey just as much as my own.
I’ll be honest, it took me a little while to figure this out.
Thankfully, people within my support system helped me along the way. Namely, my parents. Whenever they would check in with me, they were always sure to ask how Caleb was doing. They understood something I didn’t grasp initially as I was caught up in my pain and suffering.
What I finally realized is this: it is not easy to watch someone you love suffer and experience hardship.
Day in and day out, Caleb puts on a brave face and does everything he can to support me. As a result, everything about this journey, including health-related decisions, I consider ours, not solely mine.
His support includes being the second set of eyes and ears during doctors appointments, car rides to/from work and activities, meals on the table without asking me to lift a finger, chores undertaken to keep the house up and running, and, likely the most important form of support, being my mental cheerleader on days I am unable to be my own.
In truth, we both experience “bad days” every now and again. It ranges from feeling overwhelmed by the chores to overwhelmed by the pain to overwhelmed by why this even happened to us at all. But with each other to cheer one another on, we help each other work out the difficult days and press on. While we both believe having a bad day every now and again is healthy and important (even the doctors tell us so) we also know that a brighter day is always on the horizon.
Throughout this journey, there have been many days (and likely more to come) that I could not have ventured through without Caleb by my side. Truly, at this point, I can’t imagine a single day of life without him and I’m grateful he is in my life till death do us part.
If we didn’t see eye to eye on the path forward, the road would prove much more difficult for us both. There are already so many ups and downs. I’m forever grateful to have a “we” to venture together with through this health journey and (lucky for me) life.