Thursday, July 28, 2011
Loving Me Through It All
Breast cancer is not one of those types of diagnosis’s you just breeze through. Honestly no matter how old you are breast cancer is a shock, but when you are in your early 30’s it is like facing one of those creepy, scary clowns from your childhood nightmares. Tears, fear and the overwhelming idea of leaving those you love behind way to early has a way of crushing your once fiery spirit, crashing into your heart, mind and spirit on a daily basis. Even with the best of a diagnosis, breast cancer can feel like a giant pink elephant sitting on your chest stealing each and every free breath you have left inside of your dreams.
Martina McBride’s song, I’m gonna love you through it all, is one of those songs written perfectly reaching the intended target, and breaking through our walls of strength. Those of us for whom this song touches, living through this beast crashing into our lives head on, causes an unexpected pause we nerve saw coming. The reality of this life we lead brings an understanding of each and every one of her powerful words as if they are our own. We need no interpretation, no further emotion to see ourselves in Martina’s musical storytelling of the Big C. I sat down for the first time this morning and listened to this song and found myself surrounded by a puddle of tears. This woman was singing about me, this was my life in song, words spelling out my journey, my fears, my hidden worries and the hope I cling to.
Life since the Big C came to town five years ago has not been easy, in fact it’s been pretty painful, downright devastating and at times completely overwhelming, almost as if I have become a sinking stone, drowning in the unknown. But I am one of the fortunate ones; I have not had to go this road, this journey into the darkness, alone. I have had my faith, my belief in a God who is compassionate, not cruel, loving, and not spiteful. I have felt His deep understanding ignite Hope inside the deepest darkest caverns of my soul and seen His mercy guide me through this labyrinth of fear and doubt without stealing my joy away from me. But you know what else I have had as well? I have had a husband who has stood by my side through it all, a man who has loved me regardless of my physical loss or of this mark seared across my chest. Johnny has never left my side. He has felt the fear, the worry, grappled with the unknown, wondering if the future we planned together would be ripped away from him yet he has loved me through it all, stood by me without a second thought.
I stand in awe of this man whose name I carry. I love him beyond any words I could express. He is kind, quiet and strong. He holds my heart close to his, never letting go, never thinking of dropping it, nor has he once considered breaking my sensitive, sometimes tormented heart. Johnny would never allow my fragile heart to shatter into a thousand pieces. He would never leave me to defend myself against this beast alone. I know without a doubt whatsoever Johnny would never leave me stranded or consider placing our love on the hard, cold floor,walking away and closing the door on tomorrow . I will tell you what Johnny is, he’s steady, taking my fear on as his own allowing me to stay focused on today so I can stand strong, not sink into a pit of helplessness tomorrow. I have never once been alone with Johnny by my side. When I have been weak, he has been strong. When I have been unable to take one more step, Johnny has taken my hand and pulled me closer to him, navigating the road before us. I am honest enough to admit I have had experienced days along the way when I felt I could not do this anymore, when I did not want to face one more surgery, one more treatment, once more day with the words breast cancer stamped across it. Yet my husband of 15 years has never left me to face this beast alone, he has continued to love me through it all, each and every day.
Johnny has been my biggest source of inspiration, my comfort and my hero. When I have been weary, he has been bold, carrying me through the wilderness, never leaving my side. Even when the night has fallen or when the beasts around us have stirred Johnny has been my refuge. When I have been scared to death he has shown no fear! The truth is I am not the same girl he married all those years ago, but I am the woman he has loved through it all. I may not be perfect, I may have a misshapen body after all these years, I may not even have 2 breasts for him to caress anymore and the truth is one day we may have to face a unpaved, bumpier road where I am no longer able to fight this beast. But do you know what I have, what I know, no matter what is before us, there’s no doubt this road will never be too long or too narrow for the two of us to travel together.
The bottom line is this my friends: tomorrow could confirm all my worst fears, breast cancer could veer her ugly head once again, throw us into the abyss of fear and worry, but there is one truth cemented into my heart, one truth beyond a shadow of a doubt: Johnny will be by my side, loving me just as I am, loving the parts of me that have been left, and letting go of the ones which have been torn away. No matter what the Big C takes from me, from us, Johnny has loved me, held me, taken me to our bed with desire in his eyes. How can I ask for more? I am the lucky one, I am blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined and today, this very morning, I am loved by a man who is not perfect but who is perfectly mine.