Most people would agree that having cancer is a bad thing. No question about it. You don't want anyone you love, including yourself, to get cancer.
And yet, I firmly believe that there is some good in every situation. My husband's prostate cancer is no exception to this rule.
My husband's prostate cancer diagnosis
When my husband's metastasized prostate cancer was diagnosed last summer, I felt as though the sunlight had been sucked from our world. Pain seemed to surround us. He was in pain physically, and I was helpless to relieve it. I was in pain emotionally and was unable to relax or find peace.
The time that lapsed between his prostate cancer diagnosis and the beginning of his prostate cancer treatment seemed like a time of endless torment. When I look back on those few weeks now, the only color I can see in my mind's eye is gray. We were victims of a dark disease, living in a fog of agony and indecision and sadness.
But during the past six months, the light has come back into our world. Little by little, the gray mists have cleared, and welcome bursts of vibrant color have broken through to illuminate our many blessings.
Cherishing each other after a cancer diagnosis
My husband and I have grown even closer these past few months. We cherish each other and our time together. Our days are spent being grateful for all we have. As we spend time with our children, our grandchildren and our friends, we are aware of how important it is to enjoy every minute with them. Family dinners are now a time of giggles and love and laughter. Visits and phone calls warm us and chase away the mists.
Each day brings more sunshine and hope to us as we make a determined effort to vanquish the dark doubts and fears that would paralyze us if we let them.
We laugh together. We hold hands. We tell each other daily how much we love each other. And we joyfully make plans for our future together. Life lived in the light of love and hope is what surviving cancer is all about.
A cancer diagnosis can -- and often does -- stop you in your tracks. But as we've learned, it also can be a force for good, a catalyst to help illuminate all the bright and wonderful blessings in your life.
Discovering reasons to be thankful
My husband's cancer has made us reevaluate what is important to us: faith, family and friends. Cancer has caused us to focus on all the things we have to be thankful for and to actively seek them out. Cancer has caused us to renew our faith in God and to thank Him daily for our life together.
I am thankful for the many doctors, nurses and staff at MD Anderson who work so hard to bring healing and hope to cancer patients. I am thankful for the gifts of light and beauty that can be found in everyday life. I am thankful for the lessons that we have learned due to my husband's cancer.
Am I thankful that he has cancer? No. But I am thankful for the inexplicable ability of the human spirit to rise above adversity and seek the good where only the bad seems to exist.