Anyone who has ever read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” knows that men have a fundamental need to fix things. It is difficult for them to just to sit back and do nothing when there is something wrong. Particularly when it’s something wrong with someone they love.
Every since I received the diagnosis, Robbie has been in “fix-it” mode. Except there is one small problem. He can’t fix the one thing he really wants to fix. So he's had to displace his need to fix. Over the weekend he researched what types of things can be done around the house to prepare for chemotherapy. I think most people know, but chemotherapy breaks down your immune system. This will leave me vulnerable to bacteria and infections so it’s important to limit exposure to viruses. The cleaner my environment, the better.
He came home from Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday with a humidifier, cleaners, and a new mop. He was disappointed that they didn’t have the HEPA filter he was hoping to get and plans to order that online. He also spent yesterday doing laundry, bleaching surfaces, and cleaning our bedroom. He’s also informed me that once chemotherapy starts I can’t garden, cannot have cut flowers in the house, can only have meat that is well-cooked, and that the dogs must be bathed regularly.
I had mentioned to him that I would like a TV for our bedroom since odds are that I’ll be resting a bit in the near future. I was thinking it would make a great Christmas gift for me. He is a man of action - the TV is already on order and will be here later this week. We had also talked about painting our bedroom sometime soon. It was still "contractor white" from when we moved in. As I sit and type this, he is upstairs painting a lovely shade of green he picked up at Home Depot called "Restful."
It is only for the sake of humor that I make light of his obsession with preparing a sanctuary for me. I cannot express how much I appreciate that I have a husband who is a positive force and wants to be on the front lines fighting with me. As my friend Erica and I often joke, I have the “BHE”. (Best Husband Ever).
In other news, the word is out. I’ve been having “the talk” with all the people I need to have it with – family, boss, co-workers, and friends. I appreciate those who have the ability to share my dark humor during this time. Today, as I was grabbing M&Ms out of the candy bowl at work, one of my co-workers said to me “Don’t be spreading your cancer in the M&Ms!” This made me laugh out loud.
Many people don't even want to talk about it. Heck, if it weren't me, I probably would be that person. I can understand why it's an uncomfortable topic. No one wants to talk about something that makes us acutely aware of our own mortality. And I also understand that many people just have no idea what to say. To those folks I say gifts will easily take the place of kind words. Send cookies or chocolate - just no cut flowers please :)
In all seriousness, I have gotten many E-mails, posts, calls, etc. with an amazing amount of support. I always say that I'm surrounded by the best group of folks a girl could know. You don't know how every little ding on my blackberry with a new post makes me smile and lightens the weight of the world just a bit.