Living with it
By mid August 2014 and after coming back from a month Vacation in cancun in Mexico and northern California. We discovered that my husband for 22 years had terminal stage 4 cancer. It was diagnosed to be non small cell lung cancer that had spread to his spine, and other places.
Our journey has been not an easy one and beware I will not speak here about miracles or miraculeous cures that cured him nor will I speak thank God about saddness or loss not yet.
There were small miracles and there were moments of despair. But to understand my story you need to know me better. I am an optimist yet a pragmatic realist at the same time. I usually try to see the good in every situation by comparing it with the worst scenario. I look arround me and my heart goes to those who are suffering more and thank fate for what ever it gave me. I rarely look at those who are better or more fortunate. I believe there is always a price we pay for everything we have. There is no free lunch. Only when I am really hitting rock bottom I might wonder about those more fortunate and remind God that I have always always had a tough life. But then I remember how I was saved from many pitfalls; many not a result of my doing but others due to my vanity or stupidity. And then I am back on track neither jealous or envious.
So what was our reaction when we found out. August 2014
I can only share what my husband told me he felt. After 22 years of marriage then(23 now) I still not always know how he feels. A very introverted person when it comes to his feelings .
Of course there was the initial shock but also accompanied by panic due to lack of information and the slow, tedious and not always efficient medical discovery system in Egypt. I wanted to know and he too about the meaning of the disease in terms of how long did he have to live and as he termed it the prognosis.
Oh I forgot to tell you , he is a doctor himself ; a professor in Tropical medicine and a practicing and very loved practicing physician.
So our first rocky begining was to get a quick efficient and useful prognosis in order to decide what to do next!! Do we have three weeks, months or years. This was very vital before we even decide to be optimistic or sad
Needless to say we had to do the bioposy twice although we discovered we were not insured properly and therefore were paying cash. The nurse took the sample from the first biopsy and put it in salt water which ruined it. The analysis of the sample takes place at an indpendent lab so it took four days or more to discover that he had to redo the biopsy. Which poor guy he had to and due to the place of the mother cancer in an angle in the lungs it was painful but he also got an infection.
In my next blogs I will share with you the small miracles that happened to us. I will also share how our first doctor in Cairo was a mistake. I will share with you how the doctors and nurses at Dallas at the Texas university are more than angels and how I fell in love with Dallas.
But before I end this post. I want to say that after we found out , my husband and I sat down. And I swear I was neither angry nor in denial. We sat and discussed our situation.
We all die.
Either suddenly through an accident or just sudden. And after my twin brother dropped dead 8 years ago I had prayed never to face this again. The guilt and lack of closure is too unbearable.
Or you grow senile and become a burden on others. All your friends and relatives die and you cannot help yourself. And Amr my husband had dreaded this death .
So in fact (and i really felt that ) we were blessed as we were given time to tell each other goodbye and remind each other and our only son of our love. All that I prayed for then and still do is that he doesnot suffer or feel inept. I had promised him that I would never force him to take a medication if it only prolongs his life for us but with a morbid quality of life for him.
There is so much to share. It has been about 15 months and I pray every day that he continues to stay with me with dignity and that his pain is never severe.
Life had been tough on him and his life had changed. I do not think he is happy. But it had not yet reached a stage where he wants to go. And frankly I will not blame him. I do believe in miracles and will not know what to do. But I will always be at his side when ever and what ever he decides.
See you in my next blog on
Marrying cancer. And living with it