Who is Your Hero?

Who is your hero, and why?  What can you do to be more like the people you look up to?

I have lots of heroes.  You can read about them all here:  It Takes A Village.  For this specific post, I'd like to talk about my biggest hero, my husband.

My husband who married me before he knew that I would become terminally ill.  My husband who has stood by my side every step of the way since this nightmare started.  Literally -- it started the day the biopsy was ordered, the wonderful people at the front desk called him at work and said, "We're doing this now, come if you can." so he did.  He couldn't be in the room with me, but I knew he was right on the other side of that door.  I could feel his presence.  I leaned on him all the way home, where he tucked me into bed and made sure I was comfortable. The following week he drove me through the snow, and held my hand in the doctor's office while the PA gave us the bad news.  He didn't let go of my hand that day as we were escorted down the hall to the Nurse Navigator's office where she gave me literature, a hand-crocheted blanket that had been donated for times such as these, and a list of local oncology medical practices.  Once Jimmy and I told her we wanted to be seen at Georgetown, that wonderful nurse made numerous phone calls to four different departments at Georgetown, setting up further testing and an appointment with my new oncologist.  She was able to obtain all of the appointments within a two day span, which was no easy feat, I tell you.  She also gave me an order for bloodwork, which we could do there, on the way out.  So, he is still holding my hand as we leave my surgeon's office, walk the hall to the elevator, emerge from the elevator two floors down, and enter the outpatient lab.  It's a good thing that he's holding my hand, leading the way, because I think I'm in shock and have become immobile.  The crazy part of the story is that one of the workers there was leaving the area, so held the door for us.  She admired my blanket.  I nodded and smiled as best I could what with all those crazy thoughts going through my head.  She admired the blanket that I was holding on to for dear life at the point, and she wouldn't stop.  She actually made a joke about taking it for herself.  In my mind, I'm thinking, "Lady -- Do you seriously not know why I was given this blanket?!  It's my lifeline now.  Back the hell off!", but all I could do is give her a puzzled look and turn away.  He held my hand while we gave the paper with the order to the clerk, and answered all of the questions.  He held my hand as I set in the chair while the phlebotomist drew the blood.  He held my hand as we left the building and headed home.  He held my hand while we told our boys.  He held my hand while I told my sisters (which was really hard because we had already lost a sister to cancer).  He held my hand while he told his brothers and sisters.  He held my hand while I let the world know via facebook.

He was by my side through every doctor's appointment, through every test, and through every chemo session.  The night after my port was put in, he again tucked me into bed and made sure I was comfortable.  When I woke up screaming in excruciating pain, he was already out of bed by my side.  He calmed me down enough to have a restful sleep for the rest of the night.

He was by my side when the chemo side effects kicked in, and he helped me through them.  He was by my side when I was too weak to walk, and he held me up.  On my weakest days, he held me up.  He gave me hugs, and I would literally feel the strength leaving his body and coming into mine.  On my worst days, when I wanted to swallow all of the pain killers and end everything so everyone could go back to their lives, he hid those pain killers, doling them out when necessary.

He was by my side while in the pre-op room, waiting for the mastectomy to start.  He held my hand with tears in his eyes as they wheeled me out of the pre-op room and down to the operating room.  He was holding my hand when I woke up in recovery.  He changed the bandages at home.  He drained the drain tubes.  He made sure I was comfortable and well taken care of.

He is still at my side constantly.  He may not go to every appointment with me anymore (they're all routine now, and he has his own medical appointments to go to), but I know he's with me in spirit.  He goes to at least every other appointment these days; other people have graciously stepped in to take me for my weekday appointments.  If you think you might be able to help with that, check out the calendar on LotsaHelpingHands.  There are still dates in September and December that need to be filled.

What can I do to be more like Jimmy?  Show more patience.  When I see a need, jump in and help.  Be more proactive about getting things done.  Be more loving.  Be strong.  Be there for him when he needs it, even if he thinks he doesn't need it.  Be kind.  Do things that need to be done even if I don't feel like doing it, or even feel up to doing it.  That's what he does.  He is an amazing man.

He promised to love me in sickness and and health.  No one ever anticipates the "in sickness" part.  He kept his promise. 


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