So often I drift off of the path of what this blog was originally written for. Does that make sense? What I’m saying is that I don’t spend enough time talking about Lis and cancer. This is probably a good thing as that means that the cancer is not affecting our lives. The bad thing is we forget that Lis is here after living through something that unfortunately many people don’t live through.
This weekend though I was reminded of what Lis went through while watching the show “Desperate Housewives”. Are any of you “Desperate Housewives” fans? Any of you desperate housewives?
There is an interesting plotline that is going on in this the fourth season of Housewives. One of the Housewives, Lynette, was diagnosed with lymphoma in the season finale of Season 3. This year Lynette battles through chemotherapy treatments, something Lis and I can relate to.
There is a scene in this past week’s episode where Tom (Doug Savant) and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) attempt to get intimate. Instead Lynette’s wig rips and falls off and Tom freaks out because Lynette is bald. On the advice of Lynette’s friend Gabi (Eva Longoria), Lynette buys a wig and a couple of nights later shows Tom the dark wig, using the made up name of Brandy. When Lynette’s original wig is repaired she puts Brandy away which frustrates Tom, who has tried to bring back a relative of Brandy.
Lynette tells Tom that she’s frustrated with him because he doesn’t seem to want to be with her, his wife, instead choosing a fantasy babe.
The following scene ensues:
Lynette: I can’t help it. I have cancer.
Tom: Yes. I know. I hear about it all the time. Can you blame for wanting to escape every once in awhile?
Lynette: Escape from me you mean?
Tom: Yes! You know why last night was so much fun? Because I got to make love to someone who wasn’t sick. I know, I’m not supposed to say this stuff. I’m supposed to be the heroic husband who listens and holds you when you cry and never cries himself but this affects me too.
Lynette: Well. I know that.
(Bald Lynette lies in bed, turned facing the wall)
Tom: You do? How? Since this whole thing began have you ever once asked me how I’m doing?
(Bald Lynette turns around and faces Tom)
Lynette: Oh my God I haven’t. Have I? I am one of those whiny, self-involved sick people. No I am it’s been months and I’ve barely thought what you’ve been going through. I’m a cancer bitch.
Tom: I’m not going to argue with you.
Lynette and Tom’s situation is a bit different than ours. It’s fictional for one, but Lynette has lymphoma and didn’t have to hang out in the hospital for 30 days receiving treatment.
But the dialog kind of brought a tiny tear into the corner of my eyes. I’ll admit it that I never minded Lis’ bald head. She has a nice round head and it felt cool, especially when it had a little peach fuzz on top of it. The fuzz made it soft. I also never wanted to escape from “Cancer Lis”. I was mighty proud of Cancer Lis and was glad that she didn’t try to hide the fact that she was bald. I thought her wearing the bandana, beanie or hat showed how tough she was.
Also, Lis was never a “Cancer Bitch”. She never complained by stating, “I have cancer!” She was a trooper and I believe that’s one of the huge reasons why she was “cured” after her first treatment. She’s still alive and kicking butt. No bone marrow transplant, no relapse.
The part that made me teary-eyed was when Tom says, “…I’m not supposed to say this stuff. I’m supposed to be the heroic husband who listens and holds you when you cry and never cries himself but this affects me too.”
As a husband of an ex-cancer patient and current survivor, I can relate to Tom’s feelings. So many times the husband or spouse gets forgotten about when their spouse is going through something like this. I know that we’re not actually going through the same things as the cancer patient – I can’t even imagine what she went through – but it does affect us immensely too. It’s not easy watching someone you love so much go through something so tough. It’s not easy seeing someone you care for more than anything lay in a hospital bed fighting fevers of plus-105 and have her insides ripped apart by chemotherapy.
Nobody usually asks how you are doing? How you are holding up? Nobody holds you when you cry, even though you do cry. Not in front of your spouse. You can’t let them see you get emotional because that would only bring them down. So you cry at night when nobody is around. You talk your long slow walk with your 5-month old down the elevator, through the parking garage and to the car, all the while holding back your fears, tears and frustration. And when you bring him home and lay him down in his bed you stare at him and cry, hoping that it won’t be just the two of you forever.
Sorry…left Work No. 2 last night and posted without finishing my blog entry. Now I can’t seem to remember what I wanted to write.
Yes, I’m relating our lives to a fictional TV show that has so many immoral story lines that its not even funny (okay, that’s why the show is funny) but this fictional story line struck a chord in my heart and brought me back to an important part of my life two years ago.
Real quickly, I don’t want to say that I never got support. I did. From friends, family, church and the nurses at the hospital. I also got it from blogging, though I began posting my blog after Lis was out of the hospital. But I just wanted to write and say that sometimes the spouses of the cancer patients get forgotten about and they too are going through a tough time and change in their life.