We have so many sweet friends and family, and we appreciate every single one. I do realize, however that we need to start voicing our wishes and speaking up. This is not meant to be an attack or to say we aren't thankful, just letting people know what we need.
As an EMT I understand wanting to give advice and offer solutions. I am a proactive person and don't like to just sit around and wait for things to happen. I like options, I like being positive, and I like hoping for the best. This being said, there is also a rational, medical side to my brain. I believe God gives man the knowledge and capability to advance in medicine. I believe we work with God to save lives, and if we don't get the victory, then there is a reason for it.
Since the Major was diagnosed we have had an outpouring of love, support and prayers. We cannot express how thankful we are for those. We have also been getting emails and letters and messages about tons of different treatments for generic cancer, different diets, herbal cures and holistic healers and hospitals. I am not discounting these. I am not saying they don't work. I do believe people have been helped and I believe we should ALL do better at living a healthier lifestyle. I believe there are worse things in our foods than there used to be. I believe environments have changed and affect our bodies. I believe some people are exposed to things that cause illness. And with that I must continue with the negative.
We appreciate opinions and others doing research on our behalf. There is a point though that we run into overload. There are so many things being thrown at us, and maybe people don't realize that. And when we don't seem to be taking it as gospel or trying every single thing that is offered, we are viewed as people who give up. People who don't really want to beat this cancer. I must stand firm and say THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Another thing people may not understand is that every type of cancer is different. Every body is different and people react to things differently. The hubby has a toe based melanoma. This was not caused by the sun, but is more to do with environment and genetics. He has been exposed to so much we aren't aware of in the odd countries he has been deployed to. There is no way to know what caused it. What we also know about melanoma is that technically it is not a "curable" disease. That doesn't mean people don't go into remission. Once you get to the point the Major is at - Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma - there is a very low rate of remission and survival. I am NOT saying it isn't possible. I believe in my husband more than anyone. I know what a fighter he is. I know he will never give up. But we are both realistic about what MAY happen.
A military family walks a fine line of planning for the worst and hoping for the best. So to say we were equipped to deal with this situation is pretty accurate. Just because you may see us using Hospice or stoping chemo treatments doesn't mean we don't believe there may be a better outcome. My husband does not sit on the couch all day and say "Oh poor me". We live. Every day we wake up and breathe, we keep moving.
Now to the point of what we need. Besides prayers, support and love, we need FRIENDS. We need people to talk about normal things. Reminisce with us, tell us about your life and what is going on. When you are with us, forget about the cancer. The Major is still a person and he still enjoys day to day things. He is still the biggest Yankee fan and is interested in Spring training right now. He still loves talking about current affairs and the military. He is a history buff and is so knowledgable about the Civil War. We aren't cancer experts. We aren't researchers. We don't sit around and talk cancer. Who wants to do that? It hurts me to think this is all people think of my husband now. A man with a horrible disease that may ultimately kill him. How awful must he feel to think that's all people will remember?
Last night he asked me "What have I really done with my life?" Which tells me he is forgetting all of the ways he has touched peoples' lives. He is focusing on the cancer. This is not what anyone would want for themselves or their loved ones. So I beg of you, call, write, visit - PLEASE! We love you all and welcome you into our home. But PLEASE know there is a living, breathing soul here. He loves and lives and jokes and is still "W". Don't write him off. Don't focus on pity or despair. Remind him of the person he is. Remind me that you are as happy to have wonderful memories of him as I am.
With all the respect and love I end this blog post. If I have offended, then so be it. I will stand until my last day and fight for my family. And I feel this needs to be said.