This month we are celebrating so many things, including National Care Givers month. All month long we will be highlighting not only the amazing caregivers in my life but will be offering some tips for others.
Today I am giving this article over to my husband David to offer his perspective of what being a care giver to me is like.
Dave has been by my side through diagnosis, treatment, sugeries, healing, laughter and tears. I will never find a more truer soul than his. The love I have for this man is like none other. I am honored to be his wife and partner in life. Things have not always been easy for us, but the love and laughter we share gets us through.
Please give a Fabulously Fighting welcome to my amazing husband David-
Care giving is a constant learning experience.
I remember just before Mackenzie was born both Fab and I were scared, excited and so nervous to be first time parents to our beautiful bundle of joy. Babies don’t come with instructions so we did the best we could and learned as we went. Now fourteen and thriving in her life, I can now say I think we did a pretty good job. LOL! But being a caregiver to your own wife with a terminal illness is something you are never prepared for. Your life turns upside down and you see everything in slow motion. Then you blink and 13 years past from the initial diagnosis.
Over the years, I feel I’ve earned my medical degree in the school of hard knocks. We have been through more doctors, treatments, and unanswered questions than I can shake a stick at. But we have made the most out of this life. I’m not going to say it has been easy because it hasn’t. I have struggled to balance work, a sick wife, and a daughter who we are trying so hard to not let this affect. Some nights, I feel like I do nothing other than hold Fab’s hand. Being a caregiver though, I realize sometimes that’s all she needs. A hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on.
Cancer has taught us about ourselves and the people around us. We’ve learned very valuable life lessons because of cancer. As much as cancer sucks, I feel we’ve taken more positives than negatives away from this experience. We’ve made friends, we’ve lost friends, we’ve changed our way of thinking because of cancer. It has changed our lives in so many ways it’s almost impossible to describe.
I see things in Fabianna she doesn’t see in herself. Her strength, courage, and beauty are inside and outside her. Fab talks about my comic relief, but she doesn’t realize she provides just as much comic relief to our lives, and with that comes her infectious laugh. Her laugh is like no other; people laugh just because she’s laughing. I feel lucky to be the man she chose to share her life with.
Our communication, honesty, and trust make our relationship work. I see so many relationships that don’t work, and the missing link is communication. Fab and I enjoy each other. I’d rather be with her than anywhere else. I feel too many relationships don’t work that way. If I’m already away from her sixty to eighty hours a week because of work, why would I want to spend any more time away from her than I have to? Even when I golf, one of my favorite hobbies, I want her by my side. We try to do everything together as a family.
Mackenzie now dances close to thirty hours a week, and I never miss an opportunity to be there, see her do what she loves, and spend time with Fab while Mackenzie is in class. Fabianna and I take every opportunity we can to have mini dates. I’ve learned that you should never stop dating your wife. Maybe that’s the key to any relationship; it sure works for us.
Fab makes me look at the world differently. It would be so easy to become a Negative Nelly during what we endured as a couple, but Fab’s spirit never derailed. She remained positive with every twist and turn, and that made me stay positive. She made me look at life in a different way, living with positivity not only toward her health but in everyday life also. I take that positive outlook to work. While other guys bitch about their lives or jobs, I remain the voice of reason. My younger version would never have spoken like that if it hadn’t been for the journey Fab and I continue to share.
Caregiving is something we all do in our lives, in some way or another. Each of us have a special way of healing others and being someones light. I never thought of myself as a caregiver, my title still remains husband and soulmate. Two titles that I cherish everyday. Caregiving doesn’t always have to be grand, it’s the smallest things (I’ve learned) that mean the most.
As a caregiver my advise to you all is to NOT forget yourself. You need to make sure you are taking time for you as well. It is easy to forget ourselves, but it is so importnat to practice self care. Also seek someone for your emotional support as well. Look for time savers and remind yourself often what an amazing job you are doing. Give yourself the credit you deserve. We are all in this life together so lets raise eachother up instead of tearing eachother down. Life is not always easy and the curveballs it throws us can be downright paralyzing. I am so blessed we have surrounded ourselves with amazing people. Those are the people we lean on. Thank you for listening and I hoped this helped someone because thats why we started Fabulously Fighting. We are a community of Fabulous Fighters and we are humbled to share our story.
So as Fab say’s, “Wrapping you all in Fabulous love.”