I want to write a note to the spouses, partners, parents, siblings, and children who live with, care for, and love us.
It’s true we live with the possibility of death, but you are facing the possibility of loss. Some of us will beat Leuk and some won’t. Death is frightening but at least it has an ending. Losing the one you love is not so easily blotted out.
Some of my readers, like Darla (she sometimes makes comments on this blog), don’t have leukemia but are the loved ones of someone who does. It’s not quite correct to say they don’t have the disease because when Leuk is in the home he, in some ways, infects everyone in it.
Their white blood cells and bone marrow remain healthy, but their souls are fighting for sanity. Their hearts are beating for answers. They struggle to make sense of a senseless situation.
We carry the disease, but our loved ones carry us.
So I hope we would all say this to our lovers and family:
It is okay to tell me you are afraid. You might be holding back, stoically thinking you have to be strong for me. But, my love, I won’t break. I won’t get more sick if you cry in front of me. I know you are even more afraid than I am. You have a right to be afraid.
You are doing so much, giving so much, and I feel like I give so little back. Yes, I’m sick, but I am still in love. In love with you. I know how hard this is for you and I love you all the more for sticking with me.
But go and take some time off for yourself. Find moments away from the house. Unload your burdens to a friend. Breathe fresh air so you can come back to me all the stronger.
I know you pray for me. What you may not know is I am praying for you.