I’m drowning. 

Julie is the love of my life. Someone that I have never felt the need to pretend to be someone I’m not in order to make her happy. 

She came into my life when I was young and taught me what love should look like and came back into my life when I was ready to not only receive, but give it, unconditionally. 

She is the best part of me. 

She gives me strength, courage and helps me to find a tolerance and acceptance I didn’t think I was capable of. 

Last year we had a scare when she noticed a small lump in her breast. After tests confirmed it was simply an infection, we went about our lives. 

Two nights ago she asked me to go for a walk with her. I thought it was odd because it was so late. Sunday evening at approximately 9:27 pm my world came to a screeching halt. 

“I didn’t want to worry you because of work and such but I’ve found another lump. This one is larger and I had a mammogram and they decided to do a biopsy. It’s malignant.”

As I’m writing this I am starting to cry all over again. 

I couldn’t breathe. I literally could not breathe. I stood there stunned and at some point the “fight or flight” instinct kicked in and I literally had to get out of there!

I was standing in the middle of a public park, not another soul in sight but Julie and I felt like an anvil was pushing down on me. 

I walked away. 

Not a word to my beautiful wife, I just turned and walked away. 

Yes. That was a complete douche bag move. At that moment I couldn’t think, feel of hear anything. I was both numb and in pain at the same time. 

After about twenty minutes of walking around aimlessly, I texted Julie. 

“I’m sorry I vapor locked on you”

Her response? 

“I freaked you out and I didn’t mean to. Meet me at the parking lot of the high school.”

I walked to the school, and started to cry. I apologized again for walking away and promised that I would never do that to her again. 

She laughed, put her arms around me and said, “I knew the conversation wasn’t over.”

She explained that she has to have another mammogram to “map” the lump. They will then schedule her surgery. They are calling it a “lumpectomy” but they will be removing so much breast tissue that she will easily go from a D to a size B cup without the reconstruction. 

Fuck! I’m using words like cancer and reconstruction when referring to my wife’s breasts! 

She has been dealing with this on her own for almost 2 months. Not wanting to tell me so I won’t worry. Hoping it was just another infection. 

She’s always wanted a breast reduction so she is telling me how I can’t stop her this time. Joking about how her breasts will be “new and improved”. 

I don’t want her breasts to be anything but healthy. 

She started talking about the possibility of radiation and chemo depending on the extent. Telling me her blood work all looks good and how she is in otherwise good health. 

What am I hearing? 

You may not have very much time left with your wife. 

This scares the shit out of me! I try not to think about it and I have been smart enough to NOT get online and start looking at stats and recovery rates. 

I can’t lose her! 

I won’t recover!

Those are facts. 


3 thoughts on “I’m drowning. 

  1. It is hard not to panic in this situation, and there is nothing that you can do other than be there and help Julie make decisions.
    I don’t know what it is like to have a partner with cancer, but having gone through heart valve replacement (open heart surgery) this year, I know the panic of sitting in the waiting room during surgery and sitting in the ICU for several days. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and my heart goes out to both of you. It sounds trite (and being a stubborn one woman butch I wasn’t able to do it) but you are going to need to get some support for yourself as well, particularly on the day of surgery.
    I’m an optimist by nature, so I am sending my hope for both of you to survive this, and to be with each other through it.

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