Julie has cancer. Had cancer. Has cancer.
Where exactly does she fall at this stage?
She had her right breast, for all intents and purposes, removed in order to extract a malignant tumor that was still incapaulated inside the tissue.
She is enduring chemo. The nasuea, the hours of sitting while toxins flood her system, the after effects of joint pain and the moodiness that all come as a free bonus when you get the news; “you have cancer!”
It’s getting colder and work is ramping up. I’m busy with hiring more inspectors, negotiating contracts and sporadically building bridges. This means leaving my beautiful and moody wife alone more than I’m comfortable with.
Right now I’m on my way to El Paso, TX. For those who don’t know where that’s at, El Paso is so close to the Mexico boarder that I have to trek through border patrol stations anytime I leave town. Luckily, I learned early on to take off my ball cap and sunglasses and I’m simply waived through with a smile. Apparently, blonde haired, blue eyed butches don’t exist in Mexico so the question of my nationality is never brought up.
Julie is struggling. She is feeling insecure. Wondering if she is still attractive, wondering if she is still going to be active, wondering if she is still loved.
I hate that. I feel like all these insecurities are my fault. I should be doing more. Telling her more often that she is beautiful, sending more flowers, leaving more notes, holding her closer.
The reality is that the cancer and its subsequent treatment is throwing her into an early menopause. This means that the “typical” mood swings that we expected from her diagnosis are amped up.
She shuts me out. She gets angry at nothing. She pushes me away and then pulls me back in.
She is too self conscious to allow me to see her topless, which makes sex awkward and clumsy. My job is now to make sure that I don’t make a big deal out of the fact that she is lying there with a tank top on and I’m not touching her breasts.
I tell her I don’t care. I wrap my arms around her and kiss her neck. I love her.
It feels like the cancer was the easy part….