I had always ‘known’ that it was my fault that I had HPV. And so that transferred to I knew it was my fault that I had cancer.
Stories of treatment and care during the later stages of illness.
I needed help navigating how to tell people that I had cancer. That's all I really wanted, not support, just how do I tell people.
I had no idea there was this difference between oncologists, what they think they should do, and how the art of practice plays into the type of care you receive.
It was easier for me to not say anything to anyone, and not have a conversation with myself about how it was going to change my life.
I will always have that with me. If I had died and I had never said that, maybe I would have never known how much he loved me.
The quality of life impact for me proved to be too great to continue using the device, and it's because my young boys were afraid of this thing.
I kind of wish we had talked more, and yet I accepted that there was this level of deep love and acceptance and support for one another.
It was a very stressful time. In fact, probably the hardest period in our marriage. He really retreated within and I was just so stressed out.
He was relatively healthy so it was really hard for me to fathom that he would need a transplant. I realized I needed to talk to some of these people and find out their stories.
He asked me whether he was dying, and he had never asked me that before. I knew what would give him comfort. And I said no, you're not.
Hospice can be done in hospital. Being alone with Mike at home, maybe there's something I should be doing but the hospice nurse is not here. It was a scary prospect.
When I brought that up to him that they would really like us to sign an advance directive he just looked at me and said, "You think I'm gonna die." And that stopped me cold.