At the age of 25, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had only been married to my husband, Kevin, for nine months when our new adventures in marriage took a dramatic turn. We went from spending time together working on home improvement projects, playing catch in the front yard, and dining out to attending doctor’s appointments, chemo treatments and reading up on all there was to know about my form of cancer.
Well, more accurately, Kevin did all the research. He read everything he could find on Hodgkin’s and asked every question he could think of. He was my rock during this time in my life, and although I was the one with cancer, the effects weighed on him more than me in many ways.
He allowed me to let my guard down in front of him, since I didn’t feel like I could in front of others — I wanted to show strength and resilience so my family and friends wouldn’t worry. Thankfully, Kevin gave me the out I needed from the beginning, telling me it was all right to rest when I was tired. I didn’t feel like I had to be the strongest person in the room when it was just us.
I’m now ready to celebrate my 10th year of being cancer free. Kevin and I are still going strong, and our family has grown by two — a son and daughter.
Life throws a lot of curve balls along the way, but having my husband help me get through this experience has allowed me to take on a different perspective in my day-to-day life. I have learned to appreciate the little things, as well as the kindness of others, and this experience has taught me to always try to pay it forward.
Read more tales of generosity by CAPPER's readers in Stories of Helping Others.