Heart of the Home: Generous Support From Family and Friends

A reader shares random acts of kindness from friends and family while her husband was battling cancer.

| Fall 2017

  • A beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers with a "Get Well" tag.
    Photo by Getty Images/coramueller

In May 1984, when I was five months pregnant with our first child, my husband, Tony, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease – a form of cancer.

Fear reared its ugly head. I had so many questions. Would Tony live to see our baby grow up? Was his cancer curable? What if ... how would I ...?

I was working full time for an insurance company. Keeping busy – and constant praying – helped divert my worries, though the concerns lingered like dark clouds in the back of my mind.

My co-workers, and Tony’s, all knew about his diagnosis and the series of strong radiation treatments he would be undergoing following surgery, and they were all so caring. We received countless phone calls, cards, and even flowers.

One of my co-workers, Amy, would buy healthy snacks and leave them on my desk. “For your baby,” she’d say, “and we have to take care of you, too.” People both inside and outside of my work department often asked for updates on Tony’s health. Everyone – including those I hardly knew – was genuinely concerned and always encouraging. Diane, another co-worker, not only asked about Tony, but always asked how I was holding up. My supervisor, Joan, along with the rest of the office, threw me a surprise baby shower one day. All of these thoughtful gestures made me realize I was surrounded by love.

It was heartbreaking to see my strong, handsome husband feeling so ill from the treatments, but as is his unselfish nature, he carried on bravely for me and our unborn child. He must have been exhausted going to work every day after an early morning radiation treatment, but he was a trouper.

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