Catch up here…Through the next few months and a few sessions, I think that we were making some progress. The Friday before our original wedding date in May, we get the worst news ever…Robert has cancer…stage 4 cancer. A little background for a minute…earlier in the year, Robert started feeling funny and having stomach pains. After about a week of me pushing him to go get it checked out, he finally went. The doctors chalked it up as GERD and gave him a few prescriptions and sent him on his way. The meds made his symptoms worse and another month or so he went back. After getting an upper endoscopy done, there was still nothing. Not really having much relief and a new symptom on deck, he went back again a few weeks later. His primary ran some tests and did more blood work. That’s when we got the news. After the gut wrenching blow of news, we found ourselves in the hospital with our first issue…a blood clot. Outside of a few “love handles” Robert was in good health; now we find ourselves looking for answers.

Hospitalized for over a week, he endured more tests and scans to pinpoint the exact form of cancer even though they had a preliminary diagnosis. Hearing cancer, one of our top concerns was planning our future and what that meant. We decided to preserve our family before radiation and chemotherapy was started. Our decisions from here on out were the hardest one’s ever made. With too many details to share, we started radiation, gone through a second surgical biopsy procedure (this one from his kidney), and a round of chemo all by August. With a true diagnosis on deck, we took another blow; a rare form of kidney cancer that had little to no research and knowing life expectancy averaged 15-18 weeks from diagnosis.

Through it all, we still worked on our communication and decided to get married. The day was perfect! A nice cool Connecticut Saturday morning, nothing but close family and friends, we had our moment. Outside under the trees near the lake, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was an off week for chemo treatments and a good day for Robert so it was a great day for me. I was happy that in that moment on September 20th he was happy again and not worried or scared.

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Reality struck us and a week later he was once again hospitalized. Not knowing it at the time, this would be his last stay. He was admitted because of breathing issues stemming from fluid on his lungs. We took each day in strides in hopes of going home with some few extra pieces of equipment. We celebrated two months’ worth of anniversaries and spent Thanksgiving there. After two trips to ICU and intubation, he said he was ready. He was no longer scared, had no more worries, and was secure in his faith. He said his earthly goodbyes and on December 6, 2014 transitioned. A day to remember; only one year earlier I said yes to forever!

sig EF