When Bob tried to kill himself with The Cancer, my first instinct was to go fetal. My second instinct was to jump off a bridge. After that, my role of Supportive Spouse was defined. His role of Chemo Boy was defined.
He got the bitchin’ cape and bald head.
I bought special calendars, wrapped our children in bubble wrap and rolled them down a hill. (Oh, like you’ve never wanted an excuse to do that. Don’t get all Judgy Mcjudgerson with me.)
Much like they were for Ward and June Cleaver, our roles were clear. Chemo Boy’s role was to NOT DIE, and mine was to provide comic relief and NOT JUMP OFF THE BRIDGE.
But, now what? Now we’re on a rudderless boat. The Cancer Survivor’s Handbook doesn’t talk about this part. Google "divorce after cancer." Better yet, don't. I don't have enough Zoloft to share.
Even though we’re thanking Jesus, Mary, and the Juju Tree that he’s in remission, the kids and I miss having him at home with us. Yeah, he was sick while he was home, but he wasn't as sick as he was before he started chemo, and we like him. So, it was nice to be around him. Well, except when he was popping Prednisone, which could have made Mother Theresa a raging bitch. We just wore body armor those weeks.
Then there's the issue of territory infringement. Oy vey! Evidently, my man got used to how he started to do things around the house while he was home, but this is my mutha flippin’ domain. I’m happy to stop by his office any time he’s looking for a little input. Until then, this captain sails this domestic ship. Sometimes she sails it from a seated position, but so did Captains Kirk and Picard. And, in their absence, they had a crew fully capable of manning the helm until they returned. Mini Martha and Data are well-trained to take the controls should I leave the deck for some adult interaction to maintain my SANITY. For fuck's sake, I was babysitting other people's infants for money (and driving, but we'll save that for another post) at their ages.
Meanwhile, Ward and June need to take the Beav' out on the town. Date nights have been downright nonexistent since The Cancer came to town. No restaurant dining for The Artist Formerly Known As Chemo Boy meant no couple time for Us. We’re long overdue for a weekend away, dinners out, somewhere other than our usual haunts, movie nights, and rekindling that grown-up stuff that keeps the sparks sparkly.
It’s time to rebuild more than The Artist Formerly Known As Chemo Boy’s atrophied muscles. It’s time to rebuild some normalcy—our brand of it, anyway. Because there is one thing I absolutely refuse to be, and that's on the shafted end of crappy statistics.