When you are sick, you get lots of gifts. My small room is overflowing with the physical manifestations of the generosity of my friends.
There are thousands of pages of books ranging from things I actually want to read (like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, among many other things) to ironically donated over the top new age self help books. I love to read, so I’m super happy about my new library.
There are a few crystals on my windowsill… how Colorado. I’m not one to scoff at the supernatural power of rocks -oh wait, yes I totally am, it’s literally one of my favorite trolls on my Phish message board, but in times like these I will take what I can get when it comes to promises of healing energy.
I have practical gifts like a bag of t-shirts, crossword puzzle books, lip gloss, hand lotion and I have insanely weird gifts like this framed print out of a photochopped (a bastardized version of photoshop for people who don’t know how to learn photo editing software) image that I made where I superimposed my head over the husband and baby on a local weather woman’s birth announcement (don’t ask, just realize that I’m really weird on the internet.)
The best gift that I was given, though, is more of a loan.
Liana went out of her way tonight (1/25/15) to come all the way back to the hospital after she had spent a full day running errands for me AND hanging out with her father in Boulder AND having to get ready to go to work tomorrow AND having to take care of her dog to make one more trip to my room to give me her oldest and possibly most prized possession: Stella.
I’ve heard a lot about Stella, I’ve seen her in pictures from 30 years ago, 20 years ago and even one year ago. She is Liana’s oldest possession, the stuffed animal she received when she was a baby. It has provided over 30 years of comfort to her, so she wanted to loan me the comfort that only comes from a cherished childhood toy. Maybe it was the steroids (it wasn’t) but I immediately teared up when she gave it to me. I understand how big of a deal this is…hell, her real dog’s middle name is Stella!
Stella isn’t actually the loan I’m talking about, though. It’s the idea behind Stella. Liana went out of her way to do something that would comfort me in a time of true need. She has been doing that a lot lately.
It was a very emotional moment when I first told her the news of my diagnosis. It was the first time I truly emoted and felt all of the feelings involved, and she did the same in my arms. I made sure to tell her that if this isn’t something she is prepared to handle then there would be no hard feelings if she backed away. I know what it’s like to be a caregiver and it is one of the hardest jobs in the world (especially when you have another full time life to worry about). I have an undying confidence in my relationship with Liana, but this was a massive test. I gave her an out in the most sensitive way I could muster and she came back at me with a more crass “shut the fuck up” and put her arms around my neck and squeezed me harder than she should have in my condition. She was completely on board.
She told me that she is making this live obstacle into her #1 priority, which filled me with the motivation to make her life easier by being a really good cancer patient. She’s basically motivating me to stay healthy so that I don’t have to worry about her worrying too much about me! It’s an upward cycle of mutual motivation that will lead to constant personal and in-tandem growth. I want to be healthy for me, for her, and for us. I want to continuously improve for myself, for Liana, and for Jiana (that’s our celebrity couple mashup name. I think it might be too cool sounding, and thus not appropriate for my lame ass.)
Let me take a minute to explain to you the commitment that this amazing, wonderful, breathtakingly gorgeous, brilliant, sensitive, classy ass woman gave to me. She knows that in 2 weeks all of my hairs from all of my places are going to fall out. She knows I’m going to wither away into a weak shell of a former man, she knows I’m going to be in constant pain, constant fatigue, have chemo mouth sores and will be a poster child for survival of the fittest…. but I’m on the bottom of the poster being stepped on by the guys who are strong, fit, and attractive. Her love for me surpasses biological and specie survivalist urges and is making the choice to stay with me to help me through a very difficult time of my life. It is 100% her choice to make and she made it. She could stay out of pity, or out of a social stigma of not leaving your partner when they get cancer… but she is staying because she sees something in me for which to stay. She told me “you just make it so easy to stay.” She will hereby be lending all services she can to the task of my health and well being while also maintaining her very busy real life on the outside. She definitely signed up for the hardest job on the list, and thus she is making it very easy for me to stay with her, hopefully forever.
My confidence has never been so boosted. The love of a truly committed woman is the post powerful thing in the world. I love you, honey, you know I appreciate you endlessly and I hope you don’t mind reading about it publically!