If I had to give you just one descriptive word that encompasses all my emotions during September, it would have to be Fuck with a capital F, yes, perhaps not the most elegant, imaginative, nor a socially acceptable one. Though when saying it aloud or maybe screaming it out in the middle of a field, it expels so much more energetic emotion than any other word I can pronounce.
Those weeks without my ability to be by the Squires side in hospital pushed me to corners of my mind that I never want to frequent ever again. It has been such a roller coaster of emotions, all of which I am still trying to process. I may never write about that experience in-depth as it would mean needing to relive it, and I’m not sure I want to do that.
What I am proud of is that we survived the Squires five weeks in hospital with reasonable sanity on our side and our sense of humour still alive. We also came out the other end with a massive appreciation of how strong we are when pushed to our limits. Of course, we had terrific support via family and friends from all over New Zealand and worldwide who unfortunately could not support us in person due to Covid restrictions.
Last but not least is the fantastic medical team.
The Squire will still require intensive support from Auckland hospital for the next few months and years of ongoing support when returning to Tauranga. His medical team on a daily basis deals with tremendous stress and their expertise they’re able to get an ever-growing number of cancer patients back to some normality. Weirdly, in this complex procedure, they need to take those patients to the brink of death then the journey of restoring them with healthy stem cells. There is, of course, the donors who make all this possible without them; an allogeneic stem cell transplant procedure is not possible.
Another vital person is the caregiver, that’s me. Now that the Squire is in the post-transplant stage of his recovery he needs someone with him as things can change so quickly, primarily due to infections or his body not taking kindly to those vital anti-rejection drugs which we found out within his first week out of hospital. Between this stage and the beginning, I filled a few solitary hours with writing, most never to be seen on a public screen. There’s always an exception to the rule, with one written during those dark filled hours and one that I will share with trepidation.
Your Wife by your Bedside
Across the bed, I see the nurse, and to myself, I smiled.
Some think they know this man as they change his life,
But this man is my husband, and I am this man’s wife.
It was my feet he swept me off with his laid back charm.
I walked to meet him down the garden aisle.
This man has strength and courage, the rock on which I lean,
So many thoughts of days gone by and special times we spent.
It’s true those feet are now confined to a hospital bed, and he is tired.
And as he tries to stay awake, my heart aches.
How could we know there would be a time of little joy and anguish,
A time when we needed to fight the good fight and be stronger than most.
Our love cannot be measured in good times and in bad.
That love cannot be gauged upon the happy times and sad.
The battles fought but this one’s just begun.
I look at him with quiet pride; my eyes are filled with tears,
And then he smiles and out go all my fears.
With him, I’ll fight until the end and be thankful for our new life,
For this man is my husband, and I am this man’s wife.