Reality vs optimism

My mom told me last night that I have too negative a view of my husband’s disease and that for his sake, he really needs to feel like he’s got this and he’s going to beat it.

I’ll have to ask him if he feels that way, if he wants me to be more of a cheerleader as he goes through treatment.

I guess I was sorta taken aback but she shared it as a difficult truth that she really thought I needed to hear.

On the one hand, I know the statistics about his disease aren’t good. Based on how he’s doing now, I don’t expect him to die anytime soon. In fact, I truly believe that his odds of being one of those people who’s still alive 10+ years after diagnosis are better than average, even though those people are the statistical outliers. I think that’s pretty darn optimistic as far as his outlook.

I do genuinely wonder if it would help J if I assumed he had lots of years left, if it would make him feel more encouraged as he goes through chemo. Obviously, if he said it would be beneficial, I’ll have to adjust my mindset.

At the same time, part of me thinks that the blind optimism is naive in the face of cancer. As I said, I don’t think he’s going to die soon, based on how he seems now.

But I also know the nature of cancer is wily and it is truly the one force of nature that can’t really be controlled. When it decides to take over, the treatments stop working. We’re not there yet. But to be honest, it’s never completely far from my mind, either.

I really don’t know how to navigate this space that I’m in. Do I try to prepare as though it could happen at any time or do I live as though it will never happen? I’ve been trying my hardest to find the in-between but my mom says that’s not positive enough.

This is by far the hardest thing we’ve ever been through together and unfortunately there’s no guide map about the way to do everything right.

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