‘I’m not feeling well.’ I called my husband. I remember crying, thinking the only thing I wanted was my mom.’: Widow laments loss of husband during thyroid cancer journey, ‘he always knew how to put my mind at ease’

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“When I was 22, I came down with a 24-hour bug I’d never had before and have not experienced since. I remember leaving work early and crawling into bed fully dressed just trying to get warm. I had called my husband to let him know I wasn’t feeling well.

He was so sweet, asking what he could bring home to help me feel better. I remember crying, thinking the only thing that could make me feel better was having my mom there to take care of me. But my mom was at work four hours away. I remember wondering if it was odd that I wanted my mom instead of wanting my husband. We hadn’t yet been married a year, but I was preoccupied with thoughts of whether this was ‘normal’ and if I’d ever feel differently.

Fast-forward 14 years and I can tell you, I feel differently. In 48 hours, my parents will be here to take care of me and my children because my husband is not. Cancer took my husband and the father of my children a little over a year ago. Two years ago, this week, my husband was diagnosed. This week, I’ll be having half of my thyroid removed and biopsied.

I can tell you that the last two weeks have been hell. I’m terrified. I know thyroid cancer is one of the ‘best’ cancers you can have. My mom had it 10 years ago and she is fine. Treatment isn’t terribly difficult or invasive and the 5-year survival rate is 98%. But emotionally I am struggling.

This possibility of cancer at this time of year is all too familiar. It is brining back memories so vivid I can’t help but dissolve into tears. And the only thing that can make me feel better is having my husband here to reassure me and tell me everything will be okay.

Somewhere in our 13 years of marriage, my husband became the person I could count on to make everything more bearable. Perhaps it happened in the few years we lived halfway across the country from all our family and friends. Or maybe it was in the delivery room for the births of our children. Or the trip we took for our 10th wedding anniversary where I revealed my deepest insecurities about how our lives (and my body) had changed in the last decade.

My husband always knew what to say and how to say it to put my mind at ease. And as I sit here, alone, avoiding all the dishes I’ve let pile up and the 7 loads of laundry still needing to be washed, all I can think is that I want my husband.”

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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sara Resh of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read Sara’s backstory:

‘Don’t let them forget me. Please.’ We both cried. ‘Do you want to come off the ventilator?’ He nodded yes.’: Woman loses husband to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, leaves behind death letter to inspire ‘blood donations, save lives’

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