I often think back to the day that we found out that Aaron had Cancer. Saturday February 3rd, 2018 the day we lost our future. I had picked up Aaron the night before from the airport. He was returning from a business trip in Las Vegas and it had only been 2 weeks since I had given birth to our baby girl, Madison. It is interesting to me that I had asked my Mother in Law to come and watch the kids that night so I could I pick up Aaron on my own. Normally, I would have loaded everyone up in the car and picked him up with the whole family. We had done it like that many times before but we had just had a baby so I thought, “Why not take this opportunity to have a 45 min drive alone.” So I asked for help. It is also interesting to me that my Father-in-Law had decided to stop by and visit baby Maddie while I had stepped out to pick up Aaron. That may not sound super strange for a Grandfather to come see his grandchildren but for them both to be at our house that night was a big deal. We were going to need a lot of help in the next 12 hours and the Lord was preparing an army for us.
As I saw Aaron walking out of the airport I immediately locked eyes with his. I saw worry on his face. He was wide eyed and pale. As I met him at the truck door he directed my eyes to his feet and I knew something was wrong. We had been a little worried about his health for the last few weeks. He had been showing signs of extreme fatigue and overall just not acting like himself. Before he had left for his business trip he said, “When I get back I need to go to the Doctor, I’m just not feeling any better.” For Aaron to commit to taking the time to go to the doctor meant he REALLY didn’t feel well. So when I looked down at his very swollen feet, pale face, and worried filled eyes I knew something was wrong. Many things happened in the next 12 hours but the moment I think about the most is after the phone call. Aaron had been admitted to the hospital and they had done many different things over the night to determine what was going on. Aaron insisted that I take the baby home and try to get some sleep. So I did, regretfully. Early the next morning I got the phone call from Aaron. He told me that I needed to come to the Hospital. That’s all he said. I tried to pry and get more details over the phone, but he continued to calmly say, “We will talk when you get here.” I hung up the phone and said to myself, “I think he has Cancer.” I don’t know why I knew but deep in my core I knew that he did. I cried. I cried the entire way to the hospital. No one knows how much I cried that day. I wasn’t ready for him to tell me what I already knew.
February 3rd 2018, while sitting alone in a hospital bed, Aaron was told that he had Stage 4 Colon Cancer. He was told that the tumor had started in his colon and their were many other spots that had spread to his liver and his lungs. I hate that he was alone in that moment and I regret everyday not being there, but I also know that he would have preferred it that way. Our whole marriage he sheltered me from bad news. He worried about me. He didn’t like seeing me sad or scared. He always tried to fix things before telling me. I can picture him hearing the doctor share his diagnosis and immediately begin to draw up ideas in his head on the best way to tell me, or how he could fix it before telling me. He always protected me and said the right things to make me feel better. I laid my head on his chest and cried. I told him I couldn’t live this life without him. He responded, “I’ll fight for as long as I can.” I walked out of the room and returned to my little 2 week infant, carried her down to the car, sat in the back seat with her and sobbed. Kissed her toes and held her sweet little baby feet and asked the Lord to give me a baby that would be easy so that I could put all my strength into saving Aaron. The future we thought we would have died that day. The coming months would be filled with fear,anxiety, stress, and a lot of tears. I couldn’t save him and I often ask myself what could have I done differently. What symptoms did I overlook? Why didn’t I push him to see a doctor earlier? Did I not ask the right questions? Should I have questioned treatment plans more harshly? Would that have made a difference? It might have, but instead I lost him; unable to save him.
Colon Cancer in the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths and it is on the rise. It is often misunderstood and believed to be found in someone over the age of 50. Aaron was 31 when he was diagnosed. I may not have been able to save him but I pray that his legacy may save someone else. That my walk here on earth, even though filled with grief , will save another drowning soul. That my loss will bring an appreciation to love that is so often taken for granted. I by no means am an expert in understanding grief or know everything there is to finding peace but I hope that writing about my experiences as a wife, mother, caregiver and now widow will make an impact of some one somewhere. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you but I will try to live my life to save another in your honor. Forever Blue for You.