Stage 4 Cancer: Everything We Had is Gone.

The dreams of our future, retiring, golfing together, walks and hikes and going to the gym together, trips we might take, watching our kids graduate and get married, maybe one day becoming grandparents. Every single thing we ever had is gone now.

All the trips, the plans, vacations, chores, to-do lists, tasks, house projects, upgrades, downgrades, purging, upgrading, cleaning, planning, shopping, bike rides, dog walks, workouts, dinners out, theatre tickets, bowl games, baseball games, family reunions, parties, football trips, beach vacations, all of it is gone now.

There is nothing left to plan for. There will be no retirement trips or special plans. Everything we’ve saved will go toward medical bills unless we find a cure. This is a journey we will travel together that has only one outcome unless a miracle happens. I cried and grieved, emerged from it, finished with it and now there is work to do. I am the one walking him home. I use my tools every day: meditation, breathing, mantra, prayer, exercise. I spend a ton of time alone. I limit communicating and resist urges to talk. I listen to everything without adding to the noise. This creates space for me to see, for my intuition to take the lead.

There is only one thing left between Tod and I now and that is love. This love is uncluttered by all of the “stuff” we thought we had, all the stuff we thought we made decisions about, the things we thought we were going to do/go/see/be/have someday. Everything we thought we had is gone like it never existed. There are no more conversations about trips, the house, the dishwasher, the chores, taking the trash out, how we raise our kids, what brand or how many to buy, how to manage finances, where to go out to eat, who drives, who to invite, when to buy the tickets, what to eat for dinner.

It turns out we never had any of that stuff anyway; we never had anything but our love for each other from the beginning. “Having” things has been an illusion all along.

There is no struggle in our love any more. ​There is nothing in the material world worth conversing about any more. Differing opinions dissolve in seconds. All discussions and negotiations have been removed and replaced with a simple and pure kind of love. We mostly sit quietly now, sometimes holding hands, experiencing what the other is doing. It is really that simple now. It is so beautiful. My tears are not tears of grief any longer, but tears of awe at this amazing beauty. We haven’t told anyone about the cancer diagnosis yet. People see me cry and just hug me. They are worried but I am not. I am in awe.

There is only pure love left. I’ve never experienced a love like this. I am shocked most days during the first few days and weeks we know about the cancer. We hold hands every morning and every night. We thank each other every day and say “I love you” many times a day. We hug long and dearly. We sit beside each other for long periods of time in silence. We don’t talk often. We enjoy each others company in the simplest form. It is stunning.

Is this what we’ve been chosen to see? If so then thank you for letting us glimpse this amazing vision of yours. It’s a beautiful gift.

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Holly Halvorson

Holly Halvorson

Website designer and developer, bookworm, yoga and fitness instructor.