A selection from
shoulder and for the thousandth time I think how unfair it is that
my seemingly healthy husband carries a fatal disease and may
well submit to a major operation, one which will seriously lower
the quality of his life as well as mine.
Sam rests his hand on my belly to feel the baby move. I'm
carrying a new and boisterous life, my skin and hair glow in
anticipation, my heart swells. Inside me, the baby's cells divide and
divide again, just as they should: fingernails, nostrils, brain. Inside
Sam, cells are dividing too, just as they should not.
Sam did not die. Prostate cancer is slow moving and so often
treatable that the disease is not a dramatic death sentence rife
with bodily horrors, but a survival course studded with disappointment and physical challenge. Prostate cancer complicates
aging and compromises marriage. The disease and its aftermath
have become a part of our relationship and family, a third party
that demands its own time, energy, and attention. In return, this
uninvited guest called prostate cancer, whom I know too well, has
given me reinventions of sex, marriage, and love -- some might
say a reinvention of life's core.
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