When thinking of which memory I wanted to write about first for this new Throwback Thursday topic, it was obvious to me, but I had a little apprehension I'd embarrass him. Looking back at the last two months, and even the last year or two, there was one person that surprised me. He didn't always jump to say, "Yes, let's 100% do this and do it now! No problem!" but he also never once told me to hold back or re-think my decision. He forced me to have conversations about it, to really talk about how the process would work, what the end result would (hopefully) look like and what OUR, not just my, future would look like. Disclaimer: He has no idea I'm writing this and probably no idea I remember this story enough to write about it (the pain meds and my emotions that day were enough to erase any amount of memory). So as you read this, say a prayer that his face isn't turning the color of his hair. Those of you who know him know he's not a huge fan of spotlight unless it's on the karaoke stage, but even if he never admits it, I know he was secretly loving his two minutes of fame on Channel 5.
So this story begins day nine post-surgery, but the real story began just about five years ago. Kevin and I met in college at Ohio University, the "promise land" of the best four years of our lives, and a place that I'll never quite be able to explain to an outsider. We had a little more than two wonderful, crazy years together there and were lucky enough to both call Cincinnati home after graduation. But during all the parties and chaos of college fun, I was also dealing with spirts of challenging times, with my dad's health roller coasting from bad to good, to bad to OK, to the end. Through it all Kevin was there. Giving up weekends senior year to come home with me, skipping out last minute on the Hilton Head Island trip (along with the rest of my amazing friends) to attend the funeral. He truly never left my side. It's because of this that I should have known he'd be the stability I'd need during the decision making process of this surgery, and through the recovery.
I was interviewed a few weeks ago on 700WLW about my surgery. There was one question I'll admittedly say that threw me for a loop. "How could your fiancé be OK with a surgery like this, when men are known to be attached to these things?" My answer was simple. It takes a strong man to handle something like this and to support the decision. And I think that strength in him, and our relationship, is what has gotten us through. It was not easy. It was not a simple "let's do this" and move on kind of decision. It took conversations, research and faith to get to where we are today. A lot of people are fascinated by the "engaged couple" part of our story. That here we are planning a wedding while going through this. The truth is I believe we're more capable of planning a wedding now than we would have been otherwise. Conversations about wedding venues, flowers and photographers seem a whole lot easier after discussing mastectomies, doctors, reconstruction and recoveries.
I'm blessed beyond belief to have someone like him in my life, for all those supportive and loving qualities. I'm even more lucky that after all the trying times we have been through, especially lately, we've been able to come out on top. It was during my recovery period that I realized how great he would be throughout the rest of my life. It's the little things that surprised me. And it's this little story below, written in these exact words on day nine of my recovery, that I'm so glad I documented so I can remember. And it's this I'll continue to remember throughout the rest of our lives.
Day Nine: To remember about this day: asking Kevin to help me replace the band aids and antibiotic ointment on my drain spots and having a sudden emotional breakdown of massive amounts of tears, out of nowhere (probably exhaustion). And returning from blowing my nose in the bathroom, to the couch being completely made into a snuggly bed for my comfort, all thanks to my loving fiancé who I sometimes forget to thank. For his patience, understanding and pure love for me and all the craziness that comes with me. Remember that bed made on the couch.
Note: Throwback Thursdays will continue to be an ongoing series, with new posts every other week (on Thursdays, duh.) I want to use these as a way to shed light on my experience, while also showing appreciation to those who got me through it. Maybe some of them will even be humorous :) I hope you enjoy these memories I documented during the preparing for and recovering from my double mastectomy.