This entry was written by Jackie Roth, PhD. Jackie is a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who was diagnosed with Stage III A breast cancer at the age of 28. Every other Friday, throughout the entire year of 2011, Jackie will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.
To read Jackie’s previous entries, enter “ Jackie Roth” in the search box on this site.
As I am finishing up on my time blogging for LBBC, I’ve been reading my past entries and I’ve noticed that I did not write very much about my husband over the past year. When I brought this to his attention, he said “well I just want you to write what you are feeling about!” So I wrote about challenges that I’ve faced and changes that I’ve been going through along this cancer journey. Ron has been my constant, my non-changing supporter and I think that’s why I have not written that much about him. And he definitely deserves many, many blogs!
Ron and I met in 2004 when he was actually introduced to me by a mutual friend as “Ken”! So for many weeks, I called him Ken and he did not correct me! I did not see Ron for a while, actually until 2005 when we ended up in biochemistry class together, and then I learned his real name! Ron and I were in the same program at graduate school, but he was one year ahead of me. Shortly thereafter we began dating and moved in together a year and a half later. Throughout our relationship, we never broke-up, we never even took a “break” and Ron proposed on our balcony on our 2-year anniversary. We were married a year and a half after that in 2009. I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished during the past few years. He will graduate from law school in the spring and he already has a job lined up. Ron has really excelled at school and everything he has done there.
Our marriage has been anything but typical. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 1 year after we were married, on Ron’s 30th birthday. Throughout this journey, Ron has had to take on many roles aside from supporter. He has had to become my nurse and give me daily injections in my stomach when my white blood cells would not bounce back after chemo. He has taken care of my drains post surgery and woke me up every six hours to give me my pills. He has become our housekeeper, cleaning the bathtub almost every day during my chemo because that was the only place I could stand to be without getting nauseous. He has become our chef, making me meals even though he does not really like to cook anymore. Ron took care of me, our cat, and our house all while being a student in law school. He was there every step of the way and he truly embodies the word “co-survivor.”
I can see in his eyes that he wants to take my cancer and pain away. He feels helpless. Even though I don’t say it to him all the time, he helps more than he knows by just being there. A nice hug at the end of a long day is all that I need from him. I married the most amazing man I’ve ever met. He is my best friend and I can’t wait to spend every day from here on out with him. I love you!
Who is the co-survivor in your life?