Hear My Voice: Dealing With the ‘What Ifs’ Before and After ‘I Do’

LBBC blog pic_AyannaAyanna Kalasunas writes about how she and her husband overcame the what-ifs and lived their lives together after her diagnosis with metastatic breast cancer.

“To join with you and to share with you, all that is to come…”

While going over our wedding vows, this was the part that was hardest for me. What a loaded statement given our circumstances. There were moments while I was planning our wedding that I was consumed with joy knowing that I had found my soul mate. I never thought I would love so deeply, trust so willingly and laugh so hard. There were also extremely difficult moments when I just about drove myself insane. What if the pain of my most current metastasis to my bones prevented me from walking gracefully down the aisle as I had dreamed? (I had acquired quite a limp at the start of the summer because of the disease in my hip.) And the one that kept me sleepless in bed a few nights after slaving over DIY projects and the perfect shade of pink…What if I get sick and we have to cancel the wedding?

Trying to balance my diagnosis and my thoughts on forever didn’t just start with our wedding. I was diagnosed just one month after our engagement. While most women are basking in the glow of their recent engagement and diving head first into the sea of planning, I was forced to put all thoughts of a wedding on the back burner and focus on my health. It felt like all the things we planned to do might never come to be. The what-ifs that come with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can rival the worst day in treatment sometimes.

After the shock wore off and reality set in, we went full-speed ahead with the rest of our lives. We bought our first home and started to plan a wedding. Our friends and family looked at us, some surprised we were making such big moves during such a rough time, but all were impressed with our ability to be resilient and strong together. For us, the one thing we could be certain about was how we wanted our lives to be today.

From the moment the music started and I made my way down the aisle, it was the perfect day we dreamed of.  A day surrounded by the love, encouragement and well wishes of those most important to us.  The love and commitment we shared during our vows is sure to be the most special moment of our lives.

We will continue on this road together. Enjoying, appreciating and being grateful for all that is good in our lives. We knew we were ready to commit to each other forever, but after almost 2 years of fighting cancer together, what better confirmation of finding the perfect life partner than this test. My husband will continue to support me through treatments and endless appointments, and I will continue to be strong for him when he hurts, too. I could never dream of a better caregiver than my husband, and he reminds me how strong and brave I really am and have been.

Ayanna Kalasunas is 35 years old and lives in South Philadelphia with her husband Michael.

Visit lbbc.org/hearmyvoice to read the other posts in our series.

3 thoughts on “Hear My Voice: Dealing With the ‘What Ifs’ Before and After ‘I Do’

  1. Thank you Ayanna and Michael for the power you just restored in me, Aunt Sallye. The love expressed at your wedding only exemplified the love that has always been acted out between you two from the time Uncle Connie and I first met Michael. I am grateful that you two have such spiritually rich supernatural hope, trust, belief and love for each other. The world can learn from you two and again I say thank you for sharing you powerful love with us and for us.

  2. Ayanna, (our adopted daughter), your words, character and grace, exemplify the phenomenal women that have become!

    Mike (our adopted son), thank you for not only answering my question, but demonstrating your true “intentions” to the utmost degree!

    We thank both of you for sharing with us the love you have for each other. It is a testimony for all of us young and old alike to emulate.

    We pray many blessings of peace, harmony and love, endurance, tolerance and patience. We also pray that you’ll continue to be strong during the difficult times. But most of all, we pray that you will stay, forever in love with each other!

    With Much Love and Respect,
    Watson and Betty

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