Hello all! Just to be clear, this is Maegan’s husband, Nick. When Maegan had the idea of the blog, we thought it would be something cool we could do together. We thought people may enjoy the different perspectives we both bring to this situation. So while I know that I’m not as funny, interesting, well spoken or as good looking as she is, I’m still going to try my hand at it. I was tentative to write anything, because I had no idea what to write about. I figured I’d start by writing about what happened pre-diagnosis up to the start of chemo (from my perspective of course.) Without further adieu, here we go!
This whole process has been a giant blur. I’m convinced that my brain blacked out most of it. I don’t remember very many specific dates or events, just blurs with feelings attached. Before Maeg found a lump, we’d mostly been concentrating on planning our wedding and honeymoon. We’d actually just finished planning our honeymoon that week, and that was a HUGE accomplishment. We were trying to plan a 10 day vacation that was on the beach, had snow, at an all inclusive resort, where we could go and hike, that was over seas, but people mostly spoke English, all for like 150 bucks or something. Or at least that’s how it all felt. “We want to be able to do everything, but we don’t want it to be very expensive.” Some how we pulled it off, which should have meant smooooth sailing to the wedding. Shortly after we pulled off that nearly impossible feet, Maeg decided that she wanted to perform a self-breast exam. I got up to leave the room, and when I heard her call for me, I knew in that moment she had cancer.
Unfortunately, when the rest of the world caught up with what I already knew in my gut, Maeg was in Dallas for a conference while I was in Waco. When she called to tell me that she’d talked to the doctor, I immediately left. When I got there, it was surreal. How do you begin to talk about this? I think we started with something along the lines of “Well, this sucks.” And you know what? We were right. We started to talk about how she was going to kick cancer’s ass and even joked about it a little (“I bet Wedge chewing up the corner of the coffee table gave me cancer.”) Afterwards, we went for BBQ and Gelato and then drove back to Waco. The next morning, I woke up to the bed shaking because she was crying so hard. It wasn’t really funny anymore.
Later that week we had an appointment with a surgeon. Let me preface this by saying I’d done pretty minimal research on breast cancer. And honestly, to this day, I still haven’t read much about it. Why? Well, have you ever been on Web MD? Stubbed your toe? It’s probably cancer. Got a bit of a cough? Oh, that’s because you have AIDS. Haven’t had much of an appetite lately? That’s because a mosquito from Africa flew to America, bit you and now you have some awful disease. These are the kinds of things I associated with independent medical research via the internet, so I figured I’d just go and hear what the doctor had to say. And you know what? I’d love to tell you what the surgeon had to say, but I don’t really remember. I remember expecting to go in to the appointment and have the surgeon say, “Hey, this kinda sucks, but we’re going to pump some chemo in your body and then you’ll be good to go. Sorry for this minor inconvenience you’ve got growing in your breast. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go attend to a patient with a serious medical condition.” Instead, I remember hearing words like “spreading, aggressive, surgery, radiation, lymph nodes, and success rate.” Woah woah woah. Where’s all this ish coming from? I’m trying to be husband of the year over here and take notes during this appointment, but that doctor was killing my vibe. I remember being pretty close to mute for a couple of hours as my brain caught up with everything I just heard. What I came to understand was yes, it’s treatable! But bee tee dubs, they’re going to cut out her breasts, she’ll lose her hair, she’ll get pumped full of poisons for several months, she may not be able to have kids, and she was going to feel like shit for like 90% of her waking hours. Oh and then it might still come back within the next five years. But don’t worry, it’s totally treatable!
After that, it was just appointmentapalooza. This scan is for your bones. This one does your blood. This one is for your brain. This one is for only the left side of your body. This one scans your Thetan level. And on and on it went. I got a hundred texts from a hundred different people that all said the same thing: “Hey, bummer, I’m praying for you and let me know if there’s anything I can do!” I remember one day I just turned my phone off. I was tired of reading the same sweet, thoughtful, caring message again and again. It was only a matter of time before I snapped and responded, “Yeah, if you’ve got a F***ing cure for cancer, that would be pretty helpful.” I didn’t want to lash out at anyone, so off the phone went. (This seems like a great place to say that if you sent me a message around that time and I didn’t respond, sorry!) Luckily during this time, our support system brought their A game. Maegan’s friend started a gofundme and did research on hair loss prevention (we were about three weeks out from our wedding.) The organization we worked for basically gave us free reign to take time off, even last minute, to do what we needed. Maeg’s family took care of her while she was in Austin and I was in Waco. The list goes on and on.
Between now and then, we’ve had our bachelor/bachelorette parties (cancer didn’t stop us from having baller weekends with our friends,) a PERFECT wedding (seriously, ask ANYONE who was there,) and even a mini-honeymoon in Austin at a resort. We’ve done three rounds of chemo, received three shots that have a side effect called “bone pain,” and gone to a million more appointments and consultations. But you know what? We’re almost done with the crappier of the two kinds of chemo, potentially at a point where she can do chemotherapy in Waco instead of Austin (the family support in Austin is AMAZING, the driving back and forth is not) and we’re starting to decide what our “you kicked cancer’s ass” party and get away is going to look like. This was a far from ideal way to start a marriage, but who cares? This is life. This shit happens. But we’re a power couple, so I know it’ll just be a bump in the road.
The end. I hope you enjoyed reading this. For what it’s worth, it was therapeutic to write it! If anyone has any questions or comments, I’m all ears! Additionally, if there’s any suggestions for future things I could write about, I’d love to hear those too!