I typically find the best in things. I didn’t dwell on the fact that my husband had cancer. I rejoiced in the fact that it was found early on, that he could take treatments at home, that there was a real possibility that the cancer could go dormant.
The truth was though, that it was nearly impossible to not notice everything crumbling around us.
We had everything figured out. We owned our own home. We got our children into one of the best school systems in the area through school of choice. My husband had a job that he enjoyed and which covered all the bills. Within a year I would be done with college and planned on opening a business of my own. We had it all planned out, life was good. But you know what they say about making plans….
The symptoms of my husbands cancer were severe enough that he lost his job due to being so sick. Due to the type of cancer it is and the effects of his treatment on his immune system it will be awhile until he can return to work, or even to drive. Everything was falling on my shoulders, and I desperately tried to hide my insecurities from those closest to me.
I would never leave him alone to go through this, I couldn’t leave my worst enemy to go through this alone. But, what if I couldn’t do it all? Despite being the one who was at home and not working, my plate was very full. I took our son to and from school due to school of choice not providing its own transportation. And every day was filled with my own college classes or work, or various appointments that I was the transportation to. My son’s school absences were piling up because I couldn’t get him to school and get my husband to the cancer center and his other various doctors appointments at the same time. The closest family around to help lived over an hour away. And as if handling all of that on a daily basis wasn’t enough, the shut off notices started coming in one after another.
I was verging on a break down so severe that my own doctor put me on anxiety meds and counseling in a vain attempt to help me cope. This merely added more appointments to my already over-scheduled life. How was I ever going to work a full time job when I needed to be so many other places? I couldn’t even get my son to school and attend the work first program because they both started at the same time.
Finally, we came to the only conclusion there was to come to; we needed to move back home. Back to where there were friends and family close by to help. With a lump in my throat I watched as we sold our camaro. We had just purchased it a few months before. It was a project car that my husband was going to do with our son. I just loved to hear the engine roar when it got fired up, and I couldn’t wait to drive it. Driving it would never happen though. It was sad to watch her go, but I knew it needed to be done.
We listed our house for sale. I didn’t particularly love the house, but it was completely paid off and with that came an un-measurable amount of pride that I was sad to have to let go of. It was a fixer upper and didn’t sell for much but it did sell much faster than we expected. There was little choice in the matter, but we was left with a sold house and nowhere to go a month before school was over for the year.
So we did the only thing we could do, rented a uhaul, packed what would fit, and drove to my mother-in-laws. We slept on her living room floor at night and by day helped her to clean out a shed/garage building she had on her property to stay in while we looked for a home. Within a few days of moving to her house I started a full time job about twenty minutes away. Fortunately, they were working six ten hour days a week because we really needed the money. This did make it awfully hard to attempt to get any sense of settled in though. As time went on and one house after another sold within hours of us discovering it, I feared that this would be our living arrangements into the next school year.
Within a month we had found the “perfect” home. It was small, the children would have to share a room. But the property was breathtaking and I felt nothing but peace whenever we were there. It took nearly three weeks, with cash in hand, to finalize paperwork. I was saddened that we, once again, had house payments to make, but I was grateful that they were only for three more years. We planned to move as soon as I got off of work the Saturday after papers were finally signed… until we realized that there was no water in the house.
It took nearly a month of trying something different daily to finally fix the water. In the end an entirely new well was drove into the ground. We moved our necessities on the little time I had off of work. Within two days the water started acting up again and every time we needed to use the water my husband would have to re-prime the pump. Every day I would wake and go to work, he would wake and attempt to fix our water. Day in, day out, week after week, until….