When being grateful comes easily

48 hours from now, I will be waking up in the recovery room following my bilateral mastectomy.  For an entire year now I have been consumed with fear, doubt, denial, confusion and stress.  When I finally made the decision (literally 5 minutes before surgery #1) I felt an unexplainable certainty.  When the pathology results of the samples they took during that surgery came back a few days later I knew I had chosen well.  I am so grateful that I pushed through my fear of surgery in order to get this information.

Doctors today let their patients make their own decisions.   I’m sure their insurance companies insist on that.  But putting such a complicated decision upon someone with no medical knowledge is absolutely harrowing on the patient.  Even so, I am grateful that my doctors (all female and in their 40’s) would say “you can’t make a wrong decision” but each would then follow up with “if it were me, I would do the mastectomies”.   Legally, they can’t be held accountable for telling me what they would do if it were them.  For that unofficial advice I am grateful.  I live in Los Angeles, and have many cutting edge, experienced doctors to choose from – in the end going with female surgeons with excellent credentials – I am grateful to have such choices.

As much as I am grateful for early detection and my medical team – it doesn’t begin to compare with how grateful i am that I am with my husband.  He has been an absolute rock every minute of the past year.  When I was afraid he held me, when in pain he helped me, when I was in denial he would gradual nudge me back toward reality.  He prayed for me and with me.  He taught me to meditate and to release my emotions.  He finds me beautiful even when my breasts are bruised, scarred and swollen.  He loves me and gives me so much to fight for.

The fact that I almost left him – twice – seems surreal to me now.  The first time was when I found out how out of control his sex addiction was, that he had cheated on me just a year or so into our marriage.  The second time was when my ex boyfriend was offering an escape to an old life with a long history.  Words can’t express how grateful I am that I could see the bigger picture:  That these sexual and addictive parts of our lives were opportunities to grow – both as individuals and as a couple.  When we both disclosed the complete truth to one another a year and a half ago we knew we were both finally in it for real.  The love I feel for and from my husband every minute of every day tops my gratitude list.  I couldn’t imagine experiencing all the joys and pains of life without him by my side.

Even with his flaws – he is a good, good man.  If you have one of those as well, but are rightfully confused about how to react to his infidelity and/or addiction I suggest trying to get beyond his past actions and start forgiving.   Then hopefully one day in the not so distant future, you too will get to a place of true love, compassion and – of course – gratefulness.

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5 comments on “When being grateful comes easily

  1. It sounds like you have come to a really “zen” part of your life. The maturity with which you’ve handled your surgery as well as your husband’s infidelities, is astounding.

  2. CrazyKat1963 says:

    So sad to hear about your breast cancer, but so happy to hear you are happy. Yours was one of the first helpful blogs I found on being a wife of a sex addict (helpful being the key word), and although your story is very different from mine, you did help me. I wish you strength on your continuing journey with breast cancer. I am sure having your husband by your side helping you heal emotionally and physically will be critical. All I have to add to the last paragraph is… as long as the addict is in recovery. Getting beyond past actions can only happen if they are on their rightful journey to healing and recovery, imo. I know your husband is and you are beyond this. We are one year in to the process and it is still a struggle. No sexual acting out behaviors, but detoxing from the addiction and addressing the demons is a battle. My husband is in recovery and working his 4th step… it’s a long road. My thoughts go out to you as you tackle this next hurdle on your journey.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I am so happy that my blog has helped, in some small way, the journey through the pain of addiction. As you know from other posts of mine, my husband is working diligently to put his old patterns behind him once and for all. It wasn’t easy to get here – there were years that I doubted my decision to stay – but I am so, so thankful that I gave him a second and third chance. Now that he has finally gotten sober he is a happier, stronger, more amazing version of the man I fell in love with. I have found that the more that I can empathize with my husband, the more that we feel like a team. In the end it’s the teamwork that gets us through it. I recognized it as a true disease and knew that if I left him when he was trying to heal from his disease…well, that would be as bad as if he left me as I tried to heal from mine. I am glad to hear that your husband is working on his sobriety – remember, it’s progress, not perfection – for both of you. Step 4 is a tough one and can take months – if not longer – to finish. But I have faith that he will get through it and will hopefully see himself in a clearly light for having done so. Good luck with everything – I hope every day becomes a bit easier and a bit lighter and that you both can find your way back to loving and forgiving and moving on.

      • CrazyKat1963 says:

        Thank you for your kind and insightful words. My blog is only a little over three months old, but I look back at old posts (not too often as it is painful) and realize we have both come a long way already. After 30 years of lying to me and 15 years of cheating with multiple women and me having no idea, I cannot begin to describe the shock I felt on dday, but I have always wanted to stay and help my husband on his journey… the trauma brings out a side of me that is constantly questioning if I am strong enough, but the stronger me wins out. Whether or not we ultimately stay married, I will always be there as a friend to my husband on his journey to manage his addiction. Good luck to you in surgery. ❤

  3. Thank you for sharing where you’re at, at the moment. I wish you a speedy recovery and am really happy that you have a recovered strong marriage. After weathering so many storms it must now have the best defences in the world. It gives us all hope.

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