My Salute to a Different Kind of Warrior

12-years post transplant

After two days in the hospital and a handful of pokes and a pesky IV line constantly attached to my right arm, I’ve come to a sobering realization. I jokingly whine and complain a little about the inconvenience of it all. The size 3XL standard issue pants, for example, along with the sexy, open-backed gown that wraps me from shin to chin. The lack of rest one has at night on uncomfortable hospital beds with nurses coming in every four hours to check your vitals. The quotidian routine, broken only by soft knocks on the door when someone wants a sample of this or a sample of that.

I am a wimp: A true, homebody, an I-don’t-like-to-have-to-ask-for-everything-and-I’d-rather-do-it-myself wimp. And so today, I stand in awe of the warrior my husband and the father of our children was for nine long months during 2002 and early 2003 when he fought daily to stay with us.

He made a promise to the first doctor he saw that he would be compliant—he would take any medicine, agree to any procedure, do whatever they asked—in order to get well. And he did. He suffered through four surgeries, countless kilos of IV fluids and morphine and enough toxic junk to kill a lesser man.

He put up with intubations, open hospital gowns, quotidian routines (although, when he felt well enough, he did play a prank or two), spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies, radiation, transfusions, infections, depression, loss of appetite, torturous walks around the hospital ward (they wanted him to walk at least a mile a day) with me or his brother pushing his IV pole for him because he didn’t have the strength to do it himself.

Stand Up to Cancer

Every warrior needs reasons to fight.

Pedro is a fighter and it’s only now, after spending a measly two days in the hospital, that I appreciate how hard he fought so that one day he could watch our girls graduate from high school. He’s even walked our oldest down the aisle and given her hand in marriage to a wonderful young man. He’s been there for Laura’s college graduation, and God willing, he plans on being around for Katrina’s graduation and wedding one of these days.

All because he stood up to cancer and agreed to fight. To put up with the indignities and the idiosyncrasies of hospitals and their staff (one day, I may tell the story of ‘Catheter-training Nurse Lisa’) so that he could attend recitals, cheer at tournaments, go on father-daughter dates, give his wise counsel and love unconditionally through every challenge that arose.

Not all warriors fight on battlefields, and their deeds of bravery need to be acknowledged. Click To Tweet

I salute you, Pedro, for the warrior that you are. Thank you for your sacrifice and your sense of humor. You inspire me. I raise my emesis basin to you—Here’s to another 26 years!

Do you know a warrior who fights without complaint or recognition for his or her family day after day?  Salute them in the comments section!

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!

Take a moment to visit the other hostess, Angie, too!

 

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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