Jess and Mike’s Story of Hope Transcript:
Life before Jessica’s diagnosis was very free for us in that we enjoyed traveling and planning where we’re going next. We had just come back from a trip from Ireland.
I thought I hurt my back. My back pain continued to get worse. I went and saw a physical therapist. So, he did the scan, and it was showing a tumor was crushing my vertebrae. During those scans, I was trying to get up off of the scan bed to get repositioned, and I didn’t know at the time, but something snapped, and my vertebrae broke, and I couldn’t walk.
You know, as a husband, watching your wife go through this is very difficult. You know, you see her go from a full-time active nurse, rambunctious, and ready to go on trips to just very physically unable. And, you know, it’s hard.
We lost a lot of our, at the time, close friends because they didn’t know what to say, they didn’t understand it. So, it was easier to kinda step back than be involved in the tough, hard discussions. But I remember someone, she was a nurse navigator, and she reached out to me, and she ended up letting me know about a young adult support group. And that’s where that I started finding out more programs and about Cancer Care Services and what they were doing for cancer patients and survivors.
The main experience I think of is when we went to the retreat in April of 2021. We just got so much enjoyment out of it and it kinda made you forget about a lot of the doctor’s appointments and things at that time. You just kinda go to experience new things and enjoy yourself.
Jessica was just finally starting to get to where, you know, we were going on walks again and stuff. We go to this retreat, and they split ya into different groups. And it’s okay, you know, we’re gonna go ahead and climb this 30-foot pole first. Let’s just get this day going. In my mind–well both of our minds, we were like this will be good to at least get, at minimum, a few steps in and kinda figure out like hey, see where my limits are, you know.
So, I go up first. I am waiting on the platform for her, and she starts. I’m watching, and I’m like, oh that’s cool she’s starting to go up, and then, then, she gets to the top of the pole. And I lost it. It’s just– from going from a person I’ve had to place in the shower to being able to climb this thing and go across and do all this. I mean, it was one the greatest moments of my life that I got to experience was watching her do it.
Cancer Care Services represents exactly what their name says. I’ve met some very wonderful people. It’s not even just a working relationship, I mean, there’s a friendship that’s came out of it. They truly do care about their client.
That’s more of a blessing than I think some people could even ever realize. It’s just being there and caring. So, keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you.
Transcribed by: Christina R.