Del's story: Husband embraces role as caregiver, chauffer, warm blanket getter, drink fixer

Midland GASeptember 16, 2011 

I am the husband of Judy Myers. Judy learned she had breast cancer in May 2010. As her primary caregiver I would like to share my story about her journey.

My part in Judy’s Cancer Journey was her chauffer, the sitter, the warm blanket getter, drink fixer, and partner for “pole dancing”. Pole dancing was trying to get Judy to the bathroom while pushing her IV pole without turning it over or letting her fall. Just a “gofer” go get this, go get that.

That first treatment day we did not know what to expect. We got Judy all covered up in her heated blanket, and chemo started that would last five hours. We did not realize the room was cooler than expected. The air blowing down on my bald head was almost too much. I kept a jacket and hat in Judy’s “chemo bag” after that. The chemo makes you cold and Judy had to wrap up. At times she had two heated blankets over her. I also learned to go outside and walk about to warm up. There was a nice little pond to walk around and thank God for the treatments going well.

Judy got to know everyone there. I saw a few people I had worked with and people I knew from church receiving treatment. This is a place you wish you did not see people you know going through this disease. Glad to say, we saw more people respond to the treatment and go into remission than those that did not.

It may sound weird but, the best thing that happened to Judy last year was her breast cancer. She has touched more people’s lives by showing God’s love for us than she would have without the cancer. Her cancer was not a “put you on hold while you go through all these treatments.” Judy kept moving and talking to everyone she met encouraging them with her actions not just her talking. She has been a great spokesperson for JBACC, the American Cancer Society, and more importantly for God and His love for us so His Glory could be seen.

Judy knew from the start Who was in charge and she let Him lead her. I just followed behind, like a good husband, telling her what to do. Our dog Fifi gets a lot of credit in this also.

Fifi would sit on her right breast months before we knew something was wrong. All during her treatments, Fifi would tell her it was time for her to rest, she would lay down near the part of her body that was hurting and make her get up and play on days she could tell Judy was not feeling the side effects as badly. God gave Fifi to us knowing we needed her and that is why she is a big part of this family. Like Judy she has not met anyone she does not like and try to talk too.

I never had any doubt that everything would not be OK with Judy. As I told everyone after those 52 weeks of treatment, “Judy just talked that cancer to death!”

The other day at Synovus, I had to laugh. The group of people Judy worked with presented The American Cancer Society with $300 worth of wig caps, wigs, and hats in her name. Libby Givan, Community Manager of the Columbus Office was there to receive the contribution. They asked Judy to say a few words. Judy has never said, a few words! Later Mrs. Givan asked me if I thought, “Judy would be able to speak at a meeting for the American Cancer Society.” I told her, “Mamm, she was born on stage talking. She would be glad to talk; you just have to worry about getting her to stop.” I know when to stop.

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