Welcome to Hump Day, friends! Don’t you just love making to the halfway mark of the week? In my household, Wednesday is also known as Wine Wednesday, for many of the same reasons. And speaking of wine, I humbly ask you to raise a glass with me to say thanks.
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, I would like to take a few moments to give a virtual pat on the back to all of the people who provided the care for my wife Nancy when she went through breast cancer treatment in 2009. While I want to thank those people, I also want to acknowledge the good men and women in those same roles who care for cancer survivors of all types all over North America and throughout the glove.
To Doctor Tom Tigges, Nancy’s surgeon, you were the first doctor Nancy and I met after her diagnosis. We were scared to death, but your calm demeanor and quiet confidence gave us the courage to forge ahead instead of throwing up our hands in despair. Further, when it was time for Nancy’s mastectomy, your unsurpassed surgical skills ensured that all of those nasty cancer cells were removed. To Doctor Tigges and to all surgeons out there performing miracles, THANK YOU.
To Doctor Dorinda Rouch, Nancy’s hematology oncologist, you prescribed the medicine that made Nancy’s hair fall out and her bones ache to the marrow. You also prescribed the medicine that attacked the cancerous tumors and drove them into nothingness. When we had questions, you answered them. To Doctor Rouch and all hematology oncologists out there, who come up with just the right cocktail of medicines to send cancer packing, THANK YOU.
To Doctor Thomas Dugan, Nancy’s radiation oncologist, you hit her with radiation almost every day for six weeks until her skin burned. You also hit her with enough radiation to make sure any cancer cells that may have been stubborn enough to hang around were zapped into the great beyond. To Doctor Dugan and all radiation oncologists, who attack and defeat cancer from the outside. THANK YOU.
To Doctor Rajiv Sood, Nancy’s plastic surgeon, you took tissue from Nancy’s abdomen and moved it to her chest, thereby reconstructing her missing breast with her own flesh and blood instead of an implant. While you may have left her with a scar across her belly, that scar serves as a reminder of the advancements medicine had made in the battle against breast cancer. To Doctor Sood and all plastic surgeons who provide breast cancer survivors the reconstruction procedures they deserve, THANK YOU.
To the nurses of St. Vincent Health and IU Health, you poked, prodded, drew blood, and did who knows how many things to Nancy. You also hugged her, calmed her fears, made her laugh, and stood beside her as she walked the path of her cancer journey. To you, and all nurses who are the quiet heroes of the medical field, THANK YOU.
Lastly, to our friends and family, especially two special young men, Seamus and Aidan, who provided shoulders to lean on and strength to draw from. We could not have completed the journey of Nancy’s cancer treatment without you. To you, and everyone who has helped out a cancer survivor, THANK YOU.
I wrote a romance novel based on my experiences as Nancy’s caregiver during her cancer treatment called WISH UPON A STAR. In that story, the hero and heroine struggled mightily through her cancer journey, but, as a true love story, in the end, they lived happily ever after. That’s what Nancy and I are doing too, living our happily ever after.
In closing, I would like to say a final thank you to the wonderful writers of the Contemporary Romance Café for letting me visit today. I also have a wish for you, dear friends, that your lives may be filled with as many happily ever afters as there are stars in the sky.
A lifelong resident of the State of Indiana, Jim Cangany is proud to call himself a Hoosier. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in a household full of books and people. Thanks to the influence of his older siblings, Jim gravitated toward fantasy and sci-fi when looking for something to read. He wrote his first story at age fourteen. A school project, The Magic Coin was a fantasy that involved a king, some bad guys, and, not surprisingly, a magical token.
These days, Jim writes romance on the sweet end. If you ask him what is a guy like him is doing writing romance, he’ll reply, “Those are the stories in my head.” A believer that the world has enough doom and gloom, he likes stories with a happy ending, regardless of genre. He lives in Indianapolis with his wonderful wife Nancy and his two sons, Seamus and Aidan.