Ok, so here's the deal--I was really hoping that, after going the single most difficult time in my life, 2014 would prove to be much brighter.
Most of you know that I have drastically reduced my work due to a number of ridiculous circumstances. I was incredibly fortunate that I was able to travel to Boston in 2013 to be a featured speaker at Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. I had an amazing time, and the invitation came at the perfect time as it was in between treatments that my husband was going through. Incidentally, Harvard was the only speaking engagement I accepted for all of 2013.
I was surprised when Harvard invited me back for 2014. My Harvard contact could not be more lovely, bright, grounded, and intelligent. I was even more excited this year because I was able to get my BFF to come along with me and be a co-presenter for one of the sessions. I'm not kidding when I say that we have tried to take some sort of trip together for about 10 years. Of course, this would have been a working trip, but getting some quality time with him was what I was really looking forward to.
Last week my husband and I received some incredibly troubling news regarding his most recent medical scan. To say I was surprised would be a huge understatement. After all, he was 100% compliant with all 4 stages of his comprehensive treatment plan. I honestly thought that the darkness from 2013 was finally over.
I've already readily admitted that I can hold a grudge like no one else. What can I say, it's part of my charm! Now, you would think that at least one of my husbands' family members would have taken a moment to thank me for all that I did last year. After all, he is an only child. Do I sound bitter? You betcha! Sometimes it feels like everyone else EXCEPT his family can plainly see how devoted I am to him.
I've been with my husband longer than I have not been with him. In short, we've been a couple for over 22 years. That is a hell of a long time! I'm lucky that our relationship has never seemed like work. Many people subscribe to the belief that relationships are hard. Even after all this time, I never, ever feel that way.
The news we received has left me feeling shocked, numb, pissed the fuck off, confused, and scared as hell. We've been a couple so long that it is almost impossible for me to even begin to consider a life without him.
I should probably make it clear that my feelings are probably very premature as there is not a definitive diagnosis as of now. Nevertheless, I think it is only natural for someone to imagine the worst possible outcome. Especially when the foundation of what you thought was true comes to a screeching halt.
So what about Harvard?
As it turns out, the day my husband is scheduled for important diagnostic testing happens to be the exact day that I was scheduled to speak at Harvard. Seriously, ain't that some shit?! Because my BFF had already purchased his ticket, it made the current situation a little more difficult. My immediate instinct was to cancel my trip. On the other hand, my lovingly supportive husband felt that going would be good for me (especially since I had my BFF with me for support). After talking about it with my BFF, he felt that it would be the best course to cancel. I couldn't love him any more than I already do. He recommenced I stay even after purchasing a non refundable ticket. If you know him, then you would realize that this is no small gesture. He is known for being ridiculously frugal! PS, If you're reading this, you know I love you!
It also turns out that my friend and contact at Harvard said that me coming to speak was not even a topic that was on the table to discuss. She insisted that family comes first, and that Harvard will always be there when things settle down.
Probably one of the most disheartening realities over the past year and half is how little support I have gotten from people in my field. It honestly seemed that the only reason any person reached out to me was to offer taking over any coaching clients. I'm not even making this up. Of course, this is not true of everyone. I have received some much needed and wonderful support from a few people in the community.
I have no problem declaring that I am scared as hell. Ask anyone who has had to wait for a diagnosis regarding a serious medical condition. It is excruciating. You want to stay positive, but it is just too easy to begin imagining the worst case scenarios.
I know that my husband needs me more than Harvard does right now. I'm just glad to know that it will be waiting for me when things calm down around the Toyooka household.