What is Love?

What is Love?

In the beginning love is more of a connection. A desire to get to know more about this person. A curiosity that makes you want to know everything there is to know about the other. You hold onto their every word like poetry. You have a need for their presence so strong, that missing them makes you sick to your stomach. It’s when you  see each other next the passion is so overpowering that fireworks go off inside of you at the sight of them and your body tingles at their touch.

At your wedding, it’s being so nervous you want to vomit, yet the second you connect eyes you see the other with a smile bigger than you’ve ever seen them smile, with wet cheeks, and a consistent stream of tears gliding down them. It’s trusting them with your future and knowing that where ever you end up… as long as you’re together it will be worth the wild ride getting there.

It’s the moment you decide that the timing is right  to start a family. The excitement, yet fear. Then finally the comfort in knowing that you have each other to stumble through it together.

It’s telling the one that you love that you have a deadly disease, that you are scared, and that your future is uncertain. It’s them countering with a hug so full of devotion, yet so full of passion because they too fear that they could lose you.

It’s facing that fear together, as a team. And if one get’s knocked down, you’ll fall down together.

I have a confession… a cheesy one at that. Some moments I find myself inspired with a burning desire to sit down and write. Different things trigger it be it a song, a dream, a memory, or in tonight’s case… a movie.  Before I let this confession out I will call myself out upfront. I am an absolute hopeless romantic. I am also the type where my mood can be easily swayed by things as simple as a song, a story, or yes… even a movie.  Tonight I watched Letters to Juliet (YES I KNOW… I am THAT cheesy!) and it got me thinking about Love.

I am very much the type that thought once I got married the wooing and sweeping the other off of their feet would have only just begin. That we’d be 80 years old walking 1.5 miles per hour leaning on one another for support with our feet only shuffling along, because lifting them off of the ground could risk a fall. I pictured him referring to me as “His Bride” after 50 years of marriage. Then reality crept in. He’s dodging a shoe being thrown at his head after an argument and somehow “My Old Lady” doesn’t sound as romantic as “My Bride”. It’s funny, but sometimes it takes looking back on my illness, my wedding, or the early days of our relationship to remember exactly what it was that led us to our life as we know it.

My marriage now is by no means as romantic as it was when we first started out and only on special occasions does the other take the time for surprises. Although we are no Romeo and Juliet we are one thing and that’s Real. Moments like tonight make me realize that the same desire to punch my husband in the gut is fueled by the passion that brought us together. If I didn’t care so much about him the thought of beating him some days wouldn’t be so desirable. I’m only kidding about beating him part… the actually doing it part. The desire… now that’s still there!  :-)

Sometimes that passion can be fueled by other things and once the feeling of being loved falls out of the equation, I think we as women fill that passion tank full of frustration, anger, maybe even a little regret. I have a friend in whom I think the world of. Right now she is going through one of the hardest decisions of her life. After 10 years of marriage her and her husband have decided to walk away and take separate paths. Although I do think that many throw the “D” word around far too easily, in her case I don’t know if there is any other way for the two of them to be happy. When one person has completely shut the other out both as a friend and as a partner and refuses to explore ways to make things better… you have no other choice than to go your separate ways. I do believe that marriage is worth fighting over… (that’s why my husband and I are so good at it… the fighting part), but her situation has opened my eyes to another side of cancer. One that is very, very ugly.

I will be the first to admit that there is always two sides to every story and that there is so much of it that I do not know. But what I do know breaks my heart. My friend and I were diagnosed just a day apart, yet our stories and cancers are very different. Like me, she is a mom with two beautiful little girls to fight for. The biggest difference is I am considered to be in … dare I say it… “remission” where she is still very much in the heat of her battle. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Like me she initially chose chemo and although at times I felt as though the chemo was killing me… hers literally was. She went from running marathons to not even being able to lift her own head off of her pillow. She was only given, at best, 4 months to live so she chose to go off of the chemo and try her luck going a different direction. If she only had 4 months to live she didn’t want to spend it deathly ill and frankly, what did she have to lose? She chose to go a more natural route by dramatically adjusting her diet  and today, although she still has stage 4 cancer… she’s ALIVE. She’s not sure what the future holds when it comes to treatments, but right now she is stable and that is a great place to be.

The even harder part to fathom in this story is that although I believe that in the beginning her marriage had the same passion, fear, and love that Brock and I had when I was diagnosed, our situations were very different. Although there were small moments of “what if’s” 90% of my journey was knowing that I was going to be okay. That I was going to live. My odds were in my favor. Hers were not. Although I feel like kicking her husband in the junk when I think about their current situation, the more rational side of me forces me to sit back and try to see it from both points of view.

I can not even imagine being told the news that my husband only had 4 months to live. To figure out what my future was suppose to consist of when the person I’ve always envisioned sharing it with will soon by cut from the picture. She was 27 at diagnosis. Together they had two very young children and I can only imagine the weight he felt on his shoulders. The pain, the confusion, the anger, the fear, the anxiety. To filter through all of those feelings and to feel the biggest low you’ve had to of ever felt in your life and then for that end not to come.

See to me this is where the story should be that “Happy Ever After”. Where their new love story can begin, but for them, more heartbreak laid ahead. I will be the first to admit that I do not know her husband… not even slightly. I have met him only once and he seems like a nice guy, but even in that short meeting it was very apparent that their wasn’t much of a bond left there. I don’t know what happened, what “clicked”, or what “went wrong”, but in my head the only way to make sense of this madness is to come up with a reason. So that’s what leads me to wonder if all of that emotional trauma lead him to completely and entirely, emotionally numb himself towards her. Maybe it’s just too hard to go through those feelings again so instead of working through the tough feelings,especially the possibility that although she is okay now…  only God knows what the years ahead hold. Instead of having to go down that road again, to toy with those thoughts and feelings,  I wonder if he’s shut them off completely?

I know that the months ahead for my friend are going to be far from easy, but I also see a day when this will be a distant memory of the past and I truly believe that if anyone can beat stage 4 cancer, she can. I admire her and look up to her so much and it makes me so sad to see someone so courageous put on a tough front, but when you look into their eyes you see that there is a lot of pain and hurt resting just bellow the surface. The eyes never lie.

I also know that if you can persevere through a cancer diagnosis, you can do anything you set your mind to. To every closed door, another one opens and I can not wait to see the blessings and prosperity that her future holds!

I love you girl!

Nicole

6 Comments

Filed under Enjoying Life, Life After Cancer

6 responses to “What is Love?

  1. Katie

    Wow that was very moving you are a beautiful writer, your friend will be in my prayers just as you and your family are.

  2. Nicole Cassity

    To My Bride:

    So this is very odd I turned on the computer today to do my “man thing” like looking at a case to put my chainsaw in. WOW I really am LAME. I came to a screen where my wife wrote this blog about a very special friend of hers. It made me tear up a little. Let me tell you I am in touch with my feminine side. Those times where Nicole has wanted to beat me down I really did deserve it. From a husbands stand point it was really hard form me to come to terms with my wife having cancer, to think she someday might not be hear to tell me that she loves me or that I need to take a shower because I smell like an old person! I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, it’s not intended to. It really hurt. I really didn’t know what to do I had no one I could talk to. The guys at work even noticed something different, the only way I knew how to deal with my situation was through anger toward them. Not intended, but the only way I knew how to deal with it. I really do not mean to take the frustration out on you Nicole I Love You. I remember the First night I met you. WOW can you say HOTTIE. You still are but WOW. What I really am trying to say is I Love You as much as the day I first laid eyes on you and I always will. Even though the days have been tough we both get stronger and our love grows for each other more and more each day. I can remember those words we told each other the day we got married. “I Brock take you Nicole, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And here to I pledge you my faithfulness.

    I DO.

    I LOVE YOU,

    Brock

  3. Shauna

    I agree with Katie, you are a amazing writer and should write more! You can just feel your passion and heart ache in your blog. I love how you talk about love and there is nothing wrong with being a hopeless romantic, I am right there with you!

  4. Victoria

    Ok you two….you are way too young to be so wise in marriage and love.
    I will continue to pray for you and your friend. I will also be praying for an opening for Brock to be able to talk with the friend’s husband. While there seems to be support for the patients there doesn’t seem to be much support for the spouses. The husband may have chosen to close the door on the emotions because it was to painful and he wanted to avoid putting more on his wife. It may have started as a way to protect her. While she has Nicole to talk to who does he have?
    I have not fought anything like cancer but after 2 years of constent back pain and a year of doctors, tests, treatments, physical therapy I finally can go through 1-2 days at a time without pain. But in looking back I know that the pain totally took over my personality, it dictated who I was. I didn’t know how to say “I can’t take it any more, someone help me” in a way that anyone could understand. I didn’t even understand it. That is why I think he needs a friend who understands.
    May God bless you beyond your imaginations. Eph 3:20

  5. Hayley

    Nicole you’re such an inspiring woman, I miss you so very much! You’re thoughts on love and marriage are so vivid; they completely mirror the way I feel about Brian. I can’t imagine how difficult this journey has been for you, Brock and little Morgan. You’re a tough lady! I hope too see you soon and will keep you in my thoughts always!

  6. I love your writing. You are so good at really putting your feelings into words where others can feel it too. Thank you. I love you.

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