Dec 16, 2018 03:51PM - edited Dec 16, 2018 03:55PM by NancyHB
Hi Jay. So sorry to hear about your wife's diagnosis. That's hard enough without the holidays and anniversaries to also celebrate.
I appreciate where you both are right now. My first diagnosis came the day after our 11th anniversary - which was two days before Thanksgiving. We were prepared for the diagnosis so it wasn't as much of a surprise as it was confirmation, but even then it was still tough to deal with. We were determined to live as “normal" as possible in those early days, so we had dinner on our anniversary and talked about our plans for our summer vacation. We didn't know what treatment was or what it would be like, but we allowed ourselves time to put it aside to celebrate us. I won't lie; in our celebration we also talked briefly about our fears of how many more anniversaries we'd have, and gave ourself permission to be scared. We grieved the loss of our carefree time as empty-nesters, but we didn't wallow in it, and honestly had a wonderful evening.
Thanksgiving was two days later - big family affair with extended family on my husband's side; the next day was my family's holiday. By then we had a definitive diagnosis and a general idea of chemo, radiation - and recurrence risk. It was much more real, and much more difficult for me. I had a really rough few days, and didn't want to spoil our holidays so I took a Xanax before each day, and it helped immensely. That gave us time to get more information, and present everything more clearly and calmly.
For us it was best to have all our ducks in a row before we said anything - and after the holidays. I didn't want our kids or family to associate the holidays with this stupid disease, especially since our SIL had just recently lost his mother to colon cancer. And I needed to be in a more positive space; my kids looked to me to know I would be okay, and I had to take time to get there.
I say, celebrate your anniversary with much love and joy. You'll figure out the best time and way to tell your family. There's no harm in waiting until you have all the information you'll need to answer questions, calm fears, and know your own feelings. It can be hard to wait, but if it were me I would (I put off my December scans this month, until January because I strongly suspect I'll get less-than-positive news, and I didn't want it to interfere with the enjoyment of the holidays). But that's just me. Talk with your wife and make a plan together. Right now it's about her, and you.
Positive thoughts and blessings for a happy anniversary and holidays.