What’s YOUR Fight Cabbage Ball Forms

What’s YOUR Fight Cabbage Ball Forms

Waiver of Liability for Cabbage Ball Tournament April 2013

Cabbage Ball Rules

Team Form

From Husband to Caregiver

From Husband to Caregiver

I received an email a view days ago from a man who read my blog and wanted to share his story. I feel so honored that I have reached out to him and I know his story will reach out to many of you. If anyone else wants to share their story please feel free to email me at Kathleen@soutinge.com.

My wife has often said that she could never understand what I went through when she was diagnosed with cancer. We’ve talked about it once, but she still does not understand the fear and confusion and anger that I felt when her doctor looked at her and told her that she’d been diagnosed with mesothelioma. I was so angry. I was so emotional in so many different ways, and it took her doctor asking me about all the different medical decisions we had to make to make me realize that this was only the first of many difficult decisions we’d be forced to face in the months to come.

Heather had given birth to our daughter Lily only three months before she was diagnosed with cancer. We were so happy and so joyful when we welcomed Lily into our lives. Now I was so angry. I used so much profanity to communicate, and I knew I had to change my attitude about this situation. My wife needed me to be strong. She needed me to be optimistic and to be her rock.

I also needed to learn to support my family, while caring for my wife and our new baby.  Oftentimes, my to-do list overwhelmed me, and I knew I would never be able to handle it all without help. That help came from our incredibly generous friends and family members who offered to help us when we were going through this difficult time. I learned to accept their offers. It was the only way I could get anything done on my long list of things to do. I had travel arrangements to make, doctor appointments, and I had to care for my wife, daughter, pets, and our home. I had to learn to prioritize.

No matter how hard anything was for me when this was happening, nothing was as difficult as being away from my wife and daughter for two months. Immediately following her surgery in Boston, Heather flew to South Dakota to be with her parents. They had Lily for us, and she needed help and time to recover before she began her next round of mesothelioma treatment: chemotherapy and radiation. I had to work and knew that I couldn’t care for Heather and Lily and work at the same time. It was such a difficult decision to make, but I look back on it with relief because we were able to make that decision.

I saw Heather and Lily only once during those two months. I drove the 11 hours to her parent’s house in South Dakota on a Friday night after work. It was snowing. I was exhausted when I arrived. My time with them was short because I had to be home for work on Monday morning, but I learned a lot from this. I learned that we needed the help that was offered to us so that we could get through this. I learned to prioritize. I also learned that we were lucky to be in a position to make these difficult decisions.

I hope that my words can help even one other family going through the same thing. My wife has been healthy for more than six years now, we are both incredibly grateful for the second chance we’ve been given.