In Sickness and In Health
My father, the rock of our family, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and it changed everything. I was deployed to Afghanistan at the time so it was very surreal for me. However, my mother was there every step of the way. When my father received his diagnosis, my mother sat in the chair next to him holding his hand.
Robotic surgery, which is a minimally invasive treatment, was the doctor’s recommendation. My father knew he had to get rid of the cancer and elected to do the surgery. Since I was halfway across the world, I was unable to be in the waiting room with my mother. I hated the fact that she was alone, waiting on an answer from the doctor that she may not want to hear. My mother remembered thinking what if he doesn’t make it. It was hard for her to imagine life after thirty years of marriage without him. But, she changed her mindset and imagined the next thirty years of marriage with him by her side. She envisioned vacations and spending time with future grandchildren together.
A few hours passed, and finally, the doctor emerged from the operating room. He informed my mother that the surgery went extremely well. My father was in recovery, and the cancer had been removed from his prostate. My mother was relieved and thanked God for answering her prayers. The surgery team did their part in the success of the surgery, but my mother credits these pieces of advice for helping her.
- Stay strong and positive even when things seem hopeless
- Have faith and pray often
- Support from family and friends
- There is no whining— My mother’s favorite pieces of advice and father’s least favorite
Theresa Benner, Senior Student in the Lipscomb University Didactic Program in Dietetics