Because of our children's sports schedule we decided to celebrate a day earlier. I think that is what started it out so special. Mark actually pre-thought about the day and decided that he could not postpone it until we get time, which in the past has meant a bottle of wine a week or two after July 22nd sipped quickly after the boys went to bed. Maybe if I am lucky we would put in the wedding day video and we would actually watch the whole thing through, without fast forwarding, before we fall asleep on the couch. Not this year though. Mark did it all. I'll I had to do was give him the best night to go out. However, even that was difficult because in between treatments,being ill from the treatments and sporting events there was really no perfect time. So we just forced ourselves to cancel everything and just do it.
The day started with a amazing bouquet of roses. Not just any roses but the exact type of rose that I had in my wedding bouquet. These are wild roses that have to be ordered six months in advanced because they have to be cultivated to blume in July instead of May (so I guess that would cancel out the wild part). I had these roses in my yard as a child growing up and when I was planning my wedding had to have them in my arrangements. They are blush to a very pale pink, almost white, in color with a yellow center and are the most fragrant of the roses. Not to mention the most delicate and I am told are not the most ideal for floral arrangements because of how fragile they are. In fact I remember hunting for a florist when planning my wedding that could actually find these roses. Over the years Mark has tried to replicate these roses with several attempts on past anniversaries or when he has just screwed up. I have never told him that it just could not be done without pre-ordering the rose months in advance until a few months ago when we were in Switzerland. In Switzerland when we had so much time on our hands and the tele only had two English speaking station we talked about everything and anything and these roses and how difficult they are to find came up. He was amazed that after all these years of receiving bouquets of pale pink roses and hundreds of dollars spent on these arrangements, I never told him he did not get it right nor did I ever expect him too. Well he finally got it right and that was really all I needed to make it a perfect anniversary.
Nevertheless, he did not stop there. A dear friend of our, John Cinq., and Mark planned a spectacular evening with dinner at Zao cafe, Cinq's restaurant, and opening night theater tickets to Barry Manilow's Copacabana The Musical. The dinner was outstanding. When we got to the restaurant Cinq had two glasses of champagne with raspberry puree,my favorite, waiting for us and an amazing meal was served. We then had a special dessert of both Mark's and my favorites, chocolate ganche mouse and lavender cheesecake. The desert plate had Happy Anniversary Sunny and Mark written in chocolate. The Musical was great but the company was better.
We skipped out early on the musical, because we were not sure how long we had until the boys would be calling us to come home, and heading out on the town. We had a blast together. Laughing like BC (before cancer). It was truly like old times when money was not an issue and the theater and dinner was a great date. The most important part of the evening however was the time we spent just talking. Mark finally opened up to me about what it's been like for him during my battle. Although we talk about it at times we never get into the true and actual feelings. The one and maybe the only thing that makes Mark and I alike is that we both suppress our negative feelings. I have always felt that it is harder on those who love a cancer patient then it is for the actual patient. I cannot by any means pretend to know what Mark is going through nor do I even want to walk in his shoes for a day, but I can imagine at times it is a helpless feeling. As a patient fighting this cancer I can pretty much take control of almost all of it. Sure I can't change the progression of the disease but if I am in pain I can take a pill, if I have a question I can call the doctor, if I am tired I rest, if I am restless I exercise. I know that eating right and taking vitamins may help, so I do that. I can choose to have treatments or not. And when the time comes for it all to end I can leave this all behind me and no that I did whatever I could to stay alive. With that I can rest in peace.
For Mark it is not that easy. Although I do not always agree with the chooses he makes when handling the stress of this difficult voyage, I do try to understand what he is going through. I receive emails from many spouses of patients with carcinoid cancer. Some are commenting on my treatments, some ask my advise, some want to know where I get my information from, some just ask how I am doing, some say they read my blogs to their other half and others ask how my husband is dealing with me being sick. Although every email has a different story or topic they all have a certain tone of sorrow and helplessness to it. Much like Mark has at times. For those of you who know my loud fun loving husband it may seem hard to believe that he could ever feel dispirited or powerless. But that is what cancer can do to a man when he watches his wife battle this monster on her own. It is a demon that can take a perfectly stable family and tear it apart. It is a malignant spirit that can take a strong happy go lucky man and bring him to tears at the site of his wife suffering in pain. It is a brutal beast that can destroy a happy spirit and turn it the dark side. Cancer in my eyes is as evil as the devil. I wont speak for Mark but I will testify I will not let it tear me or my love ones apart. I will not let them give in to it's affiliation.
Of course we both did not want the evening to end because it meant we had to go back navigating our cancer journey. However, we knew that it was just a fantasy night and reality was through the red door of our home. And as we open it and enter a house of sleeping boys we held hands and felt grateful we had one more night together. Thanks Mark for your romantic side.