Five years on. This love letter is very overdue. It puts to paper, or digital ink as it were, my love and gratitude for you, my wonderful life partner.
We were only together for 6 months when I was diagnosed. You could have run. You could have been weak or uncaring. You could have been a lot of things, but instead you were the one thing — the one person — that I needed the most in that moment, for many moments after that, and still today.
I came home from the hospital with my diagnosis: breast cancer. Undoubtedly I was in shock. It was the middle of the day. I was alone. I had expected to go back to work that afternoon. I had not expected to be told I had breast cancer and scheduled in for surgery the following week.
As soon as I got home, I called you with my news and you said you would come to me straight away. Within an hour you were by my side. You held me and comforted me, then you looked at me and said something so simple yet so powerful: “Right, let’s work out who we need on ‘Team Healthy Peepers’ and we will make a plan to get you well.” Peepers. I still treasure your nickname for me. As you’re reading this you can probably picture my big peepers blinking back at you. Blinking away my tears. Tears of happiness and gratitude.
I don’t know if you realized it at the time but in that moment, you assumed the role of my primary caregiver. The one I relied on the most during my cancer journey. All of a sudden I had someone who I knew would be there for me and that we would fight this together –along with the rest of Team Peepers — and most certainly win.
You were a positive and caring force in my treatment and recovery, by my side for all my appointments and check ins, asking questions, remembering all the details, making sure I was well looked after, and administering hugs and reassurance in abundance.
And you’ve cared for me each and every day since. Thank you my love. My Charl.
I’m now 5 and a half years cancer free and we have just celebrated our 6-year anniversary together. Team Peepers is alive, well, and stronger than ever.