Sandra McIntosh: Her's Husband's Diagnosis Changed Everything

Sandra McIntosh: Her's Husband's Diagnosis Changed Everything

My life has been a Beautiful Disaster since my college years, but that shit is dark. I found happiness in 2003 with a wonderful man and got married in 2008. Life had other plans for us. Out of nowhere in November of 2010, right after my grandmother died, Mark was having stomach pains. They increased and he had blood in his stool. Our NP sent him to the ER fearing he had C-Diff like my grandmother. Within 2 hours Mark was diagnosed at 33 with colon cancer. 2 days later he was in surgery. On my 29th birthday he began chemo. To get through I took his pain pills while getting his soup and watching Labyrinth non-stop for comfort. When the pills were gone I was done with them as always. I anticipated a bad scan in September of 2011. So bad that at night I talked and acted strangely. Mark’s scan ended up being bad. For the first time his oncologist didn’t have a plan. Throughout the day I got worse. I ended up hospitalized with severe depression for over a week. Even I didn’t realize how badly Mark’s diagnosis effected me, as well as other issues with friends and family.

 

In the hospital I found fragments of myself and even helped others. I came out a different person. Overtime I found my calling as a caregiver as I should have been. So much so that Mark and I had a chemo baby in 2014, a son, who’s now 4 and the bright spot of everyone’s world. Never did I think our world would change again and Mark would be dying. It was almost a year ago we signed the hospice papers. He remained at home for as long as he could. Today, going on 8 months following Mark’s passing I’m doing ok. So is our son. I go with the ebb and flow of things. A year ago exactly we knew and it was beyond hard. I felt like an elephant was always sitting on me and I did nothing but cry. At the same time our little family did nothing but live. We did what we wanted with the help of friends and family days before Mark went into hospice care. Even then during that month and a half we created memories as a family.

 

I may never stop questioning or get used to being a single mother. However, I thrive on my strength and ability to get through. Just as I said to Mark when he got down, I’d hold him tight and say, “If we can get through this, we can get through anything.” When I first came across the Beautiful Disaster clothing I was immediately attracted to it. Just the name spoke to me. Then the story behind it made me feel at home and like I belong again because being a widow with a son can be a lonely place. Beautiful Disaster gives me comfort and empowers me when I need it most. I’ve lived a blessed and cursed life that really began before I was 30. Cancer is thief in the night, but for all it took it gave me so much in the long run. Yeah, it took years from Mark and I, but it gave us trips, an awesome son, and memories I couldn’t dream is. Most of all it taught me true strength and grace under pressure. I wouldn’t change anything about my life as it stands today. 

~Sandra

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Comments

Megan May 18 2020

I read your story and then I checked the date you posted. The day of your post is the day my husband died. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, same thing found it because of symptoms he was having. We fought though surgery, chemo, radiation, lose of ability to walk, use his left arm. He had been put into hospice care at home for about 6 months and had started having breathing problems. He was admitted and then transferred to a hospice facility within 2 weeks he was gone. We have a son who lives with us and I have 3 bonus kids 2 older daughter and younger son. I know the feeling of an elephant on your chest. The inability to sleep or process life some days. I miss my husband beyond words but I would never trade the time I had with him for anything!

Stacey Welcher September 24 2019

Sandra McIntosh I can relate to you so much I’m sitting her in tears. I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband was diagnosed a year ago with pulmonary hypertension. There’s no cure. He went from being a well paid trucker to social security. I don’t care about the money, However i do feel cheated. I don’t understand why after all I have been through in the past god is taking away my best friend, my rock and my “life”. I’m so angry all the time, I know I need help but I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know how you do it, you are a strong woman. I feel like I’m gonna completely shut down if and when he goes. Our relationship has suffered but I will never leave him to battle alone. Thank you for your story god bless you
Stacey