Time will tell

This week’s Folk Magazine’s Journal Agenda Challenge is, “Take a Moment To Reflect on the Meaning of Time.”  Well this is timely…

We’ll cross that bridge when we have to.

Picture taken by Kristie Herlong

This past month my husband Jeff and I had to face one of our worst fears. Jeff was diagnosed with plasmacytoma, a cancer in his pelvic bone. We were shocked. A friend who had just survived breast cancer gave us the best advice, “Don’t cross the bridge until you have to.” I remembered that advice each time I was tempted to question the future.

We’ve made it through the test of time

In August Jeff and I will celebrate our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. We have seen each other through every kind of trial imaginable. We got married young and practically grew up together. For better or worse and richer or poorer, we have managed to build a great life. Lord knows that our marriage has survived huge failures, but together we raised two wonderful children, Emily and Hayden, who represent our biggest achievements.

How do you tell your wife? Wait.

Jeff gets an award of valor! For a whole weekend he kept the news to himself while I was busy setting up Flown The Coop at Urban Market in Houston. He didn’t want to ruin the show for me and our friends at the show. He waited until he was forced to cross a bridge. Sunday evening on the way home, while I was talking about plans for a buying trip in March and an upcoming market, Jeff stopped me in mid sentence to finally let me in on his news. All future planning stopped.

Day by day

X-rays taken to determine if a bulging disc was the reason for pain Jeff had been experiencing in his feet revealed a mass on his pelvic bone. Initially the doctors thought it was something much worse called Chrondrosarcoma and were predicting a surgery to remove part of his pelvic bone and that he possibly could never walk again. Jeff underwent numerous tests and blood work, including a biopsy to determine the route of treatment. We had no idea what the next day would bring.

While we waited for the results we took a “naïveté tour.” We spent a whole weekend just trying to live in the moment, riding the Harley and going to the beach. Honestly, we experienced every possible emotion and had some serious conversations during that time. It’s hard not to. The difference is that we remained naive about the future and refused to cross a bridge until we had to.

We are thankful for today

Jeff is doing great. As far as we know, the cancer has not spread from the pelvic bone. His radiation treatments started and seem to be minor compared to chemo therapy. Jeff and I will have more bridges to cross in the future, but we’re thankful.  It could have been so much worse. After radiation treatments he still need to get the bulging disc in his back corrected so that the pain in his feet can be addressed.

Jeff and I are also thankful for our family and friends who have supported us with prayers and encouragement. It is no surprise to me how many people love Jeff.

Time will tell

I wish Jeff didn’t have to face this journey and all the crap that surrounds cancer. It is scary to think about what we might have to face. I can’t control the bridges that we’ll be forced to cross, but I don’t have to waist time crossing them until it’s time.

Jeff and I don’t know what the diagnosis is for our future. Only time will tell. I commit to only focusing on the joys and challenges of today. Who knows, maybe the future will be better than we can imagine now.

Only God knows what our future will bring. Time will tell.

I’ll cross that bridge when I have to!

~Tiffany

The birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

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