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Til Death do Us Part

5 years of marriage, and 8 years of
togetherness. Here’s to hoping for many more!

I was still suffering from the affects of my second surgery to rid my body of  Ovarian Cancer, which had deeply rooted itself  throughout my life, when I heard the sweetest words. The words were not new, they had been heard before, and they were definitely not glamorous.  The voice was familiar but infused with a new inflection of concern.

A concerned tone was certainly not new since my Stage 4 Cancer diagnosis, as I had heard it many times when those I loved grappled with the realization of how things change in an instant. It’s the concern that comes natural when faced with the fragility of life, and realization no one is promised a chance to love those we care about least not here on Earth.

The voice I heard as I struggled to lay there was deep and handsomely gruff. As I heard this voice for maybe the millionth time it was in this moment I came to the full insight of just how lucky I was. I had not realized just how lucky I would become as I heard the voice first say ” I love you” and exchange the vows “I DO”, and ” In sickness and in health” .

Those commonly exchanged words,  often said casually and with the hope that LOVE will be enough. They’re the type of words said with anticipation that there will be no testing of  “poorer” , and God forbid” sickness”!

Hope and Love were not enough  to avoid sickness in MY marriage, and most would consider my husband and I to be unlucky to face such a trial. There was a time where I would whole-heartedly agree  we’d been dealt a forbidden “card”, but recently I’ve pondered if we are actually luckier than most. Through it all maybe we have become more aware of what we have to lose?

The customary 1st dance 

Going back to the night I heard that familiar voice, things were looking better or as I heard him say, “we are coming out of the woods, but for awhile it was touch and go”. My dearest friend from high school asked  ” What can I do?”, and the  voice replied, “When her belly hurts mint tea seems to help with the nausea, and  she needs a straw to drink it with. Oh and one more thing she likes tea best with this much honey,  and at night I give her a shot in the stomach at least for the next 30 days. She also needs a couple doses of Mira Lax and a Senna everyday, and I get up with her about every three hours to stay ahead of the pain. Don’t worry if you need to do something different she’ll let you know!”

Benjamin and I on graduation day. Two days after a chemo infusion.
He always said he’d cry if I graduated with my Masters from OU!

God blessed me with a husband that not only knew what I needed as I faced an uphill battle with Cancer, but also stepped up in times of trouble. And certainly when I wasn’t so easy to love. Through Cancer I’ve learned that love is more than just words or a feeling. Love is defined through perseverance in times of trouble allowing for the opportunity to achieve deeper feelings that infuse our actions and reactions with love and kindness!  It is not through richer, or  better, or in health that we learn what it truly means to love and be loved. Instead,  it is through trials that insistently test our strength and determination that we come out feeling like we have the love movies are based on!

Benjamin and I the day before I graduated with my Masters in
Social Work, and more than  half a year through a rigorous Cancer battle!

I am so blessed that  Benjamin committed to me in marriage 5 years ago on 10/11/08, and has loved me  as we battled Cancer together. My hope is that we all know what it is to love and be loved!

  • Kholter

    October 11, 2013 at 6:46 am Reply

    Truly amazing. Praise be to God.

  • Robert Lynn Green

    October 11, 2013 at 10:59 am Reply

    You are married to a great man.

    • Tarah Warren

      October 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm Reply

      True that! I am blessed with all of my family!

  • Rick

    October 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm Reply

    Nice writing, my dear. I love that man of yours too. (Thanks for including a pic of me in your little love letter.)

    • Tarah Warren

      October 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm Reply

      Thank you! Proud to have my dad be able to marry me!

  • Mike Pritchard

    November 3, 2013 at 4:16 am Reply

    Tarah! that is a very touching story. Can we post part of this on our website? With a link back here? Also, do you think Benjamin would like to write a blog post for our website? We are hoping to get more posted from husbands about the effects of OC.

    Thank you Tarah for your strength, courage and faith in your struggle.

    Mike Pritchard

    • Tarah Warren

      November 11, 2013 at 1:26 am Reply

      Hi Mike,
      Sorry I am just seeing this. Yes, you can post what you want on the website. I talked to Benjamin and he would be willing to write up something, and I think it is a great idea to highlight the experience of caregivers. I know he wrote several posts in a Facebook page, Teal for Tarah, when I was experiencing a lot of difficulty which I will go back and read as well to see if there is something you might want to use! Hope you are doing well!

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