On Thursday, I spent a few hours at Vancouver Hospital in order to have a portacath inserted. It was a relatively minor surgical procedure, involving only some local anaesthetic and a bit of tranquilizer. Dr. Chen the vascular surgeon (coincidentally, the same guy who was supposed to treat my varicose veins in February, before my cancer diagnosis derailed things) put the port under my skin so that when I start chemotherapy in a couple of weeks, the nurses won't have to start a fresh IV every time I go to the cancer clinic.
Now I have a couple of big nasty bandages and the red stain from surgical disinfectant on the shaved right portion of my chest for a few days—I'm not allowed to shower or get the area wet until it's healed up. Compared to the major surgery and other things I've gone through in the past few months, this procedure was barely a blip.
Of course, as always, my lovely wife picked me up at the hospital. She has been amazing this year, shuttling me around and keeping the house running and the kids clean and clothed and fed and loved, as well as working and podcasting and helping out her friends too, while I've bounced from cranky chemoradiation victim to emaciated hospital patient to cane-toting recovery guy (with chemo coming again soon). And she still loves me, even as my treatments turn me into a half-mechanical cyborg.
She's the biggest reason I want to fight this disease and win. When we got married twelve years ago, I planned to grow old with her, and that's still what I so desperately want to do. Our kids, my parents and relatives, my friends and colleagues—they are all important too. But my wife, my partner, is the person I love and need the most.
I may not show that or say it as much as she deserves, but having her here with me is keeping me alive as much as any of the drugs or surgeries or blasts of charged particles. She's The One, and always will be.