About Chris B.
I was 38 years old with two beautiful daughters when my 48 year old husband was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 prostate cancer. If you asked any of our friends who was the healthiest person they knew. Everyone would say Tony Burrell. He had done an Ironman. He was doing triathlons, marathons, and playing golf most weekends. He ran, biked, swam, and was more active than anyone we knew. When he started having issues he chalked them up to riding his bike. Those kind of issues weren’t things you really talked about. So we were in great shock to find out he had prostate cancer. Although knowing now what we know we shouldn’t have been shocked. His dad and grandfather both had prostate cancer. I however didn’t know that because it wasn’t talked about. I think when you are a healthy active 48 years old you just don’t think that is possible. We got several opinions. Being so young he chose a nerve sparing prostectomy. We would find out shortly after surgery it had already spread outside the prostate. So he had 16 weeks of radiation that followed. My husband is a fighter. At 6 weeks he was out back teaching himself how to breathe fire. At 15 weeks he ran a duathlon! He went back to work as a nurse. He wasn’t giving up. But fighting takes a toll. This disease takes a toll on your body, on your spirit, on your marriage… it is a roller coaster of emotions. Even the toughest get worn down. We are BLESSED to still be battling this disease. January marked 10 years! Each dr visit, you hold your breath and pray for the best. You pray your insurance is going to approve the new shot or meds. You pray your marriage can survive the side effects and emotional roller coaster the hormones do to you. Everyday you wish there is someone you can talk to. Like truly have a conversation about what this does to a marriage and your family. It’s a silent lonely disease. I was a teacher for 20 years. The past couple of years were pretty rough. I told my husband that I know the time is coming where I will have to be a full time caregiver, and if that time was now, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I was emotionally drained. So he allowed me to resign from teaching and buy a vintage camper that I am turning into a food trailer. So I can do something I have always dreamed of doing. Also it will allow me to have a job that is flexible so that when it is time to be a full time caregiver, I can do both. That’s what marriage is about. Taking care of each other. In sickness and in health. I carried him while he was sick, he is sick and carrying me while I am weak, so I have the strength to carry him when it is time. That’s what caregivers do. We are BLESSED to be able to carry each other. Every good day, every bad day, is a blessing. Thank you for allowing caregivers to share their story. It helps so much to hear about and read about other people like yourself. This is our 10 year PC anniversary photo! 2012 9 months after surgery he did the Ride Yellow Ride and now 🙂