My better half

in Life with Shari

This is me with my husband Donnie. 

We are a couple that does much better and are much happier when we spend a lot of time together. You can often find us eating out and hanging with friends and family any chance we get.  

If you follow me on social media you already know he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma about a year ago.  The first six months of his cancer fight was brutal.  It had already spread to his lung, liver, multiple areas of skin and abdominal wall, as well as his bones, specifically attacking his vertebrae and causing multiple compression fractures.  

As his cancer spread, it became harder to get out with friends but they were incredibly supportive in so many ways.  I don't know how people do this without the support of friends and family.  

We both own our own businesses so we were able to balance his treatments and our business with the help of amazing family members and friends.  Small business owners don't get paid sick days.  But thankfully, because of that support, I have been able to sit by his side through all of this cancer roller coaster ride.  We do much better together than we do apart. 

In January, at the worst point of his journey, they switched his treatment and pain meds and things turned around extremely quickly! The cancer reduced in size significantly and he was finally having some things to celebrate.  

However, the past 6 weeks has had a lot of ups and downs. He started having some side effects from the meds a couple months ago. As the side effects have gotten worse, he has been off the treatment meds more often than on them. We can see that his visible spots have started to grow a little bit and the oncologist is looking at changing his treatment meds again. This should help to reduce the spots again and get him back on track.  

Thankfully, through it all, he has been feeling pretty good. His pain continues to stay under control with the meds he is taking and we are so thankful for that!! 

We are so grateful that there continues to be new treatments to try. If this would have happened 10 years ago we would not have had all the options we do now. We are so incredibly thankful.

We are also blessed to have an amazing family and friends network. They have been so incredibly supportive!

I have come to understand that this cancer journey will constantly be a roller coaster.  I don't think we will ever "go back to normal".  So even though we won't have an everyday normal again, we will still make it through this.  I wrote about thriving through chaos in a previous blog post and feel like I handle those situations well.  But sometimes, it's the quiet days or the days of waiting that I struggle with.   

Donnie and I continue to be glued together.  Even on the good days, it's difficult to be apart. I am sure we will go back to "normal" some day, but for now, our new normal is to ride the roller coaster, for as long as possible. And we are happy to do that as long as we can.  


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