I Thought It Was Only Us
by Jan Dravecky
When Dave had cancer, it seemed as if it was just happening to us—to Dave, the children, and me. It wasn’t until years later that I began to understand that cancer happened to Dave’s parents and brothers as well.
We maintained close contact with Dave’s parents throughout his cancer battle, and they made a ton of sacrifices for us. Despite our close contact, I was so overwhelmed by my pain that I overlooked the depth of pain they were experiencing. When Dave had his third surgery, we were living in Ohio and the hospital was in New York. I planned to go to New York with Dave, but the children would stay in Ohio. As they had so many times before, Dave’s parents asked how they could help. I told them that it was hard for me to leave the children but that I felt best when the children were in their care. So they cared for our children in Ohio while a friend accompanied me to New York.
I was so overwhelmed by my pain that I overlooked the depth of pain they were experiencing.
I had no idea at the time how difficult that was. Dave’s Mom had been by his side for all of his previous surgeries, and she has since said that being in Ohio while her son was in surgery hundreds of miles away was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. I regret that I overlooked their parental love for their adult son and was not more sensitive to their pain. I am for-ever grateful for the sacrifices they made for us during that difficult time.