Friday, August 24, 2012

The Void

After months of deliberating, months of panic attacks, months of denial, and months of utter fear, a surgery date has been set. And it feels good. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It took me long enough to make the decision to proceed with this surgery, and the fact that it is quickly approaching is a crazy feeling. I have never been contradicted with so many various emotions. Fear. Anxiety. Excitement. Hope. And at this point, it is exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, the thought of being cancer free is exhilarating. I often find myself day dreaming about my life, post cancer. And it is beautiful. A career. A man who loves me and supports me. Children. I literally become giddy as these thoughts take over my subconscious. But as quickly as they enter my mind, the leave. And they are replaced with an emptiness. A void. And that void can only be filled by one thing; my Husband. I have so many nights where I lay in bed laden with fear, and a horrible feeling of loneliness. I so wish that I could reach over in bed and feel Dan lying next to me. Feel his arms around me. Feel his kiss on my lips. Rather, I reach over and feel nothing but cold sheets. And that is a heart wrenching feeling. And unfortunately, that is a feeling that I am all too familiar with.
As I battled my first bout of cancer in 2009, Dan was deployed to Iraq. And although we were thousands of miles apart, he was still there for me every single step of the way. He would call during every chemo session and talk me through them. He would email me Bible verses multiple times throughout the week. He supported me. He encouraged me. He loved me. And although I am surrounded by amazing family and friends at this trying time of my life, there is still something missing. HE is missing.

I can’t help but think how different things would be if Dan were here with me. In all honesty, it is painful to think about. I know that I would be his number one priority. He would have slept in my hospital room during both surgeries and both in-patient chemo sessions. He would have been the one to shave my head, and make me feel beautiful during the entire process. He would have sat with me as I threw up for weeks straight because of radiation. He would have supported me during the in-vitro process. He would have made me laugh when I wanted to cry. He would have pushed me to press on when I wanted to quit. He would have been my rock. My everything.
In less than three weeks, September 12th, I will be going in for a life-changing and life-threatening surgery. Instead of having my Husband there to hold my hand, I will have him there as my guardian angel. Yes, that thought is very comforting and puts me at ease. However, as I sit and write this blog, I am experiencing the fear and anxiety of this surgery, rather than the excitement and the hope. I don’t want a guardian angel. I want Dan. I want him to hold me. To kiss me. To tell me that everything is going to be okay. I want to open my eyes on the day of surgery and see his gorgeous green eyes and sexy smile looking back at me. I guess I will have to do without.

I have been without my Husband for 22 months and 19 days. September 12th will be the date of my surgery. However, it will also be just another day that I wake up in an empty bed. Another day without hearing his voice. Another day without touching him. Another day of being Dan Johnson’s widow. But God willing, September 12th may also be the day that I become cancer free. The day that I get my life back. And I will do my best to go into this day and make Dan proud. To be brave. To be strong. To depend on God. To be the courageous woman that he married.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4


  1. Kristen, you are strong and brave. Fight on. You CAN do it. (((hugs)))

  2. Praying for you Kristen. You are so brave. You're story brought tears to my eyes. I am hopeful for a beautiful future for you, here on this earth, cancer free and a reunion with your husband in heaven one day.