My first thoughts were (obviously) "Aaawww I'm Colleen's hero." Instead I heard her say, "That one's for Mike, the next one is for you."
Princess? Me? Surely not. I'm not damsel in distress, I pay my own bills, have my own job, and survived 30 years up to that point quite well. Independence and strength were two qualities I valued in myself. But these were just coffee mugs so for the sake of the shower, I played along.
Our marriage would be a partnership, 50/50, equal. Then, just months before our first anniversary I'd learn the important, humbling lesson of letting people take care me. I had many caretakers this past year, but today I celebrate Mike.
Looking back today, on the 2nd Anniversary of our marriage, I can unequivocally say that Colleen was right, Mike is the hero and I'm the princess. I get a lot of attention for being the cancer survivor, the patient, the one in need. But cancer and other major illnesses don't just happen to the patient. They happen to the caregivers too. I don't know what its like to sit in a waiting room for hours at a time, waiting for surgeons, nurses, anyone to come out and give a status on a loved one. I don't know what its like to be the next of kin that gets told they found something abnormal and need permission to take a body part of the one I love. I couldn't see the color drain from my face or my eyes become dull during chemotherapy. No one questioned my need for time off or my lack of motivation to leave the house or felt I needed permission to get sick.