By MARNI COUSINS
It was Christian’s voice that first attracted me to him. As my recruitment consultant, he’d called to see how I was settling into my new job and his upbeat, chatty tone put a smile on my face. A coffee catch up turned into our first date. He was so open and friendly that soon I realised he was the one I wanted to see at the end of each day.
I’d known about his cancer scare with melanoma and by the time we met, he’d had it cut out and only needed regular scans. But just a few months into our relationship, doctors found a melanoma lesion on Christian’s lung.
That first experience of his surgeries was tough. Waiting was the hardest part. Whether it was results of scans or surgeries, I’d always find myself dreaming up the worst case scenario. Eventually I learnt to put the ‘what ifs’ aside and not worry too much unless I got that phone call.
That phone call came six years later, in December 2010. By then we’d moved in together, got married and had our first two children, Flynn and Aiden. The melanoma on his lung was back and he’d also developed thyroid cancer – the news was gut-wrenching. Aiden was just a baby and having the kids really changed the impact of the diagnosis for us.
Christian needed surgery and radiation; afterwards it was crucial he rested so he couldn’t go back to work for weeks. I had to learn to be independent again. You don’t realise how much you rely on someone until they’re sick and suddenly relying on you.
His treatment went well and six months later, we were thrilled to find out that I was pregnant again with our son, Archer. We were so happy and life returned to normal – until August 2012.