He Does Not Live in Vain

He Does Not Live in Vain

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

He Does Not Live in Vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson

I never realized what an impact that quote had until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was invasive, and I had to go through all the treatments—chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.

I am blessed with a husband who does not live in vain and helped me through the treatment. I was forty-six years old, and Stan and I had only been married two months.

There was one definite: I would lose all my silky, strawberry-blonde hair—my crowning glory—the source of many compliments andmuch joy for me. The thought of being bald, even for a short period of time, saddened me.

Three weeks after the first injection, my hair was coming out by the handfuls. I was sitting in front of our bathroom mirror crying as hard as I ever had. Stan heard me and came to find out what was the matter.

He put his hands on my shoulders and asked me, “What’s wrong, honey?”

“I don’t want you to wake up every morning and see me bald.”

My husband, who is bald, smiled and said, “But you wake up every morning and see me that way.”

Of all the words in the world, none have ever meant more to me. I still cried, but now more with the joy of having the love of this man than of losing my hair. I will never doubt how much he loves me.

I’m happy to say that I’m now a nine-year survivor, a result of modern technological advances, wonderful medical personnel, a strong constitution, great faith and a man who “does not live in vain.”

Suzanne Metzger

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