A life under siege and an undying love

     I was talking with a seasoned friend of mine the other day. We don't talk often and our friendship started under less than normal circumstances. However, I appreciated the person she was as soon as I met her: genuine, selfless and loving. In the midst of our conversation, her soon to be husband came in the house. She didn't want to be rude, but she cut our conversation short by politely letting me know Billy was home and she wanted to spend every moment she had with him. I wish there was a word to describe how I felt at that moment. A word which describes both being over joyed and somehow sad at the same time; in equal parts. The truth is, (I learned) there is such a word: AMBIVALENCE~similtanous and contradicting feelings...
     Billy has terminal cancer.
     On July 10th, 2010 Billy was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the base of his tongue, which spread to his tonsil, and then to his lymph nodes in his neck. Billy underwent chemo and radiation, and all seemed to be going well. After Billy's 6th month PET scan, he found out the cancer was now in his blood.
     I only know of their long painful journey through this horrible cancer, because it is the same one my family walked with my own mother several years earlier. Watching someone you love who you can't imagine living without, fighting for their life, undergoing a treatment that makes them question whether life is even worth living as they wither away, while you beg God to take away their pain and suffering, is beyond comprehension.
     I followed Billy's cancer through his Caring Bridge site. Heidi was diligent about writing and keeping their families abreast of Billy's health and overall mood, while she encouraged people to send him notes and well wishes. I was touched by her words and how she wrote about Billy. I could feel the love and concern with every update she posted. They weren't even married and they were living the "worst" of  "for better or worse."
      Currently, there isn't a cure for his cancer, but they remain hopeful. In the meantime, they recently got married and celebrated a long and emotional overdue union. For now, it seems they are choosing to live for the "better," with their priorities focused on one another and their new family~surrounded by love. I can't help but think there is something to be learned from their journey; to simply love one another with passion and purpose until the end of our days.
     P.S...I sent this to Heidi and Billy for their approval and this is the message they had for all of us.
"Tears flowing down my cheeks...Thank you! By writing this, I hope just one person will take time to make a memory or not be in such a hurry to get somewhere or do something. Your words for me are very kind. Thank you. Billy read it too, tears in his eyes. Good tears..."     

     I have included a sneak peak of their beautiful ceremony to share with you...drop everything you're doing and tell someone you love them.


  1. Each day the Lord throws us loops in our lives, some we ask why Lord others we say "Thank you Lord" but in all circumstance we should give glory to him for he is our Father and he knows what is best we just need to have faith in his plan and let his love and glory shine through it. My prayers go out to you may the Lord guide you in this journey he has given you tow.

  2. I watch from a distance at the happiness these two people embrace. I also know the day to day struggles they face because I've walked in Heidi's shoes. Keep your faith, hold each other close, enjoy each and every moment. Never give up hope and know you will always love one another.

  3. Billy and Heidi are good friends of mind and they truely are living life to be happy together. I enjoy every laugh I have with Billy and we make sure there are lots. He has the personality that just makes you smile when you're around him. Thank you so much for writing this blog I hope it makes everyone thankful for what they have every day.

  4. Thank you all for responding and taking the time to read such a great story.

  5. Came here from the Deja Vu Blogfest.
    Great message, I stopped reading to go in to give mu kids hugs! :)

  6. Tim that is so sweet! I will visit your page too!

  7. Hi Jo, Sometimes the journey of illness is the Lord wakening all around to the preciousness of love and life. With love we all reach out to this man, and his family. (our world family) It is said Cancer is stagnant Qi. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi
    Energy which has become stagnant,within the body cells. I have seen many miracles in my years working as a healer - people have tumors the size of oranges completely vanish, cancer patience who have been told to get their affairs in order - suddenly go into remission with no tangible explanation. I will send healing each day at 3pm when I meditate. May God be gracious to this man and his family. May he find peace and the purpose of this journey be made clear. Many Blessings.


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