The Stuff of Life

Breast Cancer Husband



In the past two weeks Corey has had to help me do a lot of things that I didn’t figure I’d need assistance with until I was in my 80s.  You know, like sitting on a toilet.

To give you a glimpse of recent days in our home, the following is an incomplete list of normal everyday things breast cancer has made it necessary for Corey to help me with.

  1. Walking.
  2. Sitting down.
  3. Repositioning myself in my chair.
  4. Standing up.
  5. Eating.
  6. Scratching my itchy nose when my hands couldn’t reach that far. (When I was coming out of anesthesia this was torture!)
  7. Brushing my teeth.
  8. Combing my hair.
  9. Washing my hair.
  10.  Going to the bathroom.
  11. Getting dressed.
  12. Applying chapstick.

I’ll refrain from listing the gross my-wife-just-had-major-surgery stuff he’s had to deal with. Suffice it to say, some of the things he’s done for me make me a little lightheaded to think about.

I am steadily improving and just a few days ago mastered the art of moving from a seated position to a standing position unaided.  It is amazingly challenging to function without the use of ones chest muscles, but my legs are learning to make up for the lack of strength in my upper body.

Corey is usually just a text away (as my screenshot above shows) ready to take care of my every need, no matter how small or weird.

And at the end of the day, we sit side by side in our loveseat recliner and watch episodes of M*A*S*H* while I wait for my pain meds to kick in. During that time, I hold his hand and wonder how he can love me so much. All the hard parts of my life fade. And all the stuff I used to cling to gets lost in this all-encompassing sacrificial love.   All is well with the world in those minutes.

Cancer still sucks. Recovering from a double mastectomy will not make the highlight reel of my life. But as much as I have loved Corey over the past 18 years, I love him even more since cancer came.  Without the detour my life took this winter, I would still be a happily married woman who enjoys Netflix with her husband, but with cancer I am a happily married woman who has a deep and tangible understanding of selfless love.

It’s not been easy. It’s not been fun. But in a very real way, it has been good.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

5 thoughts on “Breast Cancer Husband

  1. Goosebumps! How amazing he truly is! Way to go!

  2. This will help…should help… all the rest of us to not worry about the little things we so much and just love our spouses unconditionally. Thanks for being an example Kim & Corey. Thanks for sharing your stories with us. Please keep on keeping it real! Know you are in our prayers for healing, encouragement, strength and love. You both are a great example to us.

  3. Kim! Praise the Lord for an amazing husband. Praying for a quick recovery and the comfort from Christ who also suffered in life but He did it for you and me. You’re in my prayers my dear sister in Christ!

  4. FYI – Corey has led some pretty awesome worship at church lately. God’s grace and sufficiency are evident in Corey as he leads sincere worship. God is good! ‘Love you Friend!

  5. Kim, what a touching and honest post. May the sweetness of His company far outweigh the bitterness of your trial. Blessings on you both.

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