What Love Looks Like When You’re Sick

I’m getting chemo for Valentine’s Day. At my request, mind you. It’s not like the husband said, “Hey, I found the perfect gift for the gal who has everything including a rare tumor!” No. We had the talk, as couples do each year around this time.

Him: What do you want for Valentine’s Day? 

Me: Oh, nothing. 

But every year I know I’ll get a little something, even in the lean years. I’m not much of a ‘things’ person, so I really don’t care as long as it’s acknowledged, but I appreciate the effort. And I usually don’t get him much of anything because he’s not a ‘things’ person either, but I’ll cook him his favorite dinner and try not to annoy him too much. It’s the little things, folks.

See, I know whatever gift my husband would get me isn’t going to be exorbitant, but it calms my nerves a bit to know our pennies are getting saved rather than being spent on things that don’t matter in the long run. I don’t know for sure I’ll need chemo again, but if I do I want to be prepared for the financial juggernaut that may be headed our way. So, this year, the talk went a little differently.

Him: So, what do you want for Valentine’s Day?

Me: Oh, nothing. And I’m dead serious. Don’t get me anything, ok? I might need chemo. Do not get me anything. And don’t say you won’t get me anything and then get me something. DON’T GET ME ANYTHING. Capisce? 

We compromised and he’s going to make dinner and I’ll do my best, but I’m probably going to annoy him despite how hard I try. Sometimes I just can’t help these things. And that’s love when you’re sick. It’s the little things, folks. It’s always the little things, the ones you didn’t even know you needed when you were well.

And I am loved, in a thousand little ways by loved ones, family, friends, medical professionals, and strangers alike. And you are, you are loved as well. Maybe in different ways, but they’re little ways and you should find them. They’re there.

So, as we’re nearing Valentine’s Day, while I’m on the cusp of finding out if this tumor of mine has recurred I’d like to show you (and me) all the many ways I’m loved by all the many people that have come in, gone out, and breezed through my life. This is what love looks like when you’re sick.

❤️ Getting the vein on the first stick.

❤️ Holding the door even when I’m too many steps away.

❤️ Patience with my moods, my worries, my neuroses, and my tears when I’m enduring chemo and especially when I’m not.

❤️ Stupid memes and ridiculous GIFs.


❤️ Forgiving my gallows humor. Or better yet, encouraging it.

❤️ Telling me what you’re going through. Trust me, I need it. I’m sick of talking about what I’m going through.

❤️ Bringing me a bag of Skittles just because.

❤️ Warm blankets in the MRI room.

❤️ My son baking cookies and letting me eat most of them.


Asking me to buy her $25,000 marlin like I’m some kind of Kardashian.

❤️ My daughter helping me out on Animal Crossing even though I’m super annoying and she probably is doing homework or something.

❤️ Waking up to a clean kitchen.

❤️ Giving me control over the electric blanket.

❤️ Comments and retweets and stumbles, oh my!

❤️ Hating the same people I hate or at least not judging me for hating people.

❤️ Impossibly long conversations about trash TV.

❤️ Accommodating my need for fist bumps.

❤️ Talking about everything and nothing at all and laughing the whole time.

❤️ Waiting rooms with the good coffee.

❤️ Please and thank you and I’m sorry.

❤️ The offer of a shoulder to cry on.

❤️ Gifts of fuzzy socks and warm sweaters.



These paws.

❤️ Handwritten letters.

❤️ Snow angels and the giggles that they inspire.

❤️ Handling the insurance company for me.

❤️ The sun and all its splendid warmth.

❤️Refilling the prescription with a smile even though I was the one that messed up.

❤️ Tenderness.

❤️ Forgiveness.

❤️ Not driving slow in the left lane.

❤️ “I understand.”

And you, what about you? Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section. Today is about love. Tell me one little way you are loved or one way you show love this Valentine’s Day and every day.

*Featured image courtesy of Pixabay