We Still Do – Diana & Scott Welch




They say that life crises can sometimes either make or break a marriage or relationship.  My cancer diagnosis (or better said as our cancer diagnosis) has done just that.  Facing this challenge has made our bond stronger, our love deeper, and our compassion more profound.

Scott and I were reunited in December 1999 after I sent him a Christmas card as we lived in different states.  We corresponded back and forth for several months and he made several visits to Upstate New York where I had lived at that time (and we are both originally from).  Although the long distance thing was exciting, it wasn’t practical anymore as we were beginning to talk about a future together.  I sold my home and moved my son and I down to Southern Maryland in the summer of 2000.  After we exchanged our vows in his home town in the fall of 2002, we were back in Maryland ready to build our lives together.  We purchased our first home together, got a dog and then a second one, raised our boys, took family vacations, shared our hopes and our dreams.November 2012-January 2014 235

Scott is always dreaming of the day he can retire and move to a location where he feels like each day when we wake up, we are on vacation.  We spend a lot of time talking about that and where we’ll wind up one day.   I, on the other hand, always quietly hoped we’d maybe wind up right back where we started in Upstate New York.  So many factors along the way, however, have made me feel differently about that.  Of course I love spending time with my brothers and family, and Scott’s Mom, and old friends who all still live up there, but I know that he is the person I want the most, need the most.  His support and tenderness has been what has gotten me though each day these past two years.  Before my diagnosis while I struggled with the symptoms, and the pain and suffering I was experiencing, he was the one who took care of me, and so badly wanted to take my pain away.  From the moment I became so ill, he called his employer to let them know of my condition and stayed home with me for what wound up being nearly three months.

In March 2012, the things we used to dream about changed.  Once my diagnosis came about, our hopes and dreams became much more immediate as we focused on the here and now and restored good health.  Once diagnosed, his “glass half empty” outlook took a complete turn around and I was amazed to see that his outlook on my recovery was one of hope and promise.   We make plans and we keep them.  We go to ball games, concerts, family get-togethers, go on day trips in between treatments, and make the most of each day and each moment.  The little differences or occasional squabbles between us disappeared-no use expending energy on nonsense.  We’ve learned to let go of unnecessary troubles.  We have both become better at living for the moment.


When Diana and I started seeing each other 1999,  I thought I already had a pretty good grasp on the woman I was choosing to spend time with, date and ultimately marry a few years later based on knowing her off and on since the late 80’s.  After her diagnosis in 2012, I have seen traits and strengths I didn’t know she or anyone else possessed.  I had always admired her ability to have a positive outlook on life and even day to day tribulations that occur, even though that’s in stark contrast to my usual pessimistic demeanor.November 2012-January 2014 818

To get a diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer at age 41, you’d think that would sour even the most optimistic person’s outlook on life, but not Diana.  She looks forward to each day, eager to tackle any challenges, treatments or otherwise with her usual positive attitude, smiling all the way.  I always try to remain strong for her, trying to be the backbone for her if she needs it to get through these tough times. More often than not, it’s Diana that provides the backbone for us going forward.  It’s her giving me the strength to endure during our challenging days, not the other way around, due to her faith in God and her amazing attitude.

Diana is always more concerned about her family and friends well-being, even now, when it would be perfectly understandable to be centered only on herself and her health.  She never wants pity or sadness from people.  She asks anyone and everyone she meets: family, friends, co-workers or even strangers if they’ve had a colonoscopy and if not, get one.  Soon.  Her caring for others never ceases to amaze me.

I remember reading or hearing this somewhere years ago:  The best partner you can ever have in life is someone who makes you want to be a better person.  Having Diana in my life these past 14+ years has definitely made me want to be a better person, especially when I’m around her.  This feeling has multiplied since her diagnosis.  Diana has this effect on everyone she meets.  It’s impossible to be angry, annoyed or upset when you’re talking with her.  She’s been the brightest part of my life since I met her and I’m grateful for and continue to treasure every day we have together.

 DIANANovember 2012-January 2014 532

Cancer doesn’t have to have the negative connotation associated with it at every level.  It has proved me to be a fighter, it has proved me to be more assertive, it has proved me to love bigger, and it has proved that my marriage is at its ultimate best.  I am not one to say “I am thankful for cancer” because of what it has taught me:  I certainly am not.  Cancer is an ugly word.  But I know to look beyond that and realize that there is so much to be grateful for.  I see the world differently now, I see my relationships differently now, and I embrace life with open arms with all that it has to offer.  Scott and I are the perfect definition of a “team”.   I recall his Mom and my Aunt telling us at one time or another that we make a perfect team.  We balance each other out and we complement one another.  I can’t imagine my life with a better partner.   Our love is strong and “we still do”.


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