In 2012, my husband made an important decision--to leave his lucrative career as a mining engineering consultant (which came after completing a PhD from the University of British Columbia)--and to stay home to take care of our newborn son Jack and me.
Six months after adopting our son, I learned I had a high grade urothelial carcinoma growing in my bladder, cover the right ureter from the kidney. This diagnosis made a lot of sense and explained years of symptoms I had been experiencing.
The tumour was removed, I went through rounds and rounds of painful interstitial BCG chemotherapy and over a dozen cystoscopies and related surgical scopes. The scopes continue regularly to this day.
I also needed to stop dying my hair brown, which resulted in the blonde hair you see today. I am calling these days my "Marilyn Munroe Days" or the "Silver Lining of Bladder Cancer."
So, back to my husband. With a newborn baby and a sick wife, he simply could not keep flying around the world to mine sites. In the prior three to four years, he had made over a dozen business trips all over the world--Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the very North of Canada, etc. He loved this trips, really loved this travel. But our life was taking on a new dimension.
However, instead of just retiring (he was 51), he decided to go back to school (again--like for this fourth university degree!) He earned a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University in Virginia. Concurrently and afterwards, he completed a lengthy clinical internship at Arbour Counselling Services (under the expert supervision of Joel Durkovic). He saw many, many patients for free or nominal fees in my practice. He committed to a pro-bono clinical partnership with the ALS Society to see members and their families for the long term, including end of life counselling and support.
Earlier this week, my husband learned that he had obtained his clinical licensure as a Registered Clinical Counsellor from the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. This will also allow any new patients with extended medical insurance to be reimbursed for counselling fees. Gladly, I was able to update my clinical website--see photo below.
I am so very proud of my husband. I am grateful for his support and help, and for making a difficult decision to be there for his family. I am also proud of him for deciding to dedicate his remaining professional years to counselling service.
(This blog post is dedicated to you, Stephen!)
Dr. Jillian Roberts