Why I am Telling Keri's Breast Cancer Story
Introductions first. My name is Doug Haberstroh, and I am a breast cancer husband. I’m here to share the story of the love of my life, Keri. Let’s start with the happy part. Three years ago, on June 12, 2004, Keri and I got married. It was by far the happiest day of my life.
That day I took my beautiful Keri into my heart and soul and proclaimed my love for her for all the world to hear. On that day, I promised her that my love for her would not falter, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. To our surprise, those vows would be put to the test sooner than we would have ever expected.
Only nine months into our honeymoon, we received what most call the dreaded words: “The test results have come back and we’re dealing with breast cancer.” I froze.
Amidst the confusion and emotions, the tears started falling.
How can this be? Keri is only 25!
What do you mean? What do we do? What did “I” do wrong?
Where do we go from here?
The questions filled my head so fast that I lost my breath. I was exhausted and bewildered. The one thing we had was each other. My wife had me, I had my wife, and that’s how it was for the past two-and-a-half years.
Throughout our breast cancer battle, Keri and I shared our thoughts, opinions and feelings about treatment and daily life with our family and friends by email. Some of these letters are sad, some are funny, but all are true.
I hope that when you read this series of SharePosts you will see Keri for who she was, who she is, and who she will always be. Keri’s updates on her life with breast cancer were thorough and uplifting, in spite of the fact that they documented a deadly struggle.
I lost Keri this past November. The Lord found it time to end her struggle with cancer and her pain. My love for her will always live on, as will her words.
It was Keri’s dream that her writing, her thoughts, ideas, and love would be shared publicly for others to see. She hoped to help those who found themselves in a similar situation. Reading her story, she thought, could help others facing breast cancer find the answers to questions we had to learn the hard way.
Over the next few weeks, I will publish a series of Keri’s original emails that highlight parts of her breast cancer story. You can expect two to three updates per week, which I will publish as SharePosts. I will also be working with illustrator Dash Shaw to share Keri’s life with breast cancer in comic strip form. You can expect a new comic strip every week.
I welcome any feedback and hope that you will share Keri’s story with your friends and family. Keri’s dream was to help others. My dream is to make her wish come true.
Doug Haberstroh wrote about breast cancer for HealthCentral. Doug produced a reality-based comic strip chronicling his life with his wife, Keri, who was only 25 when she was first diagnosed with invasive/infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Keri passed away in 2006.