What the Cancer Stole
The end of the world with Josh Clark is a ten part audio podcast series. Coming of ember seven hosted by me stuff. You should know. Josh Clark the series explores existential risks threats to human existence that could actually cause human extinction, and they're headed our way right now, check out the end of the world with Josh Clark starting November seven listen and subscribe, apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or find it wherever you listen to podcasts. Yesterday. We released an episode with Natalie and Brandon Brandon is twenty five years older than Natalie. And we ended up Assode asking Natalie what she would do if Brennan got sick or passed away before she did. This week. We're actually bringing you to episodes. And today, you're going to hear from Caroline, John? Caroline, John are also in an age gap marriage careless twenty five and John's fifty one. Or bringing you their story because they're facing John's mortality. In twenty fourteen. John was diagnosed with stage four cancer on the batch stretches of a year that they said that I had left the get gave me twelve months to live about seven or eight months ago. So whether or not I'll be here in the next few months who knows I might be. I'm Joe Piazza. This is committed. Caroline John met at a networking event. In San Antonio. John was working as a new home sales agent and Carroll wasn't executive assistant at a big corporation. She was also going to college for business administration at the same time. John was in his late forties. Carol was in very early twenties. They immediately clicked they talked about everything, but work, art music at are. They found they had so many things in common was pretty random individuals. We're concerned. My thoughts are always crazy all over the board at anybody that can keep up with my thought process that's pretty good in my mind Zion carols able to do that. She's able to end -ticipant me were other people have never been able to kind of anticipation my random chaotic thinking. Opposite. He's very extroverted on introverted. He had so much energy. He still has so much energy never met somebody who could be happy, you know, very just full of life. Every second nothing that you could ever say to him could get mad could get him to frown could get to say anything that is just a person. Their relationship moved fast. John had been married before he already had a son. He wasn't actually looking for something. But then he met Carol and all that change. Carol came from a really strict upbringing, and she told John that her mother wasn't going to be happy about their relationship. Kind of forced me to speak things along on the permanent side. The thought about what you know. I might need to seal the deal here asked this girl to get married. She got a fed that long to if you would we pretty mentor. Dating for six months are now on MIR. We were single one day married. The next all within a six month period was pretty fast. Carol, did you ever think you're gonna marry someone so much older than you say, waking, you know for corporations when I'm seventeen I was hanging out with executives. So very much told at that time, and I was also going to school full time the people that were my age. I just couldn't find a lot in common with like that the almighty, you not that they still wanna have fun other still figuring on sells out. So I knew that it was had to be somebody who was part of the world that I was in somebody who is a little bit more goals than was more serious about life and China subtle down stuff. We see my wife is being older soul. So I didn't see her as being twenty one twenty two ish, and I never saw myself being in my late forties. Either always lived life much younger versus. One night. John made a reservation this fancy restaurant called silo. He got there. First any told the mater dean some of the servers that he was going to propose. One bit to be special. So I worked with them and they ranged flowers. They range a different menu from being set up for the regular evening special spot in the restaurants are really really beautiful place. Just a just gorgeous restaurant. I think that that kinda gave it away was prior to us eating. Ow. He was very insistent that we had to go to the NASA law to get our now's dialing very odd. Because we've never done something that kinda gave it away because I was like why are you so concerned about me getting my nails done? So I was just kind of waiting the whole tiles like he's gonna propose just waiting for him to go fun to watch him break out in turn red and just kind of like stutter all over the place is very very nervous perspiring, and I don't really spy get up a couple of times ago the bathroom to to kind of dry myself off. That's how nervous and then one of the time that I came back I stopped by our table. And I got down on my knee. And I kinda position carols chair kinda out facing just the floor of that's kind of where I was because I was down one near only and then all these people in the restaurant. All stood up. And they started watching 'cause they knew what was going on and the waiter that we always had he had brought me my rain. They had it in the kitchen. And and of course, I asked her to marry me right there in there. And then a whole bunch of people decided they were going to pay for meal may working to pay for it. The people who are offering our man when you the cost of reunion. They were like, we know you're gonna be eating rom for the next month. Yeah. The here we'll help you out. They got a place together right away. It was completely day. No furniture, Nadia mattress until one night. They were just sitting there in their empty apartment. And we're just sitting there were like, we'll do wanna get married list is let's get married. We wanna be with each other forever list. Start out your that's pretty much happened. We went downtown. We her mother. No. And her mother Mets downtown. I had a buddy of mine there in we've found a judge was able to preside over a marriage and. Win. Did you guys write your own vows? Yes, we did write our own vows. But that was a complete failure. We wrote vows. But I don't think that either of red what we'd wrote. I know I did. I just improvised it it was happening so fast. And I just started Jim Jabir later on once walked out of there. He said, you know, just now that we're gonna have wedding later on it's going to be about you'll and will be able to read our vows. So we did that with all of our families, and it was basically more for families because we understood that we kind of took away that moment for them to see getting married are actual wedding was very quick one minute. We were singled the next we walked out of the court area. And we were married their age difference is definitely noticeable and people comment on it. A lot did come up every time we were out because there is a stigma out there in society and we encounter. Her it every single day. Yeah. We'll go to a restaurant and we'll sit down and somebody behind my husband people walking by would be. I'm looking at my husband, those they really loud. I wonder if his wife knows where he's at my husband will have to stand up and be like, yeah. This is my wife if you wanna meet her like she's variety here. I'm not a shy individually team that you know, I must be a mistress or, you know, the situation all wrong doing it get the amount of times that were out needing or whatever to eating, and, you know, one of our servers will ask what my daughter's having to eat tonight. And I'm like, well, you know, what I really don't know because I don't how daughter, but if you referring to my wife, we get that a lot. But here's the thing. Neither of them. Really cares that much. They were so happy madly in love and excited to do all the things that newly married couples do go on a honeymoon decorate their house start having a family. And then. Just four months after they got married. John started feeling sick. Which is really weird for me. Because I never said. It was Carol who convinced him to go to the doctor. I wouldn't paid for my visit. And he ran a checkup on me, and I got home after my visit with him does that midnight. It called us about midnight and told me that I needed to go to the hospital. Stage four gastrointestinal cancer. It's a it's a very Grasset cancer. I don't know how to explain it. It's it's not paint grrrrrreat cancer. But it's just as bad in the numbers for surviving at are just as bad. So that's what I'm dealing with. We didn't get to enjoy very many free months of love bliss and happiness. I think it was probably three to four months tops that we were living married that I was given the news. We're going to take a quick break here. Be right back. Hey, committed listeners there is a podcast that I have to tell you about it's called the shadows from CBC podcasts and award winning audio artist. Caitlyn pressed of the heart the shadows is a fiction series, and must be snow that I also write fiction. So I love fiction podcasts. It's about the anatomy of a relationship. It's so expertly sound designed and it captures the real joys and rudely messy and painful parts of the parts. We don't always talk about. But we need to like most of kittens work. It includes very real love seat. And that's because some of them are actually real you can subscribe to the shadows. Where ever you get your podcasts. And I hope you do after you, listen, send me a note because I want to hear what you think I just hope that you love it as much as I do. John and Carol had only been married for four months before he found out. He had stage four gastro intestinal cancer. In the blink of an eye everything they had planned for their new lives together. Completely changed. A lot of responsibility to take care of somebody or somebody who has a critical illness because disdain just for your whole dynamic, and it's hard to keep the marriage fresh into not are you into still love each other as Jewish in brings the worst of people into the change. If the cancer put was the uncertainty of life ahead. After we were married. Everything was fantastic. Every day was brand new. You don't look at your time of day split up between. Well, you know, when time do I take this medication? I take eight or nine medications daily. Now, I take them all in different times. So I'm constantly going through a schedule. Bill taking enough to do that I gotten area need to wonder where where I was going to go with my wife today. Not what he'll do. I have to take today or I can't go to the death right today. Or do I have to get my wife to pull me out tub because I can't get out of the tub today never had those problems Meyer relationship, unfortunately, as moved from loving wife, too, depending on my wife indust ugliest part of this whole thing is that cancer kinda stole the love that I had for my white. She went from being my love to being caretaker and. Death. The biggest change for me. I think that there is. Anger towards everything his cash is not physical thing. So there's all this anger. We're like why did this happen to us? And there's no putted. So sometimes will be on Facebook on social media. Our friends will come over the show as the brand new baby. And we just kind of feel like resentment, you know, people's lives are moving on me. And my husband are not able to have a child. We know it's not fair. But it's natural accepted. It's natural people as some complain about things that were like that's not even a big issue like euro. Okay. Your spouse is healthy condition. You you guys are gonna be, hey, Dr a call from her sister the other day, she's newly married and she was complaining about such a nothing grop. Will it was a nothing problem between her and her husband? And I thought goodness gracious. If only we could have those kind of problems and not the problems that we face. I don't know the couples could have made it through. This point like Caroline. I can anybody ever wondered about our relationship. They're they're not wondering anymore. The illness looming over them changes every single interaction that they have with each other. Sometimes I'll say something to my husband is mad among frustrating. Give you something like he never pick up your socks or something very serious or something very down. But I say my husband will do the same with me. But I don't take me about five minutes to realize said, and I apologize. We have an he doesn't seem to because he realizes I don't want this to be the last thing that we sat to each other. You know, we don't we don't fight with each other very much when we do we we get things straight really quick because we do know what the future holds in a dozen that right? Not his fault. He had cancer. I never said it that think a bottled up. So I would snap over small things because he would be asking me. Can you get me a Cup of milk and just kind of like, okay? Like, you're just feel like you're taking taking taking I think it took me sitting down with him. Just kind of. Like vomiting, my feelings to him for him to understand. I think that would help. I don't think that he had to do anything different. I just needed him to to say that he understood. And what was that conversation? Like were. You finally told him what you needed. I had come home from work. We're having a good day. So I I think that's one it wrought up conversation. He physically was having. You know, what we call good day? He was able to e- to not throw up his food to know, watch TV. And it was a good day. We were talking about how difficult it was. When I was like, you know, I feel so overwhelmed because my work was very stressful and add to come home. I've basically half of our time job of being the caretaker on maintaining the home stuff. Like that at that. When he heard what I was telling him. He was very very accepting. He was very understanding. He understood. So I think his approach to that right away was will what can I do to make this easier on you? So that's one we split up things. I was like you feel overwhelmed because I have to be the bills not something that overwhelms me. So he's like, okay, I'll Pam through. Film. So he also took responsibility. He started taking more staff. Make sure that the apartment was only the he communicated with me he also started getting his family members to get involved. He started getting his dad to take him to doctor's appointments, and that kind of took away the caregiver position away from me. Obviously has Mel communicate with me. But it was dad role to do that. It allowed us to have a very a relationship of gas. Now, we're hanging out, and we're watching TV in we were eating payments. Order Chinese kind of making date out of it change that onomic allot create our relationship. Time for a quick break. When we get back. We'll talk about how Caroline John plan for the future. People say change is hard. I know I had all the time. But is it possible? The change can actually feel good. How do you switch directions without winding-up? Totally lost co host, Lisa Oz. Jill hers dig in all of this and their new podcast u-turns. That's why you turns tune in to get perspective on your personal crazy get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And maybe even enjoy this wild ride a little bit. U-turns his available on apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. By all accounts. John has already beaten the odds for this form of cancer. When he was I I ag- knows the doctors didn't think he would recover from the numerous emergency surgeries that he had to have. He was essentially cut open from his chest to below his belly button his scars nine inches long. But he made it through that. John and Carol recently moved out of San Antonio to a sweet small house in term little town. Jon spends his days on the patio in the backyard or gardening when he has the energy Carol still works fulltime to pay their medical bills, which are a lot. What do you guys plan for what can you plan for? I have this weird pet peeve about what she should do. If she wakes up on dead next to that kind of joke that kind of logistical information. What do you want to do? Well, you know, first and foremost, I've told her not freak out just to call the coroner's office. Or the police department have picked up in my family deal with it because I've worked it out. So that Carol doesn't have to deal with all that my sisters are going to deal with all of that hero just needs to deal with her grief at that time. She's not going to have to do to mechanical. It's weird be has them when we have family gatherings all his family on to spend time with my husband, and they sit around in our conversations are not about like football or politics or something funny that happened in on TV. It is sometimes we were talking about the arrangements and would church. Do we want to do it in? You know, they're all talking. They'll pay will let me see if I can ask my pastor. Do you want it to be a military burial in these? We we spend hours in this kind of like our reality. Those are conversations that we have family gatherings. Now thanksgiving table at Christmas. John have you talked to Carol about what you want for her life after you pass away told her that I'm perfectly okay with her obviously moving on in having another family. She should be the have cleared the road for there's no there's no road blocks. I'm not I'm not the type of person that said you better not ever get married after me. But we've had that conversation. Carol. What do you want for your life? Do you think about that? Or do not wanna think about that. I'm going to see I want to think about it. But it's here because my friends always asked me could you see yourself getting married again. And I'm like, no, I think I would really scared because it's like this merit hasn't been, you know, traditional right now on a little bit better. I'm still not strong. But I do have days where I go two or three days in a row where if you saw me, you might not think there was anything wrong with me. Now might payback for that is it'll take me a week of recovering to enjoy those two or three days. And that's where I'm at right now done just in bed. All I do is eat. There's nothing that my wife can really do for me except just keeps me hydrated and fed in. That's what that looks like it's not a pretty sight. But it's better right now than at most other times. Because I can at least have you know, two or three days where semi normal John. Could you see yourself going through all this without Carol? I don't see how I could have made it this far without her even think I would have wanted to supervise me level of incentive to try and get up and do she carries a little emergency kit in her car for me. Just in case for our. She's got a pillow. He's got a blanket. She's got a bag. That's got food. It's got dreams. Doesn't matter. What happens out there? If I get sick all we have to do is stop. And she's got a little house that she can set up in the new state for us to stop and take a coupla hours away from home. That's kind of how our life. It's sheets prepared that way. I don't think I could have made it is for without her. You guys have basically told the cancer. Hey, leave us alone. We're going to love each other. No matter what in the best way that we know how for as long as we have. What have you guys done, but try to recapture your marriage? We can't control caps are for my birthday. We wind able to go out and do anything sometimes for never street. They had to be at. But what we do is. We try to do something special that we wouldn't do we were just home. If I was any other day. So we set up a cannibal dinner. We cook we eat something. So we try to make sure that we still celebrating stuff like for Halloween. Oh, my husband loves Halloween. But sometimes he doesn't feel like at enough energy to be able to go out to a party and stuff like that. So sometimes what we're doing? Now, we're hosting people on our house were allowing people to come in. So that we could still spend time with a bowl we can still grown. Our friendships can still spend time with family in that allowed candidates take that away from us. Carol is the old soul in their relationship. But they're both old fashioned in one way bay liked to ride each other these love letters back when we were first dating. She was my entire university was my world than I I let her know that through Bannon, vapor. We're going to close out this episode with Caroline John reading you their favorites. Good morning. My love you Lau to be the very best version of myself beautiful thing between us is what happens in between until I see today continue to sleep sweet, darling. I want you to now how happy making nothing makes me smile more than not. If you also feel very safe when I'm with you. I don't think anyone else knows what you do. I feel another lifetime. Carol. Was hosted in reported by Joe Piazza special. Thanks to Carol elevator. And John Alvarez. They're was produced unedited by Ramsey on anti-drunk laying with mixing by tristen McNeil. The executive producers are Joe Piazza mega ticket her will Pearson and Christopher hussy Otis theme. Song music by tristen macneil. If you like to follow Carole and John's story, be sure to follow them on Instagram at wound star Latina for comments suggestions or be part of the show. Give us a call at four zero four nine nine six one one seven three that's four zero four nine nine six one one seven three you can grab a copy of Joe's new book. Charlotte walsh. Life's to win on Amazon or wherever books are sold committed. With Joe Piazza has been a production of the house stuff works family produced in our studios, located in Georgia. I can't believe I'm about to say this. But next week is the final episode of season one of committed. It's been a doozy. Right. We fallen in love and had our hearts broken, we've met couples who gave us such incredible hope and may have helped us believe in love again. We'll be back in the beginning of twenty nineteen. But in the meantime, we're not abandoning you. We would never do that. We want to hang out with you all the time. You can go to our Facebook page. Facebook dot com slash committed. Pod. That's Facebook dot com slash committed pod. And make sure to join the group the group is where all the fun stuff happens. It's a place. You can tell us what you think of past episodes suggest new episodes and just talk to us and other committed fans about marriage. Life love babies, the good the bad and the ugly. And we'll keep giving you updates on all of our incredible couples from season one and keep your emails and voicemails coming. We want to hear all of your stories as we get ready for season two. Our phone number is far four nine nine six one one seven three and you can reach me at Joe at committed podcasts dot com. That's Joe at committed podcast dot com. Thank you guys so much for listening. I've loved making this podcast. It's the most fun. I've had in journalism in a decade. And I promise you season two is actually going to be even better than season one. I don't know about you. But one of the best parts of my week is getting to read the Sunday New York Times in print in my pajamas all day Sunday. But I can't do that every day not every day is Sunday, and I have a job and a baby end zero leisure time. But I can listen to things while I walk work changed Burs cook things that are vaguely healthy and try to fall asleep. That's why I love love love love love. Love the modern love podcast from WB. You are and the New York Times it's like having the Sunday Times in my pocket and my ear at the same time get it because it's a podcast. It features actors from your favorite plays movies and TV shows performing true stories of love loss and redemption each week, the podcast brings these true stories to life with this amazing roster readers like Elliott Kemper, Joshua Jackson and Sandra in so many more. A few of the recent episodes that I just binged during our recent car ride to Los Angeles where Chloe grace Moricz, my backseat view of a great romance. It's all about what does it mean? When the most romantic thing someone's ever been a part of didn't even happen to them, both Nick, and I really liked when Kate Winslet was reading the sl. When a couch is more than a couch, and it's all about an overwhelming diagnosis and the search for the perfect living room couch because as we know here at committed life doesn't stop when tragedy strikes if you love committed you will absolutely adore the modern love podcast. I need you go and subscribe and download you can get it pretty much wherever you got your podcasts.