Tag Archives: cancer diagnosis

Life and Memorial

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

Still So Surreal

Every relationship we enter knowing that one day for whatever reason, it will end. But that doesn’t make it any easier to get through when it does. And when it ends because of a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, the memories of all your loved one endured are relentlessly painful. And they hit you at the most inopportune times, and sometimes for no apparent “reason” at all.

Like when you’re going into your closet to pick an outfit for something, and you see something your husband loved to see you wear. Or you want to get a haircut, and automatically try to choose one he would like- or you go grocery shopping, and without realizing it, fill your cart with things he loved that you can’t eat – then you suddenly realize that you no longer need to concern yourself with those preferences.

The emptiness that suddenly hits you is indescribable. And you think to yourself, it’s only been 2 months and two days. How can I handle this for the next few months- or years?

You try to go on with life as it was before, because you have to. But everything has changed. Now there’s no one (except the cats) waiting for you when you get home- and no one to watch a movie with or share a cup of coffee with. Loud or sudden noises become extremely annoying, silence isn’t the comfort it once was, you realize you have to become very purposeful in order to do the things you know you need to do to take care of yourself.

This is where grief counseling helps so much. Seeing the impact that the loss of your husband has had on your family, you realize that you don’t want them to suffer another loss if you can help it. Exercise becomes a priority – (even though it’s the last thing you feel like thinking about)- Avoiding junk food and eating right is even more important because what you eat (especially when grieving) will definitely not only affect your health, but your mood as well.

Being with friends and family become critical – especially if you are blessed with a family like mine, where love and respect are most important. My heart goes out to those suffering the loss of a loved one without that critical support. How do they manage to face each new day?

This is what it’s like. But at some point, you have to make a decision. You can allow yourself to be overcome with sorrow and grieve to death- or you can choose to live with new purpose.

It’s not easy- but by the Holy Spirit you can receive strength for each new day, comfort in your sorrows, and a new life of purpose.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/111/isa.61.1-3.NIV

Peace is possible- even in mourning.


Trust

From “the Can Opener”

Image by autumnsgoddess0 from Pixabay

Monday will mark one month

This Monday will be Valentine’s Day- and it will also mark one month since my husband passed. It still feels like it was yesterday. How do I celebrate Valentine’s Day without him after 40 years?

I thought I was doing okay until I had to go pick up his death certificate and his ashes from the funeral home. I had known it wasn’t going to be easy, but nothing can really prepare you for bringing your spouse home that way.

I don’t want to dwell on this for too long. But it has taken me days to be up to writing about this and I will be starting grief counseling (hopefully this week)- and I know this will be one thing recommended. I had bought a new journal to write about the whole cancer diagnosis and why it wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late.

But I have yet to write a single word in that journal, because I stare at the blank page and my mind instantly starts seeing him doubled over in continual pain and struggling to breathe as he had been daily since about May of last year. I want to watch tv, and I remember the countless times we would “watch something together” and he would retreat into the bedroom in too much pain to care. Then I remember hearing him breathing at night and saying, “I think you should go to ER” (but he was in too much pain).

I start seeing the countless dinners I’d prepared for us, from which he would take one or two bites, then retreat into the bedroom in pain saying he was “full.” I remember the vain attempts to offer him something that would maybe- just MAYBE help him have a little relief – only to have him refuse it because he already knew it wouldn’t help.

I constantly feel the helplessness all over again of thinking he was going to die, and we wouldn’t even know why. I feel the anger at the doctors again also who saw his “something” on his small intestine that “they didn’t think was cancer”- and didn’t give him anything at all to relieve his constant pain and other symptoms while he waited an average of 3 months to be seen by another specialist who said the same things and referred him to yet another specialist– (with yet another month or two or three in between).

The last specialist he was referred to was 110 miles away – and when he finally was called (in November) by that specialist it was for a phone consultation. Still no relief for him symptoms meanwhile. The next thing we knew he was being rushed to the ER because of a blood clot- and nothing was the same after that.

I need to stop this for now – (though I hadn’t planned to)- There is so much more to say- but I want to encourage you all to not take for granted the time you have with your loved ones. Especially your spouses. When we celebrated the New Year this year, we knew something was wrong with my husband, but we had no idea that the Christmas we had was going to be our last Christmas together- and that the New Year we celebrated would be the last time we would ring in a New Year.

Whatever you do- treat your loved ones – with respect and consideration – don’t say things in anger and frustration that you can never take back. Don’t be oblivious to their emotional needs or frustrated with them when they don’t see things the way you do. Let them be who they are- don’t try to make them a copy of yourself. You have one chance in this life to BE the “someone special” to the “special someone” in your life.

Sheild and protect each other. Uphold each other’s dignity- and don’t tolerate anyone speaking evil of your spouse. BE SOMEONE SPECIAL to them while you can- today! Tomorrow everything could change.