(2 replies, posted in Grief Management)

You know, I really feel it is important to s-l-o-w down and savor the process of grieving, to fully feel it and be in it, to be as present as possible with each and every emotion and event.  I also remember that I had to go thru and mark all the things I would take with me and I really felt her guiding hand in each decision, because frankly I was out of my mind with sorrow.

It turned out to be a good thing, because I felt that she selected each and every thing she wanted me to have, and I am all the more grateful for the things, but more so for that experience, and her special gift to me... learning how to live fully and take each moment as is comes. 

Just as you enjoyed your loved one... enjoy their memory, and communing with them each time you think of them or touch their treasured gifts.  If you are a daughter or son, remember that you are one of their gifts and take good care of yourself, learning to live fully with the memories and in your own "present".  (((hugs)))  -ljg

I have not read these posts since the day I wrote my original post, a few days before I graduated and moved, etc.  Coming up on a year now since Mom left my side in the physical world, it's getting easier and harder to miss my Mom.  I think I'll write her again soon.  Thanks to you all for listening.  Life is as beautiful as is is ugly, and it is always amazing.  -ljg

I come here, from time to time, to talk to you... Mom.  I miss your smiling face and still get enraged when I remember this is real.  You are gone, but not at all forgotten.

It hit me again this past week, very hard, and I need a little more support now.  I talk to you in my head, and look at your beautiful photo.  But it's not the same, and you know it.

I wear your things, make meals off of the plates that you once ate from, and sleep in your special bed.  We are about to start unpacking more and more memories and I know that too will be difficult, but I do it to cleanse myself and move on, to remember, and especially not to forget. 

Where, exactly, do I put all this grief, and when will it ever stop; like you wondered about Dad... where do you go?  I need to hear from you somehow.

I distract myself, more forward more, and am stupefied when I am back to this.  I miss you Mom.  Today ~ tomorrow ~ always!

So... I will share my new house, my graduation, my business endeavors with you in my silly head, and hope that you know that it's for me.  But it's for you too.

Rubbing her shoulders now, your white kitty is here with me wanting lots of attention and love.  I give it to her for you and hope you feel it too.  We miss you.  XOXO (((hugs))) -ljg

Hi folks-

The world's best stool softner is magnesium glycinate, it is required to address the balancing act that is calcium-potassium-magnesium; if you take one without the others it just starts a new problem.  But when you take a tad too much magnesium glycinate for your system, the result is soft stools (that is how people know to back off and know their correct dosage).  The way to understand what your body needs is to add it until you hit soft stools, and maybe for you it could be both a mineral to balance out the system and a treatment to soften the stool.  (Miralax had too many side effects, despite being a good idea initially.)  Just a thought.  -ljg

Yes, there are ups and down for sure Janet-

We in the Northwest look forward to warmer days, green that Spring brings this time of year, and later to the dry season of the wheat summer. 

When the rest of the world just does not understand, we all do.  We're here all the time, day and night, and making that connection feels like "family". 

Good to her your upswing, I am due for one too!  All my best to you and your family .  (((hugs))) -ljg


(163 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Hello Vincent-

I find myself not knowing what to say to members who have a loved one who is suffering from this disease.  Today and often, sadly, I know how to empathize with loosing your Mother.  I lost mine, too, just 8 months ago to this terrible cancer.  I may have not reached out to you previously because I was feeling lost or angry, without much hope to offer, and I am sorry for that.  Please know that it is now that I understand how to help you.  I am sending healing energy your way. 

Your situation echoed mine with my Mom, Patty.  I was in some small way relieved that her suffering was over, but we will be having many feelings about the losses each and every day for a long time.  I admire your courage and your ability to communicate what you are feeling.  That is rare, and very important on your healing journey. 

Ironically, my Mom wanted to see me graduate and I am about to do just that in June.  My very best you you, stay strong, allow the "waves" of grief to come, and pass, as they do often.   

We are here when you need to talk; your post helps me to remember how grateful I am that I was there with my Mom to the very end. 

To our Moms!  (((hugs)))  -ljg


(7 replies, posted in Introductions!)


You are an inspiration to us all.  We hear so much bad news, it is wonderful to hear from you today and see your smiling face on your blog.  You will be in my thoughts.  (((hugs)))  -ljg


I wondered at the time, why on earth I posted this rant, and now I know why.  It was for me, to know you, and to offer to you that I am sorry that you have this terrible disease.  Be positive for as long as you possibly can be, and live your life fully.  No regrets.  Say it all now.  Love completely, and don't hold a thing in.  Also, know that your daughter can email me at any time for support.  I have been there.  If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

Today is better because of you.  (((hugs)))  -ljg


I love hearing CC take it! 

Practice positive cancer destroying visualizations and know that we are all here for you.  (((hugs))) -ljg


(10 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Thanks Joyce.  It was a bad day and I just needed to allow myself to feel whatever was real for me today.  Here's to a better tomorrow!  -ljg


I am not sure what all to offer here.  What I can say is that this terrible disease is not without pain, and it is swift.  I had always been told that pancreatic cancer is fast, but bile duct can be extremely stealthy.  My Mom was, at 61 years young, sick 41 days, before it took her from us and this earth.

She had jaundice, itching, high bilirubin, a stent put in, and lots of pain, all following an aborted gallbladder surgery when they found and subsequently spread the cancer.  Her case was very advanced.  I am sorry that none of this will comfort you, but I hope that it helps you prepare for the storm ahead. 

Ask anything, anytime.  Today was not a good day for me, but it strangely helps to help others going through this now, in my time of grief.

My best to you, your Mother, and your family.  (((hugs))) -ljg


I found that once my Mom's stent went it, she got some relief.  In her case, which was stage 4, advanced, and spread through a gallbladder surgery that was aborted, then the cancer spread to the omentum (hopefully not your case), it started the ascities process.  That was not a good development and once ascities takes hold, reversing it is difficult.  Low back pain is typical, unfortunately.  Itching, high bilirubin levels, odd stools, inability to eat, etc. were all a part of the process.  Her pain, I am sorry and sad to say, was never abated in any real way. 

My Mom never developed a fever, interestingly enough.  I don't want to offer only bad information or too much, but you can ask any time and more details will always be provided as you need them from me or our wonderful community of sharing. 

I am taking a Chinese Medicine class now, and they say that people who are told of their disease, such as in Western Medicine, do worse, so maybe the answers to these questions need to be understood by you, but not shared with your husband.  Just a thought, unless he has changed his mind about details.  Maybe he wants you now to be prepared, but not be informed himself.   

I am very sorry that you ever heard the term cholangiocarcinoma, let alone in such a personal way.  My very best to you and your husband.  -ljg

I am sitting here, trying to get the words out, but instead I just feel rage today.  I am mad at the world, and I know better, but I am pissed and I have to let that out. 

I know that people die... but not MY Mom (she used to say, call me Patty).  Right now, she should be flitting around the house we just sold, making Easter cookies for the grankids and doting on her elderly father.  At 61, she spent her birthday in the hospital, wondering when she might die. 

A nightmare she could not walk away from, she watched the staff try as I absolutely was conflicted about what to do next.  Eight months later, and a lot of personal work to create a life worth living more fully, that conflict seeps back into my space today as I am supposed to be studying for exams. 

I remind myself, she was in so much pain, pain that did not respond to meds in any way, shape, or form.  And my very feisty, 61 year young Mother absolutely gave up on life, and slowly decided her cards had been dealt.  It was time to die.  A mere 41 days after diagnosis, and a failed gallbladder surgery for what they thought were stones, after finding cancer everywhere... on her gallbladder, her bile duct, her duodenum, and "sprinkled like powdered sugar" all over her diaphragm, this active being evaporated before my eyes. 

I am not often angry, but each month on the 6th, as a count how many months she's been gone from this earth, I get angry all over again.  And I let myself really feel that... for a little while.

The reality is that she could not stay, and I know that, I just don't want to accept it.  It's not fair and she had much more living to do. 

As I picture the world with her in it suffering, I know the right thing happened, but my younger self says NO.  I go back to days of summer skies, beach trips, hair styles gone by and the anger crashes down again.  I will not get to see my Mother grow old.  I don't have to worry about her aging and falling, and again I am angry. 

Where do I put all these conflicted emotions, they swoop at me one after the next, mixed with the trauma of watching it all unfold right before my eyes.  I do not expect anyone to respond to this rant and tirade, but I am angry again and I had to get that out.  I know better than to live with anger in my cells, because I have seen what that can cause. 

Just hope this helped me more forward and back out of anger a little bit.

Stay well, live fully, and be present today.  -ljg


(9 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Dear Sarah-

I have been where you are, and today I return again.  Month 8 is here today... 8 months without my banter with my Mom, insides jokes, all sorts of talks and lots of love.  I miss her so. 

I thought I would tell you I actually do understand, and am pissed that I do.  Anger is back today with a vengeance, and my focus is all over the map.  No matter your age, you miss your Mom.  I'll be 40 this year, and will miss her that day too.

Even realizing that this is real is making my anger more intense, so I will offer to you, that these feelings come and go, naturally.  Hang in there.  It is a very organic process for us all.  My best to you.  -ljg

Dear Pam-

I hope this message finds you relived in some small way that your Mother knew how much she was loved and that she suffers no more.  We are all small children when we loose our Mom.  Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.  Our best to you and your family at this time. 

-ljg and the entire CC Community.


(11 replies, posted in Introductions!)


Thinking of you and Charles right now... I hope that you can feel it.

(((hugs)))   -ljg


(17 replies, posted in Grief Management)


You know it sometimes gets harder before it gets easier.  And then there are times, that it sneaks up on you.  There are times that you miss them and can't feel it, and there are times when the tears come in the middle of the night. 

It's a process, and the fact that you are feeling it is good, despite the way it feels.  I encourage you to allow anything to come, at any time, and be ready to be blown away by grief.  I was.  But it was good and it is way better than not feeling, not processing, or worst of all not loving.  Be willing to do whatever you need to to process it.  You become more human by allowing that space and reality into your life. 

To your Dad!  To my Mom!  It is good to feel and okay to be deeply sad and miss them.  I sure am today.  (((hugs)))  -ljg

Oh Pam...

I so understand and wish that I did not.

I was 38 when my Mother died, and frankly I think that we are all 4 when we loose our Mom.  What you are feeling is natural, and you know that.  You also know that you are special and worth celebrating.  Happy Birthday. 

The Happy part of that is relative.  You will grow to understand, just as I have, that you will appreciate things even more in your life with with experience as a reference.  You will love more deeply, live more fully and understand the meaning of life.  That is your unusual birthday present.  There is a gift that comes with all of this mess.  And you are on that road of enlightenment, whether you want to be or not.

I know.  I have been there.  After my Dad died I told my Mom that were are the walking wounded, and we are.  After a while it becomes strength and courage, so hold on, and know that you are both that secure woman and that sad 4 year old that we all are when we hurt. 

My best to you in celebration of your special day.  We also have to be happy that we made it this far, and that's the Happy part.  (((hugs)))  -ljg

Just when I think I am okay, feeling more normal, 6 things happen and it shakes loose all sorts of emotions.  Today, I was about to get out of the car and a song broke my broken heart.  How can that be, I am out of tears and healing, mostly?  Life is a fascinating thing.   

Well hello back at you Mom.  I feel your presence each and every day. 

This is the one that got me this time:

Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt (never knew who sang it)

A friend of mine she cries at night and she calls me on the phone
Sees babies everywhere she goes and she wants one of her own
She's waited long enough she says and, she still he can't decide
Pretty soon she'll have to choose and it tears her up inside
She is scared
Scared she'll run out of time

I see my folks are getting on and I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me and it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself, it's what we all go through
Those lines are pretty hard to take when they're starin' back at you
Scared to run out of time

When did the choices get so hard, there's so much more at stake
Life gets mighty precious
When there's less of it to waste
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Scared to run out of time

Just when I thought I'd had enough and all my tears were shed
No promise left unbroken, there were no painful words unsaid
You came along and showed me how to leave it all behind
You opened up my heart again and then much to my surprise
I found love, baby, love in in the nick of time
(Love in the nick of time)
I found love, darlin', love in the nick of time
I found love baby, love in the nick of time


(26 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

I have been there and I know what it is that you are going through. 
I am so sorry for your loss. 
You are not alone, Tess.  -ljg


(18 replies, posted in Introductions!)


I have a bird story too for you.  My husband's Grandfather lost his wife very young, never remarried and was not necessarily happy without her.  We went to him when he was dying and we waited there a long time.  It finally dawned on us, my husband and he being so close, that he would not leave with us there.  So we started to drive home, a 6 hour trip.

We were in separate cars and it was raining very hard.  We had 2 way radios and he turned one way, when I the other.  It was frustrating and so I talked to him on the radio.  No answer.  He called my cell phone after his rang about the news that his beloved "Bumba' had left this world. 

When we found each other at a corner and I jumped out of the car in the terrible storm to hug him, crying... I looked to my right because I heard a noise.  Two small birds, and no I am sorry I do not know what kind they were (they were tiny) were playing and dancing in the huge puddle. 

Right then I knew that his grandfather was reunited with his grandmother and that they were happy. 

Funny... -ljg


(18 replies, posted in Introductions!)


You did it again... goofy.  Now that's my Dad's word.  -ljg


(18 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Dragonflies, My Story

My father was a religious person and I pretty much am not.  After he died (he had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), I started seeing dragonflies.  My Mother (who one year later died of CC) was very busy seeing crosses, and I supported her cross thing.  I wasn't into it, but I knew it had meaning for her.  So, one day, when a dragonfly buzzed my car relentlessly, I realized that I was being "harassed" by this dragonfly.   I looked closely and realized it looked like a cross, in a way. 

I later mentioned this to my Mom, and realized that my Dad knew he would not get me through religion, but nature had a chance to grab my attention.  Okay, here's the odd part now...

After my father died, I was on the porch and a blue dragonfly approached, I watched him with interest, and he got quickly and tragically snagged by a huge spider and web above my head.  I was astounded and really pissed off for that dragonfly.  I wanted to save him.  I found myself getting a lite broom pull him out with the web, and he lay there trapped in all this webbing .  For those of you who are not very visual, this sticky mess was allowing him to lift and take off but not fly!  My father was life flighted to the hospital and it triggered all sorts of memories for me. 

Strangely, seeing this dragonfly's circumstances made me immediately think of my father, and I ran into the house and got tweezers to use to clear the webbing.  It took some time (over an hour).  As I worked and realized that the wings of the dragonfly are much like the tissue paper thin tissues of the lungs that, for my Dad, were scarred and even more delicate. 

I freed the blue dragonfly and he stood still there for hours, perched on a towel.  I even have photos of this.  He took his time and when he was ready, he flew away. 

My Mom (preCC and during) was very well aware of my dragonfly issue, and one day in the hospital she sent me to get "something for myself" in the gift shop.  She had never even been out of bed there, and I was barely making it to eat most days.  She had casually handed me a $20 bill a few days prior and said when I could, go to the gift shop and get something for myself.  I never had the time to brush my teeth let alone leave the room most days. 

One night, we were low because she wanted to go home desperately, and I had not worked out the details with hospice yet.  It was a tricky situation in her case.  I had to get some dinner, and I had a nurse to check on her for me while I was gone.  That night I did stop at the gift shop.  I bought her a lovely healing stone chakara bracelet, to focus on.  She loved jewelry and it was really special and detailed.  I was on my way out with the $20 still in my purse when a box jumped off the clearance shelf and landed on the floor, hitting my foot.  It was a high quality sterling silver necklace with a glass paned blue dragonfly, marked down from $55 to $20.  I had to buy it for myself. 

She cried when she saw it.  And she enjoyed the bracelet I bought her and played with the toggle.  And after she left me, the dragonflies started coming again.  Following my car, arriving on my porch, and even following me into town while I drove a few times. 

I am not sure what it all means, but I am open to nature and they kinda do look like crosses.  Life, it seems, even in the worst of times... never ceases to amaze me.  -ljg

I hear you loud and clear.  Back at it each 6th of the month.  It's a cycle and I am needing a good, big cry again.  Next thing you know, it's the damn 6th again and I hate it.  But I welcome it in a small way just to see how far I've come (we've all come). 

It is what it is.  I, ultimately, respect it for that, and I move forward, despite my stumbling and fighting myself to beat back denial all over again, just to see anger, bartering, depression, and semi-acceptance show up all over again. 

It made me dizzy when it all started, and the cycles of these waves are further apart, but they still come.  Once, after thinking I was "past" part of it, in the middle of the night, I sat straight up and cried like I never had before.  So difficult, so healthy and cleansing, but so sudden it shocked me all over again. 

You have a right to feel exactly as you do; we all do.  Hang in there.  We are getting stronger all the time.


(22 replies, posted in Grief Management)


That's right... don't get ahead of yourself, intuitively feel everything and really do the work of grieving.  I think that is the way it is to be.  Getting it over with will not occur, and generally those who believe in that are short cutting the process, only to land back in it. 

Trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, never late or stubborn to the process... just where you are is fine.  Things slow down, and we feel the person we miss more, which is good, because I ain't letting go yet, because frankly I know that I am not ready.  When I am ready, that will be the time to let go.

This is starting to feel like a 12 step program for recovery... in fact it sort of is.  We are learning to live without someone very important to us.  Like kids, holding on, we give ourselves all the time we need to get where we are going.  We'll get there... eventually. 

From my standpoint, we are right on track with this.  I let myself feel exactly what I need to, strength or courage, darkness or despair, lightness or joy, the presence of my Mom visiting or not feeling her presence at all.  Whatever I need. 

If I need to flip out while shopping... then there you go.  I am giving myself the patience to be wherever I am whenever I want.  If I want chocolate, I eat it.  If I want spinach salad for breakfast, I eat that for nutrients to go on.   I let myself be in that moment, and I have to say it works for me.

To all of you in the thick of this... grief... just feel it until you need to feel something else, but take it in stride, with pride, and set limits of how much is too much for you, personally.

I have to say, my Mom would be proud that I can give myself that now.  Best to you all.