Topic: I can't let go

Yesterday was exactly one month since Lee went home to Jesus. I simply cannot believe one month has gone by. We have been so busy learning to live without Lee, that at night we collapse into bed mentally and physically exhausted. However, I don't care what time of day it is...I'm always checking this site...it's not that I don't want to continue being part of it...it's almost like I can't go on with my day unless I have checked it a few times....it has been such a huge part of my life that I think I'm afraid since I lost Lee, I'm going to soon lose this too.  I don't post much because my feelings are swirling around and about me and I don't want to say the wrong thing. I suppose this is the last part of Lee that is living and I won't let go.  I so desperately want to help, encourage and support...when I read the posts it is like re-living our journey and it breaks my heart because there is no cure, people are suffering terribly and the end result SUCKS! {I hate that word, but my dr.'s nurse said I could say that because it really does suck!} I'm reeling I know...but I'm grabbing on to anything I can to get through the awful, awful time.

Love,
Heather

Re: I can't let go

Heather,
Don't worry about what you say here. We are all in the same boat. I lost my husband John Nov.23 and know what you are going through.

You are reeling as am I. You might have one moment a day for a while that is not rooted in despair, agony and being alone but it SLOWLY gets easier to bear.

I finally had to join a grief counseling group. The grief comes over me in waves of desperate anger, fear, wanting John back and not having the strength to hold it in another second. It was for me the best thing I have done since John died.
The group gives you the freedom to speak about what your friends and family really can't understand.
You can cry, scream and fall apart and have people there who will not judge you and will help you through the hard times. They give you phone numbers of the counselors so that when you are alone in the middle of the night and are just falling apart they are there for you.
They are usually free to anyone and if you are a church person they almost always have grief counseling.

I send my best wishes to you. I hope I have helped even a tiny bit. We need to stick together during our losses or we sometimes get so lost in the misery it is hard to find a way back.

With all my love and respect,
Charlene

Re: I can't let go

Heather, I wanted to let you know, I understand where you are coming from.  I started to come on this site last August and then joined shortly after that, but I, like you, didn't comtribute much.  I thought I didn't have much to add, but negativity.  I, initally came on to the site looking for "success" stories, and soon realized they were few and far between.  When it was becoming clear that my fathers CC was in a terminal stage, I realized I needed this site and the people on it.  I am not alone, and that is the only comfort I have now.  Hopefully, one day I will gather strength and comfort in my memories of my dad, but now I see suffering, pain and loss of dignity from such a proud man.  I hope through my 20 months experience of battling this dreadful cancer with my dad, I have gained something, that will be able to help someone else suffering through this.   I know lots of wonderful people on this site have done this for me.  You are a very valuable person to this site, because you have allready walked the path that many of us are having to face now.  Im sorry for your experiences and I wish you neve had them, but you give me comfort in knowing you undertand when so many others around me don't.   Together we can stand and fight this dreaded cancer.
Barbara

The  Lord is my shephard

Re: I can't let go

Heather,
  I know what you mean - I check this site a lot, too. It is sometimes hard to know what to say, but we do so desparately want to help other people in the same situation as we have been. I think it has helped me to try and help others, but I sometimes wonder if I need to stop visiting it so much, and get on with my life.
   Charlene is right - it does continue to get better - the grief is easier to bear, or - we learn how to bear up. It's not good, by any means, but bearabler most of the time. Coming up Monday is 5 months. and I am already a bit depressed. How can we help it. I, also, went through an 8 week support group, which was very beneficial, and I subscribe to a free service called "A season of Grief" , a faith-based service which sends you an e-mail a day for 100 days - it is very good. The address is  http://www.griefshare.org:80/, if you are interested - take a look.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. It is so nice to know that we are not alone - we all have each other, and, we have prople to talk to who can understand exactly what we are going through.

God's Blessings,

Joyce

Re: I can't let go

Dear Heather, we want you to hang in with us forever, if that is what you want.
Say, ask and vent to your heart's content. I told a few of the doctors that I met at the convention that I was addicted to this site and the people on it. No matter what stage we are at these wonderful members help get us through. Its too bad that we are all spread so far apart as I firmly believe it would be most helpful to us all if we could meet. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was this weekend to meet these Oncologists and have them talk to us about our plight. We even had an Oncology Nurse whose 10 year old nephew started a marathon in his city for CC. I think it would be great if we could open ourselves to the world with a marathon of some kind. The one thing all the doctors agreed on was  that this is still an orphan disease and it is still being treated that way.  There are a lot of ways everyone could help that would be so awesome! I hope Em is doing ok and together you 2 girls will conquer as before. I would not expect less of you at this point as it's only been a month!
Give Em a kiss, please stay with us, we need you too!!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: I can't let go

Heather,

Say what ever you want here. We are all going through the same thing as you & truely understand how you are feeling. We are all here to gain strength & support from each other. I lost my husband a little over 6 months ago and I come here often. Sometimes it is hard, as you said, but mostly it is comforting. I too think it helps me to be able to try to help some of the others who come here for help & support. It is good to know that we are not alone & that here everyone understands as others who have not dealt with this monster cancer can.

My heart goes out to you & Em. I will keep you both in my thoughts & prayers.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: I can't let go

hi everyone. I am Rose.  My Serbian partner, the man I adore , was diagnosed with CCA last Nov 2008.  No resection... no Chemo offered. He is 48 yrs old. He has plans for us. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.  3 - 6 months prognosis.  Started 5 FU treatment in January 09 and having a really tough time with it.  However..... he is very very positive and has already decided that he can win. I love him that much that I am willing to believe him despite the odds.  My problem is , that I see him growing weaker physically every day.  Can anyone out there tell me what to expect and how best to give him the care that he truely deserves.  My heart is broken...

Re: I can't let go

Dear Rose,
My heart breaks for you.   Don't listen to the prognosis.  The doctors don't know how much time we have left.  Only God knows.  Let your man fight for his life and support him as much as you are able.

Re: I can't let go

Hi Rose and welcome to the best little club in the world that no one wishes to join. We are fighters and strongly believe in second opinions. You can be a good advocate for him, love him and be brave for him. Not sure if he is weak from the treatment or the CC. Is weakness the only side effect he is having?
You might ask the doctor about a regiment of vitamins. Just not sure what is going on there. What part of this world do you hail from? I am sure you will get some good answers on this Board. Good luck and welcome.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: I can't let go

When I got home last night and came to the site...my heart was uplifted. I can't tell how much it meant to me to hear from all of you...the comfort I get in knowing that we are truly going through the exact same thing made me give praise to God that He has sent all of you into my life to get stronger and better every day. My support system here at home is absolutely amazing...but again...no matter how hard they try..they aren't like we are...they haven't lived this nightmare and are slowly but surely coming out at the other end. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...the sun is shining right now on this beautiful Sunday morning...and I feel a sisterhood among us that truly is a blessing. I pray for strength, comfort and hope for all of you and pray that as you go through this time you know that God is holding you every step of the way.

Love,
Heather

Re: I can't let go

HiHeather Im struggling too after 7weeks.I dont have any advice but I am thinking of you
                           Janet

Re: I can't let go

Rose,
My John was like your man, refusing to give up. Just hang in there with him. I always agreed with John even when I knew in my heart he was going to die.
You must know though that he will die from this unless there is a miracle cure.
CCA is a death sentence every time. Some fight it longer than others but eventually it will take him.

I know that sounds harsh but I'm telling you this to help you for the time he tells you, as my Husband did, he just can't take anymore. My husband fought for 3 years and when he finally couldn't take the pain from the chemo anymore, he was gone in about 3 months.

We are here for you 24/7. Your job of helping him as he dies is the hardest thing you will ever do. Make sure you tell him everything in your heart while there is time, hold him as much as possible and make sure he knows how much you love him.

Blessings and strenght to you,
Charlene

Re: I can't let go

When my sister stopped Chemo it was almost 3 months before she passed too.  Once you stop treatment, it goes fast.  And the last month, looking back, I realize she wasn't really with us.  They stop caring about things that they normally care about, conversation becomes less and less.  It's all about helping them die.  I never, ever thought I could do that especially with someone I loved that much.  But God does give you strength because you really have no other choice.  You cannot abandon that person.  But it is absolutely the hardest thing that you will ever do in your life.  I pray for you and your family.

Re: I can't let go

Rose,

I too want to welcome you to our little club. I really have nothing more to add. Charlene and Teresa have said it well. Just know that we are all here for you and that my thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: I can't let go

I'm glad you all are so honest about the dying process.  I remain realistically optimistic, but I know that unless there is a miracle, I too will die.  I'm ok with that.  I'm not ok with people telling me "'just have faith that God will cure you."  I have faith, but I have faith that God will deal with me according to His will, not my own.

You all also inspire me to keep up with the chemo, no matter how much of a pain in the neck (and fingers and toes) it is.

Much love,
Lisa

Re: I can't let go

Heather-

I am sitting here reading and thinking... why would you ever want to let go?  I just think the goal is to survive, and later, when you are much stronger, rebuild your life and thrive.  The gifts of grief that I have learned from (and I am sure that our situations are very different) is that we need to live fuller because they can no longer. 

It's unbelievable to understand, to me, that life is boiled down to staying present in each and every moment.  After what I have seen others go through, I am humbled, and life is all the more important to stay engaged in now. 

My family would have wanted me to go on, to live fully, and I am sure your loved ones must feel the same for you.  Later, and when you are ready, you will find more strength to do just that.  We all will.  Know that you are not alone.  And give yourself all the slack and time you need to come through this more alive.  -ljg

Re: I can't let go

ljg...you are absolutely right...survive...that is all I am doing right now..simply putting one foot in front of the other and hoping I make it through the next five minutes...I don't know why, but I have this urgency to get the grieving over...just deal with it and get on with it. I'm sure it is because it is so painful and having to face another day yet alone another few minutes is sheer and utter torture. And ya know what...that is exactly what I think is happening during this season of grieving...I am learning for the first time in my life to live for RIGHT NOW.  I can't even begin to think of what will happen in an hour. I'm actually forced to live more aware, more compassionate, braver and stronger than I have ever had to be.  I just don't know what plan the dear Lord above has for me without my Lee and Em's daddy...but it must be pretty big..because each day, I am a teeny tiny bit better. Thank you for comments...everyone! I hold on to them like a little one holds on to her teddy bear at night.  God bless you all.

Love,
Heather

18 (edited by ljg Wed, 11 Mar 2009 20:36:07)

Re: I can't let go

Heather-

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.

Re: I can't let go

Heather-I too feel your pain. On the 17th it will be one month since my mom passed. I have days where I pretend this hasnt happened, so I can have a good day without thinking about it. Then I wake up the next day and say oh yeah, this is true, my mom is gone. All I can think about now is how much she missed, how much I am gonna miss. Pretty much feeling sorry for myself. I'm trying not to question everything. I'm wondering what we could have done differently, why I didnt know how bad this was. That's what I wanted to say to Rose also, please know that everyone is different, but I want her to know how terrible this cancer is. They said my mom had 1yr. to 6 months. She was gone in 5 weeks. I'm so angry about that. I really would have liked to say more to her. I'm so mad I didn't. I didn't want to talk about all that, I thought I had more time. Thats were the saying live everyday like its your last. Easy for them to say. Everyone here knows its definately one day at a time. More like one minute at a time. My best to everyone. When I think about how bad I feel. I think of everyone on here, just knowing your not the only one somehow helps get through the day.

Stephanie

Re: I can't let go

Heather,

I think ljg said it well. Grieving is such a personal thing. You can't change it or rush it. It is a process that we are all going through & it is different for each of us. It can't be rushed. 

You are on the right course for you. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other & take it as it comes, one day at a time or even one moment at a time if necessary. That is what I am doing and that is how I get through each day.

Stephanie, I feel a lot as you do as my husband passed so quickly that I too felt there was so much left unsaid & undone. It does help to know that we are not alone & that everyone here understands.

God bless all of you. You are all in my thoughts & prayers everyday.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: I can't let go

I am truly grateful for you all...I know why I can't let go...I need you all to help me heal! What an incredible, incredible blessing!

Love,
Heather

Re: I can't let go

Thank you guys for all your messages and support. Now I know that I'm not alone with this.  I have big family support here in Ireland and that is good for me.  However, Bob has a small family in Serbis and the language barrier for me is a complete nightmare!  I don't think they really know how sick he is and his positive and strong attitude belies the horrible truth of this.  Right now he's doing ok.  He had a full body scan this week and will have a review meeting with the oncologist specialist on April 1st.  He has decided that no matter what we're told at this review he will overcome this.   He is fighting for his life Lisa, so a special thanks to you for your words of encouragement.

23 (edited by duke0929 Fri, 27 Mar 2009 15:51:50)

Re: I can't let go

dear rose and heather,
   each day you wake to see a loved one is a gift that we all should cherish and hold dearly, very dearly. its a time to hold all of your moments together a blessing.. no one knows for sure whats to be..whose to say us(the caretakers, mom, wifes) are going to last longer than our loved ones who are ill...i know its hard to call a time like this a blessing and i know that it isnt but you must fight everyday and take what time we have dearly....because once these  moments pass you can never bring them back, grieving is something will all will have to do someday, so hold on to today... my thoughts and prays....ron