Hello, my bloggy friends.
Holidays are a hard time of year to be sick, or to have a loved one be sick.
When I go to the stores to pick up medications or to get other things my husband needs, it is hard to see the Christmas lights and hear the music.
We have spent many happy Christmas seasons while other families we didn't know have been suffering. We didn't truly understand the black cloud that hovers over a family in pain. Now we are that family, and now I understand.
I don't begrudge anybody else their happy season, especially in this difficult year of the plague.
I am just so sad, people.
It's not about missing Christmas.
It's that my husband has deteriorated so much in such a short time. I am afraid he is losing the fight. His chemo is shrinking some of the tumours, but he has developed other serious health issues.
I'm sorry to be so vague, but I want to respect my husband's privacy as much as possible.
If you feel like sharing, would you let me know in the comments how each of you is doing?
I really want to hear it, whether it's good or bad.
I could use some good stories, but I'm here to listen if you have the other kind, too.
And here is a picture for you.
Take care, my friends.
I am sending hugs and oceans of caring your way.
Christmas is a difficult time for many, many people. Something that we often forget, and something I am so sorry you are experiencing.
I am struggling a bit - but it is temporary which makes me feel ashamed to whinge.
Love that tiny kitty.
And thank you for this post - which must have been difficult to write.
Bless you Jenny, and bless that lovely hubby of yours. I wish I could offer some words of comfort but just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you. x
It saddens me to hear your bad news. What more can I say. You are in my prayers and thoughts.
So far we've stayed free of Coved19, and although a few of us have got health issues, they are all minor. We're in semi-isolation, but we hope the restrictions will loosen for Christmas. We have a big family and we're going to celebrate.
I wish you strength and love in the days to come.
Hello Jenny. I send you aa virtual hug at this difficult time. Lord knows that 2020 has been bad enough without experiencing a loved spouse gradually leaving life's stage.
I am doing okay thank you. Our first grandchild is due soon after Christmas. Our daughter's pregnancy has gone swimmingly and she and her husband moved back to Sheffield in September. Secretly, I have a health issue of my own. Maybe it is nothing but I have been fretting about it. At the moment I am in "wait and see" mode but recognise that I may have to seek a doctor's professional judgement before too long.
Dear Jenny, I wish I could grow pants like the adorable kitten in the photo. Putting them on, and dressing in general, are the roughest part of my mornings. I was a gardener until retiring 12 years ago, but haven't the strength or endurance I assumed would accompany me into my latter years. However, I've just come in from the pumphouse after replacing grips on Norma's lopper and oiling its pivot points. I can still do these things after open heart and cancer surgeries but Norma is the gardener now. I wish you and your husband all the best. I have, we all have, been through a lot but the present always calls for us to be braver than ever.
Sorry to hear the health news about your husband. I've lost friends and family to cancer, so I can sort of relate.
As to stories about how I'm doing, well...
Remember when we were moving out of Rohnert Park and had to be out before the sheriffs showed up?
Yeah, that was pretty much exactly one year ago.
And remember how we were being saved by the "B"s: Briana, Beth, Brenda and Bekka?
Well Bekka's wicked stepmother has evicted her from her place in Pine Grove and she needs somewhere to be, and Briana has some property in her family that her mother is too far gone to manage, and right now they are both in Humboldt County trying to ascertain whether it could be an option for her.
I don't know what they've found or decided, only that they have stayed an extra day in the process so I'm sort of hopeful that progress was made and perhaps the favor can be repaid to Bekka, who last year came a long way just to help us out of the mess we'd made.
The extra day ate up what should have been grocery shopping day, so Zsuzs brought me a pizza.
Now if Briana can make it back before it starts snowing and the cat runs out of wet food, we might just make it...
Good luck and all of our best to the both of you.
-Doug in Sugar Pine
It hasn't been too easy for me with two emergency trips to hospital in an ambulance and then recent heart surgery, but it is my mother I worry about more. She is just so old, and you know all about that. Good luck and thinking about you.
would you let me know in the comments how each of you is doing?
I have mostly been OK. Monday was the first anniversary of my mother's death, and a while before that was her birthday, the first one when she was not there. The thoughts and memories come back most strongly at such times. There are no holidays in December that are at all meaningful to me, so I don't pay much attention to the "holiday season", though the relentless commercialism and tired, empty ritual have always been a little depressing.
Very sorry to hear about your husband. I know what it feels like to watch the slow deterioration of a person who means so much to you. I'm sure you are doing everything you can. Hope you have someone nearby you can talk with about what you're going through.
Dear Jenny, I send love and care to you and your family. My daughter sent me photos of her children's Santa letters before they were posted. Freddie, aged 1, scribbled through the paper, very enthusiastic. Frankie, aged 3, had traced over her name and drawn what appeared to be a dinosaur in a spider's web; this is exactly the kind of thing she would love to have for a present. Scarlett, aged 9, had apologised for her attitude, asked for a simple set of things including 'a board game, any :-)' and asked Santa a set of questions. How do you get down the chimney, how do you deliver all the presents in one night, which country do you start in? She ended with a plea to make sure everyone had presents because it was terrible to learn about the suffering in the world, it was unfair that people were hungry, ill, poor. Santa's reply (which I am mysteriously privy to) was that magic and quantum physics get his work done, and a bit of attitude was a good thing if she could use it to help change the world. Santa ia a bit of a social activist, it seems. I'm not sure what any of these children are going to grow and do career-wise but I'm confident they'll be caring sorts. Caring hurts sometimes but it is wholesome for your soul and definitely puts you in Santa's good books xx
Hi Jenny. Here is one person who knows perfectly how you feel. Tom has lung disease and is terminal. We both know this and have to live with it every day. I am watching him slowly deteriorate and am always wondering how much longer we will be together. I take myself off upstairs every so often to have a good weep then compose and go back down. It's important for you both to make the most of each day, forget the future just try to still laugh at things. I know its hard but it works. We talk a lot and hold nothing back and that is also helpful as each of you know what the other is feeling. Tom has a cough and can not walk through the house without his oxygen.
It's no good feeling sorry for ourselves, it is what it is and we must get on with it in a positive way.
My email is on my blog should you wish to write to off load I will be here.
Hallo Jenny, sorry to read that your husband isn't getting any better. I was hopeful after your last post, but nature has a way of surprising us and having the upper hand.
I have recently discovered that I have two more health conditions to add to the ones I already have. Still in pain which never totally goes away, so just plodding on.
My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Take care of yourself too. Tight hugs.
Oh no I'm so sorry. Yes Christmas doesn't jolly when you are suffering. I will continue to pray for you and your husband. I wish I had a positive story to share but we are going through some real issues with our younger daughter.
I'm very sorry to hear that the trend for your husband's health is not good. It's going to be a tough time as we cannot celebrate Christmas as usual. Thanks for the update.
I'm so sorry to hear your husband is struggling. I wish I could do something besides simply wishing him (and you) well. Sometimes it's darkest before the dawn, as they say -- maybe he will round a bend at some point. Try to stay hopeful.
Impossibly difficult to focus when one you love is in a life and death struggle. Even more of a burden when others are focused on holiday celebrations and you feel hollowed out. Wish only that you and your beloved have enough support and strength to get you through these wintering days as best you can. In some of my darkest days, when life was filled with sorrow and cares, people would tell me how strong I was. They were very lucky—at the time—that I did not scream at them because I didn’t want to HAVE TO be strong. I wanted someone to just take it all away. But in the end, being strong is the only thing that got me through. So if you feel like screaming or punching something (not someone—though it can be tempting with the clueless ones), I hope you have a safe place to do so.
As you asked--my weekday life right now focuses on virtual schooling with my first grader GS (since August). Which means, more than ever, I understand why it is good to have children when you are young(er). Trying not to have daily battles while keeping him focused online six hours. But if you’ve ever tried to get a first grader to revise his sentences—for the third day in a row--to make his writing livelier, per the assignment, you will understand why my hair is thinning. Tis me, pulling mine out.
Sending heartfelt thoughts to you and your husband. xo
I amended my post a bit after I read your comment, to reflect that it's not the holidays alone that are driving my increased sadness. I'm not sure it's still clear what I am trying to say, even in my own head. I just know how sad I feel. You are right, the holidays are truly a struggle for many people. Maybe it's that they magnify what is already there.
I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling too. Never feel ashamed about expressing it. I don't see it as whinging at all.
Thank you, Cherie. Good thoughts never go astray.
Thank you, Charlotte. I hope you get to have your big celebration. Stay safe and well.
Thank you for your good thoughts, YP. I'm pleased to hear your daughter's pregnancy has gone well and that she and her husband are closer to you. But I'm sorry to hear your worry about a health concern - I hope it resolves soon.
Growing pants would be so convenient, wouldn't it? You have had serious health challenges recently and yet you keep on ticking. Long may that continue. Thanks for your good thoughts, Geo.
I so hope something can be done to help Bekka; let me know here what happens if you can. And thanks for your good wishes, Doug.
By the way, Chicken was in touch with me and asked me to let you know she'd like to get in touch with you by email. If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will pass her email address on to you.
Oh no, Andrew, I didn't realize. I read one of your posts awhile back about going to hospital but I didn't know you'd had another, plus heart surgery. That's serious stuff. And the "mom" worry - yes, it's hard. Thanks for your thoughts, and good luck to you too.
Those anniversary dates are hard, yes. They will continue to be hard, although it's said the first year is the worst. I found it took about four years to feel more mellow about the loss of my dad, with whom I was very close. It sounds like you were close to your mother, too.
Christmas to me is just a welcome excuse to get together with loved ones and I enjoy the lights and music and traditions, all things that will not happen this year in our house. Like you, I don't like the commercialism though.
Thanks for your good wishes, Infidel. I do have people but you can only impose so much, in my opinion. The visiting nurses have been excellent, both in practical terms and in being a listening ear. That sort of surprised me because I am used to seeing nurses in a hospital setting, where I find many are not all that helpful; it's the personal care workers who I felt shone during my father's many hospital stays. Strange.
I love your answers to your granddaughter's questions; she does indeed sound like a self-aware and kind soul for someone so young. Thank you for your caring wishes and I hope you and your family, especially the little ones, have a good holiday.
Oh Jenny, I am so sorry to hear about your husband's condition worsening. I have been thinking of you both and still holding you and him in my prayers. You are going through such a difficult situation made worse by the season. I wish there was a way I could help.
We are doing okay. A pandemic Christmas is not the same as usual but we are doing what we can and hope to see one of my sons and his family on Christmas. Otherwise we do not see anyone.
I wish I could give you a great big hug but I guess you'll have to settle on a virtual one. Please remember to take care of yourself during all this. You are such a wonderful, special person and you are taking on the fight of your life now. Be gentle with yourself and know many care about you.
Lots of hugs, prayers and healing thoughts,
I have been thinking of you both and wondering how things are going.
My friend has been fighting kidney cancer this year, stage 4. Immunotherapy has finally helped after chemo and radiation. It is atrociously expensive and the province wasn’t covering it until it worked. Now it’s being covered.
I pray you find the right combination of treatments for your husband. Take care.
There are days when i just don't want to adult.
My heart aches for you, and how i would love to be able to do something for you. Please know i am thinking of and praying for you and your husband.
Jenny, you have lifted me up so often! I hope it makes you smile to hear that I have found some center of contentment in myself that watches the world come and go and I smile, and wave it necessary. I wish you husband were doing better. It's a stinking time to be slipping away. Please know I am so grateful for your kindness, and I can only wish kindness to be turned your way. With love from Joanne
I know you are facing it too, Briony. Here the problem is that we haven't been able to talk for a couple of weeks now - my husband has been sedated by one of his medications most of the time. And when he isn't sleeping, he is in pain. Today we had a few minutes between doses and had a chance to talk, so that was good. I'm sorry your husband is having such a difficult course of his illness. You are right to concentrate on each day as it comes. Thank you for the kind offer; you never know when I might do just that.
Thank you, Joan, and I am sorry to hear that you are facing more problems. Chronic pain is bad enough all by itself; it's hard to sleep and then it's fatiguing to live with the pain, on top of that. I hope the new conditions can be at least controlled by medication or therapy. Hugs back to you.
Ah, I'm sorry to hear that, Joey. Poor thing; she's had a rough time and that means the parents have a rough time too, no matter how old the offspring is. You never stop being a parent. Thank you for your good wishes and I'm sending mine in return.
Christmas is going to be hard for everyone this year. If folks can just hang on, it will get better soon.
Good point, Steve - staying hopeful. It's been hard the last few weeks. He received a fluid drip last night here at home, and that helped him a bit. So I'm not wound quite as tightly as when I wrote the post.
Thank you, Mary. Wise words from someone who has clearly been there. I have felt that way frequently, that I just don't want to have to deal with any more challenges, any more learning new medical/nursing skills, any more stress. Luckily, I have found the visiting nurses to be a godsend. They will come every day if needed, and I can talk to them about my concerns and new developments in my husband's condition.
My goodness, six hours online per day for first grade? That sounds like an awful lot. Are the kids allowed frequent breaks? It's not good to have to sit at a screen for so long. Poor little guy - I wouldn't be very focused either. Good luck with that!
Thank you so much, Bonnie. The kindness of my blogging friends is overwhelming and very appreciated. I'll take that virtual hug and all those kind wishes.
I hope your husband is doing okay too with his health condition. It is stressful on both partners when one is not well.
I hope you get to see your son and his family for Christmas. Enjoy!
I'm so sorry to hear your hubby isn't doing well :(
I'm okay on my side of the world, in spite of a cracked rib which is much less painful now although I'm not allowed to be lifting things like I'm used to. Not much Christmas spirit here, the shops are all decorated beautifully and I see bows on trees, lights on porches, but here in Aus we don't seem to go all out with yard decorations, probably because they would melt in the heat! There are a few yards that do, in other suburbs I have lived in and we see some really great decorated yards on the TV news.
Please know that my thoughts are with you, stay safe and have a little Christmas wish if you can.
Thank you, Marie. All the medical professionals have been very good and I trust them to do their best. If my husband can just hang on ...
I'm sorry about your friend's health problems. It is hard to see someone suffering and not be able to help. It's good that the immunotherapy is helping and that it is covered now, but how frustrating that it wasn't covered before. When a person is sick is the worst time to have all the extra expenses. Good luck to your friend.
Thank you, Mimi; I appreciate your kind thoughts and wishes. It really does help to know that others care. That emotional support is vital.
Joanne, you always make me smile with your can-do attitude and sense of humour. Thank you so much for your thoughts and kind words.
River, thank you. How did you crack your rib? I've heard that's very painful and there isn't much to be done except wait for it to heal. Look after yourself, okay?
So many people here are increasing the size of their Christmas yard displays. I kind of shudder to think of the amount of electricity they are burning. Our power still comes from a coal-burning plant, so it's a sore point with me. However, people are desperate for some cheer this year so maybe it's okay.
I wish I had the right and comforting words to say to you, dear Jenny. You have always been there for us when we are down and you always leave us with something to smile about. We all want to read your posts because we see wisdom, a big heart, and a gentle soul. Nobody can ever prepare us for the most difficult times in life and when going through it, it feels like it is an outer body experience. My husband has made it through an accident where he never woke up for a month, he has beaten cancer, and heart attacks and he is still standing. This is why I never give up hope. Hope gets me through everyday and gives me peace. I wish that for you, Jenny and for your family.
precious friend Jenny
this news made my heart burdened with not just sorrow but with the feeling of helplessness that i will not be able to help you except saying poor words that might not have power to restore your positivity my kind ,sweet Amazing friend !
i can understand your wish to keep your husband's privacy untouched .
your sharing broadened my capacity of understanding human emotions and feelings .I learnt that despite of all care and love you gave to your father during his last years and the way you understand age related issues of your mother ,you still feel you did so little ,i share your feeling and i feel guilty that i could not look after them the way they deserved just because i was away in anther city .That makes you most respectful person in my eyes and i think you touched and inspired so many like me through your heart warming sharing .
i truly don't want you to be sad my precious friend but i know we all have seen such most difficult times in our lives one or another way .Pain is gift of love .a heartless person cannot feel pr have it .Yet pain is knock on the door of gentle souls and opens new horizons for them and enhance light to them .
while supervising the process of our house building hubby got ill and was diagnosed with Hepatitis ,he swiftly lost weight .He had to inject himself daily in belly as it was the part of course medication yet unlike his friend he was positive again and had to rewind painful process for whole another year . Lord blessed him back to us but those days can never be erased from memories and specially the reality they brought before my eyes was scarier than my own death .
still this is life and i am learning gradually that in life we all have to face and deal with our pains no matter what .death is inevitable indeed and larger reality than life itself .we cannot change fat ,all we can do is TRY OUR BEST AND LEAVE REST UPON HIM
sending you much more love and healing energy my precious friend ,i believe in Lord and miracles he does for us ,i will keep praying for another from him for you both.
please stay strong and positive !
Oh, good. I'm glad there was a bit of an improvement!
I wish I could spare you this deep sadness. I know something of it. Now I'm able to look back I understand it is a normal part of being human. Knowing doesn't make it any easy to bear! I am glad you shared how you are feeling. Blogging friends, who we wouldn't recognise if we passed them on the street, are nonetheless a compassionate and empathetic bunch. In my old hippy view I think it is possible to benefit from the love put out into the world. Like every one else my thoughts are with you and your husband.
I commend you for sharing your situation here. Having lost a parent, grandparent, two aunts and more than a handful of friends to cancer, I empathize and send your family hugs. Other than losing your parents, this is probably the hardest thing you've faced. I hope you can take each day as it comes, have all the conversations you need with each other and your kids and find some peace in knowing you are doing the best you can and that others care, even when they cannot be there with you.
The cause is unsure but there are so many things I do which could have done the cracking of the rib, can't believe I put up with two weeks of horrible pain thinking I had just sprained a muscle, before I eventually went to the hospital for x-rays. The pain is much less now thank goodness.
My heart hurts for you and your husband and family. If only there were a way for your blogging friends to somehow lighten the weight of your burden. Cancer is a vicious foe, and chemotherapy can be almost as vicious. In the past I've done my best to support loved ones battling both, and I understand your heartbreak and the grinding fear and exhaustion. For what it's worth, I'm sending you thoughts of comfort and strength. You will get through this.
I'm so sorry to hear all this. I'm a good listener, so if you need a safe place to land, please...just reach out to me. xo
I send you cuddles, my love. I wish I could do more.
I'm glad the pain is going away, River. Take care of yourself.
Oh my goodness, Arleen - your husband has really been through a lot. I hear your message and am tucking it away in my heart. Thank you.
You are so right, my dear friend. These times come to us all. Your words lift my heart. I am not alone - people all around the world are going through the same thing. And other people are comforting them and helping them through, just as people in my life are helping me through, including my blogging friends.
I can easily imagine how you must have felt to see your husband so ill. It's so fortunate that he made a good recovery. I hope you have many more years together in good health.
Thank you, Susan. It's very hard but you're right; it's part of life. Blogging friends are truly a blessing in my life, you're right about that, too!
I'm sorry you have lost so many loved ones to cancer, e. Thanks you for your understanding and kind advice. "The best you can" - yes, that can be some comfort. And I do feel the caring of my blogging community, and it helps.
My blogging friends have already helped me, including you, Diane. Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement. You've described my feelings to a T. And I hate the black void that I see lying in wait for me.
Thank you, Martha. It's good to know others are there in case things get to the point I need another listening ear.
You're already helped, Janie, just by wishing it. Thank you. Truly.
Oh jenny, I have been thinking of your family so much. I am really sorry to hear how hard things are, how much your beloved is suffering, and you, too. Please know I am holding you in love and light and prayer always. Lovelovelove
If I was face to face with you I would utter a kind of sad and helpless "oh jenny" which would (if you are like me) reduce you to tears but not help.
At the end of life when we feel we deserve a rest is right when the universe hits with all the really tough stuff. I'm guessing your sadness is complicated by uncertainty about how long you have and how many times he will be able to talk and whether the last conversation will happen without knowing it is the last.....so many things.
My prayers and hugs to you xx
Thank you, 37p. Writing about it helps, and so do the comments from friends in the blogging world.
You're right about everything you've said, except about the thing that would make me cry - it would still help. Knowing others care has saved me so many times from feeling alone. Thanks, kylie.
I am sorry to hear this, jenny_o. I wish I had some great news to share with you but I am still dealing with the COVID crud. We feel better but still no taste or smell. The kids are doing wonderful and looking forward to their visit from Santa. And Ms. Frizzle is as lovely as ever. Take care.
That is a sweet kitten in the photo you shared. I can understand your sadness at the holidays, ever since my hubby, Will, died four years ago, a week before Thanksgiving. The rest of the world continues on. I hope you find some joy in 2021 and that your hubby finds some successful treatment.
may you both also live many years together and grow old while watching your kids and grand kids growing and witnessing health ,peace ,joy and prosperity dearest friend Jenny !
in my thoughts and prayers you and your precious hubby!
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