Darn it! Just when you think you have made amazing strides in your own recovery from losing your spouse and you have explored every emotion known, something creeps in and tells you whoa, not so fast. Bring those feelings in a little closer and let’s look at them, shall we? I’m feeling a bit like a disgruntled employee. I want to complain to the hierarchy, but I am the hierarchy in this mess.
I went from having an amazing week two weeks ago, feeling good about life and what it has to offer, had an incredible last visit with my social worker Marcia from hospice which included my hospice chaplain Jeromy and the most amazing, spiritual, God-blessed communion with the two of them and Keith’s presence felt so strongly that there was nothing that could bring down the love and gratitude and safe feelings I experienced. So I thought.
I went to visit Keith today and put beautiful fall flowers in his vase. I had hoped it would brighten my somber mood as I sat there crying that I want him back. That is both selfish and unrealistic, I know – but we can’t help what we can’t help. I was all ready with my bucket and scrub brush when I left the house to clean the stone, but my head was obviously not in it because I neither brought jugs of water or the soap! There are spigots all over the cemetery but it’s well water and you can’t use that on the headstones. We are right next to a dirt path that will eventually get paved, so all the mud and yuk is staining the stone pretty badly … I’m glad I bought bright flowers. I normally feel such great relief after visiting, but this time it only brought me sadness for my selfish self. I will seek refuge in God again to bring me through this.
I’ve spent many hours over the past two weeks pouring over medical records. I don’t know why I’m doing it. I’m reliving the past 5 years. Yes, October 29th will be 5 years that the CT Scan showed so much cancer and our life as we knew it changed. I go back 8 years and find the pathology from that stupid single colon polyp and don’t know how I missed this before, HIGH GRADE adenocarcinoma in-situ. Does it change anything? No. Does it change the course of action? No. Does it make me angry? Yes. I know, it was just a polyp – a single polyp that had not invaded the colon itself, (which by the way was at the bottom of the cecum right where the appendix hangs from) and future scopes were clear. What if they had gone in when pathology became available and they had done a right hemi-colectomy. Yes, the future clearly indicated appendix cancer mostly low-grade with 50% mucinous tumors, but that dual diagnosis of colonic-type adenocarcinoma aggressive – I’m driving myself crazy with these thoughts. What if that cauterization of single polyp caused cells to escape and get into the appendix and cause this? I’m grasping at straws and it doesn’t change things.
I don’t know if it’s the time of year but leading up to the next two months it’s difficult not to remember how things were … and his last 3 days of he went through – what I and his closest circle went through. This is not what I want to remember, but it keeps popping into my head. Sure, he was in a medically induced coma-like state, but we weren’t. I despise reliving that.
As my last post indicated, these emotions come and go. I’m not alone. Talking with other appendix cancer family who have lost their spouses to this disease, we’re all in the same boat.
My nature is actually more positive than this post. Nobody wants to hear or read that you’re really not okay because they don’t know what to say or do and they can’t make it better. What are you supposed to say when someone asks “how are you doing”? I’m doing the best that I can in a situation that was neither wanted, needed, or expected. Have I accepted it? Yes. But I’m lonely and missing the man that gave me everything and I miss doing things for him – things that made him happy and proud.
So, in ending this update I will just ask if you are reading this to pray that these darker days emerge with abundant sunshine of wonderful memories of a man so loved and so missed.