Saturday, April 30, 2011

My roller coaster emotions

I had a quiet Easter weekend ... Friday was the 7 month mark.  It often feels like everyone has just forgotten that Vern ever existed.  I know that's probably not true, but since I hear from no one it sure feels that way.  So I wrapped myself up in my sorrows and just let the weight of it all consume me.  Just have to do that sometimes. Monday it was back to a busy work week and I figured all would be well there, as usual. Time for my 'happy face'.

Haven't been to a doctor since we got Vern's cancer diagnosis (well, actually I can't use that as an excuse since it's really been more like 7 years since my last visit).  So I decided it was time to have a full physical so I'd know what I need to address before I head off into retirement. I've had the pap, a chest xray, the labs and mammogram; will have my first colonoscopy on May 20 and then a final visit for all of the results on May 27.  Had to meet with the gastro doc before he'd schedule the colonoscopy. I don't have any big issues, so he said I was his easiest appointment that day... although his next words were "You know you need to lose weight." Umm - ok, yes, I do - but I didn't expect this chubby little gastro doc to tell me that (oh dear, that was a rather snarky comment, wasn't it?). I actually found myself chuckling about his comment on my way back to work. I'm glad I'll be under anesthesia when he sees the rest of me during the colonoscopy!  Actually, I had already started trying to lose some weight. Went back to the nutritionist who helped me lose 35 pounds back in 2003. Lost 7.5 the first week, 2.5 the second and 1.5 the third ... but the news in the next paragraph caused me to jump back into some of my bad habits.

I had just gotten back to the office when my cell phone rang. It was the doctor's office that is doing the physical. They see something in the mammogram and want to do an ultrasound and a spot mammogram ... and they also see something in the chest xray and need to do a CTscan.  Ohhh ... really didn't expect to hear that.  This news brought back memories of when Vern would receive bad news and I was there to support and encourage him. But he's not here for me now.  I know that this could be absolutely nothing and they just need to do these tests to rule everything out. But after all we've been through I immediately started thinking of the worse case scenario.  And I'll admit I was rather angry. After all I've experienced during the past 5 years I really thought I had earned a free pass from any of this stuff.  The nurse said they had given the order to Steinberg and requested a quick approval from my insurance company. Now I had to wait for the call to schedule the tests.

I initially felt I would just keep this to myself until I got the test results, but since I couldn't seem to get this out of my head I went ahead and posted something on the widow's web site I'm heavily involved in. Only a couple responded. Ouch. I then mentioned this during my online bereavement support group on Thursday ... very little support there. It hurt. This caused me to do some heavy introspection.  I spend a lot of time online, trying to provide support to others who are grieving. I felt I was making a difference and yet when I needed support it wasn't there. Perhaps I need to back away for awhile.

And then came Friday and today when my friend, Deb, and I attended the Women of Faith conference at the Thomas & Mack Center. What a wonderful, healing gift that was. Laughter, tears, praise, wonderful inspirational speakers, glorious music. It brought me back to reality. The tests will be done on Thursday and worrying about them between now and then will not change a thing. I will wait for the results and then either rejoice or ask God for help in dealing with whatever comes my way.

Note:  During my quiet Easter weekend I spent a lot of time on the internet.  Found the Silent Sunday link and liked the idea, so you'll see a photo each Sunday without any comments. We're supposed to pick a photo that represents our previous week, if possible. Last week's was a bouquet from Vern's rose garden for Easter that I set alongside the wooden box containing his ashes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tough day

No phone calls requested, no visits wanted ... not asking for any 'interventions'. Please no sympathy. It is what it is. I just need to actually type this out so I can leave it here and try to move on.

Today is 7 months. Leading up to it this week, I thought I'd be able to handle it quite well. Had plans to get outside to clean up Vern's rosebed, do a little shopping for the first time (besides groceries), get some organizing done here at home. Instead, I got very little sleep last night, have spent all morning on the computer and I'm in tears. I need to leave here in 30 minutes for a mammogram, so must get myself back on top of things. I must. No one wants to deal with a crying widow. Actually, no one cares.

Had a really horrible incident with Jeremy last night. My hopes and dreams of him turning a corner have been dashed. I was a real mess last night. Sobs of despair, loss, having to do this on my own. I did think I was a little better this morning. Jumped into my Widowed Village chat room for a pick-me-up but no one was there. I typed to myself a bit - got this out there - and later a couple people came into the room. I went into my 'supportive, earth mother' role (that's what my widower friend John calls me). I put my issues on the back burner and tried to support others. It was working. I was feeling better. And then I shared my issue with my son. Suddenly, both chatters were busy and had to leave the room. Ouch. Now I do realize that their leaving probably had absolutely nothing to do with me. Really, I do. But when you're emotions are raw you just react to things differently. So after yet another good cry and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to just write this. I won't be posting it on Facebook or WV. It's for me. I can be selfish sometimes. I deserve to be.

Friday, April 8, 2011

You're stronger than you seem ...

"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart ... I'll always be with you." 
Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

A friend from Widowed Village posted this clip on her blog today and it really struck a chord with me. It's been a very long time since I read Winnie the Pooh, but I can hear me in Pooh's questions and Vern replying as Christopher did.

I've often resented it when people told me how strong I was. I sure didn't feel strong during Vern's cancer battle. I just did whatever I had to do to make sure he got the care he needed and knew how very much he was loved. And I don't feel strong now either. I'm just doing what I have to do to honor Vern's memory.  This little video clip helped me a lot and I will keep that quote close to my heart.

 "I'll always be with you."  Yes ... he will be ... he is.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Being alone is hard ... being alone after spending 41 years with the love of my life is nearly impossible.  The aloneness is consuming. He's not here. He won't ever be here again.  I  miss Vern. I will always miss him. It's not a matter of accepting invitations from friends to do things with them or just getting myself out of the house for a ride or shopping or whatever. Those are things that take up time. They are distractions. They don't do anything to take away my aloneness, my sadness. It's here waiting for me. Always.

It's been a rough week or so. I've felt consumed by this overpowering sadness. Nothing in particular brought it on. It just arrived. On its own. And it won't leave.

I'm able to tuck it under cover during my work hours. Mostly. A few do see through my facade. Very few. But since I can do that, I know I'm not in some deep depression that needs to be addressed. I just need to absorb it, learn how I can live with it, how I can move forward without him.

I will. I know I will. Because that's what he would expect me to do. I was always able to do the things he thought I could do - even when I didn't think I had it in me. So I'll get past this. I will. For Vern.