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Showing posts from July, 2016

Anticipatory Grief

One of the things that I have been experiencing over the past 33 months is this thing called grief.  "But he's not dead yet!"  "Live in the moment!" "Make memories!" ...these have all been said to me at one time or another by well meaning friends or clergy.  Some days it seems like the only people who truly get it are my fellow terminal cancer caregiver warriors, and there are none of those who are not in my online life.

Anticipatory grief is the grief a family member experiences when their loved one has a terminal diagnosis.  It is real, it is difficult, and it comes with most of the same hallmarks and symptoms of "regular" grief, but without the cultural awareness. 

Though this is different than the grief that follows a death, anticipatory grief can carry many of the symptoms of regular grief – sadness, anger, isolation, forgetfulness, and depression.  These complicated emotions are often coupled with the exhaustion that comes with bei…

Cancer Update: God is Always Good

We just got back from Wes' doctor appointment.  The MRI report was not all good this time.  The area around where the original tumor was removed was lit up, and one spot in particular was a big bright blob.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to know what it is.  The doctor presented Wes with three choices:  1. Surgery again. The surgeon is willing and able. 2. A month long course of steroids followed by another MRI to determine if this is true progression (tumor regrowth) or pseudo-progression due to swelling and inflammation.  If the steroids remove the lit up spots, we know it was just inflammation and swelling.  Of course, the doctor said, it could be a bit of each.  Option 3. Avastin...which is a type of last ditch chemo when all else has failed. 

Wes decided on option number 2, the conservative route.  He will take the steroids, have another MRI in a month and we will know more precisely what this is.  If it is growth, then surgery and/or avastin and/or the Optune device are tre…

A Trip to Holy Dormitian Monastery

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I went to Holy Dormitian Monastery this weekend.  My oldest daughter, Bethany, wanted to go and I accompanied her, together with some other women from our parish.

It was the whirlwind trip.  Up on Friday (slow traffic, eight hours or so of travel), back on Sunday.

I was already exhausted from my busy week before the trip, because it included accompanying Wes to Louisville on Wednesday, taking B. to the doctor in Louisville on Thursday...so I'd traveled and been very busy the two days before....

...so on Saturday at the monastery I took three naps.  Yes, that is what I did.  I slept.  And then I slept again.  And again.

When I wasn't sleeping I was crying.  It was that sort of place and I'm in a crying sort of place in my life.

The Monastery: 

Every blade of grass, every flower, every stone in the the courtyard:  Perfection.  Nothing out of place.  Everything in order.  Even the wild growing things and the wee pond creatures at Holy Dormitian were cooperating with the orde…