cancer · caregiver · colon cancer · greaving · newlyweds · widow · young widow

The funeral, affermation, and a delightful peace.

I did it. I made it to the funeral. I had my speech written and I hid while everyone was showing up so that no one would tell me how sorry they were for me or cry when they hugged me or what ever else they feel like doing.  I knew the funeral would be really hard because wether or not I wanted to be hugged/touched/shake hands/be Pat on the back…. I knew I would be. I also didn’t want to have a zillion conversations about how sad everyone was for me… Or how wonderful Brett was…. I just didn’t want to hear it… I didn’t want to be triggered before I gave my eulogy. For the most part it worked. I made it through… My truck was to not make eye contact with anyone while I was speaking (which I know is a no-no in public speaking, but who are we kidding here… I don’t need to impress anyone). After his service the family walked into the room across the hall and then one my one people started flooding in. It reminded me of our beautiful wedding day, everyone was there for me… To see me… To talk to me… To tell me I was beautiful and that my eulogy was stunning.  I’m glad I rested for a week before we did anything… My mom watched my baby for me so I could have 5 days of quiet where I had company only when I wanted it and the other half of the time I watched prison break. 
The thing I wasn’t really expecting is that I felt free. And I have been feeling free. For ONCE… My husband can not get any worse. He finally can not get any worse. No more bad news, no more scans, no more pokes, no more meds, no more neausea, no more resting… He is free. I remembered for months trying to remember what my husband looked like before he was sick… Mental pictures not actual pictures, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t remember what he looked like when we were dating. But once he died… I could. The same morning actually! I felt like I could see him in regular clothes at a regular weight and happy as I have ever seen him. It was almost as if he forgot what feeling good felt like and after he passed and was healed he expirenced it for the first time in months and he was just beaming!

The funeral felt a little like our wedding… In fact I kept saging… “Yea.. at the wedding… I mean funeral… I don’t know why I said wedding… That was weird.” And then my dad ended up doing the same thing! He accidentally called it the wedding 2x in one day?! But for some reason it still felt like that to me. Everyone we both knew and loved came. The last time we saw everyone together like that was at our wedding. And the last time I hugged and spoke to that many people was at my wedding. Only this time our conversation was different.

After hearing stories about how Brett was when he was younger and how competitive he was the more I realized how long he had actually been sick. But with that came a peace. I got to take care of a man who was deeply loved by his community at his weakest. No one saw him struggle the way I did, that was something special just for me. When he was first diagnosed he talked about how if he did die how he would be giving me everything he has ever had, his house, his car, his family, his siblings, and his only son. He said he was giving me all of him and everything he had accomplished or that made him successful was going to be passed down to Tucker and I. I remember watching his face when he said that, he was crying but he was also extremely confident and proud of the life he lived.

I married a man who days after being diagnosed (at 29) loving declared that all he was and would ever be was freely given to me. He didn’t once make dieing of cancer about him. Not once. Not even in the beginning.

Something about all that makes me feel peaceful about his passing. He so willingly and lovingly gave me his everything. I don’t feel like a victim, in fact I mostly feel special that he chose me out of everyone he ever knew… He chose to marry me.

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29 years old · cancer · caregiver · colon cancer · greaving · new mama · newlyweds · widow · young widow

One transition after another

We have basically been in an open marriage with my family and with my in-laws over the past year and a half because of my pregnancy and his diagnosis.  Having a beautiful baby during the hardest part of both of our lives was the hardest thing ever. After the birth of our son… 11 days after to be exact, we had to drive to Spokane Washington to get to a surgeon who specializes in Brett’s type of cancer. There were only 2 people on the west coast who know how to do the specific surgery Brett needed. “The sugerbaker procedure” the Surgeon at OHSU told us she had only done 8 paitents during the course of her practice, all of whom were over the age of 65… Half of which died on the table. She looked me in the eyes and said “this is a VERY morbid procedure” I respond with “but… I’m 25weeks pregnant” she was clearly not the surgeon for us.

The surgeon in Spokane had done over 400+surgeries over 25 years… So naturally we picked him. 

I remember being is a daze… How can all of this be happening when we aren’t even 30 yet.

29 years old · cancer · caregiver · colon cancer · greaving · new mama · newlyweds · widow · young widow

First blog post

March . 26. 2017
My husband is in the last few days of his life. My wonderful, kind, caring and encredable husband. The one who we hoped would be the 1% to make it to the 2 year mark after being diagnosed but deep in my heart I knew better. I’ve seen what cancer does to people and what it can do to a family and deep down in my dear I’ve known what’s coming for me for awhile now. ¬†There’s something about this kind of fear that can only be seen in your head… No one knows the dynamics of all of your relationships like you do. I am the only one who knows the weight of what I have to loose. People think they understand because they imagine what their fears would be like if they were me….

But the fact is they don’t know what it’s like… Mostly because I haven’t let the words come out of my mouth yet. They tell me that they “get it” or “I can’t imagine!” But the common response I feel like I see is the emotions building up inside them, till I know they can’t take it any longer and I can sense a lecture coming on. A lecture about how everyone is doing their best and how everyone loves me and how “they”aren’t going to let me fail or fall….. It’s more of a pep talk really…I’ve just heard to so many times I’m exhausted… And it’s become a lecture. It has become a conversation I am forced to endure… Forced to listen to… Forced to respond “correctly” or I’ll

open another “pep” talk because people can’t handle The Hard without an answer, solution, or some kind of something to feel like something is being done about it. That’s one of the worst parts about all of this, there is nothing ANYONE can do except sit in The Hard with me, next to me, shouldering the burden.