Sunday, March 28, 2010

Where have I been?

I took the kids to Mississippi during spring break to visit with my very good friend. On the way home, we made a stop in Birmingham for a visit with Nick's oncologist. Everything went well there. The oncologist does have some concerns about Nick's IGG level remaining so low. It has been in the 300s for the last two months. Nick's level hasn't been that low since he was actively receiving chemo three years ago. The doctor is going to run some more tests to try to determine the root cause of the immune deficiency. It could be several things, including the cancer. I am choosing not to focus on the what if's. That will make me crazy. The initial tests will be blood work. I don't know how long it will take to get the results, but I will certainly share the results when I get them. The tests will be done at Nick's next appointment on April 15.

The kids spent the last weekend of break with their grandparents. I spent the weekend trying to get things done around the house in preparation for my surgery on Monday, March 22. One of the things that I did (at the encouraging of my mom) was to rearrange the living room again. I also bought a couple of pieces of furniture that increased my storage. I love my living room now. I can be in here and feel at peace. It has been very difficult for me to feel at peace in this room since Keith's death. This is the room where he spent his final hours struggling to breathe, and I felt utterly helpless. I am glad I can feel at peace here now.

My surgery was on Monday, March 22. Everything went the way the doctor expected. I have spent the week in recovery mode. Even though the procedures I had done are considered minor, I have experienced pain that I never imagined. I can truly relate to how Nick and Keith have felt after all of the procedures they have had over the years. I have tried really hard to be a good patient. I think I've done okay. I have fallen prey to overdoing without realizing it. I pay for it the following day. That's where I'm at today. I over did yesterday. I am paying for it today. I will be glad when I am recovered and I can be myself again. I think it is safe to say that I am an impatient patient.

As for my procedures...I had a D & C, an endometrial ablation and cauterization, and a tubal ligation. I have been having female problems for a long time, and they only increased after Keith's death. My doctor hopes that these procedures will stop the problems I was having. If it doesn't, my next step will be a hysterectomy. I really hope I don't have to go there.

I can drive now, but it tires me out. I have only driven once since I was allowed to again. I am able to manage my pain with ibuprofen during the day and a pain pill at night. I've made that progression within the last couple of days. I am still having to nap during the day if I do anything, but I guess that's okay. I still can't do a whole lot physically, but that should get better within the next couple of weeks.

I had several days that there was a reprieve from my grief and sadness. MLC thinks it was probably due to the anesthesia and drugs. I was hoping that I had made some sort of transition, but MLC was right. He'll be thrilled when I tell him that at my next session. The grief and the sadness began creeping back yesterday. It has settled over me. I have had some feelings that have been difficult to deal with. My grief group leader told me that while my feelings are understandable, I really don't need to let them take hold. These feelings of disloyalty and guilt will only hinder my healing. I am having to hold onto faith that God does have a plan for me. I have to accept that this plan does not include Keith. I have to accept that in weakness, strength is found. I have to accept that I will have to grieve every little piece of my life with Keith in order to fully heal. I have to accept that one day I will be happy without Keith as a part of my daily life. I have to accept that Keith is a part of my life in my heart and my memories. As I move forward, there won't be more memories made with him. I have to accept that the final chapter of his book has been finished, and the book closed. I have to accept that for me, it was only a chapter that ended. My book isn't finished yet.

Sorry for the long post, but that's where I've been during the last couple of weeks. It has been busy at times, tough at times, challenging at times, even enjoyable at times.

I am trying to focus on remaining...

In His Grip!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another Tuesday

Today is another Tuesday. Tuesday's tend to be very emotional for me, since Keith died on a Tuesday. For me, Tuesday marks another week that I have spent apart from my husband. Although I no longer know how many weeks it has been, I still feel the sharp pain of that moment when Keith took his final breath...each and every Tuesday.

I imagine it will be this way for some time. I am trying to do as MLC has advised on many occasions and allow myself the grace, mercy and patience to grieve these times when they come. There are days, such as today, when I feel like my heart won't be able to feel anything other than sadness and grief.

I realized this morning that I had hoped that today would be different. The children and I are visiting my dear, wonderful friend (whom I actually consider a sister of the heart rather than a friend) that came and took care of us for the entire first week after Keith's death. I guess I had hoped the grief wouldn't find me here. I know that sounds silly, but that's how it is.

I am hoping that this wave will pass without leaving me too drained.

I miss Keith with an intensity that seems to get stronger. The pain of his passing seems to never lessen. I have heard from other widows that over time the pain will lessen, but it never truly leaves. The grief never truly leaves. I keep waiting for that time to come. I keep waiting for the time when the pain, sadness, and grief dull just a little.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

8 months

Today marks eight months since Keith died.

In so many ways, I feel like I am still just beginning this journey of grief. Then there are times when I feel like I have been on this road forever.

I miss him so much. That is one feeling that doesn't lessen with each passing day. There are times when the missing of Keith isn't as sharp and as painful. It doesn't ever go away though. Ever.

I am struggling with all of the stored away emotions of the last 14 years. I am having to work through them in a concrete way. I won't go into detail, because it is very difficult for me. I am having to give myself a large measure of grace, mercy, and patience as I deal with this place that I am in. MLC is very present while I am trying to work my way through this.

The fact that we are well into the month of March is difficult too. The realization that this month marks the beginning of the end last year. This month one year ago is when we got the really bad CT scan results. Knowing now what was to come, it was the beginning of the end.

My heart seems to be continually breaking with the sadness and grief.

There are soft sides to my grief though. There are days that the grief is ever present, like the missing of him and the sadness, but it isn't sharp and cutting. I can function with it. I can get through the day without feeling so completely overcome by the heartbreak, grief, and sadness. I can see the still tender, but healing in my heart.

Most days have pieces of the sharp and cutting, as well as the soft. Today is one of those days. This morning, the grief was softer. Now, my grief is sharp and cutting.

Today is eight months since my husband died. Today is eight months since I began on this journey. Today is another day that I am leaning on those Everlasting Arms. I am so thankful that I have Them to lean on.