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Long-Term Illness

For those widowed by cancer and other illnesses or long term conditions that required caregiving.

Check the 'Help' tab for more guidance or send questions to [email protected]

Patience (Diane) is your group greeter.

Members: 732
Latest Activity: Dec 31, 2017

Discussion Forum

With the holidays upon us...

Started by Don. Last reply by goingon (Cynthia) Nov 18, 2017. 3 Replies

How do I answer the comments that haven't come when I talk about the things that happened to Arlene around two holidays? She had her first heart attack on Christmas eve day 2012 on dialysis as we…Continue

How do you process your anger/disappointment at people who didn't "show up" for you and your spouse?

Started by Surreal17. Last reply by adoption1964 Oct 30, 2017. 14 Replies

I have no idea if any of this will make sense, but my husband just passed away on August 10th after an 11 month battle with pancreatic cancer, and I guess I just need to "get it out".  We lived a…Continue

Grief and release at the same time?

Started by Germaine. Last reply by Susan Jul 31, 2017. 48 Replies

I am aware of two different forces acting from within me.  One is the downward weight of grief. The other is an upward energy that comes from the release from caregiving.  After 16 years of part time…Continue

just joined this group

Started by Riley. Last reply by Steve Jul 11, 2017. 20 Replies

My husband died a year ago this July 27th.  He first got cancer in 2007, CNS lymphoma, a brain tumor .  Then we had 7 more good years , until July of 2014 and another brain tumor formed.  Then a year…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by t2 on April 6, 2013 at 3:55pm

Our country has never really been kind to women, or the widowed. Kittus, and those in similar circumstances should have at least a 6 month leave with pay from their jobs. Other countries do it. It is obscene we don't. Kittus, take Dianne's advice and speak with your supervisor/boss and request that they please respect your situation and allow you to proceed with the pace and the respect you deserve.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on April 6, 2013 at 3:30pm

Kittus - 19 days? Oh honey, don't you worry about the tears or the overwhelming feelings or any of that.  Being tired ... exhausted ... all perfectly normal. Just try to be kind to yourself. You're doing a lot of things right, I am sure.

I hope your workplace is considerate of your situation. Can you talk to your supervisor when you first go in to let them know how fragile you're feeling? Perhaps they'll offer you some options. 

Comment by Kittus on April 6, 2013 at 2:55pm

I just read Pierce Brosnan's article.  At this stage of the game, finding 'love' again has got to be the FURTHEST thing from my mind.  The article states that he remarried after 3 years.  But I just don't see remarriage happening again.  

I am 19 days out and have to go back to work Monday...that will be day 21.  I just don't know how to stop crying to concentrate.  I was driving today aiming to take a street past the toll road...I missed and turned on the toll road,  No change to pay and no way to turn around.... I just pulled over and cried...

I just feel like there isn't anything I can do right right now....

Comment by Kittus on April 6, 2013 at 2:47pm

For those of you who has spouses treated at MD Anderson...there is a "clinic" of sorts in Orlando...not far from me.  I took David there for his second opinion and wish we would have stayed there although there was nothing they would have done differently.  Since David had a very aggressive form of stomach cancer there was very little anyone could do.

I will be in Florida awhile but I am bringing my dear husband home to Texas with me.  He has been cremated and I will be as well.  We have a dual urn, one side for him and one side for me.  He used to joke that he was going to "sit on  a shelf" until I could go home.  He is from Virginia and it was extremely cost prohibitive to get him to either Virginia or Texas any other way.

I guess, I am just tired.  It seems that I have tons of good intentions to do during my days....but they just don't seem to get done.  By 4 I am exhausted.

Comment by Cristina on April 6, 2013 at 12:59pm

My dear friends,

Forgive me for writing you all like this in one letter, but I don't have the energy to write you individually.  I had another heart attack Tuesday, on the way back from the cardiologist's in San Diego...and Thursday they finally talked me into going to the hospital.  They did the angiogram and found no blocked arteries, thankfully, though I have part of my heart off-line, now, if you will, damage down in the apex.  Not something any of you really need to focus on, with all we have been through medical details are overwhelming, I know.  Just want you all to know how much I appreciate you and your good wishes and prayers....and that Monday is the two year sadiversary of Billie's passing...the heart attacks were stress induced, ie, grief, big surprise, eh?  So I have to stay off this site for a while, as I have to really be careful not to get too deep in my sorrow.  I hate to stay away as you guys are some of the very few who understand, but I can't do anything now but take it really easy and read cheerful books and try not to think, including about the absolute hell I went through in the hospital, once again....mistakes, mistakes, mistakes, thank god (well, not, but, yes, but, wish I didn't) I have so much experience advocating and turning down stupid medications that would have killed me, literally....they got my heart beat down to 40, bless their crazy lame doctor's mentalities....and with my low blood pressure tried to give me something else to lower it even more...and od'ed me on other meds. you know the drill...anyway, finally got out. My dear, strong son went with me, though they wouldn't let him spend the night, which is just as well, cuz that was when the overdose happened, and I'm glad he was spared watching that....I had the one idiot cardio guy tell me, yeah, your husband died two years ago, and grief is understandable, but to still be crying over him two years later is really overdoing it.  I thought of one woman here who put it so well, "Let's revisit this discussion when YOUR wife dies,after a year and a half of watching her fight for her life, after fatal errors on the parts of doctors...." but, I bit my tongue. 

Anyway, very thankful to have gotten out before they did me in, and now must take a sabbatical from you all beloveds, to try to let my heart heal.  I love you all, and will check from time to time, cuz I need to, but I can't get deep into anything with anyone....but if you guys could send your love and prayers for Monday, as I will not be allowed to have my real ceremony and feelings, this is so freaking crazy.  Blessings to all of you dear, kind, understanding, wonderful people, you mean the world to me, and I will resurface when it is safe for me to. 

May you all find more healing and solace along your paths. 

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on April 6, 2013 at 12:45pm

I saw that article, too, Tim - and I agree.  It also makes me like Pierce Brosnan even more.

Comment by t2 on April 6, 2013 at 12:37pm

Saw this article today. Rings so true for me...and I'm sure for most of you.

Comment by patarky on April 6, 2013 at 12:04pm

Lack of concentration!  That's the new "normal" for me.  I'm 159 days from wife's death, and most days are a blur. I work, and sometimes I'm effective, but often my mind wanders to "better days" and I either break down or get lost in thought for an hour.  I tried a test yesterday, I had a Dr's appointment of my own, right next to the hospital we spent the last 5 years going to and from at all hours of the day and night, sometimes me following the ambulance, most of the time together going to and from labs, chemo, tests & procedures.  It's about an 18 mile trip each way, so I thought I could just take the same route home, go right by MD Anderson and then home.  Spent most of the trip crying.  She should have been there with me.  Venting is all right - we have this place to do it, because too often friends, co-workers, and even relatives ask about you, how you're doing - but they want and expect you to say, "Oh, I'm doing fine, things are getting better" -very few times do they really want to know the truth, and that's the value of having friends here.  We all get it - it affects us in different ways and for different times, but we all understand and appreciate what you're going through, and to the extent we can, help you make some sense of it by sharing experiences and how we get through each day.  I had an employee of my bank that had just helped me tell me that she thought I must be a very happy person since ZI always had a smile when she saw me - I wanted to expound on how wrong she was, but settled for "It's the Prozac."


Comment by lillymarlene on April 6, 2013 at 11:21am

Hi, I have been reading these posts and they are some comfort that I'm not alone. Some of my background is that I was forced to close my brick and mortar location 2010, and then the last few years my boyfriend and I had been living off of my online business and his SSDI check. We also didn't realize how sick he really was and was about to become. He ended up with multiple illnesses. Neuropathy sometimes made him immobile, he suffered from multiple infections and his colostomy gave him trouble. For two years I really didn't want to seek "outside" employment. I just couldn't bear the thought of cutting into my time with him.

Obviously I'm in a very bad way. At the age when most people look forward to their retirement, I have to go out and work. I also have not worked outside of my family business for 30+ years. I'm now doing temp work in a factory.

Then sometimes I think I'm all right, but I'm really not. Last night at work was just horrendous. Even "mindless" tasks I guess require some mind. About an hour before the shift end, my "team" was assigned the task of packing large plastic "dohickeys" into boxes. Of course they would only fit a cetain way. It was very simple, but I felt like such an idiot... I was very tired and just couldn't get it. A nice man kept showing me how to do it, while a couple of people looked at me like I had 3 heads. I just wanted to run away and/or cry.  I CANNOT CONCENTRATE. Then I don't really know any of these people there, and feel I can't even mention that I've had a death in the family. All this stuff also makes "small talk" with acquaintances, so damned difficult!

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for letting me vent.


Comment by Dianne in Nevada on April 4, 2013 at 11:10am

Oh my, Kittus, I am so sorry. It is so soon for you and I can recall how I felt at that point.  I wish there was an alternative for you - and perhaps the potential of being fired could end up being a blessing, giving you the extra time you need.

I worked for our GM when my husband was diagnosed. Two weeks later, after two emergency surgeries and while he was still in ICU and not doing well, I received a phone call (oh - it was also on my birthday) telling me this was "just too hard" for her because she needed me to be available 24/7, so she was bringing back my predecessor. I can still remember how I felt that night. But looking back on it now, it was the best thing that could have ever happened. There's a whole lot more to my story, but just know that now - at 2.5 years after losing my dear husband of 41 years - I'm doing well.  I still have those hard days (Easter surprised me as being a really blue day) and I still miss my husband, but I'm learning how to live this new life - my first time ever of living alone. I don't like to say that 'time heals' but it does have a way of softening the edges of our grief, making it possible to live a productive life. We'll be here for you - just as WV has been here for me most of my journey.


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