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The first two weeks in October are like a sledgehammer to the head. I guess I am still expecting to “get better” and not feel so much and intellectually, I get that it isn’t realistic or possible but I stubbornly want to feel good and light and shed this persona, life, label that I have become. I don’t want to be someone who carries grief, who wears it. It is another layer of skin, of being. It can’t be removed and I want it off. I want Ron back and I don’t want to have lived through the reality of the past two years.

Two years ago this week Ron went to the doctor. Two years ago he stood in the bathroom doorway in our bedroom and he asked me, “what if it’s something bad?” and I said, “It’s not going to be something bad and if it is, we will deal with it”.  Two years ago he got the first terminal cancer diagnosis and we left Jakarta.  How could we know he was dying? How could we fucking know?  Two years ago, I sat up alone in our bedroom all night while he was alone in Singapore and chanted all night long, “please no cancer, please no cancer” and my chanting and pleading didn't work and then of all cancers why did it have to be pancreatic and stage 4? Two years ago, I could barely breathe when I realized that I was going to lose him, I was going to lose my husband. I didn't even know what hell awaited him. I just knew that the end result was that we were going to lose each other.  That he was going to be taken from me and he was going to suffer and that there wasn't anything I could do about it.  I remember crying and pounding on the couch and saying “this is NOT okay, I am NOT okay with this. This is NOT OKAY.” On the surface of his terror, he was so calm.

When these milestones come up I keep thinking that it won’t be so bad this time and I didn't even see this week sneaking up on me and then I did and I realized where we were and it feels so bad? Why the trigger?  The weather, the light? The leaves starting to change and to fall?  Just the date? I don’t know what the exact trigger was just that I feel so bad again but now I can fake it better and I can function better although I have made many mistakes this week and been distracted and lost and couldn't find my way out of a paper bag.

Someone wise advised me that maybe the best thing might be is to just expect that these milestones are going to hurt rather than optimistically (and unrealistically) thinking they won’t bother me as much. It is always about accepting the grief and letting the feelings flow, isn't it? I think I should probably stop fighting it and just feel.

Yesterday I did something kind of dumb. I climbed on the roof and cleaned out the gutters. Ron would never let me do it. I thought that was silly because if anyone had better balance it was me-- but the thought of it worried him too much and really, it is not like I actually wanted to stick my hands in rotten leaves and bugs.  I knew that it was going to rain today and I could see the leaves and sticks that filled and clogged the gutters so I knew it really was time to get them clean.  I got the ladder on the deck and climbed up. I nearly kicked it out from under me as I climbed up onto the shingles and my heart was pounding as I sat up there and looked around. The pitch of the roof was a lot steeper than I realized and I felt afraid. And kind of stupid.  I did one side and considered climbing down but then thought that was ridiculous since I was already up there and a second trip up was not gonna happen. I finished the job. I got Sophie to move the ladder to a less rickety location and had her hold it for me as I climbed down. I told Sophie I was afraid and how I wasn't going to do that again but then I spent a bunch of time telling her how glad I was to have gotten the job done (didn't want to sound like a whiny femme fatale weakling).  Next time though, I will ask someone to do if for me. The girls don't need me to break my neck to prove my house management and independence to them. 

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Comment by MissingRKK on October 15, 2013 at 11:22am

Ronsong and RainSong, thanks for your messages. Many hugs to you both!

Comment by RainSong on October 15, 2013 at 2:11am

Dear MissingRKK...your story reminds me of the beginning of Gregg's illness.  It was April of 2010 when we found out he had bladder cancer, and we handled it fairly matter of factly (not realizing that bladder cancer is not easily survivable).  I remember the surgery in October of 2012 when he had his fifth surgery...we already sensed that this was not going to be a battle he would win (I did-he didn't), and the doctor told us that he had a lot of tumors in his intestines and there was nothing more they could do.  As I walked to my car in the dark hospital garage, the reality hit me like I had been slapped.  I all but howled in pain on the way to my car.  So, while April was our dx, October brings me more sadness..it is football season, we should have been having fun and two years in a row he had surgery in October. You are braver than me!!!!  I hate heights, and would never have the strength to clean out gutters....another confirmation for me that moving to a condo was a good move!!!

Comment by Ronsong on October 14, 2013 at 7:35pm
Reading your post it reminds me of my reaction when my husband was diagnosed with PC. My Ron passed away almost 6 months ago just 4 months after we got the news.
Comment by MissingRKK on October 8, 2013 at 9:06am
Thank you, Diane! Xxoo
Comment by Diane on October 7, 2013 at 10:24am

Missing RKK...thank you for sharing yourself and your feelings.  Triggers absolutely suck.  Don died suddenly on 2-1-12, which was a spectacularly beautiful snowy and sunny day here.  His funeral a few days later was the exact same kind of day as were the days in between.  I always loved the combination of snow and sun, but I guess it will always hold a sad familiarity to me.

You are so right on with speaking of accepting the feelings, I think it's attached to accepting ourselves. Once we can just give ourselves permission to feel what's inside, we get to know and understand us better.  And in the end I get the very strong feeling that this is one of the important things that this journey ultimately teaches us...who we are and what we want from our lives.  My thoughts are with you on this struggle we find ourselves in.

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