BREAST CANCER AND FACING THE COLOR PINK

I’ve written many times how the color “Pink” caused fear to rear its ugly head in my heart and soul. Thought I was over it. But something changed. My dear daughter-in-law, Cesilia was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. When I heard the news, I felt a grip of fear entangle itself inside me again.

I had been cleared recently of any cancer. But for this precious young woman of 41, the mother of 4 sweet grandchildren, my son…I had to hide the terror. It brought back all those memoires I’d let go from 28 years ago and here came fear. Not for me, but for her. I couldn’t bear it. I cried, I prayed, I pleaded with God to heal her completely.

Her journey has become mine. I’m living through it with her, and I remember her hour after hour each day, praying for the tumor to shrink. The chemo is nasty. Takes away every strand of hair on your body. Makes you sick. Causes brain fog and fatigue.

But this young wife and mom is facing it with courage and a faith so strong…I’m ashamed at the fear I have poured onto myself. It’s what happens for cancer survivors. Breast cancer survivors. We become one with the newly diagnosed woman.

I know that on October 1st, pink will be everywhere. Pro football players will wear pink shoes, place the pink ribbon on their jerseys, pink ill be featured in clothing, jewelry, etc. as we celebrate survivors and mourn those who didn’t make it.

Cesilia is teaching me courage, wisdom, faith. I would love to post her photo, but I do not have her permission. Trust me when I say she is the poster woman for breast cancer. I will post my photo taken 28 years ago.

So Here I am…28 years ago…bald, chemo brain…frightened…but holding it together

I Want the World to be Open again

ITALY, CRUISING, EASE OF TRAVEL

What my husband wanted for me after he died was for me to continue to travel.

“You’ll be fine, honey. You have the money to go on a couple of cruise each year, travel to Italy, visit family. “

Little did he realize how difficult travel would be come. Let’s see…I’ve had three cruises cancelled because of COVID and recently cancelled a trip to Italy. It’s frustrating. I’m a writer and need to do important research on setting for each novel.

I’m a traveler, not a tourist. There is a substantial difference. But next spring, I will fly to Italy by myself. It takes courage to do that, but it is something I must do. It seems incredible to me that October of 2021, the world for the most part remains closed…almost like pre-plane travel, when the world seemed truly small and isolated.

So I plan in my head, heart, and internet the next trip. Will it happen? We’ll see. But I am admittedly frustrated. Next year, I pray, I will sit on the stone benches in front of Trevi Fountain while enjoying a peach gelato. I’ll take a boat ride on Lake Como. I’ll sip a cappuccino at the Grambinus Cafe in Naples. In the meantime, I have my memories and my dreams.

Janet

concrete structure with group of people statues
Photo by Sarah Acconcia on Pexels.com
white and brown concrete building near body of water under blue sky
Photo by Nirvana on Pexels.com

Covid and becoming a widow

I am shocked at how long it’s been since I posted anything on my blog or website. In October of 2019 I arrived home to discover my husband’s asbestos poisoning had turned into lung cancer. In January of 2020, the Pulmonologist suggested that my husband be put under Hospice Care.

Stunned! We knew his time was limited, but Hospice? Bill had been told he would have 7 years to live with he was first diagnosed. An asbestos lawsuit began and ended a month before his death.

How do you handle a death sentence? Especially when it is so final…no hope, nothing City of Hope could do…just death and the waiting. Even though you know it’s coming, nothing prepares you for the shock.

Then March 19th, the world shut down with a new disease called COVID. It certainly wouldn’t make a difference in Bill’s life, and I at the time didn’t care about mine either. Our home was open for anyone to come, family and friends alike.

Bill lost weight and breathing became so difficult. But he had his assurance of Salvation with Christ and was not afraid to die. He was only afraid of leaving me. Right up to the day he died, his humor never left him. On May 14, 2020, he entered into heaven.

Sicteen months later, I finally have a desire to blog again, to start another novel, to do a memoir. But the pain of being alone in this upside down COVID world has been beyond my comprehension . Only another widow would understand. My family doesn’t have a clue about my sleepless nights, crying jags, depression so deep I stay in my house for days, unable to face the world. My friends think I should “pick myself up by the bootstraps” and move on. How little they understand until it happens to them.

I’m getting by, finding my way, working on the house, painting, living one day at a time. I wonder, though, will this pain last forever? I still cry at the loss of my grandparents and parents years after. A song, a line in a book or a poem will stop me in my tracks.

I have to find the humor. It’s difficult. There are several widows who have gone online dating sites and suggested I do so. It makes me laugh. Men my age want a young chick or a nurse and a purse. Not interested. My husband and I had a unique relationship even our children don’t know. They have no idea how close we were. Adult children are too preoccupied to see parents for who they are. For the deep pain and crazy laughter we shared. They see us as “parents.” Never as a real human being with emotions and dreams, and struggles.

So I move forward as best I can…one day at a time…trying to find myself again, who I need to be now that I’m alone. I’m trying. This simple blog is the first step. Nothing exciting, but I am doing it.

man standing on edge of wooden pier near lake
Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

COVID also took away my chance for travel. But I’ll talk about that another time.

To all of you who have lost a spouse, I’m here. Tell me your stories. Share your hurts. Encourage me. I’ll try to encourage you.

Janet