Thursday, June 22, 2017

I Cannot Believe He is Gone

I guess it should read I can't believe they are both now gone.  My ex-husband made it to our son's wedding on May 25th, and just 48 hours later, he passed away from multi-focal glioblastoma. Brain cancer. Damn cancer. IT SUCKS.

I have cried a few tears over this loss, mostly because he, his wife, and I had plans for how we would spoil grandbabies when they came.  Now, it's just me. I have to try to be the "one".  He fought so hard and was a champion throughout this disease, but he just lost all his strength at the end and could no longer fight.  I asked God for minimal request in regards to Russ: "Please don't let him suffer, please let him see Brad get married, and please take him quickly".  All of which God answered my prayers.  Thank you, Father.

One of the best days of his life was making it to the wedding. We knew it was going to be tough and he agreed to a wheelchair, thankfully. He enjoyed the wedding and the reception and although it was difficult getting him home (he was so weak), he was on top of the world.  He cried and held my hand ride or die pal.  I cannot express the loss my heart feels. We may have been divorced, but we have been friends for years, even through disagreements.  He was the rock, not just for our children, but his entire family, and this has crushed their spirits.

I hope that I can be of some support to each of them as they learn to fly solo. Our family has had its share of loss this year.  First, Peggy, the Matriarch of the family, last February. Then Russ' wife Lori in September, then Tucker, the 16yo dog who lived with each of us at some point and loved us every one, and now Russ.  If God would allow me one more request, it would be to give my family a break. A much needed reprieve from loss.

But in the spirit of living, Russ would want his friends and family to celebrate his life. So we did. And I will do my best to honor him when handling issues with the kids - and one day, grandkids. They will know both of them through stories and laughter.

I would urge people to ensure you get your yearly checkups, and if some feels wrong - it probably is.  Don't let some doc blow you off.  Be diligent with your health.  We only get this small window to love and be with our use the time wisely. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

More Cancer - Not Me

Well....the demons of cancer have reared their ugly cells yet again.  After losing his mother in February 2016, and his wife September 2016, my ex-husband was diagnosed with multi-focal glioblastoma. Terminal brain cancer. He had a petit mal seizure driving home from his wife's funeral where I had given her eulogy. Truly a lovely woman and we were family, committed to our children.

Back to the current issue at hand. My ex, Russ. After seeing his deterioration at Christmas, and needing to be near my kids for my own reasons, I chose to sell my home and move back here to help him.  He had brain surgery which removed the main (lemon sized) tumor from his frontal lobe.  There remains one tumor they cannot touch and so he has undergone radiation and takes chemo (monthly). He is also on an 18-hr each day procedure with headgear called "Optune".  It may be doing something as the swelling on his brain has gone down some.  Last week, the Doc said if it hadn't, he would be dead right now.  He deals with the ups and downs of this disease just as the rest of us who have had cancer do.  We suck it up and do the very best we can.  Russ is left with partial paralysis on his left side and is very susceptible to falling - even with his walker.  He also lost some of his sight in his right eye from the surgery and has seizures periodically.  But he is alive and he isn't giving in.

Our son Brad is getting married next month and he wants to be able to walk with his walker, but I am doing my best to get him a wheelchair, something I believe is becoming a sheer necessity for his safety. 

I still have my own days when it is still difficult for me to even get up out of bed from my own pain, but I am determined to help him and our kids to the end. If he can deal with this, so can I.  Think of this - his son w/his wife that passed hasn't even had time to deal with her loss.  That is almost unthinkable.  I have made a promise to help him as much as I can. That kid and our two boys deserve that.

That is what warriors do, we fight.  That is what family does. We fight together.  And so, back down this ugly road I walk.  To help the first of only two loves of my life as he does the best he can with the hand he has been dealt.  In doing so, I hope I set a good standard for our children. #FamilyFirst