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  1. Carleen, I'm so sorry you're going through such a difficult "thunderstorm." I don't hear "whining," I hear brutal honesty. Someone mentioned grief counseling. I'm just over two years in this journey. I still see my counselor "as needed." It's getting less and less, but when I feel I need it, I'm always so glad I took the time to go. I also connect with the women in my widow's group regularly. I think sometimes we need to be reminded what we've actually gone through, and the steps we've actually taken thus far to rebuild a shattered life. As one of the ladies in my group says, "we need to see ourselves reflected in someone else's eyes." For me, apart from the obvious loss of Bill, the whole "identity crisis" has been the hardest part of the journey. I know what you mean about missing who you were. I look at a picture or video of myself with Bill in what was our life, and it's literally like looking at a different life, a different "me." And, in reality, it is that. Maybe acknowledging that loss of your old self and your former life is a big step toward embracing the new you and your new life. Hoping for the sun to break through for you...
  2. Hi Barb, It seems it doesn't matter how many weeks, months, or years pass -- those "firsts" are all big. Whether they're traumatic or triumphant, they're major markers in this journey. I'm so glad you made it to the party, that you enjoyed it, and that you connected with old friends. And that you can see the blessings. Congratulations -- I know it's a big deal! Hugs,
  3. Kasey, It's been a while since I've been here. I'm so sorry. I had no idea that Tracy was your niece. I can't imagine. What a lovely woman. Sometimes winning isn't beating the disease. Sometimes it's a win to not allow the disease to crush your soul, but to live with purpose and joy -- even if it's a moment at a time. Sometimes the win is when you give someone else a lift up so they can find their spirit again too. I remember when Bill and I were first here, you were one of the first people to offer him hope. I remember us sitting outside talking about your story. I remember your amazing, upbeat encouragement all along, including after he left the cancer behind. You have helped so many people win. Give yourself time. Even warriors need a rest sometimes. I'm so, so sorry. Teri
  4. Dear Jude, I am so very sorry for your loss. Don was an amazing person and provided so much hope, encouragement, humor, and support here. I'm so sorry.
  5. Oh Jen -- I am so very sorry to hear about your sister. I will be praying for your family tonight.
  6. Hi Deb, Thinking of you today, on your birthday. I'm so very sorry for all you're going through. Last year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving and it was my first holiday without Bill as well, so I do understand the intensity and sorrow of it all. It's awful. The first "everythings" are so difficult. I hope that yesterday passed gently for you, and I hope the same for you today. One of the things I did during last year was to get all of the cards out I had saved that Bill had given me -- I did that at each holiday and my birthday. It was hard, but also comforting to read the words he wrote and to think of the memories. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. If you need to do anything different during the rest of the holidays, don't be afraid to tell people and to do what you need to do for yourself. They'll understand. Much, much love -- I'm here anytime you need. xooxoxoxox
  7. teriw

    This long year

    ((((Barb)))) Thinking of you...
  8. teriw

    For Nancy

    I'm so sorry to hear about Nancy. Prayers for her friends and family.
  9. Hi everyone, I'm so sorry I haven't given an update. It's been a crazy week! Mrs. Dickens is doing as well as can be expected. Her pain seems to have dropped significantly. She gets herself up on the couch now (her rightful place). She is very low-key, and we're not sure if she's depressed (understandably), catching up on lost sleep, or just generally doesn't feel very well at the moment. She eats normally and gets excited with visitors and toys and treats. She's always super affectionate and quick to give kisses. We go to a doctor tomorrow to discuss chemo. She's such a sweetheart and so trusting. She lets us do anything we need to do for her. My mom has been great and is staying until we get Mrs. Dickens's staples out on Thursday. She has been loving lying outside and goes from bed to bed to bed. My work has been great about it all too. Much love to all -- thanks so much for your thoughts and support,
  10. Barb, I'm glad that you were able to take that step. Each step is an important one, and it sounds like you took it in your own time. Hoping that it is one more healing marker along this journey for you all...
  11. Thanks everyone. Mrs. D. came through her surgery well. She's finally resting after her pain pills. She'll be in quite a lot of pain for a few days. She's already walking, ate her dinner, etc. I'll be camping out downstairs with her until she can come back upstairs with me. Thanks for sharing your great story, Kasey. The main dog site I looked on is: http://www.bonecancerdogs.org/ With that site is a Yahoo message board you can join by permission from the owner. Another inspirational and educational site that includes neat videos about 3-legged dogs is: http://www.tripawds.com/ I'll keep you all updated. Thanks so much...
  12. teriw


    Rochelle, Thinking of you and sending many hugs your way...
  13. Just wanted to say thank you again for your support. I made the decision to go with the operation and she goes in tomorrow. I was really struggling with it, and I felt that much needed nudge from Bill. "Keep it simple and give her the best shot you can." The vet has rearranged his surgery schedule to get her in, because he feels we've caught it early. And although statistically it is most likely already spread, there is that chance that it was caught in time. And I've now come around to the idea of the chemo -- again after researching and talking to people on a doggie cancer site much like this one. (Oddly enough, carboplatin is the main chemo used.) Hugs,
  14. Thanks so much for all of your kind words. I have to talk with the vet again tomorrow, but it's not a good situation. I could manage her pain with meds, which she has now. I could have her leg removed, which would take the pain away and possibly extend her life (statistical guess at 6 months -- vet says dogs are like people, and there is no magic number -- gave me stories of two patients with very different outcomes). Or remove her leg and do chemo. I'm against giving her chemo, but I'm debating about the leg now that I read that it's actually done for quality of life. I've found a good discussion board and I'm going to talk to a few people. If anyone has any experience, I'm very open to hear what you have to say. Apparently dogs recover very quickly and do quite well after amputations-- it's the humans that have the problem with it. I don't know... My niece and my little great niece brought her over a fluffy sqeaky toy, which she promptly ripped to pieces. That's my girl!
  15. I got a shock today. My Mrs. Dickens has been limping for a few days, and it became much worse this morning. I thought she had dislocated her hip. My sweet neighbors helped me take her to the vet. The vet completely shocked me when he got "that look" and said he suspected bone cancer in her hind leg. I just received the confirmation from the radiologist. She just turned 6 last week. She was a Christmas present from Bill, and has been an absolute angel. She's the most lovable and silly great dane ever. I have thanked God for her time and again, and have often wondered how I would have gotten through so far without her. I've been having meltdowns all day. I'm finally set to start work next week -- what timing! The vet about fell off his chair when I told him about Bill (I was fearing a meltdown might happen right there and wanted to warn him.) She is literally the only thing that makes this house feel like a home still. Then the way the vet was describing the cancer -- it was all so similar. They even had to do a chest x-ray on her. So far it has not spread. I'm so sad and in total shock. Thanks for listening...
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