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  1. Amy, I am so sorry. I remember how supportive you were of me when my father died three years ago August 18. It must be very hard for you as you celebrate a new daughter without the beaming support of your mom. My thoughts will be wih you. Pam
  2. Stephanie, What you are feeling is normal and understandable and familiar to me. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, you will adjust. You will still cry sometimes, and there will be times when fear will be so strong that you'll feel like you're choking on it. But you will do what needs to be done because you obviously love him so much. You don't have to fake happiness. Instead you can feel grateful for having your Dad right now, this moment, and this Christmas and push aside any thoughts of what comes next. I didn't think it was possible to live the battle one day at a time, but I became good at it because Dad needed me to be good at it. You will, too. My heart is with you. Pam
  3. I understand how shellshocked you feel. You're still grieving, and this feels like your mother's being replaced. My dad moved in with another woman 4 months after Mom died -- and they had been married for 47 years. He was just so lonely that he couldn't take it. He married the new woman almost a year to the date after Mom died. It was very, very difficult for us, but I believe his new wife saved his life because he was not taking care of himself and the stress was hard on him. As the years went by, he didn't forget Mom. He often spoke of her and grieved openly in front of his new wife. It became obvious that he still loved Mom, and I think that was a source of pain for the new wife. Maybe he's just trying to fill the hole left by your mother. And maybe not inviting you is a concession to the new wife . . . Pam
  4. Pamela

    Pet loss...

    I'm so sorry about your cat. I lost my dog almost exactly a year to the day after Dad died, and I still can't think about her without crying. I read "Marley & Me" over the weekend, and when I got to the part where he puts Marley to sleep, I sobbed for 30 minutes. My husband just held me and patted my back. I'm sorry you have to deal with this loss, too. Pam
  5. Pamela


    I understand that. I recently had to have an emergency hysterectomy because I was losing a lot of blood and my uterus was growing so rapidly that it worried by gynecologist (the path report says it weighed 853 grams, normal size 60 grams). I was so scared it was cancer that my brothers flew in from Texas and Arkansas to be with me. I found out that it scared them, too. Luckily, no cancer, but I can't tell you the relief when I got the pathology report. On the positive side, it does make me pay closer attention and live healthier. Good luck with everything! Pam
  6. My Dad would have been overjoyed to see Mom again. I can see them dancing again the way they used to when we were kids. Mom is jitterbugging around the floor and Dad takes a break to play the harmonica, "The Love of God" or "On Top of Old Smoky." Dad spends many hours fishing and shooting the breeze with Mom's father, Shorty. By now he's found his beloved father and told him how much he missed him all these years. And I imagine he and his cousin Jeff are tearing up the racetracks with self-built cars. Mom and Dad are loving being with their grandson, Conan, who is finally able to see and speak and run like the other children. Mom has reunited with her parents and grandparents, completing the circle the way Great-Grandma wanted. And Mom, in true fashion, is making friends with everyone she meets. Finally, Mom and Dad are at peace in a place where they feel nothing but love. Pam
  7. Fay, Thank you for letting us be a part of this profound experience. Believe me, your attitude and perspective are a gift to your children. With kind thoughts and gratitude for the way you've touched my life, Pam
  8. Mike and Fay, I don't post often, but Fay has had a special place in my heart since I first found this group. Throughout my Dad's illness and death, I was inspired by Fay's grace, dignity, determination and nonjudgmental compassion. I recently had major surgery, and I thought of Fay and others like her who have endured so much with such wonderful attitudes. It made me way to be a stronger and better person. Mike, you are fortunate to have a mother with such outstanding qualities. I have a feeling her voice will be whispering wisdom in your ear for the rest of your life. Fay, things aren't going the way you envisioned, but I know you will find a way to do this in your own unique, gifted way. My love and prayers are with you all. Pam
  9. Such a tough decision. I was the only one of the kids or grandkids to see Dad in the casket. For me, it meant closure. It was a horrible experience because the man lying in the casket didn't look like the healthy, happy, strong man I had known all my life. The cancer battle had devastated him. Still, I needed to close that loop and say goodbye. On the other hand, my brothers have never regretted their decisions NOT to view Dad in the casket. I guess the question is: What do you need to do to get through this? Whatever that is, do it -- regardless of what other family members may think. My heart is with you. Pam
  10. Carleen, if it were me, I'd do it. Pregnancy can be tough, of course, but it's also a wonderful, exciting, breathtaking experience. It could be a source of joy and distraction for Keith. The wonder of feeling the baby move, seeing the sonogram, hearing the heartbeat, could add such joy and wonder at a time when fear threatens to overwhelm you. Of course, it could also be stressful for both of you, but I think you have some degree of choice about whether you allow it to be stressful. You'd have to be mentally disciplined to focus on the positive and not worry about whether Keith will be there to see the child go to kindergarten or graduate from high school. I think you'd have to savor each moment of the pregnancy and not think too far into the future. Just my opinion. As others have said, you're the only one who really knows. Pam
  11. Lori, I don't know specific laws in your state, but I believe your mother can sign a Medical Power of Attorney that gives you -- and only you -- the legal power to make medical decisions in the event your mother is unable to do so. Given your stepfather's attitude, it may be a good idea to do that NOW rather than wait. If there are brain mets, you never know if there may come a time when she will become too confused to sign such a document. My dad signed a Medical Power of Attorney that gave medical decisions to my brother rather than our stepmother. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that decision. Every family situation is different, but your stepfather sounds like he's ready for this to be over, and, frankly, that scares me. Hope I wasn't too blunt. You are in an incredibly difficult and stressful situation, and my heart goes out to you. Pam
  12. I've learned that kindness is a lot more important than being right or winning an argument. Pam
  13. I'm sorry for your pain. I don't want to sound glib or cynical, but you hurt because you love. The only way to prevent the horrible pain, anger and depression you're feeling now is to harden your heart and refuse to love, forget how to care, stop wanting to make things better for others. But you aren't capable of doing that, no matter how hard you might try. I have never met you and probably never will, but I respect you and admire you. Sometimes I ask the question, "What would the world be like if everyone was just like me?" In your case, if everyone in the world was like you, it would be a kinder, more loving, safer place despite cancer. If you weren't around, what would cancer have been like for your mother, your father, your father-in-law and your sister? Worse, much worse. Keep going, Shelly. You are a light in a dark place for people in this group, too. Kind thoughts, Pam
  14. As Sue said, medications can cause this, especially combinations of medications. Combining Decadron/Prednisone with morphine, Ativan, etc., can cause some really bizarre side effects. When Dad starting having problems like this, I called a pharmacist and went over the list of meds with him to see if he could tell me what might be causing it. That was very helpful. At this particular time, don't just assume this is disease progression. Take a hard look at the meds first. Kind thoughts, Pam
  15. Pamela

    A sad day

    Peggy, my brother called yesterday to tell me that he had sold Dad's boat. He was hurting badly over it and he said, "It's like I'm selling Dad off in pieces. Each thing that I see leave, it's like I'm losing Dad all over again." It's a hard thing that's happening to you and Mike. Nothing makes it better, does it? Kind thoughts, Pam
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