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Small Wonders


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I wasn't sure where to post this. Inspirational? Maybe, but sometimes when I'm feeling my worst I avoid anything inspirational. Maybe you do too. Since my experience is that of a loved one (still can't call myself a "caregiver"), I decided to come here today.

My husband will tell you that he's had it "easy" compared to others until recently. For the first five months or so of his treatment, he was able to continue life "almost" uninterrupted. Oh, don't get me wrong. There were changes. Big ones. But within that he still plastered and painted our living room, installed recessed lighting in the kitchen, laid bricks in our dining room, hung dry-wall, fixed stuff that broke, helped other people fix their stuff that broke, kept to a fairly regular social life with our friends and family, and started writing his book. We had talks -- lots of them. Sometimes they were spiritual and introspective, sometimes sad, scared, frustrated and highly emotional, and many times full of hope and determination. No matter what the feeling we knew life would never be the same, even if a miracle dropped in our lap that very second. And in some big ways, we didn't want it to be the same.

The past couple months brought something new. With increasingly difficult and debilitating physical symptoms, numerous tests, waiting, and then results, it brought a dashing of hopes, a feeling of defeat, and a sort of "low pressure" area that just hung over us. We both fought to get our strength and hope back, but it's been an uphill battle. I finally hit my breaking point last week. I'm somewhat ashamed to say, I even indulged in a pity party. A big one. It only lasted one day, but that was enough. Luckily a wise woman on this board helped me see that it happens sometimes and it's okay (thanks Deb!).

The small wonders? People say live for the day, live each moment to its fullest, and appreciate the little things. Sometimes when you finally recognize those little things, they have a big effect. Friday night we had plans with our good friends and neighbors. Our weekly poker night, which we had been unable to do for the past two or three weeks due to Bill feeling so poorly. These are the best friends -- the kind of friends who don't mind if you have to get up from the table and cough up blood in their bathroom! Sorry for the details, but it's true and it makes a difference. Suddenly, I see my old Bill back. Making jokes (really bad ones!), laughing, eyes lighting up -- just feeling "normal," if even for a few hours. We planned an early night, but we left at 11:30. Why stop there -- let's all go to the movies in the morning. Something we haven't done in ages. We go and it's fun. Bill even decides to go out and trim our trees in the afternoon sun. He probably over-did it a bit, but for him it was worth it. For the first time in weeks I actually feel "happy" when I awake Saturday morning. So happy that I finally make myself a spa appointment. You know, that one everyone keeps telling you to make. I walk in the spa today, smell the aroma of lavender, and completely indulge.

Tomorrow is Monday and yet another doctor appointment. The symptoms aren't gone and neither is the cancer. But for a few hours Friday night, a couple hours Saturday morning, and two more this afternoon -- cancer took a back seat to life. I wish it would stay there, then fly out the window and get crushed by the car behind us. Maybe it will. But for now, I appreciate the small wonder of a few good -- no, make that great -- hours. And I appreciate the beauty of my hubby's smile.

Wishing you all the same and more. Thanks for being here.

Much love,

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Oh Teri, how we can all relate to this.

The pity party (albeit for me from Bill's perpective), the drag of cancer but most of all the "normal" moments.

Those now precious things that we took so much for granted for so long.

It's wonderful isn't it, when for even a short time cancer isn't the center of your universe, when you forget it completely.......it's almost a surprise when it does come to mind - Oh yeah, there's actually a disease being fought here.

Be kind to yourself, pity parties can be cleansing if you don't let them go on and on, it feels like they release a pressure and give you a new strength to deal with new challenges.

Hoping Bill has a good dr appointment,

Geri

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Beautifully written...You two are definately soul mates. Have you two ever thought about sharing your story through a book? You two write such inspiring messages.. thank you for sharing.

Peace be with you,

Jamie

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I agree.. I think you should write a book together. It could be written for anyone going thru cancer treatment, but also their partners experience's.(I don't like to call myself a "Caregiver" either.. sounds like I'm working in a nursing home!) :?

Thanks for the uplifting post.

I've forgotten what "normal times" are....

Take care,

Nova

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That was so well said. I am so thankful for those moments with my mom too. This weekend she called me several times just to talk about normal everyday things. She too sounded more upbeat that I have heard her sound in a long time. Not sure what brought about the change, but I'm not asking! I pray the good times will continue and the doctor appointment goes well.

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Teri,

It was so uplifting to read your beautiful post. So happy to hear that you were able to toss that cancer out the car window, even if just for a short time. Let's hope it really does get crushed by the car behind!! Good luck with today's doc appointment. Thinking of you both and sending prayers to CA. Ellie

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Well said Teri! We all need our pity parties and spa days every now and then. And though I wish nodoby ever had to fight this disease ever again I do understand how it makes you TRULY appreciate a simple poker party, run to the movies or good laugh with friends.

Way to put cancer in the back seat! Just keep driving around with the top down and I'm sure it will fly out soon!

Karen

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Amazing, isn't it, how the ordinary things become so much more precious and meaningful now. I was watching my daughter in a dance show Friday night, and I was just so happy that I was here, feeling great, to enjoy it. I hope you and Bill and all the rest of us have many, many more amazingly "ordinary" times together.

Trish

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WOnderfully written and yes, INSPIRATIONAL.

I hope for hundreds and hundreds of hours like that for you guys. And for the cancer to get crushed by the car behind you....

(((hugs)))

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Teri,

Again, beautifully said!! It was a bright light o my day to read and I am so glad that you shared that moment. It is amazing how this disease puts life in perspective. The little moments you may have over looked before mean the world now!!!

Thank you for sharing a very inspiring moment!

Keep fighting my prayers are with you!

Dana

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It was so heartwarming to read all of your responses -- thank you. I wasn't sure whether to post that here or write it in my personal journal. I just knew if I didn't get it out when I did, the moment would be lost to a new day and I didn't want it to be. And, of course, I knew you could all relate.

(Wealthy, what happened to your post?)

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Teri, I identify. I find that we now have an unspoken rule that we will just "go" when a social opportunity arises with friends, we go outside in the evenings and visit with the small neighbor kids riding their Big Wheels, and we do more fun family things with our college age daughter when she is home. Tomorrow, we are going to plant tomatoes, just because pretty much everyone in Nebraska plants tomatoes each summer, regardless of circumstances.

Yet, there is always, as you put it, that "low pressure area" hanging down low near our heads, totally unspoken most of the time. I actually think of it as the "undertoad", a term I picked up years and years ago when reading a novel. A small child in the novel was warned about the undertow in the sea, and imagined it to be a big, menacing, "undertoad". That term came back to me sometime over these last many months, and has been in the back of my mind ever since. It fits my sense that no matter how normal things seem, that unseen toad can reach up and pull us down anytime. Really, though, that can happen under any circumstances, and (like everyone here) we just go on doing ordinary things as much as possible.

OK, I'm rambling:)

Thanks for sharing this with us.

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