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Update Thank you everyone...

Cellar Door

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It has been over 2 years since the passing of my dear Tom. That long since I last posted here. Not sure who will remember me, but I felt this forum was owed this....

I have come back many times to read those posts and the kind responses of so many here. I read here when things were hard, and it lifed my spirits so. You have been in my thoughts, all those who leant such amazing support in the face of such chaos.

I have thought so many times about coming here to post an update, but thought it self-absorbed and callous. But things seem to be going OK right now, so I thought it a good time to post.

After Tom died in Sept 2005, I went back to work at the software company 2 weeks after, just like he told me to do. My mind wasn't ready, I was making mistakes in databases dealing with great deals of money, and I decided I needed to leave in December.

My doctor encouraged me to take some time to 'rest up' and weigh my options. He really pushed for me to return to New York to live with my mother. Instead, I sat in our marital apartment, and rotted. My depression was overwhelming at times, financially I was in ruin.

Then, in July of 2006, I got a phone call from my mother's best friend: my mother had a lump in her breast. Turns out my mother had this lump at about the same time as Tom was diagnosed with his SCLC. My mother chose not only to *not* tell me, but she neglected to pursue any assessment or treatment for the lump. No one knew anything, until she drove to Ohio for my husband's memorial service (eight months prior to this conversation). She had come with her best friend, sharing the 3 hour drive. It seems that during their visit, this lump in my mother's breast moved to the surface and became an open wound. In my *own house*, my mother would not tell me.

I have been a nurse over 20 years..... after I drove 3 hours to see my mother, envisioning all sorts of terrifying images of what I was about to behold... it was not as bad as some I had seen. But I knew it was advanced; I was scared she was going to die. She was diagnosed with Stage IIIB infiltrating ductal breast carcinoma. I stayed with her for 3 weeks but had to return to Ohio. She had surgery, chemo and radiation. Final results: NED, woohoo.

In this time of deep depression and financial suicide, a person I knew from an online support group became a great source of support and

empathy. He, as Tom did, felt I needed desperately to leave Ohio to give myself a fresh start. He encouraged me to move... and offered me a place to stay.

In late January of 2007, fate sort of decided things for me. I wasn't sure I wanted to move to the Midwest... I'm a New York girl to the core ;)

One day, I happened to be out running errands, and on the way home... my car was rear-ended and totalled, bc of a girl talking on a cell phone . Oddly enough, the cash value of my car was the exact total that I needed to get a truck and move west... within $50.

It was an omen from God.

I started telling ppl I was leaving Ohio, ppl came in droves to help me pack. I packed an entire 2 floor house in 4 days. This was meant to be.

Fourteen hours we drove: me, Emma the Yellow Lab... Gilligan the cat in his carrier, and Mila the black cat who escaped her box and ran about the truck cabin the whole time. It was bitterly cold, but somehow I felt warm. Tom was with me... I felt the glow of his smile somewhere inside.

It was the right decision to make. I have been here just over a year now. I have a job that I've dreamt of having for years... one Tom would have said suit my talents well.

I am working for a Hospice: a not-for-profit Hospice, one like that which served he and I so well in our time of greatest need. I am in an administrative position, away from patient care. I think this is wise. I do get calls from those first finding out about this hell we know as "living with" cancer. I am often the first person a patient or family talks to after getting "the news". I remember making that phone call; it's invaluable in relating to those with whom I speak with daily.

It makes me feel begin to feel whole to know I am now givng back the energy that I borrowed from the system during my Tom's illness. I can feel the warm glow of those amazing blue eyes warming my heart. I think he is proud; I feel he is at peace.

I guess I feel I had to say something here, in this place, because without the support and innate understanding of those here..... oh good lord, how lonely I would have truly been. You helped me through the worst, you deserve to hear the fruits of your prayers and thoughts.

You are all in my hearts, forever. Part of the fabric of this life. Thank you.

Cellar Door

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I may not "Know" you but i stand in admiration of your courage and determination to overcome your depressionand find your calling and being happy as happy can be now!!!!

Thanks you for sharing that with us!

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I remember you well, and your Tom as well. I thank you for your encouraging post. For those just starting out without their 'loved' one, you exemplify that there IS yet life to be lived, and you are out there living it.

It never ceases to amaze me ~ the strength you (and those in your same shoes) exhibit. I am glad to have traveled a little bit of the road with you. May you continue to prosper.


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Thank you for your open and honest post. I was not "here" when you were, wish I could have known you and your husband. I am so glad that you have found a sense of peace and a job where you can "give back". I wish you continued success in everything you do.

I am sure that Tom is looking down, proud of you, and happy for you.

God Bless - Patti B

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oh sweetie it was SO GOOD to see that pic of you and your husband again!!!

You definetely were not forgotten...

It sounds like you have had a rough road to reach the destination you have found... I am sorry for all the rough patches, but, you sound like you are so much stronger for having been through it all...

What a courageous move for you to pack up your life and move forward... God and Tom were obviously co-pilots with you in that truck as you drove to your new life. I am saying a prayer for you that you continue to make these positive strides and life brings you only the best... God Bless

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