Update on me....

janet_la(z8b Louisiana)January 25, 2007

I just posted this to the end of the "Sad News From JanetLA" post and realized that some of you might not go back and read through all of those posts. Forgive me for posting the same message twice, but I wanted you all to see it:

Hi Everyone, just wanted to check in and let y'all know that I'm doing ok. I took this week off from work, both to rest some and to start tending to some of the many details that follow a death. God has been very gracious to our family through Mike's illness and death. The original diagnosis of melanoma was in Oct. 2003, and the reoccurance and spread to the lungs and adrenal gland was in May of 2005. During that time, we have had both hard times and really good times. Last year (2006) was a very good year for us - he was in a clinical trial that had almost NO side effects and that shrunk the tumors drastically.....that worked from March through September. Even though the October scan showed that the tumors were starting to grow again, he had no symptoms until early November and it didn't get bad until after Thanksgiving. Those 8 months from mid March through mid November were a gift from God - Mike felt good, went back to work part time, and we got to spend lots of quality time together. The last 7-8 weeks were difficult, but God used even those hard times.....as Mike got worse and withdrew more and more from us, we were also adjusting to the fact that even though he was sitll with us, he wasn't "with" us much. Even with him sleeping a lot and emotionally withdrawing and preparing to leave us, he perked up enough to hold and take pictures with his newest Grandson only two days before he died (Joseph Michael was born 4 days before he died, and stopped by on his way home from the hospital). We all figured that he was holding on to see the baby, and were not surprised that he left us so soon afterward. It really was a blessing that he went so quickly once things got bad...it was very difficult to watch him suffer.

Some of you know that this is the 2nd husband that I've lost - the first was to a car accident nearly 22 years ago. So, although the method was different, I've been through this before. The blessing in that is that I have a much different perspective on my life this time. Last time, I was 29 years old with 4 small children and couldn't imagine having a good life ahead of me. However, God had a wonderful life planned for me (19 1/2 years with Mike), and I know that he still has a plan for my life. I miss Mike, and know that there will be so many times that I want to tell him something and he won't be there - those times, and the Saturday mornings that we always sat on our patio drinking coffee, looking over the garden, and watching the squirrels, birds, and butterflies will be the hardest. Those times will also be the sweetest, because that's where I have so many precious memories to hold on to. Anyway, even though I know I have some difficult times ahead, I'm looking forward to moving on with my life and seeing what's ahead for me. As soon as the never ending rain goes away (I'm assuming that will EVENTUALLY happen, lol), I plan to get back out in my garden. It's already calling me :)))

I want to say thank you one more time to all of you who have walked through this with me and have been such an encouragement. Your prayers and support have meant much!


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Dear Janet,
Thank you for posting this here so we could all read it.
You have been in my thoughts and prayers.
You are a brave wonderful woman and I know with God's help you will make it through this period of recovery.
Your garden will help you.
Wish I could meet you in person and give you a huge hug.Love you,


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 9:51AM
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ginni77(z 5)

Janet, I have such a deep respect for you. You have been so strong thru all of this with Michael and having been there myself, I know how difficult it is sometimes to keep your head up. But you always have.

I'm so happy to "hear" from you and to know that you're doing okay. If you ever need to talk...just let me know!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 9:52AM
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Janet, I am so sorry for your great loss. You are an inspiring woman whose heart is centered where it should be. God is always faithful. I, too, wish I could give you a big hug.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 9:58AM
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Janet, I was waiting to call you, I know this is a most difficult time. Mike was such a nice guy. He left you a legacy of happy memories, I think that is the ultimate. Soon it will start warming up and we can get together at McClendons, have coffee and talk roses. All my love and prayers.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 10:41AM
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onewheeler(Z5 N.S.)

Janet thank you for the update. I have been praying for you and it seems my prayers have been answered. Your strength is amazing, your faith is astounding, you are an inspiration to those of us who have loved and lost.

Our gardens do sustain us in times of need, I am so happy you are turning back to yours for solace.

Bless you.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 10:43AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Janet, thank you so much for posting, although I'm crying now ;] I am so glad you were given the extra time with Mike, and I know exactly what you mean about the gift of being prepared for it... those things are exactly how it turned out with my mother, and I don't know if people understood when I say it went so well, all in all.

It is so good to know that y'all had great memories close to the hard, hard time. Prayers of peace still, but a smile too that you seem to have that covered :> Good Journey, Mike.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 11:08AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Janet, it is so good to hear from you. I know from experience how difficult it is to lose a DH and to feel so lost afterward. You are inspiring to me with your optimism and faith. Thank God, spring will come and with it new growth and healing.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 11:49AM
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I'm with Brenda I send you a hug and my prayers!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 2:10PM
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Janet, I am soo sorry to hear about your loss and wish you the best in the coming months. Hugs and prayers!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 3:35PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Janet, thank you for updating us. You are amazing in this difficult time. It's so moving to hear that you and Mike were able to have some special, quality time together. I will keep you in prayers.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 3:35PM
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LindyB(z8 OR)

Sending a huge hug your way. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 6:06PM
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Janet, I was so sorry to hear about Mike. My deepest condolences on your family's loss.

Reading your update is truly inspiring. Your strength and optimism are so heartening. I wish you all the best and my prayers and thoughts are with you.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 1:21AM
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Janet, thanks for the update. You sound really good, I hope it continues; but be prepared that it probably won't. When dad died I was running on autopilot, there was so much to do. Hubby said to me something about how I hadn't cried; altho I did just not around him. He didnt think it really hit me. It was then crazy for the next 2 months with his father getting cancer and passing away.

There was one point where everything slapped me in the face. I was emailing my MIL to see how she was doing and she made a comment about how much harder it is on someone losing their husband compared to their father. She didn't even really know me or my dad; nor the very close bond / relationship we had. Losing him was like losing a husband if you can understand that. We were very close. I would never tell someone their loss is less than mine; because every loss is hard. When you spend a lot of time with someone, being their care giver, watching them suffer; it rips a piece of your heart out.

A tree my dad helped us move started to bloom. I can still hear dad saying how great it felt to feel useful. That tree means the world to me, I felt comfort and sad when I looked at it. I got my love of gardening from my dad, so working in the garden; I felt closer to him. Little things reminded me of him. I can go from crying my eyes out to smiling, remembering walking the garden with him; how he appreciated every bloom. If this happens to you, and you need to vent, you know where to find me.

I'm glad he was able to meet his new grandson & don't doubt he hung on to do that. He was finally able to go. I'm glad he was able to have a few good months; glad that the clinical trial bought him time. They're wonderful aren't they? Hopefully, him taking part in it will help them in their research so that the outcome is different.

Enjoy your new grandson. I'm sure he will help you through this.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 8:20AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

You seem like a strong lady, you are able to put all of this into perspective. Keep focused on the knowledge that, in time, grief and depression pass. Fond memories of the special people in our lives go on forever.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 8:49AM
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Janet: I am so very sorry to hear of Mike's passing. I know he and you did everything you could. I am glad that you had the special time last year to enjoy together, and I can sense your serenity and acceptance in your post. It may not make things less painful, but perhaps it will help you with moving on to the rest of your life, as you say.

I know what you mean about the withdrawal thing. My mother died at home, and in the final weeks of her life, she did the same. I did what I could to reach her, but she was getting ready to go, and I learned that this is part of that process. Still, she smiled and felt our love throughout this period, as I know Mike did.

I wish you much comfort and joy from your new grandchild, and a rich and rewarding future, when you are ready.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 12:59PM
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cajunrosegal(10 south florida)

It's nice to "see" you I hope that you continue to do well and my prayers and hopes are with you. Having a Mike in your life is always a blessing and I have two of them..:O)
May your garden be your refuge and the roses catch your smiles and your tears. Hugs and much loves to you from our family. Mike sends his deepest heartfelt love he thought your Mike was a great fellow!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 9:17AM
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irish_rose_grower(z7 LI NY)

Janet, thank you for the update. You are a special lady and I wish you peace and happiness.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 5:44PM
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