Update on me....
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!