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Is the show “Go On” realistic?

October 4, 2012 2 comments

The widow blog I subscribe to, Widowed Village, asked us to watch the show and then do a massive group review.  Before her request, I had no idea of the show’s premise.  Ever since Sarah was born, I try not to get hooked on new shows because I don’t really have time for tv.  However, I recorded it and watched it yesterday.  I would say the producers/network took a really big gamble by attempting to find humor in a new widower’s life.  I’ve only watched one show, but I’d say they did a darn good job.  Because of the situation this is probably one of the most well thought out shows.  It felt like a sitcom on the surface, with deeper tones if you wanted to see it, and an occasional splash of real feelings.  I had many similar feelings and thoughts as Matthew Perry’s character.  He just articulates it better.  I appreciate the show. 

But, of course, a child is not involved.  You couldn’t tastefully make that funny. 

Most of you read this on a regular basis, so you see how I try to find the sad, odd and unique humor in being a widow.  Jim and I had a quite morbid humor starting a few months after his diagnosis.  It’s normal, but we tried not to do it in front of others.  You have probably heard the saying, “You have to laugh to keep from crying.”  I am still walking that fine line on a daily basis.  Jim had a better sense of humor than me, so I try to see how he would look at ridiculous situations that I run into.

Sarah:  Last weekend, we got to ride Thomas the Train when he came to Burnet.  Sarah had a blast and was sad when we couldn’t go back the next morning.  However, I came across a problem that is not going to go away.  On the way home, I could see Sarah becoming sad.  I asked what was wrong.  She got that “look” and said she missed her daddy.  I took a deep breath, guessing the problem, and asked if she noticed the other daddies there (like I had).  She simply nodded her head.  I paused.  Then, I said I knew he wanted to be there with her.  I knew he would have had fun with us, and that I’m sure he was watching her have fun.  I hope that was the right thing to have told her.   

If there are going to be a ton of daddies around, I am of the mind to take her only to high quality, memory-making events and not run-of-the-mill ones.  It has to be worth her noticing the other kids have daddies (jealously) and for her to notice her daddy’s absence (sadness).  Yes, we have to get use to these feelings, but I’m not into doing it constantly.  What would you do?

Unfortunately, we were (I was) sized up at the event.  I felt demeaned and angry that I felt that way.  The woman in charge of economic development for the City of Burnet was conducting a survey.  She interviewed the dad in front of me, looked solidly at me, then skipped me and proceeded to interview the dad behind me.  You better bet I drove straight home when we left.  And how much do you think I want to go back to that town?  This happened the day after Sarah’s Stonewall Head Start/Ag-Extension Service sent home a registration form for a reading program asking for only the father’s information on the front, and on the back did not include widow/widower in the marital status section.  Head Start and the Ag-Extension Service each got a signed letter from me. 

I’m tired of this.  If I need to, I will single-handedly educate the entire Hill Country and become a huge single mother advocate.  I rarely point out that I’m a widow because I know it makes most people uncomfortable to discuss it and they typically can’t relate anyways.  However, I am not going to roll over and act as if all this ignoring is ok either.  I didn’t change.  The situation changed.

Note:  I forwarded a link to this blog entry to the economic department of the City of Burnet hoping for an explanation.  Both women conducting the survey quickly sent me long and very kind emails.  I completely read that long look the wrong way.  They were trying to not be disruptive to the event by not asking the same people to do the survey twice and by trying to asking every other family.  There were more things that happened this past week that I haven’t even mentioned, so I believe I’m especially raw at the moment.  Go to Burnet.  I will – especially to ride Thomas again next year.  Probably sooner to eat at the Cookie Café and Bakery on the square…

Shared memories

May 22, 2012 8 comments

Since I was with Jim for the last half of my life, it feels as if half my history has disappeared.  A slate wiped clean.  It is the weirdest feeling.  It’s as if I’m opening my mouth to say something, and then shutting it because no one else in the room will know what I’m talking about.  Physically, it feels like a hole or a blind-spot just over my shoulder.  I’m not writing this to garner sympathy, but maybe empathy so that others may be warned of this odd feeling.

It’s incredibly frustrating to me when it comes to Sarah not remembering doing things with Jim.  I want her to remember her daddy, and us as a family unit.  I want so much for her to remember, and talk about him with her.  But, she can’t.  However, I have found a bright-spot.  She may not remember specific memories, but she knows him.  I can tell she still feels Jim in the way she says, “I mi my dad,” or “ni-ni Daddy,” or even the way she hugs his picture and pats my little statuette of a couple dancing.

I’ll finally own up that I had something odd happen about two weeks ago.  I was moving some things around in the storage shed when my heart started to pound.  You could actually see my chest moving.  It looked crazy.  Then, my neck started to hurt from the pressure.  I locked the shed and drove straight to the doctor’s office.  Of course, it stopped about 10 seconds after I sat down in the waiting room.  Dr. Ramsey saw me about 45 minutes after it happened, I had almost fallen asleep waiting for him, and my heartbeat was still around 100.  So, he put me on a Holter monitor the next day.  I didn’t have another major pounding episode, but it turns out I have a slight arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and am occasionally tachy (fast heartbeat).  (Me, tacky?  🙂 )  I’ll start low-dose beta-blockers next week.

What little research I’ve done suggests it’s from stress.  There are no heart issues anywhere in my family.  Personally, I’ve been expecting some physical something to happen to my body due to losing Jim.  Looks like the first something finally popped up.  Of course it’s my heart.

Sarah:

And they thought she might not get up on stage…

Compared to the other kids, Sarah’s ant march is more of a dance.

 

It was her bowing after each song that had the other parents, and me, really laughing!

 

The other kids just stepped their feet out for the “feet apart” part of the song. Not my little bunny.

Bah Humbug: I don’t like buying Christmas cards anymore

December 6, 2011 2 comments

Wow.  That was hard.  I’m not sure if I can do that again.

It was not only that I could not buy a “husband” card, but I also realized I could not buy a “from us” card for anyone.  I knew, of course, I would not get a “wife” card, but seeing all those cards was tough.  And picking out Sarah’s card was super tough.  Usually, Jim and I each would buy her a card, and his was the mushier one.  No more daddy-to-daughter cards.  Now it’s just me.  And I couldn’t pick out Sarah’s daughter-to-daddy card.

This was just one more usually normal thing that showed me (felt like a slam) how different life is now.  Ever since college,  I have loved buying Jim cards.  For me, the more words the better which he teased me about.  His card finding technique was to find the stack with the least cards because that meant it was a popular card.  🙂

They say this year of firsts is hard.  Im beginning to understand why.  Not only is the act or non-act of doing something hard, but the feelings that go with it take you by surprise the first time.

A Hard Three Weeks

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

This has been an incredibly hard three weeks.  The infusion the first week was worse than “normal.”  Then, the second week, he had to take chemo pills.  Well, at that point, his body was already so full of chemo that the reaction this time was his feet swelling.  On Monday, he thought his feet simply hurt.  We even asked the nurses about it at the doctor’s office when we went in for his CBC and hydration.  They assumed it was the normal neuropathy pain.  So, he walked on them too much causing grandular tissue to erupt from under the nail of one of his big toes.  (He just wanted to play with Sarah outside.)  For the next week and a half, he received a once or twice daily “pedicure,” including a 20 minute Epsom salt soak and me attacking him with q-tips and lotion.  But, aside from that and the obvious bathroom breaks, he was on his backside with his feet level with his hips. 

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned about how hard it’s gotten for Jim to eat.  No matter what I feed him, it burns afterwards (gastritis).  None of the cancer cookbooks I’ve read talk about how to treat this problem, and of course the problems they do mention are so minimal in Jim’s case as to not matter.  And most of the time I can’t give him cold foods since one of the chemo drugs causes an ultra sensitivity to anything cold and it causes a choking sensation.  I literally have hundreds of cookbooks, but I can’t find anything to feed him – so frustrating!  We will talk to the doctor about this today.  Hopefully, we will also be scheduling his CT and PET scans today for the beginning of November.

Oh, here’s the cake topper for this week.  Last Monday, we went to a dermatologist for Jim because a tiny black pin-head of a dot showed up, around the time he started taking steroids, on the bridge of his nose.  They took it off, sent it to an oncologist and now the oncologist wants more of the surrounding tissue, because the sample size was so small, to make a definative determination on whether it’s melanoma or not.  Come on, really?  (Insert big sigh here.)  So, Jim is going back to to have more removed next Monday.

We have only had our normal Jim back for the past three or four days.  And now I have to drive him this morning, to get his infusion.  Plus, the chemo pills start today too.  We have no idea what to expect, but we know it’s going to be bad.  Thank goodness Jim’s mom is here.  I know Jim just wants things to be normal, but sometimes I really need her backup to get him to relax and not push himself so hard.  Plus, she’s great with Sarah.

Chemo’s Unpredictability

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

This has not been a fun week for Jim.  Not only did he get his first Neulasta shot to help his blood levels, but the chemo seems to really be building up in his body.  Monday starts pill week, and Jim is already dreading it.  (He has one week on, one week off with the pills, and the infusions are once every three weeks.)  Last week was the best pill week yet.  It was actually better than the “off” week, the week before that.  I think one of the most frustrating things about this chemo for everyone is its unpredictability of how it will make Jim physically feel from week to week.

However, the good news.  Buy peanut commodities.  We are giving credit to the amount of peanut butter and toast Jim ate last week to take his pills for his 10 pound weight gain.  The most ever in one week!