On May 4, 2017, I hung onto my husband’s hand as we listened to a team of specialists explain the ramifications of my husband’s diagnosis of Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.
In that moment, all the oxygen got sucked out of our lives, and it felt as if someone had turned off the light switch to our world, shrouding us in darkness.
I was filled with fear, angst and an intense sadness and I worried I would never regain any composure or strength.
It was my husband who composed himself quickly, squeezed my hand and said, “We’ll get through this.”
I felt the love flow from his fingertips straight to my soul; we took deep breaths and pulled ourselves together, and as we did throughout our marriage when faced with a challenge, we held onto to each other tight, and prepared for the emotional roller coaster we knew we were about to take.
From that moment on, we filled our home with love, laughter, and spending every minute of every day together, celebrating the moments, cherishing our time together, with family and close friends.
We turned the seven-hour chemo treatments at the Cancer Center into “dates,” complete with all our favourite board games, snacks, and the memory board we put together filled with pictures of our travels, and family adventures through the years.
Cancer is a short drive from optimism and laughter to the cul-de-sac of worry and anxiety about the future, however, we remained adamant about taking it one moment at a time, working hard not to drive down “What-if Avenue” or “Brooding Dead End.”
My husband was bombarded with countless blood tests, medication–enough to open our own pharmacy, treatments, clinical trials, emergency trips to the hospital, and endured harsh side effects.
He went through all this, maintaining his incredible sense of humor, wit, selflessness, and kindness; never complaining or asking “why me?”
A true warrior.
On June 5, 2018, we were delivered devastating news; there were no more treatments available, as the cancer had spread and there was nothing else that could be done.
I held my husband’s hand and said, “We’ll get through this.”
For the first time since I’ve known him, he looked at me, despondent and said, “Not this time, my love.”
On July 10, 2018, I held my beloved husband in my arms as we said our last “I love you’s.”
Since that day, I have faced the hardest months of my life. In the early months, it felt like I had lost a limb, was dropped off in a dark forest, with no instructions on how to find the light, and having to navigate my way through this forest without the use of a limb.
Every day presents a new challenge, the grieving at times is more intense now than in the early days, and missing him is even hard to put into words.
For those of you who have endured the loss of a spouse—that person who is not only your lover, but best friend and the one person that would’ve helped you the most during this grieving period, you know that it changes you as a person.
I did find my way out of that dark forest, although, it still feels like I am missing a limb, and embraced my mission of moving forward and honouring my husband’s life, and his legacy of live, love, laugh and stay passionate about all things that bring positivism into my own life and into my family’s life.
With the support of family, friends and a group beautiful souls who have also lost their life partners, I’m doing okay adjusting to this new life.
I’ve redecorated my surroundings, changed my daily routine, volunteering at my grandson’s school, enjoying the little ones at every chance I get, and remaining committed to living up to the promise I made my husband that I would continue following my passion with creative writing.
I wanted to let you all know why I’ve been absent all these months, and not updating the blog.
My goal is to start uploading new recipes, and updating you on my creative writing journey, and at times talk about grief, and hopefully reach out and help others who may be struggling as well.
Thank you for sticking with me all these months, and I send out my best wishes and love to you all as you too navigate through the challenges in your life.
In Loving Memory of our cherished & beloved Warrior
Cancer may have taken your body,
and now Heaven has your soul,
I have your heart; forever intertwined with mine.