Monday, September 13, 2010

When Life Begins To Crumble

It has certainly taken some time to face the blog.  

     Funny how you are warned after your husband passes away to be careful and take it easy otherwise you will make yourself seriously ill.  What is seriously ill?  Does it mean you'll catch the flu easier?  Does it mean your energy level can drain itself?

     What about the bills I have to pay?  If I slow down and "take it easy" who is going to pay my bills?  The rent, the electricity, medical, insurance, gas, food and much more.  I had to resign from my job to take care of my husband.  If I didn't, he would've been refused treatment because he needed a constant caretaker for his condition.  I was not even allowed to pick up a part time job to help.   What they don't take into consideration is the repercussions of very little to no income, what will happen to the wife after the husband passes on, and cancer--well its expensive even if you have help paying for it.  Even with generous donations.

     So for two years I've been doing my very best to work as hard as I can to keep my head above the water enough that I could breath.  I wanted to be strong.  I wanted prove "no, its okay, I can do this, I've started over before, I can do it again."  Positive attitude.  Always trying to have a positive attitude and also make time to listen to others who are going through hard times too.  Its a rough world out there.  Of course I went through my negativity phase which is normal, but it has turned to a positive approach. 

     Well, sadly enough, even with a positive attitude, I've become ill.  Exactly how ill can a person get going through all the emotional trauma and trying to pay bills?

Gosh, where to start after two years of trying so hard to continue on?

     I've not been feeling well.  I dropped weight and it was like I was wasting away.  Fifty pounds right after Rob's death.   I love to do manual labor, but it began to hurt and hurt very bad.  I wsn't faking it, it really hurt.  I knew I could no longer do the physical labor sometimes over eight hours a day five days a week.  

     Then my hands hurt like crazy and had a carpal tunnel operation on both at the same time.  I was fortunate the hospital saw me as "going through extreme hardship" and charity paid off a rather handsome bill.  Still owe the other medical bills, but wow, what a generous show of caring.

     Unfortunately, my health continued to deteriorate rapidly.  No rhyme or reason for it.  Depression?  Wanting sympathy?  It's all in my head?  When finally I was in so much pain and so weak, so incredibly frightened because I am by myself, and just could not go another step...being scared but having a positive attitude I went back to the doctor and said please look at me.  Something is really wrong.  Still smiling even with tears in my eyes.  I was so frightened.  Please God, I thought, please let someone notice something is wrong.  Its not in my head, its not trying to get sympathy or people to feel sorry for me.  Please someone care.

     I was so lucky to have found a doctor who listened.  She didn't assume it was all in my head because I was a widow, didn't assume I was faking, but one who listened and saw exactly what was happening.

To make this very long story short, I've been diagnosed with a pretty serious illness.  Then, of course, like a nincompoop, I tried to hide I was very ill.  I live in a small community.  People whether you think they notice or not, they notice no matter how positive you are.

I've been diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disorder and am having to take low doses of a chemotherapy drug once a week. I'm tired, scared, and wiped out, and sometimes just not my peppy self.   My immune system is in a "fight or flight" response.  It never stopped fighting because its been one traumatic and extremely stressful fight after another since before Rob passed on.  I've been fighting so long just to survive that it is now attacking every part of my body, organs, muscles, joints, you name it.  It isn't good, but I still have great hope that I will overcome this getting it into remission, it'll just take some time, lifestyle adjustments and change in employment.  Heck, isn't that what this blog is all about anyway?  Being independent, starting over, changing one's lifestyle?

I haven't told anyone and kept saying "Oh gosh ya know that flu just keeps coming back and I can't seem to get rid of it."  I feel ashamed I am ill.  I feel it shows weakness.  I felt it reflected I  couldn't handle things on my own.  I didn't want anyone to know and have been hiding it.  I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to get folks to feel sorry for me.  So naturally, since no one knew, I've been making the condition worse by piling on more stress trying to do everything myself.

Why be ashamed that I am ill?  I've always been the one to take care of everyone else.  I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me.  Who cares or wants to hear about it?

This simply is not true.  Some good people in the world do exist.  I need to learn how to accept help as much as I am there to help others. 

How can people care or offer their support when they don't know.

Why suddenly come out in the open?  Because I do need support.  This past week showed me that I'd better do some quick changing and stop hiding.  I had several serious incidents happen that put me to my knees.  Also my dog, my beautiful Brycie boy passed away, the only friend I had left since all my children are moved away, and several other things happened all at once in one week.  It sent me to my knees and practically immobilized me.  

I do have a plan which I will get into another time.  However right now, I need to learn how to accept support and help from others.  I'm frightened, don't know how I'm going to pay my bills, and I have to make some major changes in order to get better and continue being a productive individual.

The wonderful element of all this, I know I can do this.  I know I can be positive and continue on.  Sometimes doors have to close so new doors can open to make your life better.  Its a new challenge in life and I will face it.

Ladies/gentlemen, who are beginning over again due to loss, heed this warning.  Don't do this to yourselves.  It will only get worse.  Indeed you can make yourself very very ill.  Don't be afraid or ashamed to accept friendships and help.




  1. I just discovered your blog and in reading it, it could be written by me. Like you, I lost my husband in Nov. 2007, mine 3 days before yours. Just stepping into the 4th year AD (After Death), I'm still searching and trying to find ways to "move on." And, like you, the body is rebelling and I know it's from all the stress. In the last 3 years, I've had to sell my house, move from a 4 BR, full basement, double car garage to a 4 room apartment, had to sell my van, have been out of work since Mar. 2009, moved again and then had a house fire 6 days after I moved into my new place. Spent 4 months in a hotel and am now trying to resort my life in a new place. Yet, people think I should just move on and get on with life. I look forward to reading more of your posts and hope to be able to maybe touch base with you.

    Yet another widow,


  2. Hi Mary,
    Maybe you should write a blog too! If you do, please be sure to link here. Each of us has different experiences. You are welcome to make yourself at home. I'm very glad you found me. It makes me realize also, not everyone has it financially easy when their spouse passes. It hits some of us hard in different ways.
    Just tell your friends to be patient. You are trying. It isn't easy when the entire world is falling down around your feet and you can do nothing to stop the process except keep trying.

    Keep trying Mary. That is all any of us can do. You are welcome to visit with me anytime. I will consult with someone more experienced with blogging and see if I can get an email up.
    Take care and please keep trying. Celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments. I've found that a sense of humor toward my dilemma's are often painful, but helpful.
    "A Widow's Perspective"


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