The Sadness That Comes With Cancer

The cancer has changed Laurie.

She wants to talk about it in a way she never has before.


Where do all these tears come from? They just fall from my eyes, spilling over without warning.

Through this entire cancer struggle, I've never really had crying jags. I guess there wasn't time ... I was too focused on helping Leroy push back against this killer.

I tried so hard to keep him engaged in life that I never really gave in to the sadness that comes with living with cancer.

Oh, I've had my moments ... when the first doctors looked at us after the diagnosis and said, "Three to six months to live." The news so long ago that the cancer had jumped the chemo. And there have been other times, too.

But not like this.

It's like I've tapped into a well, deep down inside my heart, where it's breaking.

As Leroy's cancer progresses and changes him, it changes me too.

I have found tears I never knew I had.

—Laurie

Comments

 

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I think it is safe to say we all have tears for both of you. Just know you are both in the thoughts and prayers of this supportive community, created through you and Leroy's words. Peace to you.

Sent by Carolyn | 7:15 AM | 8-7-2008

laurie, im so sorry. know that you and leroy are loved.

Sent by sarah | 7:21 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and of course Leroy,

I understand as a care giver (for my sister) daughter (my father's final journey) how you feel and are reacting. I truly truly do. I also never thought I could cry as much as I did, have, or am and yet they still come an unending supply.

Allow yourself those tears, do not keep those feeling pent up. Find a quiet spot, or a very noisy spot and if necessary scream until you cannot scream no more, then cry some more. Just as I am doing right now, more tears.

With heart felt prayers and distant hugs.....

Sent by Sue Chap | 7:32 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie:
You will also get closer to Leroy than you ever thought possible. It is certainly a high price to pay, but you and Leroy will share feelings that not many couples get to share. We, in Cancer Country, cut through the chaff and reach that clear essence of love that poets write about.
Namaste, Don

Sent by don winslow | 7:32 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie.... my heart breaks for you. I think that as caregivers, at least in my case, we tend to build a wall that helps to keep out emotions so that we can be strong and do what is necessary. As things progress, however, sometimes that fear breaks through with a vengance. It used to shake me with it's power at times. I finally came to accept it as reality.. not really fear... raising it's ugly head through the barriers I had erected. At those times, I just had to go with it and let it out for a while, so I could let off some of the pressure and re-erect those walls that protected us both. It was at that time I realized that I needed an antidepressant for myself, to help me to cope and not be constantly blubbering.

We do, what we have to do....but it takes it toll on us. and sorry to say, for me, it got worse after my daughter left me. I held up so well while I had to.. and then things were numb for so long, but then the emotions began rising to the surface and breaking through my defenses, and I finally had to accept and deal with them. I'm still doing that, but it is getting better.

The overwhelming sadness and grief is sometimes so hard to carry without a little help. I believe that loving someone always come with the risk of much heartbreaking hurt.... but to never have loved, is so much worse. I hope you will take whatever help you can right now to help you through, whether it is medication, getting sufficient rest, meditation, talking about it, grief counseling (Hospice has some wonderful groups and individual counseling for this purpose for family members and loved ones), or just letting it all out. You MUST take care of yourself too, at this time. Otherwise, you won't be strong enough to take care of Leroy.

I wish you both peace in the days and weeks ahead. We hold you in our hearts!!

Sent by Betty Obst | 7:33 AM | 8-7-2008

my heart aches at what all of us go through in this journey. it is so difficult to find the positive in this horrific battle for love, passion, life....as a cancer patient i am blessed to have the amazing love of my husband..the tears, the smiles, the belly laughs (somehow they come thru the tears) ..i do not know what i would do without his amazing love even thru his tears.
marianne dalton

Sent by marianne | 7:51 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie your ability to be honest with yourself and with Leroy is a true gift of love. You both have been blessed by each other and through this battle. Your grace is so precious. If we could do more for you, we all would. In that light just know you are being held in the Arms of God and in our hearts.

Sent by Karen/Jax | 7:52 AM | 8-7-2008

Dearest Laurie, May G-d continue to give you the strength to be there for Leroy. The tears were pushed down as far as you could push them because you did not have time or energy to let them out - you were too busy doing for Leroy and "being there." I think that you have done all that you can do. I wish, with all of my heart, that you and Leroy would reconsider Hospice. I have only heard fantastic things about them -and it could possibly make the time that is here now better for both of you. Take care and G-d bless you and Leroy.

Jan

Sent by Janice Goldberg White | 8:04 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh man, Laurie. To say that this is a difficult time for you is like saying that it is uncomfortable to have a baby. In reality it is AGONIZING and changes you forever. There is no way around this pain in your heart but maybe you can get some medication that will help you through it..and I hate to be a pill pusher, but there really comes a time when it is beneficial. Get whatever you need to make this leg of the journey as sweet as possible for both of you.

Sent by Susan | 8:06 AM | 8-7-2008

Our love and prayers to you Laurie. Our love and prayers to both of you.

Sent by Lori | 8:07 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I feel your pain. My husband and I struggled through Pancreatic cancer for 3 years. It wasn't till the last few months that I gave in to the tears. It seemed like they would never stop.You are grieving and it is ok to do that. Allow yourself this time. Although Leroy is with you you know what's coming and so does he.This time although heartbreaking can be a very special time. With cancer we are given the gift of saying our goodbyes.My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Sent by Kira | 8:16 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,

My heart goes out to you both. I wish I had the words to offer comfort to you. I know it is difficult to put these feelings into words. Please know there are alot of us that are thinking and praying for you both.

Sent by barbara j | 8:17 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
My heart aches for you today. I can feel your pain. So many of us out here know exactly how you feel. It hurts Laurie, but let it out, don't be afraid to let those tears out. Your honesty and sharing your feelings with us is heartfelt. I want to wrap my arms around you and hold you and let you cry on my shoulder.
I wish I had someone close that I could cry with. People here don't want me to cry anymore. They think I should be over it. He was only my fiance'. So many of us have lost our loves, or are fighting for survival. We come here because we can find the strength and support we need to help each other. Here, we say it's okay to cry. Here, we reach out to give cyber hugs. I don't have anyone here hugging me anymore, I don't have a shoulder to cry on. But this blog that Leroy created is where I find the strength I need to move forward with my life. I have said it before... here, I am not alone.
Laurie, here you will always have a place to find comfort, share your story, remember the good times and the bad. It is a place where you can cry and it will be okay! Cancer cannot take away what is in your heart, EVER!
My love goes out to you and Leroy and all here!
Blessings and peace,

Sent by Laurie Hirth | 8:20 AM | 8-7-2008

We cry with you.... but know your tears run deeper...yet only love brings tears like this..

Sent by Joe S, Johns Creek GA | 8:20 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear, dear Laurie. How hard it must be to watch someone you love being slowly devoured by a monster and have to stand by- helpless. I am experiencing a little of what it is like by seeing my formerly healthy husband of 87 1/2 yrs developing these awful maladies of aging and cancer of the prostate. Were those past 60 years worth this? Better had we been hit by a train while we were enjoying life and still in our prime!
Just hang on to him with all your might and remember what he feels like 'cause that and the sounds of his voice are what you have to hold on to and remember. From Jeanne, who has come to love you both!

Sent by J C R | 8:21 AM | 8-7-2008

Hello Laurie,
I never thought I would feel what you describe in todays blog again.
I like you, got so wrapped up in trying to keep my loved one engaged in life, that I never gave in to the sadness that comes with living with cancer.
I feel for you kiddo,
I pray for you,
I cry for you.

I guess the price of falling in love is that you have to give everything of your self.
Today, you will again give your all Laurie, and in doing so you carry that banner of love between you and Leroy.

Live your life with gusto, and remember to find your strength in love.

Sent by Donato S. | 8:21 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,

How we all wish it were otherwise.

Peggy

Sent by Peggy | 8:28 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I understand how you are feeling. This WILL BE THE HARDEST THING YOU WILL EVER HAVE TO DO. You have been wonderful Leroy is so very lucky to have you. You will be different you will change how can you not. You are watching someone you love suffer and you know that someday he won't be here with you. You love him with all you heart. Don't be upset with yourself for crying. Its OK you need to get it out. Hold Leroy tell him how much you love him. Cancer can't take that away it can't take the love. The Love will always be there. My heart is breaking for you because I understand what you are feeling. I wish I could tell you it will get easier but it won't. It will never be the same. I send you strenght to continue and care for Leroy. Try and enjoy the time you have with him. It will help you later on. Love him, talk to him and know we are here for you. I know that is not the same. I always said how can you have so many family and friends around you to help you and still feel so alone. God Bless you and Leroy.

Sent by Aurella | 8:32 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie and Leroy, we send you both thoughts of warm sun on your shoulders, sweet succulent aromas to please your senses, a sense of being surrounded, protected, and loved. Willing you days of grace and peace, admiring your strengths, sending prayers...

Sent by Stitches | 8:34 AM | 8-7-2008

Dearest Laurie,

Let them flow, you have earned every one of them. The harder you try not to cry....the harder you cry. Let them flow. You are tired, you are overwhelmed and you are scared. This is your release. Let them flow.

Kim from Columbia

Sent by Kim Moore | 8:38 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie, Imagine all our arms around you in a hug. I remember clearly the moment my tears unfurled. I was speaking to the hospice nurse outside of my fathers house. I wanted an honest answer (at least I thought I did) I said "how long?" Calmly and without hesitation she said "Two week, at the most" It was like my body turned on full force. I heaved with the tears and sorrow. I too had been so embroiled with treatments, doctors, opinions, his pain, his disease... Sure, I had been crying all along. But the true sorrow began that day. I must say this to all who are deep in this pain. It's been three years since my father passed. And although I still miss him terribly and cry a few tears at times (like now) it does get easier. I used to think of his laugh and feel such a loss. Now I think of his laugh and his jokes and laugh myself. I can remember him fondly with joy instead of sorrow. It does happen. Namaste.

Sent by Susan | 8:39 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, I know. I continue to keep you both in my heart and prayers.

Sent by dorothy in oregon | 8:41 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, be glad you found them.
I know from my own personal experience, I only cried once and only for a small quick second, when my dad died. I was in your position, and I wished I had that opportunity to go to the well. Wet cheeks help keep your heart from drying up inside.

Sent by paul | 8:41 AM | 8-7-2008

Heart-wrentching.
The pain that you are so willing to share here. Raw,aweful pain. Pain from loss, pain from hurt, pain from frustration, pain from the power of what you both call the Beast.
I am so sorry for all the pain it has brought you.
I am praying for you both.
And I am so so sorry for the impact cancer has had on you both.

Sent by Melissa T | 8:48 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie; It's good to cry when a sad thing has happened to you. You're helping Leroy down this path to the end of his life, and crying helps give you strength.

Sent by Jimmy | 8:49 AM | 8-7-2008

Your heart is breaking Laurie, everyday it breaks again. That is cancer. If you are like me, the tears will be with you for a long time. Some of it is just exhaustion. Everything Leroy is going through, you also are going through. He is still with you, listen to him, love him, find some good music, and when you remember any of the many small things he did to make your lives together so rich, tell him. Love and prayers to you both.

Sent by Irene | 8:54 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie - I can so identify with the feelings you've described. My father's kidney cancer changed both him and me in so many ways. Now my husband's lung cancer is changing both of us in different ways again. I can never seem to get past the feeling that this whole cancer thing is so senseless. Is this really the sum of our lives? I don't believe that for one second, but sometimes it's hard to feel otherwise.
I have no words of wisdom, but just wanted to say that I'm here among the many others who are thinking of both of you each and every day. -- bev

Sent by bev | 8:55 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Unfortunately I understand too well what you are going through. When my only sister was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer I felt like someone kicked me in the gut. I couldn't breathe. As she made it clear that the rest of her time was about Living to the fullest, I shoved my fears into some distant place in my mind and went along with her for the ride. All the ups and downs of her journey through the cancer treatments took a toll on us all - because we loved her and were heartsick at what she was going through. Those fears that I thought I had tucked away would surface, without warning, and I would have to find a place to cry.
But there were times we had hope that she would "beat this thing". Cancer doesn't play fair. It gives you false hope then pulls the rug out from under you. When her cancer "exploded" it took us all by surprise.
I know that 'well' you're talking about. It's amazing how strong a heart can be, even when it's breaking. We continue on, doing what we can for our once strong, independent loved one, who no longer can do for themselves. And our heart continues breaking. I found a sense of calm, toward the end, that came with acceptance that no matter what we did, the outcome would not change. I didn't like it but I had to accept the inevitable. I also HAD to be by her side until her journey ended. THAT was my only consolation - that she and I both knew the end was coming and that I was there for her. That my love for her made it impossible for me to allow her to go through it without me by her side.
I am changed for having experienced this. I also know that the 'well' we draw from is much deeper than we can ever imagine.
I wish you and Leroy peace and strength in this road you are taking together.
Susan - Michigan

Sent by Susan Henry | 9:08 AM | 8-7-2008

Dearest Laurie:
My tears are falling now too for you and for our dearly loved Leroy. You are generous and brave to be able to express what you are feeling right now. I do not have that gift, but oh how much I am feeling as you both go through this.
I want to tell you and all of Leroy's community about my dear friend Dan and his wife Karen. In the last few months of Dan's life they were fortunate enough to make the acquaintenance of a grief counselor. They saw her individually throughout Dan's decline, and Karen continues to see her even now, four months after Dan's passing. She has and had given them that rare opportunity to speak the thoughts they were unable to share with even their closest friends and family. For Karen, then and now, it has enabled her to speak of events and thoughts that she feels embarrassed and or guilty for having had or said or done. What a gift she gave them both.
My heart is reaching out and embracing the both of you. I wish there were more that I could do.
Namaste.

Sent by Harriet | 9:10 AM | 8-7-2008

If only I could give you a hug right now. It's the "the is nothing left we can do" stage and I remember it well. It sounds like Leroy is slipping away. It's like a primal pain that rips your heart out. As a woman, the need to take care of and nuture others is great. When that is taken away it is very hard to take. All the time Leroy was going to the doctors, getting scans, treatment, surgery, there was something you could do and keep moving forward. Now you don't have that Laurie and my heart truly aches for you. Feel what you feel. Crying is just part of the process.

Thanks for sharing with us Laurie. Our prayers are with you both.

God bless you.

Judy

Sent by Judy Voller | 9:12 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy

I am a crier. Unabashedly (or so I am trying), I am a crier. For me, tears largely are exclamation points to whatever I am feeling. Of course, often emphasizing the sadness I fell, but also joy, wonder, frustration, delight, anger and love.

Do you think your tears somehow serve in the same way? That it's not just sadness or frustration, you've already learned how to manage those emotions. Now you're experiencing a new depth to those emotions, a new rawness.

Here's a thought on tears form a woman named Maggy, "Tears are like rain in the desert; they are nourishing in a place that has been dry and barren. You cry because your heart still knows you have more to learn."

I am full of empathy for you both as you travel on this path. My thoughts-- and yes, my tears, are with you.

Missy

Sent by Missy White | 9:12 AM | 8-7-2008

I lost my husband to cancer 7 months ago they gave him 1 year to live with his fighting and his strong will he made it 5 long years it wasn,t easy at all for him they gave him so much chemo they ran out of treatments but the Doc. always found something to give him to give my love one a piece of mind yes it's hard to see your partner change and waste away you will find the strength to get threw it take one day at a time you really need to let hospice come in when yall decide you don't wont anymore treatments we would not even talk to them we weren't going to let them in our house one day i decided for myself I would let them come with my husbands permision you can always tell them they are not needed anymore you can jump on on off with hospice alot of people don't know this I did lose 30 pounds the colon was gone they had to put a bag in my husband side for waste to come out. wouldn't have it any other way he wonted to live where the bag was I had to change it he couldn't it was put in the chest area a bad place because alot of scar after 4 surgeries on his colen I did things i did not know i could do but you roll with the flow you will do fine you have been by his side and you will stay by his side until the end my husband passed away at the foot of my bed in a hospital bed pain free thanks to hospice. take care you will make it will not always be this way you do not have to post this this is between me and you I haven't posted much but i read this everyday cause my husband started to reading it take care carolyn

Sent by Carolyn | 9:12 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh, Laurie and Leroy. My heart reaches out to both of you. There are no magic words to take away your hurt nor is there a magic bullet to take away Leroy's cancer. If it were in my power,

Sent by glenda | 9:13 AM | 8-7-2008

My heart breaks for both of you. I wish I could be there to help out, as I'm sure most of the readers would. I certainly hope that you have a large support group of family and friends.

Please consider hospice...its more help than you may realize.

Sent by Lesa in Kansas | 9:16 AM | 8-7-2008

laurie, that was beautiful -- it breaks my heart -- bless you both!

Sent by brenda | 9:18 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,
My heart goes out to you both. We are so helpless against these things. You are in my prayers.
Charlotte in Rural Ridge, PA

Sent by Charlotte Kewish | 9:18 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie, Those tears come from the well of love. It sounds like your well is bottomless.

Jeanne

Sent by Jeanne Fleming | 9:18 AM | 8-7-2008

Words can't say what I'm feeling for you Laurie. Just know that you're in all our prayers. Hugs to you and Leroy.

Sent by Donna G. | 9:19 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, I know the pain you are speaking of and I am very sorry you are going through it. It is the pain of grief for all you have already lost and the anticipation of greater losses to come. It is heart-breaking pain.

Although Leroy is changing, he is still the same person deep down. Be with him now. Love him and let him love you. Say all that you need to say. Do not fear what is coming. You will get through it. Lean on friends and family. Surround yourself with love and support. Cry all you need to.

Take care. Eat, sleep and drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration.

Sent by Marilyn | 9:20 AM | 8-7-2008

Let them fall. You need the release. I couldn't cry in front of my husband, for fear of upsetting him, but I certainly did with friends and colleagues. If I hadn't, I felt I would lose my mind.

Peace to you both.

A friend in VA.

Sent by Donna Bennett | 9:24 AM | 8-7-2008

My dear Laurie,
My heart and prayers go out to you and Leroy. When you began this journey, I am sure you felt like I did. The anger and the ability to fight. So the even though you may have had some tears, they were overshadowed by the hope that you could beat this cancer. Now as things are starting to become harder it is normal and expected to have tears that have been buried under your fighting spirit. It is okay to cry and to mourn the loss of what was and how the two of you used to be. These are the times when you have the opportunity to appreciate the fact that Leroy is still with you and the love you have shared. You feel hopeless and the tears come easier, but remember one thing. That your relationship with Leroy is a gift. The ability to have held his hand during the great times in your relationship and during this hard time is something that cancer can never take from you. Focus on each moment that you have with him and don't worry about tomorrow. God will take of that. Leroy is lucky to have you, and you are lucky to have him...take solace in the memories that you have built.
I wish you peace,
Miriam

Sent by Miriam | 9:26 AM | 8-7-2008

My heart is breaking for you guys. You have both shown such courage. Thank you for taking from your precious time to update us.

Sent by Lori McCleskey | 9:27 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I don't really comment here but needed to today.
It is okay to cry. You are a beacon of strength, and even the strongest of us know that tears are necessary. I know the feeling of that well--I tapped it when my dad passed away.
Anyone who has loved has known a broken heart. The pieces will mend one day, but for now...we can all offer a virtual shoulder to cry on.
Thinking of you.

Sent by Kathleen Schmidt, NJ | 9:32 AM | 8-7-2008

I understand, Laurie, and I'm so very sorry you are experiencing this sadness. Tears are such a powerful thing; so very important to provide a release for what you try to keep inside. Let them flow. You are grieving the life you and Leroy have lost already, and also what you know is to come.

Spend this time sharing the wonderful memories you and Leroy have together. Rejoice in all of those many and varied experiences. Cherish every detail of them. Draw strength from the love that you share ... and don't be afraid of the tears. Each drop has so much love in it.

Love from a fellow caregiver,
Dianne

Sent by Dianne in Nevada | 9:33 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear sweet, strong, steady Laurie,

Your pain and grief is so palpable, that it takes over my heart and brings on my own tears. There are no words, no miraculous and healing insights, just our willing hands and steady shoulders and our deep affection. So many stand beside you, hoping that our bodies and our spirits will give you the strength and support to keep on standing even when your heart is breaking and your legs seem too weak to sustain you another minute.

You know we are your army too.

....and this army is armed with the weapons of deep affection, unequivocal support, and spiritual strength in our enduring attempts to sustain and comfort both of you...

Feel our love. Let our prayers to each and every one of our 'higher powers' settle gently in your heart and bring you peace.

Sent by eaf | 9:33 AM | 8-7-2008

We are all so saddened by this void. No Leroy writings. Those of us who have faced the Beast knows the feelings. It could be us. It could be me. I am scared of this possibility. I am freightened. Leroy, you are loved. If the "trap door" opens, as it will for us all, you have someone to catch you. Believe.

Sent by Marilyn Cowles | 9:37 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie and Leroy - thank you for your candid and honest sharing of your hearts. Laurie, a medical professional told me during one of my times when "I hit the well of tears" that there are toxins you can't eliminate from your body, except thru tears. You can't sweat them out, or eliminate them any other way........so, my friend, cry the cleansing tears you need to to get the pain, sorry and fears out - it will be better for both of you!
Wish I was sitting with you having a great greasy donut!

Sent by Ruth Chermok | 9:38 AM | 8-7-2008

Dearest Laurie, just ride with it. There are no shortcuts to grieving. Love beaming out to you both today and every day.

Kay and Ed

Sent by Katharine | 9:40 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh, Laurie, what can we say? Your post is heartbreaking, your sadness overwhelming, but I thank you for sharing it with us. It's an amazing gift you and Leroy have given to those of us whose lives have been changed by this horrible disease. May you find solace and peace.

Sent by Jeanmarie | 9:42 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I found myself crying all the time last
April. My husband was very, very ill in
the hospital and spent 4 weeks in a rehab center. I was 4 months out from my most recent lung cancer surgery. I tried to get the tears under control without success. Finally, I asked for medical help and was prescribed a small dose of Lexapro, an anti-depressant. I stopped taking it in July when I was further along in my healing and fortunately, my husband's health had greatly improved.

It may be helpful for you to get some medical help during this most difficult time.

You and Leroy have a large cybergroup of caring people who hurt when you hurt. Please take care of yourself.

Sent by Sara in MD | 9:43 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh, to love like that!

I'm so so sorry for your unbearable grief.

Sent by Madeline | 9:45 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

May God be with you in this hour of need. We are all praying for you.

Sent by Jan | 9:49 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie-
In dealing with my fiance's stage IV lung cancer, I discovered that I was a weeper. I cry for him, and what he has to go through. I cry because I am scared for both of us. Lately, I find myself crying when others reach out a comforting hand to me, becuase I've become so used to trying to steel myself against any type of emotion. I forget about myself sometimes.

We are still hopeful, but not ignorant. No symptoms now, but a small spot on the liver after 2+ years of good health. It seems pretty cruel... we got the news 2 months after we got engaged. Cancer is senseless.

We met you in the waiting room when you & Leroy got the surprising news in June. I was struck by how calm & determined you were, despite having to watch Leroy wage his battle. I took comfort in you, and felt a kindred spirit. I'll pray that you have the continued trength to weather this the best you can. You are a hero, not only to Leroy, but to others of us walking the same path.

http://waegerwillwin.blogspot.com/

Sent by M Rodgers | 9:49 AM | 8-7-2008

eyes welling with tears as i read your post today, laurie. as a burden-bearer, you are well entitled to shed a river of tears. it has been a long road for you and leroy. mercy to you.

Sent by anita - pittsburgh | 9:50 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,
I wish you and Leroy never had to go through any of this. It is beyond painful and I only hope that your loved ones,friends and faith can comfort you during this very difficult time. You and Leroy are in my thoughts and prayers everyday,

Lianne

Sent by Lianne Friedman | 9:52 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

Being a fighter, like Leroy, has made it easy for you to push feelings aside and see only the battle, not the war. Well, the battles might be over and the war is winding down. Now those feelings long suppressed are coming to the surface.

I happened to be going to a therapist (about coping with our rebellious daughter) when Pat was diagnosed with his lung cancer. She really helped me--I could talk about my fears and frustrations, cry, laugh and then go home to help Pat. When I got to your point, Laurie, I just couldn't stop crying--I thought I was putting more stress on Pat. My therapist recommended a VERY low dose of Xanax. I balked at first, but after talking to my dr. I decided to try it. I am so glad I did. It didn't take away any of the feelings or pain I was going through--I just didn't cry all the time. I think I was more help to Pat.

There's a lot of time to cry later.

Love and prayers to you both.

Sent by Kathy B. from Michigan | 9:57 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Let the tears flow. These are tears of your life with Leroy. You mourn the time spent before cancer, the time now, and the time yet to come. You will find strength that you didn't think you had. Embrace Leroy and let the love you share comfort you.

Margaret

Sent by Margaret Fowler | 9:58 AM | 8-7-2008

I don't know if it helps at all, but as you can see we are all crying with you today.
Stay strong Laurie and Leroy.

Sent by Brit | 10:01 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie, Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for the gifts of truth that
you and Leroy have shared through these months. I wish you peace.. Do consider
Hospice-they can help Leroy in so many
ways to be comfortable AND they give such comfort and care to the family.
It can be difficult to allow someone to
come into your home at this time, BUT,
I know our group of nurses were angels
and found/recognized what my Mom needed.
I KNEW they would and did take care of
her in a way no one else could. Their
presence of hugs, truth and care relieved some of my pain/fear. I felt wrapped in some peace in the middle of a horrendous, sad, and crazy time of my life when my mother was suffering. I knew she was on her journey and Hospice provided so much for her and us. My
heart goes to you and Leroy. Blessings and Peace to you both.....Diane

Sent by Diane | 10:04 AM | 8-7-2008

Thank you Lauire for such powerful words. We all have a geeat deal we all go throuh. So many teats, so many Doctors. A roller coater ride that no ones gets off of.

God Bless,
Diane

Sent by Diane | 10:05 AM | 8-7-2008

The world has cracked open and exposed a place so sad, so raw, so painful you can't imagine it could ever feel worse. Once you've been there you can't believe a feeling so horrible ever existed without your knowledge before. My heart is breaking for you.
You are not alone.
Debra Altschiller

Sent by Debra from New Hampshire | 10:05 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh Laurie, I remember being there. Like you I didn't cry much when Kerry and I were fighting the cancer, but there came a time when it seemed clear the cancer was going to win soon and I just felt like the bottom fell out. I was so sad I didn't think I could stand it. I did stand it and you will too, and yes, it hurts so much!

Sent by Victoria Hendricks | 10:08 AM | 8-7-2008

I'm glad that you're allowing yourself to cry, Laurie. That's not such a bad thing. Hopefully, you can find some comfort in knowing that many of us are feeling the sadness you are these days.

Sent by Linnea | 10:08 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

I understand completely. Just know that there are many of us out here just like you thinking of you and supporting both of you with our thoughts and prayers. There is no way around it, just through. Just hold on.

Sent by Lisa Y | 10:11 AM | 8-7-2008

Thank goodness you have found time for all the tears that have been building up, Laurie! Thank you for sharing this season of your life with us. Let the tears fall. They are such honest expressions of all you and Leroy have been through, and are going through. Tears are part of our excretory system, so just let them loose whenever they come. Consider yourself wrapped in safe space at all hours, in all places, and let your feelings and thoughts have the freedom they need to flow through you. With abiding care,

Sent by Sarah | 10:14 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh Laurie,
I will never forget the day the urologist told us my husbands prostate cancer had spread over his body. I felt like I was having an out of body experience and the tears came for both of us. That is the last time I have cried in front of him. Like you, I have tried to keep things upbeat for him and be positive but there are so many tears shed in the shower and when I am alone in the car. I have a lot of co-workers/friends with soggy shoulders because this is about the only time I am not with him. My heart breaks for all of us because there is nothing we can do to fix this. I know I don't have to say all the things that everyone tells you about your strength and love for Leroy...you know that. I know we all feel the same pain and understand it. I told someone the other day this is what I took on when I promised for better, for worse, in sickness and in health. Just please try to take care of yourself so you can be there for Leroy..that is a big worry of mine. God bless us all.

Kathie

Sent by Kathie | 10:17 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh, Laurie, I'm so sorry. There are no good words for this. I would say that loving people enough that your heart breaks for them is the only thing that makes anything worthwhile in the first place, but I suspect you know that better than I do already. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Sent by Linda | 10:18 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Reading your post makes me feel like my heart is in a vice and I can not breathe. My heart aches so much for you and Leroy. Thank you and Leroy for your honesty and willingness to share with us such a personal struggle. Keeping you in my prayers, Janie

Sent by Janie | 10:18 AM | 8-7-2008

It is so important to keep the emotions in motion otherwise it will make you sick. If you hold in grief and saddness it will distroy your lungs, anger in the liver, fear in the kiddneys so keep them in motion. Best of health.

Sent by Sandy Patterson | 10:19 AM | 8-7-2008

There are miracles in this world-you, Laurie, my husband,Gene, and all the brave who love with all their being.
I thank God for the great loves that make each day a gift.

Sent by Sherri Beadles | 10:21 AM | 8-7-2008

It seems there are some things in life for which preparation is not possible, despite its inevitability. Please feel the support of life that is there for you Laurie

Sent by Jon Levin, Miles' dad (died 8/19/07 Rhabdomyosarcoma) | 10:23 AM | 8-7-2008

Our hearts are breaking, too. May you both find peace.

Sent by Gail Walker | 10:23 AM | 8-7-2008

Oh Laurie, my heart hurts for you. So many of us have been where you are and we know those tears well. You need to cry, and we'll all cry with you.

Sent by Kelly | 10:23 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

Let those tears flow. You're going through such a hard time too. I wish
I could offer you a real shoulder to cry on, but hope that offering one of the many virtual shoulders out here helps.

As a trained Stephen Minister, we are taught the value of a listening and caring ministry for those in your shoes. I hope you have someone to talk to and to support you in this journey.

My prayers continue for you both.

Sent by Geoff | 10:26 AM | 8-7-2008

It is easy to relate but certainly hard to respond to this Laurie:

I can only relate my experience, strength and hope. The overwhelming sadness for me was like the breaking of a dam. All that I did for my loved one in love and service was bolstered by hope. I felt that through all that I could do, the expression as a "life giver" would strengthen me as the waves of sadness came and went and maybe just maybe with hope and the help of modern medicine we would win this battle. But as time went by my loved one changed and lost so much of himself that the waves of sadness were more intense and came more frequently; just as if the they were rising waters behind a dam eventually lapping over the top and then receding momentarily. The waves of sadness came more and more but the hope was more distant as we seemed to be losing this constant battle with cancer. Something was always being lost in this battle with life and death. And then the dam finally broke and I felt overwhelmed with darkness; sadness that seemed to know no limit. A fear that was facing the essence of fear itself: absolutely no control. I thought I was going to die that it would take me first before my loved one. I was falling into an abyss that I also had no control over. I was of no use to anyone and had to go sit with myself until it passed. It was horrible. I cried so much my whole body hurt. My throat closed up. I almost could not breath. In that moment I truly let go for the first time and only because of this intense suffering: things dramatically changed after that. I still experienced difficulty and sadness from time to time as my loved one continued to change. But It was like I had a new set of "eyes" after that. Our relationship changed: We developed a new intimacy and fondness that had not existed during his whole illness. I saw a deep calmness in his eyes that I'd never seen before. It was like a strong wind had blown through me and taken my fear away. I was different.

So it really was not a battle for me: it was a journey. I am so grateful I came to acceptance so we could share so much in the end. And I would be less than honest if I didn't say relating this brings back tears, and tinges of pain and sadness (it has been 11 years). But in the same breath I can look back at the journey of the death of my loved one and know there was a depth and intimacy, and yes joy, between us during that time that knows no bounds. Just like the limitless sadness, side by side sits limitless joy. And for that I am grateful. With Love - Graham from Sag Harbor.

Sent by Graham G. Hawks | 10:26 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,
As a fellow caregiver, I can totally relate to your post today. Your words express how I feel on a daily basis. Like Leroy, whenever there is a physical change it becomes an emotional rollercoaster for both my husband and myself. When I sit with my husband and speak, I feel as if I am looking at an empty shell...............Sometimes I look at him and feel as if I don't even know who he is anymore. The cancer has changed his personality, or maybe its the chemotherapy, but nevertheless he is not the same man I have been with for 40 years. I want my HUSBAND back,not this empty shell that I try to act normal with every day. Unfortunately, the cancer does not alway cooperate. AS far as tears, I have cried a river but I still have this huge hole in my heart which gets bigger every day. Im sure I still have some tears on reserve.

To Leroy dear friend.............I hope you have a pain free day. To Laurie.......I admire you and thank you for speaking out to us caregivers.......

Prayers to all.

Sent by sasha | 10:27 AM | 8-7-2008

I hear you, sister.

Sent by Barb | 10:28 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie - I was in your very shoes!!! My hope is that you pull strength from wherever you can. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you.

Sent by Deb from Michigan | 10:31 AM | 8-7-2008

This past few weeks has been a search for some comforting words to offer. We all want so much to help ease your pain, Laurie. Maybe the tears help with that a little.

We are all with you and care for you both so much.

We send our love.

Sent by Kathleen | 10:33 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,
No words; just tears.
Anita

Sent by Anita Solomon | 10:35 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Your overwhelming grief is perfectly natural. The dreadful changes in both of your lives are so unfair and undeserved.
Seeing what the Beast is doing to me is infuriating and frightening. Seeing what it is doing to the ones I love the most, is the most dreadful blow of all.
I hate this disease!
Sue

Sent by Sue Mersic | 10:35 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

I have been in your position, although the people/circumstances were different. I didn't stop crying for about a year. I was more isolated than you will be, but I did give myself permission to feel what I felt and to express it. As you say, you have been too busy...

And now you can focus more on you, which is good. Caregivers generally don't do that - they wear themselves out giving care to others.

Also, you didn't cry much before because it wasn't time for that. Now it is.

Your message took me back twenty years to my own bereavement. I've had a good life since my husband died, but I'm only a page away from what I felt then.

Please let people love on you. All of us here would like to.

Blessings, dear heart.

Sent by Diana Kitch | 10:37 AM | 8-7-2008

Hi Laurie,
I read this this morning and after I read your entry my understanding of it was broadened. Perhaps this will help you, too.
"Let your love flow outward through the Universe, To its height, its depth, its broad extent, A limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, Sit or lie down, As long as you are awake, Strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth." Sutta Nipata

Sent by Diane from Wisconsin | 10:40 AM | 8-7-2008

DEAR Laurie, I'm sure you'll hear from so many of us significant others/caregivers who have been/are now in the very place you describe.

I hug you in my thoughts. Just cry & cry & cry and don't let anyone suggest you shouldn't. It's a damn shame what you're going through.

We know it's terrible and not more or less worse than what Leroy is going through, just different.

It's not just what you've lost with Leory's cancer and the anticipated loss of him, but what you have lost in not having the same partner you once had.

It's about thinking/screamin/railing at times, This isn't the life I ordered! I want ME back.

What you describe is normal, understandable, and just awful. We truly feel with you.

Sent by Kathlelen | 10:43 AM | 8-7-2008

This pulsing wave of tears and love, flowing from hearts, broken
reaches me on the west coast
where I hold you Laurie and Leroy,
honoring your beautiful love.

Thank you as always for the your truth, through which there is healing.

Sent by Joan S. | 10:44 AM | 8-7-2008

God bless you. My prayers are with you.

Sent by Beth S | 10:54 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,
The hardest part about this shattering pain is finding someone willing to just hear the pain, not shrink from it, or try to fix it. You and Leroy have created this wonderful space into which all of Leroy's army gathers, with you, to share your humaness. May you find comfort in our stillness and strength in our caring.

To this vast collection of souls,
thank you for sharing and participating in this blog. I have used you all so many days to staunch the very tears Laurie speaks of today. I am not sure what I will do when, if we all go our own ways.
Take care, Leroy's Army. And thanks.

Sent by Kay from PA | 10:57 AM | 8-7-2008

Dearest Laurie,
I feel so for you. I found myself crying at the most inappropriate moments. I read somewhere, tried it and it worked for me, to give myself permission to cry on a certain day at a certain time. My husband was close to death with heart failure and I had to be strong. I made appoints to cry on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday. I did not cry at the hospital. It felt so good to give myself permission to cry and when. I hope this helps you.

This is a horrible time but there is still good in it. My heart cries for you both.

Sent by Susan in the beautiful mountains of Colorado | 10:57 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,

I am so, so sorry you are going through this. I experienced this same thing, a period of almost non-stop crying toward the end of my dad's fatal brain illness.
It seems to be a part of the whole process for a lot of us. For me, it was about one week where the only time I wasn't crying was when I was asleep. After that, including my dad's last week, I had daily bouts of tears but not the same constant stream. I experienced this same thing more recently with another family loss. I think something beneficial, whether it be biological or psychological, must come from this bottomless well period. It doesn't at all feel good at the time (I don't like crying at all) but I think it *does* good in the overall picture.

Keep holding onto each other, despite the changes you are both going through individually. It will help.

With prayers,

Katie

Sent by Katie | 10:59 AM | 8-7-2008

Praying that God will bring you the strength you that you need during this terrible time.

Sent by Marilyn Trujillo | 11:00 AM | 8-7-2008

What they all said....

XOXOX

Sent by Brenda in Texas | 11:01 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Humans are not blessed with the ability to accept the inevitability of death. Especially when it involves those who are a part of us, not just a part of our life. So what can we do? We can cry. Either alone, or in the arms of someone who understands your pain. For most of us, this is what we are all about. Human touch and caring. All we can do out here is to care for you and Leroy. And we do, we care very deeply. Let the tears flow, Laurie, and hold on tight.

Sent by Sharon | 11:02 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,
My tears are flowing as I read your words this morning. Though I have never lost a loved one to cancer (I'm a cancer survivor), I do know about that well that can break deep inside. When someone I love fell into addiction, I couldn't stop the tears once all my efforts had failed and I finally had to accept that I was powerless to save him. I know it isn't the same as death -- but there are parallels. Life has its share of joys and belly laughs, but also --for some -- deep, unbearable sorrows. I hope the tears bring you some release, even if only temporary.

Please know that the love and prayers of hundreds of people are flowing toward you and Leroy right now.

Dear Leroy,
I don't know if you're well enough to read or hear the blog today, but just want to send my love and thanks. You have changed so many lives for the better and will never be forgotten.

Sent by Doris | 11:03 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I've been there and my heart breaks for you. Sasha, hang in there--My prayers are with you also.
Jane from AR

Sent by Jane | 11:07 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, I so understand. I lost my husband to a terminal illness several years ago. Let the tears flow, cry a river if that's what it takes. It's part of the journey you are travelling. Love to you and Leroy, from Sherri in Texas.

Sent by Sherri Eggleston | 11:12 AM | 8-7-2008

Ten years down the road and I still don't know where the tears come. But they come and come still as I deal with my own cancer. It is love, love for life and for all pain and all grief. Leroy is for always, dear Laurie.

Sent by Lucy of Alaska | 11:14 AM | 8-7-2008

My heart is breaking with you {{{{{{Laurie}}}}}}, I can't imagine what you are going through. Love to you and Leroy

Sent by Alycia Keating | 11:14 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie - The tears come from love.
Peace.

Sent by JK | 11:14 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

I know exactly what you're going through. I lost the love of my life in April. There seems to be no limit to how many tears a person can shed. There are no words that can make it better. You are in my thoughts.

Jennifer Le Doux

Sent by Jennifer Le Doux | 11:15 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, thank you for being you.. Your words make mine seem very insignificant.. I can only say you AND Leroy are loved more than you know.. I hope you can cry together when you need to..

HUGS

Sent by Patsy Elmore | 11:18 AM | 8-7-2008

I'm a patient, not a caregiver, but I can attest, from my experience, that this delayed-reaction thing is very real. I was months into my chemo treatments before I realized I was hurting and angry, and needed to find a support group. Up until that time, I'd been too busy simply meeting each challenge that came my way.

I'll never forget, either, the day I got a tearful phone call from my daughter, who was away at college for her freshman year. I'd been diagnosed back during her senior year of high school, so she was still around the house as I went through my treatments. She saw everything. Then, many months later, after my treatments had ended and I'd gone into and back out of remission, she phoned out of the blue to say, "I just realized you could die from this."

It was a delayed reaction, and perfectly natural.

Denial is a powerful thing. When we come out of it, the feelings can be just as intense as they would have if things had happened in real time.

http://www.cewilton.blogspot.com

Sent by Carl Wilton | 11:21 AM | 8-7-2008

Dearest Laurie,

I am so sad!! I can't help but cry. I know life has been hard for both of you since cancer diagnosis. This is such a reality shock for those of us with advanced cancer. I keep hoping for a miracle for Leroy!

Much love to my cancer family,
Betty Lewis

Sent by Betty Lewis | 11:23 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I am so sorry that you and Leroy have to go through this. Can't say anything to make it easier-please know that you are both in my thoughts and prayers. I send a big hug to you and to Leroy.
Sasha-prayers for you as well.

Sent by Jen | 11:28 AM | 8-7-2008

One of the wisest women I know lost her son to AIDS, and her daughter to ovarian cancer many years ago. She was able to beautifully frame what I thought was the worst picture in the world. She said "I got to take care of them when they were dying, how many mothers get to do that?" Now as her husband is in hospice for heart failure she keeps pushing to keep things "normal". I've watched her refuse to dip into that well of sadness until she "has to". She knows it's there, and is navigating around it as long as she can. Every day she finds the something positive and clings to it to keep her spirits up. She taught me to respect the sanctity of her grief, and that she will only go there in her heart when it is time.

Sent by Maureen M. | 11:31 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie:

Please consider Hospice, what a beautiful gift this is for family and patient as well. You both are in my thoughts.

Sent by Carolyn | 11:32 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie: You will never be the same after going thru this. Cherish every moment Leroy is still with you. God has a reason for everything, even if we do not know the WHY, he does, and we just have to trust him. Just know that at the end of all our lives "ALL IS WELL". All my love and tears to you and Leroy! You are not ALONE= EVER!

Sent by Joanie | 11:32 AM | 8-7-2008

Why is there no cure for this disease? There is research, there are doctors, but the question is still....Why? The disease doesn't take everyone.....but it devastates too many. My question is still......WHY?
My thoughts and prayers are with you today!
Page Hendryx- Gresham Oregon

Sent by Page Hendryx | 11:39 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

I am so sorry you and Leroy have to go through this. I wish the combined efforts of all of the people who read this could make it not happen. Please don't feel bad about the need to cry. I'm sure your heart is breaking.

Sent by Carole from Houston | 11:40 AM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie, how each one of us hurts with you. The pain of a breaking heart is beyond words and sometimes I feel I am falling into a dark, empty world. I hope you can feel the tears and understanding from each one of us here who have grown to love you and Leroy dearly. Our arms are around you always.

Sent by Tina from Alton, IL | 11:46 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, I wish I could hug you and hold your hand. This must be so unbelievable and unbearable.
I am the one with the incurable cancer( that is now "no evidence of disease", gratefully), so I can not begin to understand what you are feeling.
I am a single mom, though, and I dread causing pain to my teens when that time comes for me. I can imagine it must be agony to watch someone you love going down this road.
All I know is you are one who can truly love, all the way, and that is why your heart is breaking.

Sent by NancyGM | 11:47 AM | 8-7-2008

It is a delayed reaction...but nature's way. The well will open when the drive to work and repair has exhausted itself. Both the drive and the well are necessary. Something like that happened after my dad died. It would be a long story, and this is your page. I just recognized what you said...been there. We are all there with you today, in one way or another. Leroy, you too. You and Laurie and the friends who write here, you are all blessings even in this pain.

Sent by Sally in Spokane | 11:48 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie--tears are a gift--it releases that which is eating at your spirit--consider it a necessity which you can use to leave room for laughter, joking, and at least a few minutes of peace.

Sent by Judith Hoffberg | 11:50 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie and Leroy -

I can't say anything to really help other than to say my heart goes out to you both and to all of us who have had broken hearts when we face losing our most beloved. This may be different from most people but I was numb when I lost my mom to the beast for many years. I couldn't feel anything and finally grieved almost 7 years later when I went to see the movie, The Killing Fields on Super Bowl Sunday (not being a football fan). I had no idea what it was about and of course when it got to the scene where little children crossed off their parents on a blackboard, the catalyist to finally grieve was awoken. Then I found my tears that I had searched for many years for. I spent 4 days in bed as I recall. I hope she understood I wished it had been earlier too.

I wish you both peace. We're all with you.

Brin

Sent by Brin | 11:59 AM | 8-7-2008

I wish I could give you a hug. How could you NOT cry over this? I am glad you are finding time to be with your own grief instead of pushing it away. I know pushing it away was the right thing to do when there were still good things to be shared and a battle to wage, but as there is less of that, the least you can do for yourself AND Leroy is feel the huge hearbreaking loss that this is coming to. I'm so so sorry, Laurie. I wish there was somehting any of us could do to make it better.

Sent by N.R. | 11:59 AM | 8-7-2008

Laurie--the strength of your love and caring is equal to the depth of your grief...and you are entitled to the time you need to spend both loving and grieving.

Sent by Pat | 12:03 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,

I've heard it said that grief is the cost of love. It is the price we pay for the joy of having that someone special in our lives. I only wish there was some way I could help you through your sadness, but I know there is not. You will find your own way, and tears will help you. We all love you and Leroy in our own way, and hold you dearly in our hearts. I hope you can feel that love, and find some comfort in it.

Peace to you.
Karen K.

Sent by Karen K. | 12:13 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, we've all cried that river and my heart goes out to you. When I would tear up or start to cry in front of my father (the 'ol First Shirt), he would say "Joyce Elisabeth, you better stop that damn crying unless it's making you stronger." I just wanted to deck him when he would say that, but even at his sickest, he was still bigger and stronger than me, so I would wimp out and just say "Yes, Daddy." There's no crying in baseball and there certainly wasn't any crying with the 'ol First Shirt!

I never knew what my father was talking about until after he was gone...the tears did make me and my family stronger. Yeah, it's an emotional release and a way to deal, but with my father's help, I looked at each tear as a building block to our recovery from losing him. Even before he had gone. So, go ahead and gather your blocks and be proud of it.

And, I'm not going to lie to you...there will be certain smells (Old Spice cologne on an older man does it to me every time), certain lighting, certain songs, certain days, that will remind you of Leroy and the tears will start to fall for no reason. But that's OK, too, because it just shows that what you had isn't forgotten.

I wish you all peace.

Sent by Joyce in FL | 12:18 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, All I can suggest is to allow the tears to flow freely. I am so very sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Sent by Holly | 12:22 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,

Sharing in your deepest sadness and heartache; offering love and empathy ~

With prayers and wishes for grace and mercy, and smiles and touches and kisses amongst the tears. Our grateful, sorrowful hearts are with you both,

Kim Forester

Sent by Kim Forester | 12:26 PM | 8-7-2008

This is just heart breaking. As others have said I'm crying with you.

Sent by Lisa | 12:35 PM | 8-7-2008

Leroy and Laurie,
This blog is really touching some difficult issues, scary real life things that so often go unsaid. I know the same things are happening all around us, in so many other families. Laurie, Thank you for having the courage to share these difficult thoughts and feeling. I struggle everyday now when opening up the blog to check in. Soemtimes it hits too close to home, and to our life. We are frightened with you. What will tomorrow bring us? It will bring us the knowledge that we have loved and been loved. We helped someone else through very rough days. We are all human, life begins and ends for us all, and we were blessed to have played a part in it. Our prayers are with you both.

Sent by Deb | 12:36 PM | 8-7-2008

My heart goes out to you, Laurie. Sometimes it just gets to be too much.

Sent by Gene Koeneman | 12:39 PM | 8-7-2008

Bibliotherapy, of which this blog is an example, has long been therapeutic for me. Twenty years ago, when a still-beloved former lover was diagnosed with cancer (which turned out to be non-invasive and curable), reading Stephen Levine's Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying, helped me immensely. Among other things, it somehow enabled me to realize that I had an unconscious magical belief that if I accepted the possibility of his death, he would die. I was then able to accept his mortality and come to peace. Coincidentally, I just found the following in a customer review of Who Dies? on Amazon: "I found the greatest empowerment in reading about terminal illness, and this dying process- ESPECIALLY Stephen Levine's "Who Dies"...I came across it- an old edition- by accident in my small town bookstore, on a day when the tears would not stop."

Peace to you all.

Sent by Michele | 12:42 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy, I know what you say about all the tears. Our son died on May 22nd at age 35 of melanoma. I am sad because I was unable to comfort him the last weeks. What can one say when your loved one is dying. He didn't like small talk so I just sat there at times to be near and then gave him time alone, because he wanted that. Some others have mentioned being able to say your good byes. Andrew didn't say anything to me or to his dad, who lived with him the last two months taking care of him. He was frustrated and angry because his body was giving out - so many indignities. So, We don't have the comfort of loving words from him. Leroy's friend, Sara Just, made me remember how badly I felt because I couldn't make Andrew laugh any more. So many things you could talk about sound so trivial when your loved one cannot participate. Your friends and family will give you comfort and kind acts. I know you will be touched. Life is so unfair at times.

Sent by Maureen | 12:46 PM | 8-7-2008

No words; only tears as I read this. Thank you for being so brave and generous in sharing your grief to the world.

Sent by durgesh | 12:54 PM | 8-7-2008

Leroy and Laurie, This is indeed a tough thing to go through. The patient changes in ways you can't imagine at the beginning. Then as the Cancer continues it's assault, it changes everyone. Laurie, You deserve to cry, earned the right you have. Bravery is marked in many ways, caring for a Cancer Patient, Loving a Cancer Patient are counted amoung them. You are a Brave soul, and you provide him with immeasurable comfort. So sorry for what you are going through, Cancer Sucks!! Thoughts, Stan

Sent by Stan Wozniak | 12:57 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,

If you didn't cry I'd be (more) worried about you. And the fact that you can talk about it - so beautifully - tells me that you are going to get through this. When we stand to lose someone we love so much, be it a husband, a child, a parent -- our heart is going to break. That's the deal.

Still lifting you both!

With love and prayers to you both for strength and serenity, and more time to love each other.

Sent by Janice J., Los Angeles | 1:17 PM | 8-7-2008

That bottomless pit of tears are actually a representation of your love for Leroy. The tears are good and will help you through the short and long term. Let them flow.

Sent by Kathy B. | 1:21 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
As we all know, there is very little that anyone can say or do to make this better yet we all try to express our feelings for you and Leroy.

The well of strength that you draw upon each day has within it the feelings of rage, the unfairness of it all, futility..not being able to do anything to change the outcome, hopelessness, and tears that freely flow to signal the depth of your despair and heartache. Let them flow!! Wear the tear stains proudly! May they wash away today's despair and frustration to enable you to reach down once again to grasp the strength in the well that will get you through tomorrow.

My prayers continue for you and Leroy. May God's grace, mercy and healing power be visited upon you both always.

Sent by Al Cato | 1:25 PM | 8-7-2008

I am a latecomer to this blog, but I found myself going back and reading old, old posts. I found this from Larry
"I don't have any great insight into death, but maybe I've learned something about life. It takes courage to get through life."

Sometimes the courage is only the courage to cry without restraint. To admit that life is really tough, and that is feels unfair. Larry ended that post with the saying "Life doesn't give us the burdens we deserve, it gives us the burdens we can bear."

Nothing says we have to bear it stoically, however. I once saw a video of an African woman, sitting in the dirt, wailing over the loss of her child. She scooped up dirt in both hands and threw it in the air so it fell back down over her.

Somehow that seemed the perfect expression of almost inexpressible grief and outrage at the universe.

Peggy C.

Sent by Peggy Carey | 1:27 PM | 8-7-2008

My wishes for love,peace, and calm during this tough time of grieving. Tears are part of the process.

Dave

Sent by Dave Getzy | 1:30 PM | 8-7-2008

I wish you were shedding tears of great happiness instead.

Sent by Sue in Rochester, NY | 1:44 PM | 8-7-2008

Iam so sorry for the pain you are feeling. I hope that your family and friends are surrounding you both with LOVE and SUPPORT.
I believe cancer is so difficult because one fights and wants to desperately believe that the treatment will work. That one understandably does not let in perhaps the real reality of a seriouse caner diagnosis. I know I did that when I was caring for my sister when she had cancer.

Thinking of you both and sending peaceful wishes.

Karen

Sent by Karen | 1:49 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy, It is difficult to comprehend the gift of your allowing all of us fellow travellers on your journey dealing with 'My Cancer' and, even now, to share your pain now that the end part of this journey is in sight. Your examples of love and your ability to share openly your deepest feelings have taught us all lessons of caring and human kindness. Today's responses will surely bear that out. Peace be with you two always and to us all. Joyce

Sent by Joyce Hughes | 1:57 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Your heart is breaking, the pain makes you cry. Here's a tissue, I'll go get another box for us both.
Sending love your way.

Sent by Rockland Refugee | 2:18 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, I know what you mean. My wife has metastatic melanoma...now for three years...you forget what it was like to be free of this disease, and accept the day-to-day sadness. I am at a loss for words so I will just wish you well.

Sent by Mike R. | 2:24 PM | 8-7-2008

we are with you in this, us with cancer and those not.... a place profound , filled with sadness,tears and eternity

Sent by barbara | 2:26 PM | 8-7-2008

Leroy and Laurie, You are in my prayers, it is an awful thing to have to go through. Peace to you both.

Sent by Ruth White | 2:29 PM | 8-7-2008

Oh, Laurie --

I'm hugging you in my heart; trying to absorb some pain for you. I hope you can feel it.

Sent by Tracy | 2:42 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

It's ok to cry. You have earned every tear as has Leroy..With the love you have for each other it is the most difficult time for you to endure. All of us out here are putting our arms around you both and we are holding on very very tightly.

With utmost love and respect for each of you,
Pat

Sent by Pat Doyle | 2:51 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,

I've been where you are. As you have found tears that you never knew you had, so shall you find strength to see you and Leroy through this journey and beyond.

Sent by Kathleen | 2:57 PM | 8-7-2008

My heart goes out to you. It is so painful when every thought, every picture, every word is so loaded that it brings tears. I saw a TV show that was on a cancer victim, that his wife was given a mantra, "This is not helpful," but not much seems helpful. Love to you and Leroy. Your strength is helpful and meaningful to all of us who struggle with this monster, Cancer.

Sent by Ann | 3:15 PM | 8-7-2008

Laura: You have every right to cry. It has been eight months since My 20 year old granddaughter left us. I cry everyday. It is still so bad. If I was not working I would go insane. I cry at work if I feel like it I cry anytime I feel like it and then I go on for that day. It just happens there is nothing you can do. I can truly say I do not understand why. I will never understand why. There is no reason we still have cancer. Just be there; you are so needed. It is wonderful he has you.

Sent by Mavis | 3:19 PM | 8-7-2008

This kind of loss (loss already, loss impending) is searing and the tears just keep coming, I have known it too, like so many others here have known it. Sometimes I think, how sad it must be when someone is ill or dying and no one cries for them. No one.... The tears mark the depth of love.....It's so hard.

Sent by Barbara K | 3:23 PM | 8-7-2008

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." ~Kahlil Gibran

It hurts so deeply because you love so deeply, Laurie. Take good care of yourself and your wonderful mate, knowing that everyone here understands and sympathizes.

Nancy from Canada

Sent by Nancy Boomer | 3:39 PM | 8-7-2008

I'm thinking of you both. I wish I could take some of the pain for you.

PEACE...

Sent by Nichole in FL | 4:03 PM | 8-7-2008

My heart hurts for you and Leroy. Know that you are surrounded by people who care for you both deeply. My prayers are with you.

Sent by anne lumberger | 4:07 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie,
My sentiments echo so much of what has been written above by so many others. I cry with you and stand by you in this time of need. Although we do not know one another, it is the human condition to offer a hand to hold and a warm hug. I am offering that caring and support to you. Please remember to take care of yourself --- cry, rail, weep, whatever it takes. Both you and Leroy are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sent by Lyn / AZ | 4:22 PM | 8-7-2008

My prayers and respect are with you. It takes courage to share this moving story.

Sent by Angelica | 4:34 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie

You and Leroy remain in my prayers.

Sent by jessie | 4:40 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie I don't know whether this will be a help. When my husband slipped into unconsciouness the day before he died, we hospice came in. We (my niece, his two kids and myself) stayed by his side 24/7 - we knew it was only a matter of time. We watched him, we stroked his head, we talked to him. Then I asked everybody if they said their goodbyes. They had, and I sent them out of the room. I gave my love permission to go, and told him I would love him forever. Not two minutes later, all of us at his bedside, I could feel his spirit leave his body. It was peaceful for him, and I believe that he heard me, and gave up the fight that he had fought so valiantly. I know Leroy is still fighting this, but please contact hospice - they were angels, so compassionate and caring. My Joe didn't want hospice either, and he would have been extremely pissed off to know that they were there. It's agonizing, believe me, I know, just making the decision to call them in. But I'm glad I did; please call on them for help - they will give it. My husband is gone 6 weeks, and the pain and anguish of being a human being who has loved without restraint make the grief all the more so. But this blog has helped me so - I feel that I know you and Leroy and I'm praying for you to find the strength you need. Leroy's journey is his own, no matter how much you try to hold the sickness at bay. Love and hugs, Marsha

Sent by Marsha | 4:48 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,

I am so sorry you have to go through this. My heart breaks for you both. Remember the sadness is a tribute to your love. You are both as always in my thoughts and prayers.

Sent by Mary C. | 4:53 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,I have a hard time comprehending the suffering you are both going through. I pray for you both every day. Ever since I have been through cancer myself, I have complete faith that G d knows exactly what he's doing. You should both be feeling his presence at this time as we are all praying for you both so genuinely.
Jeanne

Sent by Jeanne Stevens | 4:54 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie, Please know that you have many friends out here who are crying with you. My thoughts are with you.

Sent by Paulette | 5:03 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,
Thanks for sharing it. There are tears for all the "necessary losses" we experience as we grow older. I find I cry much easier than 8 years ago. Strange things trigger it and sometimes it just sneaks up on me. I don't know what more to say except we are all here thinking of you both.

Sent by Dianne (DC) | 5:17 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie:
Until today you have been a strong behind-the-scenes victim in this battle. Every time you've written, I've been touched by your words. Today, my heart breaks for you!
You, like my husband and countless other caregivers, have stood defiantly between your loved one and the beast. You do it day in and day out without giving it a thought. I was never surer of my husband's love than when I was going through my fight. He is my rock; you are Leroy's.
I believe your tears are a natural response to 33 months of stress and grief over things you cannot control. Let your family and friends support you as you support Leroy. I know I generally address only Leroy in my replies but please know that you are both in my thoughts every day. You are a treasure Laurie! Sent with love...

Rhonda H

Sent by Rhonda Howard | 5:23 PM | 8-7-2008

Hi, Laurie,
I've been catching up on Leroy's blog. I'm sorry I haven't been able to know him, though I do know some of his work.
He seems like an incredibly wonderful person. Please know that I'm sending hugs to you and more.

Sent by Marcia Kern | 5:39 PM | 8-7-2008

It's not easy, I know. But the tears can't be helped. Let them come, it's part of the package.

From once standing where you are, but with 18 months now since my own loss, I can tell you with certainty that it doesn't get better. It's different in many ways, but I wouldn't say it's "better" or easier.

I still cry, and sometimes for no apparent reason other than I want our lives back. Since that's impossible, all I can do is move forward the best way I know how.

It really hit home to see that I'm not the only one who didn't allow myself to stop and cry until it became apparent we were fighting an unwinnable war. Thank you for validating that as a normal thing to do.

Praying for comfort for you both, and your friends as well...

Sent by Bruce | 6:03 PM | 8-7-2008

Hello: I feel so much for you Laurie. More than 10 years after my mother died of cancer, I have come to believe that part of my heart went with her and I am at peace with that - a testament to the depth of my love for her.

This does not take away from my capacity for love now - love flows from an endless source. It is just that a big part of my heart is hers and always will be. The tears spring from that part that is gone, and they are as endless as the love.

Hope in me grew over time as I came to an awareness that such love is the most important thing in my life. However, the pain and loss at the time of her illness and dying were almost too much to bear. If I had that time again I would try to stop living up to any and all expectations of how to be or of how anything or anyone should be, accept that it is territory unknown, mysterious and frightening, and I would have faith that there is always love.

Sent by Jennifer S | 6:13 PM | 8-7-2008

So many tears we've all shed, and sadly, there always seem to be more to come. For what you're both going through, what we've all been through, and again, sadly, for the people who will go through it next month or next year... These tears are the reasons why (hopefully) we must find better ways to find, prevent and cure this damned disease, every single strain. Thank you both so much for your honesty and generosity... with love,

Sent by cancer PT | 7:12 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie............I know that pain that comes from deep down inside ones heart. I cry harder than I can ever can remember when my dad pasted. Just know you both are thought of daily.

Sent by Mike | 7:25 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie, I'm so sorry. Cancer is a wretch and it devours us bit by bit. I have ovarian cancer and my heart is broken by the thought of those I'll leave behind who have been, as you, so faithful and loving throughout this travesty. I can't comfort you;the loss is enormous. Through the blog I've come to know Leroy as a spectacular and special person and feel he has enlarged my life--cold comfort when you face the loss of someone so unique. I'm sorry. Salee

Sent by sajenkins | 7:30 PM | 8-7-2008

Let the tears flow, it's the natural way to get thru this. Just remember a great woman once said "We live our lives here. We do not sit and wait for death. There will be no battle lost." It has helped me in so many ways.

Sent by Penny Coeur d'Alene, Idaho | 7:49 PM | 8-7-2008

I'm sorry for your sadness. May peace find its way into your heart. My thoughts are with you both each day.

Sent by Rochelle | 7:55 PM | 8-7-2008

I have felt the sting of those tears -- and the sensation of pain so deep you can barely breathe.
My thoughts are with you as you continue this battle. You will be in my prayers tonight.

Sent by Shelley | 8:12 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
Thank you for sharing the deepest emotions with us...and thank you for sharing Leroy.
We all love you both sooo very much.
We are crying with you, for you and wishing you all the best.
Love to you sister
Liz Z

Sent by liz Zimmerman | 8:15 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,

I cried those tears when I was taking care of my mother. They allowed me to continue taking care of her. My thoughts are with you both.

Sent by Martha | 8:22 PM | 8-7-2008

I'm a rare poster, but a daily reader and Leroy fan going waaay back to his Nightline daily e-mail days. It's a remarkable feeling, this warmth and closeness I feel toward people I've never actually met. Your generosity in sharing this powerful, difficult and personal journey with all of us is inspiring, moving, and sometimes, simply breathtaking. Laurie, today is one of those days where you take my breath away with your eloquence and openness.

I wish there was something to be done to ease the weight of this thing from you both, but all I can do is join my voice to the chorus of warm thoughts and prayers streaming your way and hope that it somehow, in some small way, helps. Peace.

Sent by LisaT | 8:26 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, you cry because it is the right thing to do.

When my dad passed from lymphoma many years ago, I swore up and down that I would not shed a tear for a guy who was one tough, sometimes hurtful person. But his cancer changed him - made him more willing to talk in the six weeks that raced by from his diagnosis to his death. I sat with him one night and cried my eyes out, furious that he waited until the bitter end to finally reveal that inside that cranky, difficult man was another person. I remember saying to him, "Dad, you are such an S.O.B.!" He sort of grinned and muttered, "Takes one to know one." Yep; guess so, in many ways. (Every so often I hear myself say something and boy, if it isn't straight out of Charlie's Book of Life!) But I think back on those tears I shed, and I know that while it was anger and frustration that caused them, in the end, it was also love, and the idea that someone that formed me was leaving me before I was ready.
But, hey. Listen to me. Who is EVER ready? No-one. Your tears seem to me to be coming from your deep love and concern for your Leroy who through his - and your - generosity has become OUR Leroy, too. Let the tears flow: they are coming from an ocean of love, and please take comfort in knowing that so many of us who have been following the blog are reaching out to you and Leroy at this very moment. I won't say "stay strong" - it's absolutely OK to let it out. My mother always said tears are a blessing, and mother ALWAYS knew best in our house.
Peace out.

Sent by Susan Crawford | 8:31 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
I wish I had something profound or eloquent to say. My heart aches for you. I sincerely empathize. I watched my father and sister die from this disease within a three year period. The fear, grief and pain is all encompassing during this process. Please don't feel that you have to be "strong." Honor your feelings. And please consider bringing in hospice to help. Blessings to both of you.

Sent by Donna R. in NJ | 8:35 PM | 8-7-2008

Thank you so much for sharing Laurie

Jenn

Sent by jenngie | 8:38 PM | 8-7-2008

May the Grace of God be with you both.
You have touched many lives, and made such a difference to so many.
May time be kind to you now, giving you loving touches, and strength, as you sense the twilight.

Sent by Wanda Amorose | 9:04 PM | 8-7-2008

Tears are good Laurie - I know what you are going through. My heart feels your pain............Be strong and know whos hands we are in! I just lost my soul mate of 42 years to the same cancer Leroy has this May. I know your deepest heartfelt love and concerns. Be strong and know that love is the greatest gift of all! I have followed this powerful testimony of love you both have shared for a long time now; also my husband read daily and sent a few comments to Leroy. You both are a part of my daily prayers. Blessing and peace always.

Sent by Dorothy | 9:28 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie - we thank you for your courage and your honesty. Nothing can take away the terrible sadness you are feeling- both you and Leroy are going through the roughest time you've ever experienced and it hurts you both terribly to see each other in so much pain. Please let yourself lean on others, accept whatever help anyone offers and that will allow you to make the most out of the moments you have together. But please, remember that Leroy's body is failing, never his spirit! You need to try to keep those wonderful memories of his healthy, good times with you; don't let these days when Leroy is so debilitated and ill overwhelm your recollection of Leroy as he has been for so long and as he wishes to be remembered! Our hearts are breaking with yours, Laurie. Please know you are remembered daily in prayers and you will have the strength you need for the times ahead. With love, CaroleD

Sent by CaroleD | 9:41 PM | 8-7-2008

To two very special people....I wrote yesterday to see if all of the treatments are worth it and today on this blog, thanks to all the people who love you and care so much...I know the answer.

Sent by peggy vastine | 9:42 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,
When my son was first diagnosed with cancer, the almost daily trips to Hopkins were punctuated with the signs that appeared throughout our trip to the hospital: they read, "BELIEVE". What were those signs for? I don't even remember. Some campaign by the city. But they resonated with both me and my son. You must have seen them, too, on your many trips up to Hopkins with Leroy. A black background with white uppercase letters. On benches. On trash cans. On banners hanging over Pratt St. I can't say why they came to mean so much to me. When my son had to have three-night stays every three to four weeks at the hospital for chemotherapy, and I had nothing to do but watch him watch Sponge Bob on TV, I decided to start a quilt. It was something to do. I ended up stitching the words "Believe" and "Hope" into the quilt. I finished it five months after he finished chemo. It's hanging on the wall in my family room and is a constant reminder that you have to keep going, day after day, no matter how hard things get. No matter how despondent you become. You have to believe. My heart is with you as you go through this difficult time. Although you don't feel it, both you and Leroy are lucky to have found each other and enjoyed each other as long as you have. Some people's lives end before they're even given the chance to love so deeply.

Sent by Paula | 9:49 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,
We can never really understand how you feel but I can tell you that my thoughts and heart are with you now.

Love and a virtual hug,

Sent by Betsey in Albany | 10:00 PM | 8-7-2008

Psalms 56:8 - Record my lament; put my tears in your wineskin- are they not in your record?

It's as if God is placing then in a bottle and knows your pain and hurts for your sorrow. Let them fall, you are loved.

Sent by Kamala | 10:42 PM | 8-7-2008

Dear Leroy and loved ones,
The balance between light and dark is sometimes confusing. It's human nature to expect there to be a reward after such an exausting journey, but sometimes in reflexion, you realize that you that the reward was the life of Leroy. Thank you, Phil.

Sent by Phil | 10:46 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie, As a former caregiver,my husband passed away in Jan. of prostate cancer,I know exactly what you are feeling. Since then I have realized that I was grieving. It is a very real thing to do this. I cried at the funeral and a few times since, but, I really grieved for the 2 1/2 years that my husband was sick. I just want to tell you this because I want you to be aware of this for after the difficult time that is to come. Take care and God Bless you and Leroy. Fondly, Linda

Sent by Linda Graffius | 11:00 PM | 8-7-2008

Laurie,

I understand. I'm 1300 miles away from my mother. When I'm on the phone with her I'm "on" all the time, keeping her positive, keeping her focused, and on and on. And when I hang up the phone, the exhaustion hits like a tidal wave.

She called right back once, and it took several rings for me to compose myself and get my support voice back.

Not being in the same house allows me too much time to think. And most of it (like now) is well after midnight.

I wish I had some brilliant advice to offer.

Sent by Nancy | 12:18 AM | 8-8-2008

Yeah, scream it out. Wail and keen and another day let the tears slip out of your eyes unbidden. Crying builds endorphins, odd as it seems. You need endorphins.

Sent by Jane Snell Copes | 8:16 AM | 8-8-2008

Laurie: Let the tears come honey. This is God's way of helping us to cope with the grief. Take some time to yourself and just weep. We weep and grieve with you.

Sent by Robert Sheehan | 8:33 AM | 8-8-2008

me too laurie. does it help to know that?
some days the tears do not stop. and i'm the one with cancer. I think it's harder to be the caregiver. gotta give in to those tears...it's your spirit, psyche, whatever taking care of you.

Sent by kay | 10:02 AM | 8-8-2008

Dear Laurie and Leroy,
When I was diagnosed with colon cancer, it was a matter-of-fact event. I don't know why, but I wasn't afraid. Guess I really didn't have time to be. Diagnosis one week, surgery the next, the beginning of one-year long chemo sessions a month later. I wasn't afraid of the cancer, I should say. I did become afraid of a life no longer in my control. For me, the mental part was the toughest.
But, then, in 2005, my 29 year old son was diagnosed with colon cancer (genetic testing has resulted in discovery of a mutant family gene going back to the mid 1800s). I cannot adequately explain the pain, anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness I felt. I was beyond distraught. I could not talk about it to anyone. Words of comfort from well meaning friends and family, although very much appreciated, did me no good. Until that day, I believed that I could protect those I so deeply loved from anything. Anything.
And the tears flowed so easily. Like you, deep inside I felt my heart breaking into pieces. I lay awake at night, worrying, thinking, planning, hoping, trying to pray.
Both of us survived our cancer, although our lives have been changed forever. Looking back, I see those tears as a blessing. At the time, I believed otherwise. My children always said I was the strength of our family. I believed I had failed them. But those tears helped me release some of the pain. They told me it is okay to look to another for strength. And, they helped my family grow.
Your strengths through this time have grown, not diminished. You've created a beauty on this joint journey that could not have happened alone. You've touched many lives. You've made a difference and I thank you.

Sent by Annie | 11:43 AM | 8-8-2008

Hey Leroy and Laurie. I don't know how you do it. I have had several friends get-develop cancer and some made it and some didn't. I was on the outside.
My friend Jerry didn't want anyone to see him in a sick state. My brother in law didn't last long.
My friend Penny seems to have won her battle.
Laurie, I don't see how you do it and yet, you can't NOT do it.
Leroy,you don't have a choice but to go through it; well perhaps you do but you seem to want to fight it.
I didn't know if you wanted to hear from people who have not been up close and personal with it but anytime you have friends or relatives who go through cancer, it affects you. It is sad and it hurts. Anger comes. Sadness and then glad when it looks like the person is gaining on it. Cancer affects everyone who knows you or the person going through it. I do wish that I knew something to relieve you from the pain and help Laurie.
Thinking of you.
Jean

Sent by Jean | 5:41 PM | 8-8-2008

Dear Laurie,
When a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with Cancer, you and Leroy helped me to really be there for her. I cannot thank you enough for this. Let the world be here for you now, during this difficult time. You are in so many people's thoughts.

Sent by Christine | 10:10 PM | 8-8-2008

Laurie, I can understand much of what you and Leroy are feeling. I used to sit in my car and sob as my husband's Hodgkins' progressed. He was diagnosed with two weeks to live and, luckily, we shared another 16 months. Sometimes it was so hard. The long goodbye. He used to say to me, "But you are only saying goodbye to me; I am saying goodbye to everybody and everything." That was in 1989. I still love and miss him. He's still in my heart. I think of him daily and smile.

Sent by Annie | 12:09 AM | 8-9-2008

I know Laurie, I know.

Sent by Cindy | 10:20 PM | 8-9-2008

Laurie,
Thank you for sharing your feelings. I am on the cancer ride with my 36 year old husband who has been battling off and on for ten years. I am numb and it is helpful to read that the tears do come eventually. You have helped me get through today.
With much respect.
Kim
www.mylefthand-themovie.com

Sent by Kim Isaac | 3:38 PM | 8-11-2008

Laurie - I have been in your shoes - my partner and husband Paul died last year after a 4 year fight with multiple myeloma.

I think that it is easy, as a caregiver, to concentrate on every other thing in the world while going through the process that you have gone through. I know that I would read up on the latest research on MM, check out the new drugs, the new clinical trials, the new places that we might go for treatment. I spent a lot of time "micromanaging" Paul's cancer; I am an RN, so Paul actually became my own personal patient as well as everything else, and I would not do anything to let him down. And I didn't. His oncologist told me after Paul died that there was absolutely no way that he would have survived as long as he did without my efforts. It may have helped Paul, but I think that it helped me just as much to think that I had done everything that anyone could possibly do. My guess is, after reading what you have written in these blogs, that you are probably much the same. If we are busy, we don't have much time to grieve. Oh, there would be days, occasionally, when my knees would just give out, and I would slide down the wall and assume the fetal position and just cry until I was done. I hated that Paul had to see that, but he knew that while he was losing his fight with cancer, I was losing life as I knew it for the past 18 years; I was also losing my future, just as you are. I was scared but mostly just sad.

The week before Paul passed away, he got incredibly ill and I had to take him to the emergency room, somewhere he did NOT want to go to. He specifically wanted to die at home with his dog. He had asked me numerous times if that was OK with me, and I was fine with that; it was really the least I could do. I had a long time to come to terms with it. While at the ER, it was found that the MM had progressed into renal failure. He was way too sick to return home, so for the next week, I stayed at the hospital with him, by his side. I was so disappointed that I couldn't grant him his last wish. I spent most of that last week by his side, crying. Actually, the oncology staff put us in the "suite" - a huge room (too big, I thought at first, since it was just him and I in the beginning). But, as I called our family and friends, the room was barely big enough. People came in to see us constantly. I would cry and cry every time some one else would come. And, his oldest children didn't want me to be alone, so they stayed with us until the very end. Paul left this life with me on one side, his son on the other, and his daughter a few feet away. I know that he knew this when he left us.

I didn't regret crying for the last week, because Paul, just like Leroy, already knew how much I was going to miss him. I think that I had so many pent up tears from all those years that I couldn't help myself at the end.

If Paul were to be asked, I'm sure that he would say that he wished I had taken better care of myself. He would have been right. So, take care of yourself. Let whoever wants to help you do what they can. Appreciate all of those people who love you so much to just come and sit, come and cry with you, come and laugh with you (we did a lot of that, too). It is a tough situation for everyone, not just you and Leroy. I don't think I appreciated that until after it was over.

May God hold you and Leroy in his hands and help to get you through what you are going through. I know what you have ahead of you, so please remember that this is something that you are "going through". You will not be in this situation forever. Please, Laurie, be especially kind to yourself. My prayers go out to you and Leroy. Your friends and Leroy's love for you will get you through.

Jeanette Carney

Sent by Jeanette Carney | 10:06 PM | 8-12-2008

Dear Laurie:
I'm not so experienced as many of these other writers, but my prayers go out to you and Leroy nonetheless.
In the last 3 weeks, my Dad was with Stage IV stomach cancer, which has traveled everywhere. He has trouble swallowing his food and has lost so much weight in a few weeks.
I've found that crying is a strange phenonemon, because it doesn't occur when and where you think it should happen. When I come home from doctor's visits or the hospital, the strength that I use to keep a positive front with my Dad is still there, fending off my tears. On the other hand, I recently ordered carryout from a restaurant and saw a man (similar to my Dad's age) and his wife eating dinner. The idea that eating normally was something that my Dad will probably never do again tore me apart and caused me to burst into tears.
I am afraid of how this disease recklessly abandons and controls my emotions. However, the people who have written to you seem to have good advice.
Take care for you and Leroy.

Sent by Kathy | 10:29 PM | 8-13-2008

I read your entry at work the other day and had to fight back my own tears. I am so sorry for your loss.

Sent by Pat Robichaux | 9:19 PM | 8-17-2008

later

Sent by me | 11:54 AM | 9-24-2008

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