Tough isn't a strong enough word | Life By Liz

Life By Liz

A look at the life of a girl who loves her husband, is obsessed with her puppy dog, and eats way too much fast food.
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After we got back from our honeymoon I mentioned that I went from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, and then I just got very quiet. I have been debating writing about this for the past 3 weeks, but I decided that I want record of it. The reason I started a blog was simple; so that I could remember the big, and little things happening at this point in my life. A random date night, a funny convo with my best friend, and special times with Pop, were all things I wanted to have in writing.

And I am already having a hard time remembering the exact contents of the conversation that PopPop and I had two days after we got home from Jamaica. (Maybe I should start taking Ginko Biloba or something?) I knew something was wrong. When we were in Jamaica I called him every day, and each day he kept getting shorter and shorter with me. He was just acting strange. And then when I got home I felt like he was avoiding me. I figured it was his way of dealing with the fact that I was a married woman now. But that wasn’t it.

 

He sat me down, while stroking my leg, and told me that he had made the decision to stop getting any treatment for his cancer. This is the end, he told me. And I cried, and cried, and cried, and I haven’t really stopped. He told me that the Doctors explained that the Chemo wasn’t working anymore, and it was just making him weak, and sick. He wanted to stop the treatment, and live out of the rest of his days with quality. I understood, I get it, but I HATE it. He said, “you’re my special baby, you have the most special place in my heart, and I will always be with you.”

How can this be my life? Why is this happening? I am angry, sad, hurt, overwhelmed, stressed, and a part of me is even relieved. I knew that it was going to happen. He has been sick for the past year, and for the past 7 months he has been telling everyone, “I just need to walk her down the aisle. My only goal is to make it to the wedding” So, stopping Chemo 4 days after he did just that, is not shocking. 

So in the 3 weeks (I am losing track of time) since he made this decision he was put on Hospice. Every day another nurse, physical therapist, social worker, heath aide, etc. comes to the house, and it’s a glaring reminder that this is the end.  I am his primary care giver, and let me tell you that it is a full time job. He is in a lot of pain, and I am in charge of giving his medicine. This sounds simple; it’s not. He has tumors on his brain, and they are growing. Every morning when I wake up, I don’t know if it is going to be a good day, or a “confused” day.  I am up all through the night making sure that he is comfortable, and during the day I am trying to get him to eat something, drink water, and keeping him safe. FYI watching the person that you love most in this world take a big fall right before your eyes is world shattering. 

It’s been a lot on me, and a lot on him. We are both frustrated and worn out. Oh, and on top of it all I am trying to figure out how to be a wife.  I received one of the best emails of my life from my mother in law this week. Here is an excerpt that I have read over and over. 

And then coming home to Pop and having to face some tough news.  Tough isn’t a strong enough word.   I know you love him more than your own life.  We all love Pop too.  I can’t even think about him without tears.  You are very fortunate to have him in your life.  Relish every moment and remember what an honor it is to take care of him. I just want to say I love you, I’m proud of you and I hurt when you hurt.  I pray that Myles can be strong for you.  I pray that as you struggle through this upcoming year filled with many challenges you remember I will be here when you need me. But most of all remember that you are special to God and that he cares about every breath you take and He is in charge.”

Now I feel like I am just rambling, but all of this to say that I am trying to take every single moment and savor the time we have left together. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world, than by his side because for the last 24 years he has been at mine. I am most sad that my children won’t get to have their PopPop. He will never get to take them to his hunting farm, create wood working projects together in his garage, learn how to plant vegetables in his garden, decorate the Christmas tree in the way that only he can, be on the receiving end of his sage advice, or taste his incredible cooking. But I promise that they will always hear stories about him, and he will always be close to all of our hearts. 

  1. ellegolightly said: I just saw this now and I don’t know how I missed it. I’m praying for you and your pop pop and I know you’re going to come through this with all your standard grace. Big hugs.
  2. happyhumanscribblings said: you are doing an amazing job, being everything to everyone, & i have no doubt that you’re fulfilling everyone’s needs. we are all here for you as you go through this; we’re all thinking of you & praying for you & pop & myles. lots of love xoxo
  3. postgradslump said: sending lots of love & hugs your way! xo
  4. my-little-kumquat said: Sending you love & light
  5. bookbroken said: Reading your words filled my heart with sadness but also with awe. These times are surely tough, but it’s clear that you are surrounded with such love. I know that love will give you and PopPop strength and joy for the now. Thinking of you
  6. kquizzo17 said: sending you and your family so much love and support. you are unbelievably strong.
  7. meredithisaleo said: Crying at my desk as I read this. Your mom said it best but know that we all appreciate getting to know your PopPop through all of your wonderful stories and so will any children you have. Keeping you in my prayers.
  8. kelli-bo-belly said: So Sorry Liz. He knows you love him, and he’s more worried about you than himself right now. My uncle had the same thing, and my dad and I were the ones who took care of him. He loved milkshakes, so everyday I brought one home for him. He loved it!
  9. peoniesandcocktails said: Crying at my desk. Sending so much love to you & Pop & the family. xoxoxoxoxo
  10. alierunninginthemitten said: My heart goes out to you, Liz. I’ve had relatives that have meant a great deal to me that have passed away but I can’t say that I know what you are going through. I will be praying for you and your family every day.
  11. cath-tastrophe said: I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. Thinking of you and PopPop and sending big hugs your way.
  12. abnormallyyours said: I couldn’t have put it better than you MIL. Stay strong, pretty girl, and know that the tumblr world has your back.
  13. lifeandeliza said: I’m so sorry, Liz. PopPop is so lucky to have you in his life every single day. You are his rock on his good days and his bad days, and someday you will look back on all of this and be so proud of everything you did for him. We are all thinking of you.
  14. babbleliciousness said: Thinking of you.
  15. wishingitwassummer said: I am thinking about you and your family! Prayers for your family.
  16. thedailycourtney said: I’m so, so sorry for what you and your family are going through. Many prayers coming your way.
  17. kimbaland said: i’m so sorry. it’s really very sad and i’m sorry you have to go through it. try to focus on all of the great and happy times, and that he was there for your wedding. i think that’s the best thing you can do. xooxo
  18. red-bird-writes said: I’m so sorry :( try and stay strong.
  19. joannafreed said: so so so much love coming at you. you are an incredibly strong woman, know that we are all here for you, xo
  20. wafflesninetythree said: Oh man you made me tear up. My grandpa decided to stop taking treatment because he was so tired of it all. I was glad I was there til the very end. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.
  21. shesagoodegg said: Oh I have tears just reading this. It is obvious thru your blog what a wonderful man he is. You are incredibly strong. And it is good to let him have a peaceful journey. Let Myles help support you - you’re not alone in this. Take care.
  22. phd-shakennotstirred said: I was reading this on the bus to school and started sobbing. I can not pretend to have any idea what you are going through but know that I will be thinking of you through it all.
  23. oh-onelovelyday said: Liz, I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing all your stories about Pop. I feel like I know him. It makes me sad you’ll be losing him soon but you’re handling it so well. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask. Hugs!
  24. clarajudgypants said: So very sorry to hear this.
  25. kippysworld said: Thinking of you!