Three And A Half Months Since I Lost ... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Three And A Half Months Since I Lost My Beautiful Husband

MelaniePaul
MelaniePaul

Hi everyone.

I just wanted to say hello and write to you all about how I have been these past three and a half months.

Before I tell you how I have been, though, I would like to say that I feel very priviliged to be still part of this community of brave men fighting this disease and their devoted caregivers. As you know, I have accompanied Paul on every step of his journey and not only taken part in all consultations with doctors but also done my own extensive reading and research into this type of cancer. And my hope is that from time to time I can share something that will be of help to some.

So, how have I been keeping?

Well, I miss Paul every single minute of every single day. What I miss most is our companionship; this sharing of our lives.

What I have learned is that grief is not at all a linear thing; meaning that when I feel something today and think that it has moved through me now and that I can move on from it it doesn't mean that it won't return a week or two later and hit me again as hard as the first time. For example, I had this experience with the questions if I could have done something more for Paul; after having gone through this in my head for a couple of days and deciding that, no, I did the best I could for him, I decided to let that go, only to discover a couple of days later that I was again caught in the same kind of thought process. So grief really comes in waves and it is not linear and only follows its own knowing.

Sometimes I have days when I replay the last weeks and particularly hours in the hospital over and over in my mind. I have come to believe that this is part of the process of coming to terms with it as well as trauma work; it is the attempt of my system to come to terms with a new and very painful reality. Sometimes I think I could have done something more or could have handled things differently; but I ultimately know that I, like Paul, did the best I could under the circumstances.

Sometimes I feel his presence very strongly as if he was here with me, sometimes I can't feel him at all. And all this happens day after day of my life now.

I have been seeing a counsellor in the cancer hospital for seven or eight appointments. The last time I was there the counsellor told me that she would like this counselling to come to an end soon, not because she didn't enjoy working with me, but because she felt that the end of this counselling process in itself would be an important part of my process of moving on with life. I kind of know what she means and we have agreed our last session is going to be on 20 September. I am kind of dreading it because it feels like then another thing will come to an end. But I feel it is right somehow at the same time.

Talking about the cancer hospital, I have been trying to bring Reiki into the hospital for a few weeks now. And I have no intention of giving up. I would like to offer Reiki treatments to patients on one or two afternoons a week on a voluntary basis. When I mentioned this first to the palliative care doctor her response was that she felt it was too early in my grieving process, something which left me feeling annoyed because I am not early in my grieving process, I have been grieving for Paul and a future we wouldn't have for at least a year. So I then went to the chaplin of the hospital who told me that he couldn't do anything without the Director of Nursing agreeing to it. So I am waiting to hear back from him or to hear from the Director of Nursing. But I don't expect them to say anything else than the palliative care doctor. I have read a lot on palliative and hospice care recently and I have already written a letter to the Director of Nursing in which, among other things, I state that, in a hospital that wants to have a patient-centered approach, complementary treatments such as Reiki could be important, not because they can cure, but because they can help the overall well-being of the patient which in turn helps with a more positive response to treatments. "If palliative care aims to increase the patient's physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual well-being, then Reiki would be an ideal complementary treatment to offer along with the medical treatments." Or something like that. I will send this letter if I don't hear from the hospital soon. I am so determined to do this. I have also created a Linkedin profile and have connected with people working for the Irish Cancer Society and the Hospice Foundation and the like to have a better knowledge of what supports are out there that I could draw on to help with this. I think it would be so so good.

I have been fairly busy in work as well. After a quiet summer clients have started to come back more regularly now which is good and helps me through my days.

Socialising is sometimes difficult. I am finding it hard at times to concentrate for long periods of time on conversations that don't include Paul or don't have our situation in their focus. But I am making a real effort to go out and meet up with people. One of them is Margaret, a former client of mine who has become a really good friend, and the other one is Anne, one of Paul's former work colleagues and friends with whom I get on really well. Our niece Jacqui found that our contact was getting too lose and withdrew from me quite a bit in July, something which I am still finding very hurtful. It is difficult for me that I don't have many people to turn to here in Dublin, but I am getting used to that too.

Weekends are the worst. Especially Sundays. I try to make sure that I am doing something on those days or that my meetings with Margaret and Anne take place on those days.

Next week my dad is coming over for a visit. I am looking forward to that. He will be here on his birthday and I have booked tickets for the River Dance show for us. I can't see myself enjoying a night out yet, but I know that I will when the time comes and that the main reason will be that I know that Paul would love me to do that and that I love to make my dad happy. At the end of September my friend Katharina from Germany will be with me for a week. And I might visit my brother in Kuala Lumpur in October. So I have plans and things to look forward to.

That's all I can think of for now.

Love and hugs to everyone here.

Mel.

27 Replies
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Sending peace & continued healing ✨🙏🏼✨ Thank You for sharing your life with us, you’re an inspiration💕

I have no words that express my gratitude of your sharing your life with me, I pray that God holds you in his arms.

Mel, Thank You for sharing these feelings. It hardly seems possible it could be 3.5 mos. I am glad to know you feel his presence. We are all here for you. I am glad you are staying with us to help others with all you have learned and knew previously. Peace be with you.

Dan

Awwwwwww Mel.....I can hardly believe 3.5 months. Your strength and wanting to help others with your experience is admirable. Thank you so much for sharing with us all. Im so glad to hear your process of healing. I pray you get approved for the Reiki. May you be blessed always :)

Most sincere,

🌼Jackie

Mel I'm praying that God gives you continued peace and strength. God Bless you and please never leave this community.

Ralph

It does take time to heal from the loss but it sounds like you are dealing with it. Thank you for continuing. To post.

MelaniePaul
MelaniePaul in reply to mjbach

Well, I think it is not a healing but a getting used to living with the pain of Paul's absence. Does that sound bleak? Well, a little maybe. But what I mean is that the pain never really changes, only our way of dealing with it.

Love, Mel.

I think you're right Mel. Tge pain remains the same...we just go thru the grieving process and learned to live with it. It becomes incorporated and our feelings about it change with time. I think we here...on this site are all going through our own grieving process. The loss of health...sexuality...etc. I feel for you Mel as I do for my own family and my partner. ❤❤❤

ARIES29
ARIES29 in reply to MelaniePaul

Hi Mel, about grieving. When my wife passed away of breast cancer i asked the doctor how long it would take for the grieving process take? Around two years was the reply,depending on the person,it took five long years for me as we were married 22 years & i still think of her but in a positive way now.

I am sure Paul is still with you when you think of him.

Thank you so much for sharing how things are going. Prayers and hugs to you.🙏💜

To Melanie,

Well you have a family here...anytime you wish please post here. Paul was a lucky man to have you as his spouse. I read your post with a lump in my throat since it brought back memories of my parents and my siblings passing. I do hope that Paul is getting use to his wings and learning how to play the harp. Oh I forgot, he probably knows how to play the harp since it's an Irish instrument. Stay well and stay busy and remembering Paul.

Regards,

j-o-h-n Saturday 09/01/2018 1:32 AM EDT

MelaniePaul
MelaniePaul in reply to j-o-h-n

:-) :-) :-)

Continued Prayers as you move on with your life.

GD

Hi Mel, I remember reading your posts about Paul's condition. It seemed that you could never catch a break. I'm sure you did everything you possibly could have done. Some of the guys on this forum, seem to respond well to their treatments and some seem to deteriorate regardless of what they try. Paul was lucky to have you and you were lucky to have him, it just very sad that he was taken so quickly. Don't be hard on yourself, I'm sure Paul would like you to enjoy the rest of your life as much as you can. See the world and do it all in his honor.

Oh, dear Melanie! I’m so sorry for your pain but it seems you recognize that it’s part of the grieving process - part of your life that must continue without your beloved Paul. After such intensity coping with the damned disease, your body and soul must ache with adjusting to your new normal.

You are changed in a most profound way. Perhaps your niece needs her own space and time to adjust to the new reality. I sincerely hope she makes her way back to you. In the meantime, what a gift that you have close friends with whom you share your Sunday’s.

I wish serenity in your days and pleasure in the company of friends. My prayers are for your continued healing. You are a Warrior Woman whose battle on behalf of Paul I truly admire. Love and light to you from

Mary in Southern California

Melanie,

It doesn’t seem that long since Paul left us. There are no rules to grieving. Just take things at your own pace. Hopefully the time will come when your sadness and grief will be replaced by smiles recalling the memories of your life together. We all appreciate your sharing his story with us. My older brother died 3 weeks ago (not from PCa). He was a hard-nosed prosecutor by day and a talented musician and singer of Irish music by night. Heaven has been enhanced by their spiritual presence. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mark

Praying for you to continue your life and stay active. The Lord still has plans for you in this earth. I also believe that your husband too would know your grief, but that he will wish that when the time come, you to move forward and live the life God the Father has planned for you. Tina’s for your beautiful update.

Dear Melanie,

I read your post with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. 💗 I share you pain.😪 I read this little "quote"not to long ago.. .It read: ."You left this earth and forgot to tell me how to live without you?? I cried when I read it!! There was so much truth in that little saying. Mel, there is no set time in grieving. I can so relate to all you are going through. It might sound silly but there are times I practice being alone. I often sit and look over at my husband, knowing he is so sick and watching him going through so much with all the side effects from this new drug that he is on. Nothing is harder to try and smile and remain positive when your loved one is suffering. Sam is getting weaker, he hardly talks to me any more, through all of this journey with his cancer he had never complained, I am so grateful for the past almost ten years that Sam did pretty well, until this last summer when the cancer reared its ugly head. Now his quality of life is not there. I think he's getting to the point that he would quit treatment if after this scan this past week shows no improvement. We will get the results this coming Wednesday? 🙏🏻

Mel, I commend you on being so strong and reaching out to others when your heart is so heavy. I think for myself I would like to follow in your foot steps. Please don't leave this site, you are an inspiration to others. I myself am very lonely, I am thankful for my one sister that lives near by, it seems to me some friends stay away?? Maybe they don't know what to say, I guess I've changed too. I know I have... 😪

Hugs coming your way. 💗😘🙏🏻

Lynn

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Hi Mel,

I am so sorry for your loss. Grief is difficult and everyone deals with it differently. What you are experiencing with going over events is normal. I am 11 months on from my partner Steve dying and I still feel guilty about whether I could have done more, should have done things differently, but from diagnosis to passing away was just 9 months. Like you it may pass for a bit but then comes back.

I too have had counselling and been told mine is coming to an end and not sure I am ready for that. My brain is still all over the place, I cannot remember things, cannot make quick decisions where I used to be the opposite. No-one is going to be able to tell you what's best, we just have to take each day as it comes and find a way to cope. I think it's also amazing you are tying to give something back and hope they allow you do do this. I wish you all the best. Emma x

Thank you for expressing your feelings so well. Wishing you peace

Hi Mel. Grief is an interesting animal. Sometimes it's out front, sometimes it just waits at the corner of your eye. I've found that it's often like a stomach cramp, it hits and you just have to cry and let it out, then it will stop for a bit only to return later. For me, it's not something I get over, it's a loss I learn to live with. But it DOES get better. I'm hoping I still have several years before my wife is in your place. Sounds like you did, and are doing, all the right things to help move on eventually, which I'm absolutely sure Paul wants you to do. Just as I want this for my wife, Alma. I understand how you feel about your niece but walk gently with her. It's a lot to take in and may be rattling some of her chains. Anyway, a big hug for you, and just keep walking through the process. Give yourself time and grace to adjust.

John

It seems like time goes by so quickly. I am glad you feel good sharing your experience with Paul. It means a lot to me. I know one day I will be traveling the same road you have taken and only hope I am as brave. Please take care of yourself and do what you feel is best; don’t listen to others. Hugs, Charline

Bless you Melanie. You are a strong, brave, intelligent caregiver.

Your words are touching.

Sometimes my therapist will have me write a letter to loved ones as a way to relieve my load and communicate with them. In addition, you get to express all your feelings. You don't have to mail it but I found it helps to put it in an addressed envelope - and put it on a shelf behind books and consider it mailed.

It helps me.

David

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Thank you for sharing.. you have many friends here including me. As a man with APC and a wife , I am counting on you to live well and adjust with time ... I can’t imagine how it feels to be on the wife’s side of all this..This is my biggest fear and guilty feeling ; leaving my wife alone..My hope and belief is that true love and spiritual connections last thru eternity. Even if in our own thoughts. Our loved ones remain with us.

Your update was very informative. Thank you

Melanie, Thank you for sharing how you are doing. I know you are on the right path.

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