During this time, we have felt closeness even though there was an overriding sadness at times. I took a few moments around month 8 of our journey to consider some of the blessings and challenges I have experienced. Not being the one going through the sickness, I often feel self-centered dwelling on my feelings. However, I have learned that dealing with my emotions keeps me stronger when he needs help with his.
Here is my list of how I experience life as a caregiver from our first year dealing with cancer.
- Each day together now feels like a gift.
- I treasure experiences we have and store them as memories.
- We rely upon each other and value one another more than we did previously. (In my opinion.)
- We can talk to one another and plan for our futures.
- I have been able to talk to a financial advisor about life on my own and have a plan for our house and expenses.
- Dan has taught me how to change the water filters and I practiced snow removal.
- I have decided if you throw the mouse trap out along with the mouse you don’t have to touch anything.
- I have started forging relationships with others that will aid me in times of despair.
- We have learned how to share responsibilities at work to allow him to continue his job as long as possible.
- I have renewed a relationship with my brother in a new and life giving way.
- OK is my new standard. An OK day can be good enough.
- I have learned how to relieve stress on my own. Pulling weeds is often my chosen weapon.
- I now understand about caregiving. I now know I didn’t understand before.
- Knowing I can hold his hand, be his help and love him always. A true blessing.
- I am tired. A lot.
- I lay awake at night listening to him breathe because I feel safe when he is breathing.
- Medical bills are necessary but stress giving.
- Anger comes when I get pulled away from helping him in order to fulfill another task.
- Balancing home, work, children, friends, self
- Finding time to use the gift certificate for the spa day.
- Being content with our life.
- Seeing an elderly couple brings resentment that we may not get those golden years together.
- I am tired. A lot.
- Wanting to say, “How do you feel?,” too often
- Having a lack of patience when he is ill tempered and short with me.
- Resenting people who say, “I know he’ll be fine.”
- Resenting that the doctor won’t say, “He’ll be fine.”
- Spending hours on the phone about referrals and insurance and lab mistakes.
- Dealing with a sadness that has had a place in my heart since the day of diagnosis.
- Not coming to the aid of others because of being too focused on myself.
- Being afraid that when the end comes, I won’t be strong enough to let him go.
- Wishing it could have been me instead of him.
- I am tired. A lot.
- Knowing all I can do is hold his hand, be his help and love him always.
How does one reconcile those blessings and challenges?
Life goes on. It doesn’t give you time to reason out your feelings. When the challenges overcome the blessings, love and faith give me hope. When each step becomes heavy, I start looking for a blessing, for I cling to them.
Where do I see God?
The fact that I feel blessed during this journey comes from having peace with God. Amidst the challenges I can question and fall apart before God and know I am still loved.
While I don’t know that God ordained this path, I know He still offers life to the full. It may not be the life I planned but It will be the one God journeys beside me on. When I rest in god, I notice the blessings more often.
To God be praise, even when my heart bleeds tears.
Sandy Lundquist says
Nancy, thank you for sharing. You, Dan, Joseph & Rayann remain in my prayers. Sandy Lundquist
Mike Giovaninni says
Eloquently and beautifully written, Nancy. Thanks for sharing your witness and example of loving well. :o)
Jane Pratt says
I am so tired, as well. I’m awake, it’s 4am and I’m reading in one of my books for help.
“When some basic need is lacking–time, energy, money–consider yourself blessed. James 1:2”
And I’m saying God you can’t be serious?????
Pick up phone to scroll news….and your blog appeared…God’s timing is awesome….I love how you write the “hope” I found in your message…the joy of the journey..Thank you for your willingness to share…grateful for you and Pastor Dan
I know this to be so true . After a long hard battle my husband went home to be with the Lord and our oldest daughter on March 8, 2017 at the age of 43. We just celebrated 20 years of marriage and 23 years together and I will never feel as if it was enough!!
I have had all the ab feels and resentments . I just have to rely on God and know there is a reason. I will see him and my baby girl again but until the day he calls me home I will miss them dearly!
May God give you the chance to grow old with him and renew his health and your heart ❤️