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MarkBNYC84

Despair and grief

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Hi Everyone,

For the past 3 years, my dad has battled a rare form of leukemia.  He has been in an out of remission.  Today I found out that his leukemia has stopped responding to treatment and the only option is enrolling him in a clinical trial that he might not even qualify for.  We have to wait and see if he gets accepted, so we'll find out either tomorrow or Monday.  I am overwhelmed and cry a lot.  I feel like  I have a lump in my throat knowing that the end might be near.  I have thought about my dad from the moment I wake up until I go to bed.  This has been the case for the past 3 years.  I fear that once he is gone, I will never be the same.   Any support and words of wisdom welcomed. 

Thanks,

Mark B. NYC

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I'm so sorry, Mark, that this is happening to your dad, to you and your family. I invite you to read this article, in hopes that it offers some of the information, comfort and support you need and deserve at this most challenging time. See also the articles listed at the base: Anticipatory Grief and Mourning  

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I am sorry you find yourself in this situation.  Anticipatory grief can feel overwhelming, it changes you, consumes your thoughts.  My mom had Leukemia and they didn't treat it because she was stage 4 dementia.  It's hard to understand how Leukemia can take a back seat to something else.  She passed away five years ago.

I have been going through anticipatory grief with my dog, Arlie, he had cancer and passed away 8/16.  He has been my sole companion for 10 1/2 years, he was perfect for me and living with grief like that was very hard, not that it got any easier when he passed.  The whole process was hard.  We get through it one day at a time.  We do our best but oh gosh how hard this is!  It feels like a nightmare you can't wake up from!  It changes your life.

I hope your dad does get into the clinical trials and that it helps him.  I hope you'll keep us updated.

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My sweet, beautiful bother suffered renal failure in 1991. He has received three kidney transplants since then. The last transplant began to fail a couple of years ago, and he began dialysis last year. 
In August, he began to develop calciphylaxis, an insidiously horrible disease.  It progressed very quickly, and he was admitted into the hospital in late August.
I'm sorry to say that his pain has been unimaginable. He said it felt like a blowtorch on his legs. The pain couldn't adequately be managed without the risk of suppressing his ability to breathe, so he has had to endure horrible pain.
Over the weekend, the doctors gave us news that we knew was inevitable: He can't be saved.
He comes home from the hospital today where he will no longer receive dialysis, and he will gradually slip away.
I am beyond sad.

My brother is the kindest, generous soul I've ever known.

When he passes into God's light I know he won't have to answer for hardly anything.

I miss him already.

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Oh Elizabeth, I am so sorry for you, for him.  I lost my oldest sister 1 1/2 years ago, she had a car accident when she was 25 that left her quadriplegic and killed her three year old son (she was newly divorced after her husband refused to quit cheating on her), my parents eventually adopted her baby.  As if all this wasn't enough, they did an emergency tracheotomy on her that butchered her vocal chords, making it extremely difficult to communicate.  My beautiful lovely talented sister's life changed overnight.  She lived like this for 50 more years and finally one more bout of pneumonia too many took her.

I don't know why some people's lives are full of pain while others seem to live life on a silver platter.  I don't get it, I suppose there are no answers to that.  I only know she deserved so much more...just as your brother does.

You say he won't have much to answer for, I pray he knows God and finds his welcome when he makes his way there.  How wonderful to have such a beautiful soul for a brother!  My sister was my inspiration.  When she was a teenager she was more of a daredevil, we all learned not to do what she did and get in trouble, but now it brings us a smile when we think back about it.  She turned out great and I wish her life had gone better for her.

I know the missing them begins before they're gone.  My Arlie (my dog companion of 10 1/2 years) was diagnosed with cancer 6/6 and 8/16 he died...this grief really is a process...I was steeped in anticipatory grief and it took every bit of that time and so much more to process it...I'm STILL processing it.  I've learned it will likely last the rest of my life and that's okay, it takes what it takes.  There are some we have in our lives that impact us beyond measure when we lose them.  I have learned to sit with my grief and just let it be what it is, to cry my tears and to be patient and understanding of myself in the process.

Wishing you comfort and peace during this time.

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Kayc, I am so sorry. That is so sad and tragic. ..and then to lose your sweet puppy dog...

I also ask myself why some people live lives that don't have this kind of pain.

I don't understand...

I just wish my husband were here so he could give me a hug. ..and I wish you comfort as well.

 

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I'm sorry, you've also lost your husband?  Mine's been gone over 14 years.  Yes it'd be much easier if we could go through these things WITH them.  Sending you thoughts of comfort and peace...and strength to go through this time.

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Kayc,   Yes, I lost him last year. It's hard to keep track of people here, I know. I did post last year in my previous comments. I'm going to ask my brother to give my husband a big hug for me.....Knowing our loved ones are so joyful in God's light really helps. You are in my prayers, Kayc. What a wonderful soul you are.

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How hard to lose your brother so soon after your husband.  I lost several pets soon after my husband, I remember crying out, "Can't I keep anything?!"  It was a hard time. I bet your husband will be one of the ones to greet your brother soon after he arrives.  

Love you you!

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Dear Mark,

Was so touched by what you wrote that I had to reply. My situation with my parents, so different, but I felt as you did -- in a state of grief before my mom actually and surprisingly died unrelated to her illness.

It became hard to be near her because she was so different than the mother I'd known all my life, the one who I missed. Still we kept laughing together and she stayed tough. I feel great guilt and grief that I was not so tough. Often when we were together, I'd burst into tears, and worse, there were times I did not have the guts to be with her. Four years have passed almost and to this day I can say that although I am happy she's no longer in such ... depair, I remain in a state of self-hate for my inability to ever comfort her. Rather she comforted me.

I'm sure this is note is hardly helpful but I do wish I could be there for you -- you who grieves before the real grieving begins. I have no words to console you. I know looking back I'd do anything to have been a daughter of comfort to my confused and lost mom. I wish you comfort and peace, I wish you'd wake up with the joy of knowing he's still here and the ability to rejoice in that. But honestly, I didn't have that inside myself, I only saw what I was losing, what she was losing, every single day.

I've yet to reconcile myself to my failure to comfort a woman who'd lost two teenage sons when she was still young, then her beloved husband over many years.

Forgive yourself for the pain you feel -- and I promise one day I'll forgive myself.

Peace to you Mark,

Suzanne_132

 

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@suzanne132 I am sorry for your loss.  When I feel hard on myself in my grief, I remind myself, what would I tell a friend going through this?  Then tell myself that same thing.  So important to learn to be our own best friend.  One day the pain lessens and we're able to smile at their memory, that is what I look forward to in my griefs.

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@KayC And I am sorry for yours; I thank you for your warm and wise reply. I see you've been very active here and also leading an admirable life (I envy you and thank you for showing me a way to live a better way. As life is now for me, I haven't a single dear friend left. After my mother was diagnosed, my family disappeared from my life and I was left with my husband I leaned on too much and who is now battle weary.

I remember a time in my life when I did learn to be my own best friend, so your advice is well taken. I will try and try again to get through this. I think if I'd been surrounded by family and friends during our last years together, this all would be in the past. So I remind everyone: don't walk away when someone you know is struggling, don't turn your back. You may not know what to say or do, but often it's just knowing there is someone to reach out to when the ride gets bumpy. We need a more compassionate world these days.

Bless you and peace,

Suzanne132

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@KayC Just wanted to add that I read the rest of the posts here. I am beyond sad you lost your husband and recently your cherished best friend, your pup. So overwhelming to think of your grief and your incredible grit for being here for the rest of us.

If I forgot to give you a bear hug and offer up my prayers for you and thanks for you, forgive me. You are amazing, kind and loving and this world needs more people like you.

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22 hours ago, suzanne132 said:

As life is now for me, I haven't a single dear friend left. After my mother was diagnosed, my family disappeared from my life and I was left with my husband I leaned on too much and who is now battle weary.

I understand how this is...when my husband died, all our friends disappeared overnight, my two closest friends didn't even bother coming to his funeral!  I understand this is too common but still...I can't excuse it.  I made a new best friend and a few years later she too lost her husband.  Now she has remarried and moved away and although I'm happy for her, I also miss her.  But I have my group of ladies...It has taken me years to build new friendships but it was not only worth the effort expended, it makes all the difference in the world to my life now.  We meet for lunch on Fridays and can always talk to each other or pray together.  Most are too old to be of tangible help, but we are all emotional support to each other.  I have other groups as well, I try to balance my time with others and with being alone.  I hope you find such friends and purpose in your life as well.

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