Posts Tagged ‘#cancer’

Things have taken a turn for the worse. It’s been one thing after another. Last Thursday night, one of my husband’s coworkers was driving home from work on I-57 at 2 am. She was hit by a drunk driver who was going 85 in a 55 mph zone. He was out celebrating his 25th birthday and his blood alcohol level was .123. He struck Stephanie’s 1999 Jeep and it went over a concrete barrier, flying off a bridge, landing on railroad tracks below. We were originally told the car burst into flames then but later found out it burst into flames when it was hit before it went over the side. She was so burned up that they had to use DNA to verify the body. When Greg was at work on Friday, he was told that they weren’t sure if it was her. They knew it was her car and that she hadn’t picked up her child or gone home the night before. Everyone in his office is pretty shaken up. Stephanie was only 39, married with one boy about 5 or 6 years old. My husband worked with her the last 10 years or so at both O’hare airport and Midway. We are waiting to hear when her funeral will be. A GoFundMe has been set up in her name (Stephanie Anselmo) for her family. I don’t usually believe in donating to those but in this case it seemed the right thing to do. I met her a few years ago when I volunteered to help with the canine training at Greg’s office. We donated $100 and it’s now over $10,000.

About 2 1/2 weeks ago, Greg got a phone call from his oldest brother John. He was crying and saying that his wife Jane had just been diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts. She is about 64 years old. Greg called John back this past weekend to find out how things are going. Jane was having an MRI on Monday and then meeting with her chemotherapy doctor. It sounds like there is one tumor in each breast and they are different kinds of cancer. She is having chemo first to shrink the cancer, then a lumpectomy and radiation. She caught it early and it doesn’t sound like it has spread to her lymph nodes. I have no doubt Jane will beat this as she is tough and she has a really great team of doctors up at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
The most recent bad news is that my husband’s favorite aunt was put into hospice on Monday evening. She had a fall last Wed. and had been going downhill ever since. She has quit eating and drinking which means it won’t be long now. Aunt Ann is 84 and I have loved her deeply since I first met her almost 35 years ago. Above everyone else, she made me feel welcome and accepted. I always said if I didn’t have my mother, I would want her as a mother. She is a saint and I hate that she has to leave this world already. So now we are expecting a call any day about her. 
The situation my husband has been dealing with which I’m not at liberty to discuss is still hanging over our heads. There is a glimmer of hope in that he has a few people helping him now but there is still no end in sight. We are both excessively nervous/worried and having trouble sleeping. It is taking a toll on us but I am pretty confident we will make it through.
There’s not a lot to look forward to. We got new iPhones on Valentine’s Day as a gift to each other. We both got the new iphone11. I got the pro max and he got the regular 11. Neither one of us have figured out how to use all the features. I thought it would make me want to take more pictures and post more on Instagram but that hasn’t changed. I will touch base when I know more about what’s going on.

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So I’ve been clueless, wrapped up in my own world as I tend to get. I haven’t been on Twitter much the past few months but especially the past few days. I went on this morning to see that while I’ve had my head up my ass, one of my Twitter friends has been going through hell. We’re not close friends but we’ve talked a few times on social media and she seems like one of the sweetest people. She’s been battling skin cancer, bravely waging a war against the melanoma that has attacked her body. This is Dawn’s story to tell. You can read her entire ordeal at http://defyingmelanoma.com/ Also during the time I was away from Instagram, a dear friend Tricia Miller lost her unborn baby at 14 weeks. I was late finding out but did make and send her a sympathy card. It gave me pause to know that I can just be going about my life when others I know are having their lives shattered.
Life is like that. I’ve been on both sides of this phenomenon. I’ve been relatively lucky and had few health problems. The ones I’ve been unlucky enough to have were ones that couldn’t be seen from the outside. Unlike a broken leg which is visible to everyone, a lot of health conditions are extremely painful but give no outward signs. I used to walk around thinking about how all around me life was going on when here I was suffering. I didn’t tell people what I had and they can’t read minds so I suffered in silence. It didn’t seem possible that what I was dealing with had no affect on others around me. Now I’ve lived long enough to not be as self-centered and see things from other perspectives. I realize that every day around me people are dealing with issues none of us are aware of. All we can do is try to be sensitive and cut people some slack.
There’s nothing we can do to keep bad things from happening to people we care about. All we can do is be supportive. Sometimes when you’re hurting, just knowing someone else is there and knows what you’re going through is enough. Sometimes the acknowledgement of your pain by another human being means everything. We all want to be seen and accepted. We all want people to notice us, at least the parts of us we like. I just don’t think it’s necessary to wait until someone is near the end of their life or dealing with a tragedy to be generous to others. A kind word is welcome everyday. We need to take the time to remember and reach out to anyone who means something to us. I feel like I can’t say this enough. We don’t know when will be the last conversation or hug we’ll  have with someone so make sure you don’t skip it because you’re busy. More communication can only help and strengthen the bonds between us. Tell people how you feel. Tell them: when they look pretty, when they’ve inspired you, when they made you laugh or cry, that you enjoyed the meal they cooked, that they have beautiful children, that they’re talented, that you’d miss them if they weren’t around, etc. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, only trying to bring out the words in your heart.

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