Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pushing Forward

I have sat down dozens of times over the past six months, ready to write and share my life with all of you, but I have not been able to do so.  Since Marsi past, a cloud has been in my head and I often feel lost, misguided, but mostly scarred. I have tried to express my feelings into words, but as ponder, my mind floods with doubt and confussion, making me feel weak, because I am still in so much pain. But today is a new day and I want to try. Today, I feel I can do this.  To outsmart the ghostly depression that looms over me and show Marsi that I will survive.

Daily, people tell me how shocked they are at how well I am adapting to the loss of my wife.  I am moving foward, but my smile is more like camoflage then a real reflection of how I am.  Often I just want to be alone, to hide and to dream back to better times.  I know this is not good for me, because often bitterness at god and anger at the world push through, and all I want to do is hide in my bubble of self pity and pain, but what good would that bring to me or my children.  This thought of my children and how they need me to be the strong one, is what pulls me through each day.  I am the role model for them, on how they are to react.  If I fall apart, so will they.  If I give up, so will they.  But if I remain strong and show them how to transpose this trajedy, they will know that they can survive, and with them, so will I.

So as I push forward, being strong for the kids, I am finding the strength I need for myself.  My family has been wonderful, as well as my increadible friends.  Please do not stop checking on me and offering help.  I feel that soon I will be able to start accepting your wonderful offers and life will begin to lend shape to my new future. I plan on enjoying all that life still has to offer and not cloud myself in a veil of sadness and depression.  This is what Marsi would want from me.  This is what her strength taught me.  Marsi and I had 18 years together and I look upon that time as a precious gift.  I choose not to focus on what could have been, because self pity and pain is a weakness.  But instead choose to cherish the life I have had and enjoy the life that is still to come. 

As I move forward, I would like to share my journey, much like Marsi shared hers.  Marsi started this blog to help women with cancer, find strength and comfort from someone who was on the same path.  My path forward is that of a husband alone, a widower, who lost his soul mate to cancer.  I can only hope that my words and journey foward can help others who have lost, find peace from their own pain and see the world as a beautiful place once again.

God Bless.


Monday, September 3, 2012

The Caretaker

Hello Everyone!

It has been just over a month since Marsi's services and so many people have been reaching out to check on me, the kids, and Marsi's family, that I would like to again thank all of you for the strength and support that continues to be sent our way.  Losing Marsi has been devistating to us all.  She touched so many of us through her wonderful words and caring demeaner, that I like to think her spirit lives on with this blog.  

Generally, I am doing well, finding my way without Marsi by my side.  But during one of my harder moments of coping yesterday, I came across a blog entry that Marsi wrote for a fellow blogger last December who has a website that focus's on patient's and their caregiver's.  I, myself had never read this entry until yesterday, only now remembering that Marsi had told me she had written an article about me for another blog. With everything going on, I completely forgot she told me, so it remained hidden until now, where it was found during a casual google search.

For those of us that read Marsi's blog, it gives us another look into her fight with breast cancer and her struggle with me undertaking the role as her caretaker.  For me, it is a found treasure.  As I think back through our last year, she often would appoligize for having become such a burden, but to me, she never was. She never could be.  She was my partner in life and this was our road together, hard as it turned out to be. I never thought twice about being her caretaker and I know she loved me even more for that. She was my wife, the love of my life, my cutie pie. For my Marsi, I would and did everything I had to do.

Please read, or for some of you re-read, this article Marsi wrote and take from it that each and every one of us are only so strong.  That it is OK for any of us to accept help when life becomes overbearing. Be it help from family and friends, counslers and/or doctors, all we have to do is ask to recieve the support and strength we need to move forward in this life.

God Bless!


Rob Cares: Caring for Caregivers

Guest Blog: Seeing The Caregiver Through The Patient’s Eyes

My Caregiver, How Lucky Am I?

December 20, 2011 by Marsi White

My husband Steve and I are unstoppable together.


It is 4:30 in the morning. I am awake like usual, with insomnia and a botched sleep schedule as a result of my chemo. My husband Steve is asleep. I grab his hand for a moment and let it fall gently back into the bed when I realize I intend to get out of it. He awakes for a moment and asks if I am okay, then almost as quickly falls back into a deep slumber. I retreat upstairs to make coffee and start my day, hoping my Twitter friends are awake for company.


This is our routine. He worries about me and tries to make sure I nap. I worry about him and try to be sure he naps and/or at least sits down for a couple of undisturbed minutes a day. His days are full of stress and anguish, mostly. For this, I have no recourse. Cancer has taken care of that.


Truth be told, Steve has always strived to be my “rock,” openly stating this as his goal since my initial diagnosis of breast cancer in 2009. However, when my cancer recurred in my liver the summer of 2011, there was a strong silence of this declaration. You could cut the air in my house with scissors because stress hung like sheets from floor to ceiling. An angry rant on Facebook made me discover how mad he really was…and not at me. At this ugly disease.


About a month ago, the mood lightened around here when Steve declared, “The last go around I handled your sickness wrong. I tried to be the rock. Now I realize that even the rock gets weathered in the storm.” His new goal and attitude leaves him wanting to help other caregivers and wondering why more is not said between them.


“I know what guys need. I also know what guys will do and not do. Maybe I should start a blog,” he stated one afternoon. A science teacher by trade, I knew that he was born to help others. But what I could not pin down is how he would find the time to keep a blog with all of the extra responsibilities at home and the dedication and long hours he puts into his job. Finally, he and I decided we would start with contacting the YoungSurvivalCoalition to find out how he and I could help the cause.


I feel no great joy to report he has learned many of the same lessons that I have. Tough lessons, but lessons nonetheless. He has learned that when people ask personal questions, it’s that they really want to know and it is OK to let them in. So, tell them. Find confidants that you can pour emotions into. He has learned that you may be surprised on who these confidants may be. He has learned that he is not yet comfortable seeking professional help, but there is generally not enough time to do so…hence, the importance of the aforementioned confidants.

Most importantly, by my side, we have learned that cancer is more than an inconvenience. It will forever be a part of our lives, like the unwanted pest begging for attention. He states that once he figured that out, the disease was much easier to accept for what it is and what it is not.


Together, we also learned that cancer cannot destroy everything. For example, we are not just caregiver and patient. We are husband and wife, mommy and daddy. We are a sister and a brother, an uncle and an aunt. We are good friends to many, as well as colleagues. Cancer will never take that away from us.

When I think about Steve as my caregiver, I have pangs of guilt on what our lives might have been, should I have not gotten sick. But then I also think about what cancer has put in our lives that has made us stronger than we have ever been. A whole new meaning to the vow we took on that June day in 1996, “for better or for worse”.

We are blessed. Together, we are unstoppable.