Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

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    Thank you everyone for your kind replies. It is so helpful to know you are all out there in different parts of the world undestanding how hard life can be. I am forcing myself to work and to keep busy but this is getting harder and harder and is not helped by the fact that the UK has virtually come to a stand still due to snow so I can’t get into work at the moment.
    Teresa, Italy is so beautiful and Verona is certainly no exception. I am keeping away from Italy at the moment as I have found it too hard without Anthony lately. However, I have told myself that I will go if I am not going to be alone, so perhaps we should do this together next year. Everyone is welcome! Darla, we always seem to go through these stages together, don’t we?
    Anyway, thank you again. I am thinking of you all!
    Keep in touch!


    To all my friends,
    Pauline ,thank you for rallying us .We need to keep supporting each other!I find I have ups and downs of mood and sometimes I will have a long patch feeling ok and then plunge down.I have a full household with the 3 boys at home,Alastair was only 17 when Joel died.I have felt a little rattled just lately because this time of year was when it all happened.We had the diagnosis,treatment and terminal phase all within 3 months.
    Darla,you are a lovely friend and have been such a good support to me and others here Janet


    Hya Pauline and everyone else.
    I still come in every evening to catch up with you all.
    Pauline I think about you often, due to the italy connection. This year I sat and cried during july and august as I wished to go to verona but did not have the energy or anything left to make an effort.
    I still cannot understand what happened or how.
    Having now lost my hubbie after 51 years,(not cc) I know how hard it is.
    During my 9 years of caring for hubbie I feel I did my grieving for him along the way. Alan’s death is the one that I am now able to grieve for properly and openly with myself. The shock of cc. is so tremendous, and I had not ever heard of it and I often doubt if many others in the wide world have either. That is other than family who have lost someone to this cancer.
    I often sit and cry when I read posts of others who are having to make this journey for it is so hard to do the caring and keep on top of all the other things life has for us.
    Yesterday I re-visited some of Jeffs posts, especially the one with a poem he did for me. I cannot help but notice how much more information is now on here about cc and all of its intricate levels of management that are being posted. So, everyone keep posting any information as the larger base we build on here may start to keep others alive for longer periods of time.
    I could not post in any other section, as we did not have any time and I think this site and its information is the the essence of helping to one day finding a cure.
    love and light to everyone on here Alan’s mom


    Pauline….You are a beautiful, kind, caring, intelligent, and lovely woman. (I know, I spent three days with you in Barcelona, at the medical conference.) It is difficult to move forward when our sorrow is so deep for the lost life we were privileged to experience. But, somehow I have to believe that we can go on and yet still feel some happiness. I take comfort in knowing that our feelings are shared equally by all of those who are so very connected due to this disease.
    Darla, your input on this board has become a staple of wisdom and compassion. What would we do without you?
    Susan, I wish for strengths and for better days to come your way.


    I am so sorry to hear that your pain continues. It sounds like there is a lot of emptiness. While my husband has not left yet (from cc), the essence of him is gone and we are left with someone who is not known to us. The angry, bitter, hurtful man in the place of my husband makes losing him that much harder. I pray for strength and energy and peace for you and that your life takes on new meaning even though your loss will be part of you always. Susan


    Oh Pauline,

    I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that I know exactly what you are saying as I am feeling the same. We have been through this together almost from the beginning and it just doesn’t get any better, does it? I think the first year we were pretty numb. The second we began to understand what has happened and that it isn’t going to change. This year I too feel it gets harder and harder to keep on going. Keeping busy does help, but I too am just losing that energy and wondering what is the sense to it all. Yes, the holidays and anniversaries are still sad reminders. Jim died 2 days before my birthday, so that is really hard. I try not to dwell on those weeks before he died and what we all went through, but it is hard not to think of it all and relive it when the time comes. I turned 62 this year and also think of all the plans we had. Going forward with them alone would just be more than I can handle, so I just keep on going doing the same things over and over day after day. With winter and the short days and long nights, I too just want to hibernate and not go anywhere or do anything, but then I sit here alone and it really sinks in that this is my life now, alone. I know we both have friends and relatives, but the one person we really want to be with is gone forever.

    So, as we struggle through this third year alone, know that I am thinking of you and share in your feelings of loneliness, sadness and grief. I know we will continue on with our lives and do our best to cope, but it will never be the life we want or had before, will it?

    Janet, Joyce, Sue and everyone else, I think of you all often, too and hope everyone is doing OK.

    Everyone take care and keep in touch.

    With Much Love & Hugs For All Of You,


    Pauline, The holidays can be hard if you have lost a loved one. I have not lost a spouse, but a parent and each holiday brings a sadness. Time makes the sadness diminish, but the loved one is never forgotten. For me busy is best…so I have continued to work and babysit my grandchildren. I have taken classes at the local community college and have taken dreamed of vacations and tried to enjoy all of the things I had looked forward to. I now have my remaining parent to care for (cc and dementia) so part of my life is on hold for the moment while I assume the duty of caregiver. I read, do crafts, and housekeep for the two of us and really stay busy so there is not time for blues to creep in. I hope this has been helpful in your quest for peace and happiness now.


    Hello everyone,
    Time is running on again and I am wondering how you all are. I am struggling to keep going. The adrenalin that semed to accompany my grief to keep me moving, wore off in July and, I am now prepared to admit, that what has followed has been very hard. I seem to have lost my desire to keep busy and would gladly curl up and hibernate from the world.
    I am finding it very hard to face the fact that I have to struggle through all those anniversaries for a third time. This month Anthony and I both had our birthdays and mine would have been an important one this time as it was the date we had agreed I would retire. We had so many plans and I have not been able to avoid thinking of what might have been. So what next? Another cold winter, another Christmas, another new year, another wedding anniversary and another spring with memories of Anthony’s pain leading to the terrible trauma again of his final weeks to be followed by another lonely empty summer. I feel I have been brave and have done all this twice now and am finding doing it all for the 3rd time somehow even more difficult, without that adrenalin to force me on.
    So there we have it. This is all so hard and some days I feel I just can’t be bothered. There have been a lot of tears!
    It would be lovely to hear form you all, my friends as I know you are going through it all too.
    Take care and do keep in touch!


    Hi Everyone,

    Yes Pauline, I am trying hard not to dwell on what all happened that summer and to think more of all the good times and happy memories. It isn’t always easy, but it does help. I also am trying to keep busy and be more sociable, but I always feel like my heart is just not in it. I hope you were able to relax and enjoy some of your time in Italy. Getting back in a routine and having to focus on things and function on a day to day basis is also a challenge, but atleast it keeps us going. Good luck as you return to your next academic year.

    Janet, I am glad things are going well and you are able to get back to work even if on a limited basis. Spring coming also has to lift the spirits. We are having really hot humid weather, which will quickly change to fall & then winter. :( I’ll just think of you, the pools and the beautiful weather you are enjoying as we go through the rough months here. I too hope things are going well for both Joyce & Sue and everone else here.

    Everyone take care and keep in touch. It is the love, support and understanding of everyone here that gives us the strength to go on.

    Love & Hugs To All,


    Dear all
    Pauline you sound considerably better than at the start of the hols,good luck with starting back at work.Darla,thinking of you this week.Me,I am going well,back at work just 4 hour shifts after the knee op.1st day of spring for us tomorrow….!! Hope all are well,havent heard from Joyce and Sue in a while Janet xx


    Hello my friends!
    How are you all? I am thinking of you and, especially, of you, Darla as the second anniversary of losing Jim approaches. I hope you will try your hardest to replace the painful memories with beautiful ones of the good times spent together for so many years.
    I am still in Italy, surrounded by such beauty and history that is hard to describe. I have tried to keep myself busy since Anthony’s second anniversary and to be a bit more sociable. This has helped a bit and next week it’s back to the UK and work. I find these transitions very hard and am having trouble facing the thought of another academic year beginning and the same routine continuing – onto the tred mill again! I have decided not to give it too much thought and I suppose I’ll just have to get on with it.
    I would love to hear how you all are so please keep in touch!
    Take care!


    Hi Margaret,

    Yes, I’m with you. I hate the word “WIDOW”! I didn’t want to be one and I don’t like to be referred to as one. It is all so strange, isn’t it? I said that right from the beginning shortly after Jim passed away and now it has been almost 2 years and I still don’t like it. Another thing we will probably never truely get over.

    I hope you are doing OK or atleast as good as possible under the circumstances. The way you are dealing with the whole hospital situation does seem like a positive step in the right direction. Keep in touch. Take care.

    Love & Hugs,


    Thank you all for such a warm welcome. I have sort of got used, if not entirely come to terms, with this new way of life but there is always a small pervading sadness in me. I think certain things trigger this and the holiday period is one. I’ve tried going away alone and with friends but nothing is quite right.
    Teresa – you have been through so much and I do hope you are able to write about Alan at some point..
    Darla, Pauline and Marion – thanks so much for your kind words.
    The hospital/hospice dilemma is a tricky one. For me there is no choice as I’m an outpatient at the hospital where C spent most of his illness – he had the added complication of blood clots. The first time I returned very soon after his death I parked in the so familiar car park at the rear of the hospital and approached the rear entrance. Immediately adjacent to this is the new Cancer Centre and I was just transfixed, staring up at the window where C’s bed was and looking into the reception area. It was unbelievably painful.. I now park elsewhere or use public transport and enter at the front of the hospital. After my appointment I go to the hospital chapel – not because of any strong faith but to think of C and to try to get some control and make some sense of the unthinkable.

    Very best wishes to you all,

    PS Does anyone else hate the word ‘widow’?!


    Janet….I had e-mailed you. Did you receive it?


    Hi to everyone,I thought I should add that even though I have joined a choir etc,I am still a very fragile woman,and it was a friend,a woman whose husband has parkinsons at 42 who pushed me into it,she was the founder of the sea sharp singers but it has been great for me because music is such a great healer and this is where my sons were way ahead of me Janet

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