Discussion Board Forums Grief Management My Husband and Cholangiocarcinoma – Part 2

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    Everything you said is so true. Thanks for including that old post. It is beautiful and expresses what so many of us on this journey are feeling.

    It sounds like you have the blood clot situation under control. I have to agree, the nights are still the hardest and more so at this time of year when they are so long. Just take it as it comes. One day at a time. Thinking of you.
    Love & Hugs,


    Dearest Marion, thanks for reposting your posts! They were beautiful and so, so true!


    I’m sorry to hear that you have been unwell – Marion’s post about taking one day at a time is sooo right.

    Take care of yourself.



    Margaret… I am so sorry to hear of the latest developments. Don’t you just wonder at times as to how we are to process all the things happening? And then we find within us the unexpected resilience to life – nothing set in stone rather, something from deep within us.

    Our Dr. Giles had a profound effect on me when he mentioned the following:

    “I would gently suggest to you that the depth of your feelings are a testament to the significance of the place your husband has in your life. The magnitude of your pain and devastation signifies how precious he was to you–and that’s a good thing. Please do not hurry through this extremely tender time. Your sorrow is a result of the loss of a good man.”

    I took that to heart and came to understand that there is no rushing through the pain. With time (there is no limit) I came to understand and appreciate the precious gift my husband was in my life. With his passing everything changed and it continues to do so. Looking back I realized that we lived in an ever changing world, but it was a world we mastered “together.” And, that to me is the absolute greatest loss.

    I have come to understand that the distinct role I played in my husband’s battle with this illness now has also been taken away has left me with a significant slot of time needing to be filled again. And, therein lays the challenge for us. It is not that we don’t know how to stay busy rather the question is as to what in life will fill the void left in our hearts and souls.

    I don’t have the magic answer, dear Margaret. All I know is that in this case time is on our site. Although the biggest hole in my heart is still void of his presence the little holes that slowly have filled again. And, for that I am grateful.

    In 2007 I had written this posting.

    Dear Macks,

    My heart goes out to you, and I so very much understand your pain. I too have lost my husband, the love of my life. He passed away February 7, 2007.

    During the last seven months I have experienced different stages of grieving, the disbelief, the yearning, the anger, the depression, until now, finding myself teetering with the acceptance of the reality that he simply will not return.

    My yearning for him has not diminished in fact; it has become my constant companion.

    I never knew how to live just …one day at a time …. This is a new concept, but much to my surprise, I am doing it.

    I have survived the “first time” of many comings and goings without him although, I still shun certain predictable situations, if possible.

    “I don’t know how to live, knowing that you will die”, I remember saying to him once, but here I am 18 months later.

    I draw a “blank” envisioning my life in the future so I take baby steps….one day at a time although, I have already moved in to the future without him.

    “But Mom, you have us” my oldest son tried to comfort me. “There is a void no one can fill, the same void I would have, had I lost you” I answered, and that he understood.

    I learned the art of “not thinking about it” so not to despair with the overwhelming pain.

    I allowed myself to go on, one step at a time, without having the need to explain my direction while accepting the path I am on.

    . I encountered plenty of these “knee buckling, heart wrenching moments” until it “buckled” no more, reducing to twitches in my heart, filling up ever so slowly with memories of joy and gratefulness for the years shared together, giving me the strengths to move forward, one step at a time.

    May your heart begin to heal, one day at a time.

    Hugs and love,


    Dearest Margaret, don’t sell yourself short, it sounds like you are doing fine under all the circumstances. A blood clot! That is not accepted! Hope you are feeling better. I have had a severe bout of ulcerated colitis!!! Now that I think back it was coming on this whole last year and boy, did it get out of hand. I have been a prisioner in my house for months but am finally seeing the rainbow at the end of the storm. The steroids are killing me but I see the gastro guy Tuesday and perhaps can start weaning me off. We sure pay heavily for stress! I have decided its time to destress from everything. I think working will be good for you and my goodness with all going on you got your tree up!
    Margaret, I don’t know if Tom had a favorite cologne but in the beginning I used to dab a little of Teddy’s on his pillow. I slept like a baby then, feeling and smelling his presence. Sending you a ton of hugs and love.


    Dear Margaret,

    Like I’ve said from the first day I spoke with you, You are SuperWoman. I am sorry to hear you have a blood clot. Where in the world did that come from? I hope you are feeling better. I do think when you go back to work your spirits will lift and take your mind off things. I am sorry you have a difficult time at night. I’m sure Tom is watching over you from heaven and misses you too. I am so glad he is no longer in pain or suffering. Take care Margaret, and hope to hear from you again real soon.

    Love, -Pam


    I want to thank everyone for their support. I ended up in the ER on Thursday night with a blood clot in the left leg. Now having to give myself shots in the belly, three more to go and am on warfarin – probably for the next 6 -12 months. When it rains, it pours.

    I’m doing pretty well. The hardest thing so far has been just getting myself motivated to do something – my brain wants to just sit here and think about Tom and I find myself having to give myself one of my ‘wifely’ talks. I cleaned the entire house one day and between today and yesterday I got the Christmas trees decorated. Tomorrow I go back to work so that will keep me busy during the day. So far the nights are the worse…I find myself just doing anything and before I realize it, it is 2:30 am and I’m still awake. That will be stopping today cause I have to be up and at ’em for work now.

    I am actually handling this better than I thought I would. I think part of me is feelin relief that he is no longer suffering. Part of me is still in shock that we lost the battle. And part of me does not want to believe that I will never see his face of feel his arms around me again. But in spite of all that I am relieved that his pain and suffering is over.

    Go with God and KEEP KICKIN’ THAT cancer.


    Dearest Margaret, you are wonderful and I just would like to say, don’t plan, just do whatever comes naturally and honestly things do start to ease up. I love the way the kids still think of their Papa even though they are much older and I love the way some things hit me lightly and some things hit me so hard as what kind of women would we be if they didn’t. I had a total and complete meltdown Thursday morning when I opened ip the Fridge and saw all the prep for Thanksgiving but no Teddy to cheer me on. Sunday night my 3 guests from Milwaukee and I went to our ‘favorite’
    Italian restaurant and the owner sent over an appetizer for 5 not 4. Then right after dinner I get a call from my Granddaughter as she was driving back to College and she said, “Hi Grandma. I am 40 miles from Campus and I am so sad as I thought about Papa all the way back and I miss him. Then on her Ipod came a song called “I’ll Always be With You”. These wonderful moments are already happening for you and that is what gets us through. Take care you are much loved!


    Margaret, I know we don’t really know each other, but I feel so deeply for your loss. From all your posts you have done everything you could possibly do. You are so strong to be able to fight this with Tom for so long. I pray that a peace and comfort will come to you. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be without your husband. I’m sure it will be my reality soon too.


    I thought that I’d posted this on this site but can’t find it so I apologize, and will post it now.

    I have to let everyone know that the funeral for Tom was wonderful, emotional, sad, full of joy, bittersweet. There were a lot of family and friends for the Wake on Friday, and the same for Saturday for the service.

    The Deacon that did the service said “When I do a funeral service and see such a large group of people in attendance such as I do today, that tells me that this man was a much loved person who touched many people during his lifetime.

    Our grand daughter Kaylah, 16, (from Iowa) sang “Amazing Grace”, our daughter Brianne sang “Go rest high on that Mountain” (Vince Gill) and Tom’s and my fishing buddy Dennis did the Eulogy.

    The Deacon and Dennis are brothers and before Dennis even spoke, Deacon Mike had to get a few ‘digs’ in for his brother with statements such as “Tom must have been a heck of guy to get a guy like my ugly brother to cry while writing the words he wanted to say” and “I have to pick on him so that he gets mad at me so he won’t cry today” and at one point said “Dennis, do I have to pinch you?”

    The words that Dennis spoke for the Eulogy are as follows:

    I met Tom approximately 16 years ago, you know how you meet some people and they have this smile that makes you feel like you could just hug them? Tom was one of those people. He invited me to join him at Whitefish Lake in Canada for a week of fishing. That became a yearly adventure for 14 years. Tom, I am sorry to have to say this but you were NOT the best fisherman. Marge seemed to always ‘out fish’ you. Now we pray that you are fishing up in heaven with the best fisherman of them all: Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    I pray that I may live to fish until my dying day. And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray: When in the Lord’s great landing net and peacefully sleep. That in his mercy I be judged big enough to keep. Tom was always there. If that meant driving all the way to Thunder Bay and back for a part for SOMEONE ELSE’S motor; Tom was there.

    Our Lord says to Love thy neighbor as thyself. Tom showed all his neighbors love through his deeds. Look at what he did for his family and friends at White Clay Lake.

    I feel Tom was the happiest when he reunited with Marge. She became his strength through these hard time. Thank you Marge.

    This is a shotened Version of Lina Ellis’s (The Dash) if you have already heart it, please bear with me.

    I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone. He noted that first came th date of his birth 1947. Then he spoke of the followng date with tears, 2011. But he said, what mattered the most of all was the DASH between the years. For that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth. And now we all know what that dash is worth. I believe Tom lived that dash to the utmost as a Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend.

    After the service, there was a processional out to the mausoleum for his interment. The processional was at least 40 cars long. The Military Honors were beautiful, the gun salute – Three men, three guns and each fired 3 shots.The Taps can do anyone in and the folding of the flag and presenting to the spouse (me) was beautiful. As we watched the casket being lifted into the Crypt I said “And the battery on the lift goes dead” and prayed that it would not. But as they started to lift the stone to place over the Crypt, the battery went dead, and they had to get a different lift to put the stone in place.

    We had a wonderful meal afterwards and told lots of fun stories about Tom and incidents in his life. One of the funniest was the Oyster incident. One of Tom’s friends had given him a can of Oysters, which he’d forgotten was in his truck. We were at White Clay Lake where our cottage is and were building an addition for one of the campers. We had a fire for burning all the scrap wood. Tom saw the can of oysters in the truck and grabbed it and threw into the fire. I told him that I didn’t think that was such a good idea. Needless to say about 10 minutes later, just as Tom was walking past the fire, we heard a boom and there was my poor Tom with stinky bits of oysters all over his hair, face, shirt and pants. He just stood there with such a funny look on his face! And did he smell awful.

    All in all it was a wonderful day, yes, it was sad and bittersweet. My family has surrounded me and although I will have some very sad days, I know that I will find peace and I am proud to be his widow.

    Hugs and love to everyone. And you know my Motto: Go with God and KEEP KCIKIN’ THAT cancer for my Tommy!

    Margaret on behalf of my Tommy.

    P.S. My son Gil and daughter Brianne spoke about Tom at the funeral and I will post their words later.


    I promised I would write and let you all know the words that my son Gilbert spoke at Tom’s funeral service. He did not save it on the computer, but I remembered that he’d given me a copy and I found it in the car today.

    “I was about 25 when I first found out that Tom was dating my Mother. I was wondering if this man was the right person for my Mom. Was this man going to treat my Mom right? At first, I did not know Tom, I really didn’t understand him a whole bunch, but Mom asked me to give him a chance, well, I did.

    During the time that I have known Tom, he has accepted me, my wife and my children as if we were his own blood, no questions asked.

    Tom has shown me a gentleness and caring in a way that I always thought a real father should show to his family and friends.

    Tom was a very kind, gentle, thoughtful, caring and respectful person. Tom was the genuine “Hey, how ya doing and what you up too, can I give you a hand kind of guy. He would talk to anyone, it didn’t matter the color of skin, height or social group. He just wanted to meet as many people, and do as many new things in his life as he could. He was very intoxicating to be around.

    Tom has touched the lives of many, many people. I’m sorry to say that many will not be granted his wisdom due to his early departure from this world.

    Tom, I want to thank you for teaching me to be a better father, husband and friend. We all will miss you, on this earth, but forever you will be in our thoughts and hearts. But for now, Hey, catch that fish, kick back and have that beer, take a walk in the woods, relax my friend, my father…you have earned it. We will meet again in the future and will play a game of cribbage!”

    Gil’s son, Michael, 12 years old is having a hard time dealing with Papa’s passing. Papa was the FUN Papa (and I am the FUN Grandma) and Michael loved spending time with us. Papa was the only Papa that Michael knew since he was a tiny infant when Tom and I re-united and married.

    Our 4 year old grandson, Alex is going to build a rocket to fly to Heaven and bring Papa back for me. He decided that a rocket would be faster than building a ladder!

    Little 28 month old Thomas does not yet understand why Papa is not at Ama’s house. I gave his Mom a picture frame with 4 pictures in it. Pictures of Papa and I along with some other photo’s so that Lil Tommy will have pictures of Papa in his own house. Each night that Picture frame goes with Tommy to bed, and placed on a chair next to his toddler bed. He and his mom say his night time prayers that end with “Good night Papa, watch over me as I sleep” and Lil Tommy has to give Papa good night kisses and if Mom forgets, he say “Kizz Papa?”

    I cried this morning when I looked out the window and did not see Tom’s truck in the driveway. His truck went to his son Tom Jr. I knew it was gone as he’d picked it up the night before, but it hit me hard when I didn’t see it in the drive. Oh, such odd things that we get all teary eyed about. I’m in no hurry to go through his clothes or to change anything in our bedroom. I know that in time it’s a chore that I will do, but for now, having his clothes in his dresser and in our closet keeps him close to me. I wore his fleece that he was wearing when he passed, hung his cruifix on the wall beside his recliner and it brings me comfort.

    Love and hugs,


    I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Tom.
    I know the pain you are going thru right now but just take some time for yourself each day and give yourself a “pat on the back” for all the work you did to help him live almost 4 years more than you ever thought.
    My Dad is still refusing to have Pallative Care come in because he is trying a new chemo “cocktail”. he is getting weaker, loosing a lot of weight-can now feel his bones as Dad was a big man, he is hardly eating or drinking. spends most of his day sleeping and his gait is awful, I am afraid he is going to fall. His color is awful and his stomach is soo big. he coughs all the time and he is finally taking the painkillers but I can see that they are not really working that well.
    I know he is trying to hold on for Christmas but I dont see that happening unless there is a miracle to come.
    God Bless you and all the others on this wonderful site,


    Margaret, it is so good to see you! I know you are busy adjusting to your new normal but sure like to hear from you, when you can. Take care, you are terriffically wonderful!


    Dear Margaret,

    And you are very special to all of us too. I don’t know if this will help here or not with what you are looking to do, but it should be possible for you to print out each individual post. If you highlight all the text in each individual post then you should be able to print it out. Once you have highlighted the text, then right click with your mouse and a print and print preview option should come up on your computer, then if you click on the print option you should be able to print the post from there. I hope some of that helps.




    When I first joined this forum, I started on another link (which I just found on page 11) and am so happy to see that it is still on here. I plan to somehow print out all pages from both part 1 and part 2 and perhaps incorporate that into some type of memory book for the family.

    One suggestion that I can think of is that the site would/could offer some type of printable button : Print all pages ? Or offer participants the option to purchase a bound copy of their posts for their loved ones. Something to consider for future upgrades?

    Each and every one of you who have followed Tom and I on our journey have become very special to me, now that Tom has passed.

    I wish you all peace and happiness with the upcoming Holiday season and may God Bless each of you.

    Go with God and KEEP KICKIN’ THAT cancer for my Tommy.

    Love and Hugs,

    Tom is watching over all of us now. He is at peace.

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