Anita Jeffery
  • Female
  • Aurora, CO
  • United States
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About Me:
I am "retired", and until my husband became ill I like to do volunteer work at the Children's Hosp. here. I also like to garden, read, do various crafts. I have one son, who is 29 and lives at home still. I come from a large family, however both my parents have passed away, and I have no family in the same state as I live, including my husband's family.
About my Loss:
My husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer in January 2014. His only symptoms prior to diagnosis were primarily back pain. We were shocked and needless to say, devastated when we got the diagnosis. This type of cancer is incurable, and they tell you immediately that the most they can do is give you chemo in the hopes that it will relieve some of the pain (it did not). My husband lived almost a year but was extremely ill, lost 65 lbs, and was always in pain. He tried to go on out of (I think) love and concern for myself and our son, and fought a good fight. His death was unfortunately very painful, that is until they had so much morphine in him that he was knocked out and unaware. In the end I have some relief that he is out of pain. Seeing him be so ill after rarely ever getting sick throughout our life (we were together 34 years), was incredibly hard to watch. The chemo affected his mind as well as his body.
I am trying to just keep going right now. I never thought I would find myself a widow at 58.

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At 9:26pm on January 16, 2016, Lori Eckenrode said…

((hugs))

At 2:47am on December 11, 2015, Sara Schwartztrauber said…

but it is nice that someone understands. Please feel free to write anytime, I am here.

At 2:42am on December 11, 2015, Sara Schwartztrauber said…

Anita,

Please feel free to write anytime you want, as long a text as you want. I understand the need to talk about your love, I need to do the same. I have stopped trying with a lot of people as I think that my grief just makes them uncomfortable and after just 8 months, I think that people feel I should be "getting over it". I know they all want me to "move on" and try and find some happiness. But...that isn't going to happen. I know that the sun will shine again, but never as bright. I don't want to die, like a lot of the people here, I want, and I need to be here for our kids. But, I just want him here with me. I always felt so incredibly safe with him. He was my big strong Harley riding protector, who was always so kind and so good with the babies. He truly was "larger than life". When he walked into a room, he was the one that everyone wanted to talk to and be with. The other day a friend of ours called and told me to get out my leathers and my helmet, he was coming to take me for a ride. When I said no thanks, he said that he knew how much I loved to ride. I had to tell him that no...I didn't just love to ride, I loved to ride with Jim. Again, I just felt so safe with him. We worked so closely with the police department, and many of his friends were officers, so he knew things that went on here that a lot of people didn't. At the end of his life he became so concerned about a home invasion that he had guns all over the house, and made me promise to put in an alarm system. I think he knew that he just didn't have the strength to protect me anymore, and it broke my heart. And seeing him cry and saying that he wasn't done, he had so much more to do, and he didn't want to leave me and the kids, tore my heart out.

He was also so worried about what his daughters and two of his sisters were going to put me through when he was gone. And he was right. They almost destroyed his service acting like idiots, and have now gone on to try and sue me because he left all of his estate to me. They just won't let it go, and it has become very ugly and all about the money. When I asked my kids what they wanted of their dads, they didn't want motorcycles, or cars, or money, our daughter wanted his sunglasses, because he always had them on, and our son said he didn't need anything, he had his memories. I am to the point that I just hate the others. I had asked him what he wanted me to do for the others when I got the life insurance, and his answer was, "treat them the way that they treat you when I am gone". So...the first thing that I did was to go in and write them out of my will. But they haven't once time asked for one thing to remember their dad by, only money. Of course, they were horrible to him during his life, so it doesn't surprise me, it just makes me very sad for him and his memory. But it makes it easy to hate them.

I still can't sleep in our bed, so I am still on the couch. But another friend of ours that lost her husband to the same kind of cancer about six months before I lost my Jim said that she feels closer to him in their bed, so maybe soon I will try it. I sleep wrapped in his robe to smell him, but even that is begging to fade. I am sending some of his favorite clothes to have teddy bears made from them for our granddaughters and the others that loved him. But....I can't hug his clothes forever, it just isn't doing it.

Will we never have anyone to hold us again. To say how much they love and need us? I don't want just "someone", I want him. I need him. Thankfully, he worked like a dog, and left me very comfortable. I probably wouldn't have to work again if I was careful, but I also want to keep our business going, for him, for his memory. Our employees loved him. All of the girls in the office went and got big tattoos of his truck and his call number in his honor. How many bosses were loved like that?

Now it's my turn to apologize for going on and on, b

At 4:49am on December 6, 2015, Sara Schwartztrauber said…

Anita

Your post about the holidays, how your husband was diagnosed, being his caretaker, all could have been written by me. Our stories seem so much alike. I too, never even dreamed of being a widow at 58. But here I am, after 38 years with my prince charming, alone. He died on April 1, 2015 and I still miss him so much that it's hard to breathe. Where do I go from here, and who am I without him? Everyone says that it was always Jim and Sara, never just Jim or just Sara. I've loved him since I was 19 years old. My husband fought for 13 months and lost 126lbs. I wouldn't let anyone take care of him but me, and he never gave up, never quit fighting. The ONLY thing good was that I had plenty of time to make sure that I told him everything I felt, how much I loved him, and that I left nothing unsaid. I am blessed that our two kids have been great...but damn, I just miss him.

At 7:08pm on March 1, 2015, Roger said…

Hi Anita,

I  appreciate you kind words of encouragement. You certainly know what goes on when someone has stage IV cancer. The cruelty of it. That's what I struggle with so much. This awful thing happened to the love of my life. I was powerless to help her. My Mom passed away last year too. Now like you I am still here to go on. I am practically the same age you are. So many years left to go. So much of what I wanted to accomplish in my early adult years I have done. My plans for the latter part of my life. Was with Karla. You are correct when you say. I need to get interested in something. I do have plans to work a lot more this year. I like to work. Accomplishments with my work were always very satisfying to me. I am still grieving horribly.  I have faith in God. I pray constantly that he will show me the right path in the near future. Thanks again for your comment. I think it is great that you also like gardening. My Mother love it too. She would say all the time that people that like flowers were good people.  

At 6:25pm on February 28, 2015, Shirley said…

Anita.....Just read your post and wanted to stop by and say hello and I do relate to what you are going through now.  When someone we love has to leave us behind, due to sickness and death, it becomes so unbearable for us.  But we will have our grieving time and then life slowly begins to return to reality and we move forward . It takes the patience of Job too. My hubby passed n the early  morning of April 29 2104 and it still seems like ten years to me. I miss him coming in through the door,  his corny jokes, his smiles his love but would not want him to be back here under all the pain, medicines, confusions and circumstances.   It was so heart breaking and sad to watch as each day a little more of him was fading away from me. Want to say I will be saying a prayer for you and your son and hope the future will bring you a lot more peace and comfort.  I am from Eastern Kentucky, a Coal Miners Daughter, and was taught that one glad day we will all reunite in the Sweet By and By and will never have to say good-bye again.  Hold on and keep posting as you can......

At 11:56am on February 22, 2015, Fran said…

Except for a few minor changes you have written my life for last year. My husband had pain(back and hip) for almost a year and it was attributed to arthritis and the work he did. Finally in March, 2014 he was "officially" diagnosed with StageIV Lung Cancer when he couldn't shake what we thought was a bad cold and sinus infection. He was in constant pain at that time. He was admitted to the hospital after a bronchoscopy triggered a reaction. He spent 10 days there get pain management and starting with radiation and chemotherapy immediately for palliative reasons. Once his pain was "in control" I brought him and went on FMLA to take care of him. I was an RN at the time and understood a fair amount of what was happening and how to take care of him. We initially had daily drives to the hospital(25 miles one way). He also lost at least 60 pounds, but not the will to live. He made up a "bucket list" of things he wanted to get done around the house so I wouldn't have to worry about them once he was gone. He used to do everything himself and it killed him that he had to ask his brothers to do for him. God bless his 4 brothers who dropped their lives to help! They, along with my 25 year old son worked for weeks on the projects while my husband watched and cried because he couldn't do much else. The one thing that kept him going was thinking he'd be able to go hunting one last time with our son and his brothers, but that wasn't to be as he died Nov. 6, 2014. His last good wkend included going out to dinner as a family to celebrate our 27th anniversary. Right after that he started having problems breathing. I got oxygen at home but couldn't get the flow high enough to keep him oxygenated. A week later he was dead.

We never really got him pain free during all that time. Long acting Morphine twice a day and additional Morphine between. Plus all the other drugs. He never got any of the "quality" of life they told him would. 

He, too, made arrangements that I would be provided for financially. That I wouldn't have to work unless I wanted to. He'd joked for years I'd be a "rich widow"; I'd always tell him I'd rather have him and be poor.........

So now I'm 60 years old. Retired. Live with my 2 adult children in a home that my husband put blood, sweat and tears into. And I still know I'd rather have him than any amount of money.

I share your pain!

 
 
 

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