This blog is for Jim Marventano's family and friends to review his status and updates while he goes through treatment for Stage IV Colon Cancer. We can beat it together!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drive it like you stole it

I'm going through another phase. I am now constantly (and annoyingly, I imagine) reminding my friends that they should amp up whatever relationship they have with their husbands.

So rather than consistently harp on my best girlfriends about what they should be doing with their husbands, I thought I'd broadcast it on the blog so everyone can listen to me preach. For heaven's sakes, ladies. You might have a headache tonight, but he might be diagnosed with cancer tomorrow.

I made my friends kind of laugh (also, maybe groan in annoyance) the other night when I imparted my worldy words of wisdom - I told them they should "drive it like they stole it". Cause you know what? You just don't know. You just don't know. Do you really have the luxury of forgoing an extra hug, and extra kiss, an extra afternoon delight? I am here to tell, you do not.

What I wouldn't give for one more day with Jim. For one more hug. For one more passionate kiss from someone I love and who loves me. For sex with someone that I am comfortable with - someone who loves me and finds me attractive even though after having two kids, my body isn't pristine as it used to be.

Jim was so sick starting around the end of June that he was bent over a lot. It was too painful for him to stand up straight. Right around then is when he stopped being able to hug us. He just couldn't bear it. He couldn't hold the kids. The best he could do was hold hands. The most intimate moments toward the end were with all of us - me, his parents, his sister, my parents, and our friends the Sentis. Our friend Ken taught us how to wrap his legs in ace bandages to take some of the pressure off of them from the swelling. And those were truly intimate moments, but not the kind we hope for in a marriage, believe me.

I know, I know. It's easy for me to talk. Life gets in the way, dealing with work and the kids makes you tired. But you chose your spouse, hopefully, because you wanted more than a roommate. I'm the voice of experience. Drive it like you stole it, people. You won't regret it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

NPR Blog

A couple of years ago Judi introduced me to a blog by a reporter for NPR, Leroy Sievers. He had colon cancer. His blog documented his journey though cancer, and his wife now keeps up the blog, since he passed away this summer. Sometimes her blogs really ring true for me. She's nearly a year behind us in the grieving process but I really feel her pain. Here's her blog post from today:

A Season Of Loss
Posted: 23 Jan 2009 05:54 AM CST
It seems like so many of us connected to yesterday's blog. Could it be the gray of winter? Everything is so drab. It's cold.
Life has lost a lot of its colors. Or do we see it that way because we are going through a season of loss?
I was trying to explain that to a friend who knew Leroy well. She commiserated with me, but truthfully, if you're not going through it, you can't possibly feel it.
Laurie Hirth, you have made such giant strides moving on in your life without Neil. Then, boom ... two steps forward, ten steps back. Sasha, Eileen, Patty -- you get it. Whether you're anticipating what's coming or are in the heightened sense of sadness. You get it.
Some of you saw it as a bump in the road. But it feels more like a shift in the grieving process. Early on it was a heaviness that could not be shaken. Pressure in the heart that wouldn't allow me to breath.
Now, it's being alone. And alone isn't fun. It's not the kind of alone that can be filled by calling a friend or going shopping or watching a movie. This "aloneness" comes from missing Leroy. Plain and simple. I'm in the missing part of this process. He left a crater behind where he once stood. That's the way my friend described it, and she's right.
Stan, you say you miss him and didn't even know him. Not true. Every day on this site, he shared a piece of himself with you and many others. You knew him well. You are right to be missing your friend.

-- Laurie Singer

It's the colorless world that I associate with. It's the aloneness. It's the loss of someone that leaves a crater in our lives. Nothing fills it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year

It is a new year. I am sincerely hoping that 2009 will be better than 2008. Not that 2008 was really bad for us. Just that it was a time of adjustment and mourning. Another year rung in. Do people remember how special he was? Do they know I still miss him every second of every day? Do they know it knocks the wind out of me to overhear Rachel say "I don't have a dad..." to a little friend?

I know the new year is supposed to be a time for new beginnings. And I'm trying. I really am. In fact I'm pretty much using every method possible to try and let go of some of the hurt. But you know what? It just doesn't fix it. He's still not here. He's not here. My life and my kids lives are void of that man that created them and brought warmth and love to our household like no other.

Rachel asked me tonight when she was getting a new daddy. She's asked me that a few times. I told her it would be a long, long time. That I might not ever find someone to love like I love her daddy. And then she said "well why do you still love him? He's not here." It's at the most unexpected times that it hits home. That one felt like a really hard pinch. I tried to explain to her that we loved daddy because he was daddy and no one would ever take his place in our hearts. That if someday I find a new daddy, he will have a different place in our hearts.

The rollercoaster has really been up and down the last several weeks. I guess because of the holidays. I had a few days right before Christmas that I could barely breathe. I couldn't leave the house for a day or so because I kept crying. I fight the depression really hard, but sometimes it just catches up with me. I have a sick feeling in my stomach tonight. Here it comes. It's like a fast moving black fog that I'm trying to stay just ahead of. Christmas day it caught up with me again - I was sullen and withdrawn after opening gifts. We got home and the first thing I did was take down the tree. Rachel said "but mom, we don't have to take it down yet!" "Christmas is over!" I snapped back. What a scrooge.

I feel empty all the time. I resent not having an adult to talk to at night. That's the thing - it's not like I'd be having deep philosophical discussions with him every night, but that's not what makes a marriage. What makes a marriage is still caring and listening through the more mundane talks about the office, the dogs, the kids. Still finding and feeling that love no matter what. I often feel guilty for the number of sitters I get. A couple of people have even made joking comments about it. But for the most part, I am here alone with a 2 and 5 year old. If I don't force myself out of the house or get a sitter and go out, I'm on my own. And let's face it - that could drive anyone mad. That's what I miss. "Hi honey, how was your day?" A kiss on the cheek or a warm hug when he got home. I miss talking to an adult about the trivial things.

I'm working on going back to school. I'm excited about that. Jake is literally potty training himself. Amazing. Rachel has been doing little performances for us with her new High School Musical microphone. Every day things move forward. It's the start of another year. Without him. Without the one I love.