Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Moving into a new year

2015 will be the first year I haven't spent with Tim since I met him. There are going to be a lot of low-points, the anniversary of his diagnosis, what would've been our 5th wedding anniversary, my birthday, his birthday, etc. it's also really sad for me as this takes me a further step from the life I shared with him. My kitchen is finally done but I can't seem to bring myself to cook in it just yet. Sadly it's due to the mess that will be created and that I will have to clean it up on my own instead of relying using Tim to do it. I've been using loose trash bags on the porch thus far as it's easier with the unpacking but truth be told, I'm also avoiding truly having to take out the trash and this cuts out a few steps. I tried to be productive before Christmas Eve by puttingn a load of laundry in. I remembered it was there this morning...I think I finally fixed it after washing it three more times but I may smell a little musty the next time you see me. My apologies in advance... Tim handled all of this stuff for us. Along with the ability to fold a fitted sheet flat. The man had a lot of issues but some incredible talents. He's still saving people today based upon a text I got from a close friend of mine today which made me start crying in the middle of the meat section at Whole Foods (fYI: the butchers have no idea what to do when someone cries in front of the meat case- it seemed to terrify them). The text stated "I was also going to tell you. I had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago. I was having bleeding when I went to the bathroom. I feel like bc of Tim I was aware of what could be going on so I immediately went to the dr. They found a polyp that was pre cancerous and removed it. If I had not gone to the dr it would have turned into cancer. I know Tim's mission was to bring awareness to the disease and to save someone's else's life. I thought by telling you, you might find a little bit of encouragement in what all y'all went through. Tim brought awareness to me and no telling how long I would have waited to go to the dr if I had not known about colon cancer."

I miss him constantly and think about him every second of every day. I never know if it makes people more uncomfortable or happy to talk about Tim so in public I don't a lot. I also don't know when I can keep it together and I have always been a very private crier. Tim made fun of people on TV for having what he called an "ugly cry face" so I get incredibly self-conscious in case there is a Tim around that might make fun of me. It's been a whirlwind for awhile. The contractors are still working on my house but hopefully approaching the end. I'm ready for peace and quiet around here (& I'm tired of the costs...) but  the house is becoming more comfortable, safer and slowly becoming home. 

I got the flu the week before Christmas, it came over me within an hour or so from feeling fine to being really sick. I'm almost past all of it now. Haven't been contagious since before Christmas but still recouperating from all of it. I also had hand surgery last week for tendinitis embarrassingly enough it came from endless hours of playing Candy Crush during sleepless nights, in countless waiting rooms, etc. this quick surgery should fix everything right up for me.  

Unfortunately I was a TERRIBLE patient. I'm really anxious about anesthesia now that I know just how badly it can get. Granted the issues Tim had were related to the tumors in his lungs but it's still rocked me to my core. I was told to take a Klonopin before I came in and as soon as they gave me an IV they gave me Verced which should've calmed me down and kept me from caring as the goal was not to put me all the way under. Needless to say. The Verced never worked and I chatted them up all the way back to the OR. I also made sure they know that if I crashed I did not want to be recessitated multiple times as they reminded me that this was supposed to be a quick 10 min procedure that shouldn't even involve general anesthesia so the likelihood of me crashing was pretty slim. I'm pretty sure I remember asking what meds they would be giving me next at some point before I woke up and realized I was sobbing and completely disoriented. With my robust medical knowledge and terror of anesthesia, the nurses had asked about my background so I went to sleep talking about Tim. As I woke up it ended up being me sobbing about Tim and Tellig the whole story to the 5 or so nurses around my bed that I had made cry. This is all according to my friend Hayley that took me. Apparently they came to get her pretty quickly stating that they usually waited until the patient came to more but thought she may be able to calm me down. At some point in my dilerium I remember seeing/hearing someone pull a curtain to the side who stated they had followed everything and had been praying for me. It meant a lot. I pulled it together enough to request a grilled cheese with a side of honey mustard and a plate of half and half. I demolished it, so much for a light meal after surgery. My newest niece Stella was also born and I found out I'll be having yet another niece, Austin, come April. Soon I'll have four little nieces and a nephew running around that I can spoil.

All of that & its subsequent recovery led me right into Christmas which was nice as I had no time to anticipate it, get nervous and worked up. I slept most of Christmas Eve then it was very low-key. Christmas morning was mainly watching my niece go nuts of her toys and planning the inevitable trip to the ER for my dad who just got a bow and arrow, luckily he lost his arrow on his fourth shot.  My cousins decided we'd do a white elephant exchange instead of our traditional Christmas gifting and it was a lot of fun. I got to round out the day at Tom & Rickia's house with Steven, Haley & the kids, Tims Aunt Karen and Tom's parents. It was really hard bc I kept feeling like he should be there and almost kept looking for him but being with his family is the best gift I can get as I see little bits of him in their mannerisms, the things they say, etc. 

Every single day is hard. Things hit you from out of nowhere and knock you off of this very precarious place you've managed to balance yourself. I don't feel like I'm living anymore. I feel like I survive from day to day. No matter how ugly the previous day was, if I make it to the next I survived and that's enough.

Unfortunately I've gotten to the point where that just isn't enough anymore for me. I'm tired of not being able to fall asleep until 3 or 4 every night then waking up at 1 or 2 in the afternoon. It prevents me from getting back into a normal life, a normal routine. A good friend recently told me after I mentioned I wouldn't mind his life of travel and adventure that all you have to do is stay up late and wake up early. I've got the staying up part down pat. Now I just have to figure out how to drag myself out of bed in the morning. My goals for the new year are seemingly simple but pretty complex in actuality, they all bear down to making myself a better, happier, healthier person and I'm putting them out there so I can be held accountable as I'm going to try really hard to slip I'm sure:

1. Get physically healthy - I've focused the last five years on tims life, his health and his needs. I don't even know who I am or what I want anymore. I do know that this girl has no qualms about killing a brownie for breakfast & multiple other times during the day. I eat my feelings and unless those feelings start becoming kale chips, sprouts and tofu this is not going to turn out well. So I've decided I'm going to put the ban on myself that I kept on Tim to keep him as healthy as possible. Goodbye red meat, white anything, processed anything, fried anything and sugar containing substances. I'm going to miss them but know I'll feel better when I get back into our old routines...right after I stop by  Golden Chick one last time that is...

2 get emotionally healthy - I'm on too many drugs to balance my mood. I want to start addressing the elephant in the room and start working my way off the meds. It will be a long process but I know it will be the healthiest way to go overall. I'll be going back into therapy, work on getting my meds adjusted for the short term with a long term plan, head back to acupuncture as nothing calms me like that and I'm going to start trying yoga to feel like I can regain control of my body and my life.

3. Get spiritually healthy - this is the hardest. Do I still love God and believe in God? Yes. But I'm so confused, so lost as to why this happened as I can't seem to find any justifiable reason for it. Why Tims story wouldn't have spread just as far and well if he was that .009% that's cured from such an advanced stage Cancer. Someone has to be the first, why not him? I'm pissed at God right now for essentially crushing me so completely. Ministers at our church have been reaching out and there is one I'm getting together with soon to discuss all of this.

4 get financially healthy - I'm well taken care of currently but I know I need to start trying to find a job. I also know that I wouldn't hire myself right now as I have too many issues with the sleeping stuff to be a good employee. I still also don't know what I want to do. I have almost 10 years experience in marketing but to be honest, my heart wasn't fully invested so I was only decent at it. I reapplied to nursing school for the fall but not sure I'll do it. I think I could do all of the procedures but I couldn't be the nurse the patients and their families not only need, but deserve. I am considering the idea of being a medical equipment sales rep but have a lot more research to do and to see if I could even get into the market. By the end of the year id like to have a job I love to do and look forward to going into work every day.

My hope is that by achieving these things I can start to pick myself up and move forward. I hate that it pulls me further from mylife with Tim but am also realizing that time is doing thatwhether I participate or not. Wheni meet with him again I want to be able to tell him about everything I accomplished every after he was gone. I can't wait to see that sweet grin again. This is also the year of family and friends for me. I'm learning how to ask for help and stop sticking myself into an island. I know I need down/alone time every so often but I do adore all of the time I've had with so many sweet friends recently.

Hope you all have a happy new year. May 2015 be a year of positive growth for all of us.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

On to the next holiday.

I made it through Thanksgiving if only by sheer distraction and exhaustion after not sleeping for the two days proceeding it. My sole focus has been upon getting this house organized (which includes paying bills I've just stuck in random places and am now getting late notices on). I think that focus has kept me calmer than I would be without it. I count the weeks as the anniversaries of losing Tim. One month was also All Saints Day at church, Two months happened to be the weekend after Thanksgiving and now I've discovered that Three months will be the weekend after Christmas. Four months will also be pretty rough as it is the day before the anniversary of Tims diagnosis. I think I finally get a break from all of the collisions of dates and anniversaries come February and will have a break until our 5th wedding anniversary in April when it's also the 6th month anniversary of losing Tim. This kind of horrible cosmic coincidence would only happen to me with my horrible luck. 

Obviously I'm frustrated these days and a bit down in the dumps. My family (parents, sister, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins) bent over backwards to help make my Thanksgiving a bit more bearable. I went right up to the mountains the day after which was a good distraction. My friend is currently working on getting tims car all fixed up for me. It'll look even better from the front than before Tim was driving it into everything (which I've apparently taken over now).

Our supper club friends held our Christmas dinner and white elephant gift exchange over here last week. I still have no counters, sink or dishwasher so they were sweet enough to bring their own pots and pans for anything that had to be heated up and we kept it classy with paper plates and plastic cups. (Btw that should be a new dinner party trend, makes clean-up a breeze) I also got a very special visit from tims mom and her friend Patti and was able to go eat lunch with them. It was really nice being able to catch up. I ate lunch, attended Spanish class, learned about snowflakes and was the official tag-ee for a large bunch of 4 year olds when I got to go visit with Lillian at school the other day. It was so nice to see her in that different element (so quiet and shy!) and I had the best time playing with her and her class. Pretty sure some of those kids legitimately think my name is "Aunt Jenny" although I have to admit that I miss Lillian's old name for me. For some reason she called me "Uncle Jenny" for years and it stuck until she grew up on me, "Aunt Jenny" seems a bit boring after that. :) I got to peek in on Harlan for a second who took a second to place what I was doing there but was such a sweet cuddler as soon as he figured it out. Nothing like seeing his face light up when it clicked that I was there to see him. I adore those kids & am so grateful to watch them (& their soon-to-be sister) grow up. Tim was ecstatic about becoming an uncle again and actually looking forward to holding a baby this time versus me forcing him to hold the baby long enough for the picture. I think Lillian and Harlan warmed him up and Brynn was his first experience not being afraid with a newborn. Irregardless he loved our nieces and nephew more than anything else in this world (including Maddy & myself). He would've been thrilled to become an uncle again twice in a four month period. 

The DVD library did so well that I purchased another DVD cart for the cancer center and will be making drop-offs at the McCall Hospice House as well as back at the hospital for the pallative care floor. I've heard that many are so excited about this and I can't thank you all enough for all of your generosity. 

I'm slowly but surely writing all of my thank you notes but have injured my wrist (or more technically injured it awhile back and am finally getting it treated) and am stuck in a large gorgeous black splint (with Velcro that catches on everything) for the next few weeks. Depending on how everything goes I may have surgery on it just before Christmas. Between that and Maddy spilling my tea on a big batch today slowly is the operative word.

I miss Tim, every second of every day. Nights are hard and id do just about anything to talk to him again (as in have a conversation). People ask if I feel his presence and mostly I just feel the loss of it still, the hole of what was. I can't seem to fathom that I'm not going to see him again in this lifetime. If feels like a joke or that he's on a trip. I haven't caught myself calling him yet but I woke up and couldn't find him for awhile the other day. It was so confusing then so devastating. 

Stupid little things set me off, someone asking how I'm doing, a quote from Anchorman, a sweet friend doing the dinner prayer, finding all of his gory scary movies. In a way it's frustrating, I can't keep my emotions in check. I either sound/feel like a robot when I talk about him or I lose it, no middle ground. There have been some very awkward experiences at restaurants, on the phone with customer service reps and some poor people that ask the wrong question at the wrong time. Ultimately I've learned of the kindness of most people. There are a few scoundrels in the bunch but the ones that are good more than make up for the others.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The worst week of the year

This week is an emotional one for me every single year as it has been since we found out Tim had mets the Monday after Thanksgiving 2010 and the typical expectancy was two years. Tim almost made it four. Each year the anxiety of what is to come in the next and remembering how awful it was to find out tims cancer had spread doesn't compare  to this year without him. I've had so many amazing friends helping me unpack/repack Tim's things over the past few weeks. I'm putting his things into storage until I'm in a better place and better able to go through them all. Today though I went on a binge of unpacking boxes as my family is celebrating Thanksgiving here Thursday and I wanted to try to have an area in which they wouldn't be tripping over everything. Of course today would be the day that id find our old photo albums, ticket stubs, wedding momentos, etc. it's so strange to see a lot of this and wonder where Tim wants it before realizing none of it matters to him anymore. It only matters to me.

A week or so ago I had a really bad day where I woke up and couldn't figure out why Tim wasn't in bed. I was so confused thinking he went to get something to drink or to the bathroom And the confusion seemed to last awhile. Then suddenly it all sunk in. I didn't get out of bed that day. 

I said that I'd share the good, bad and ugly so here it goes. Days have been better for the most part but I don't know if that's because I've completely thrown myself into getting my house put together and I'm terrified of what's to come after I finish this project. I have days where It's an accomplishment for me to take Maddy for a walk and get myself something to eat but I also have days (few and far between) that I'm fairly productive. Nights are a different story. My meds knock me out for the most part but it's an unconscious sleep versus good quality sleep. Sometimes I forget to take my meds until the point that I'd be sleeping through dinner if I took them at that point and I have to tough it out. Some days I've exhausted myself so much physically it overpowers my constantly turning mind. Others result in me being awake until 4:30-5am. 

For awhile (& sometimes still now) I prayed for God to take me. I could never hurt myself because it would be such an injustice of me to take my life after Tim fought so hard for his but I now understand how people can get so low that it seems like the right option for them. Instead I've prayed that God will see it as my time and reunite me with Tim. I've told my grief therapist this and many others, I'm told it's a normal part of the process of grieving. I say it because I kept wondering if I was suicidal by wanting it to be my time.

I've also had a lot of crappy stuff happening lately including my first wreck since high school (everyone is fine, tims car will be in the shop for a few weeks), getting locked out of my house, BIG issues getting my title at the DMV (as in two states and the bank I got my loan from all claiming the other holds the title and they can't do anything resulting in five trips to the DMV within three days), having an untraceable gas leak in my house, tims car just shutting off on me later one evening when I was two houses from being home and various other "fun" adventures.

There have been some good things too though. The cards, texts and calls have continued to come which makes me feel so loved in the midst of all of this. There have been over 500 DVDs donated for the hospital, in fact I dropped off the cart about two weeks ago with Tims friend Berkley and got a text from Savannah (tims night nurse over and over and my saving grace many times over) where she'd had a plaque made dedicating the cart in memory of Tim. I'm taking the extras to the Cancer Center for a library for the long days there as well as to McCall Hospice House. Riverside moved the BrightLife banner they created for Fim into the gym for basketball season (he LOVEd girls basketball, esp when my cousin Rebecca or Haley's sister Georgia was playing), my oldest friend, Lauren, had her baby last night and let our friend Hayley and I join their families to meet little Savannah Mae right after she was born. My friend Megan and her husband Ed took me up to see her parents and their day old puppies, Maddy loves to cuddle with me now (she may be using me for my bed but that's ok), 

I have to say the worst is going to bed alone. It doesn't matter who stays over, I don't get my favorite time of the day with him anymore where we just hang out, watch TV, talk and generally made fun of each other. Tim made me laugh a lot in ways that no one else has ever been able to before. I can't remember if I've told this story or not on here so forgive me if I repeat myself but we had many sleepless nights filled with worry and Tim would always try to cheer me up. On three occasions he was the most successful he's ever been. One random night around 3am he made up a game called the Bright Olympics, even invented the rules himself, for himself. I think it was pretty well known although unspoken that I would never take part in this game as I can be incredibly shy (hard to believe once you actually know me). You'll understand why in a minute.  The rules for his game were that he had to strip down, turn on all of the outside lights and id time him to see how fast he could run around the house shoeless and naked. 1. I forgot to start the timer I was laughing so hard when he actually ran out of the front door with nothing on 2. He slipped on the third turn on the mulch and I completely lost it after that so he came in wanting to know how he did and found me utterly useless from laughing. He instituted a shoe only rule after that. The third Olympics he stripped down yet again and ran up and down our road three times which had me in stitches but it was the second Olympics that I'll never get the image out of my head. He decided he was going to do jumping jacks on the front porch (naked of course) and would do 50 but as we now had neighbors across the street he decided to forgo the lights this time. He got out there and probably about 15 in I turned on the porch lights just to taunt him (we teased each other incessantly, to the point that an outsider or someone who didn't get our relationship might think we were being cruel when in actuality it's how we expressed our love to each other) and I thought he'd coming sprinting back in. To my surprise he just grinned and started counting louder. I've never laughed that much in my life.

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks:

My sorority sisters that helped with the first weekend of unpacking (along with many other friends that kept me company, made my beds, etc. that first day)

The locksmiths discovering the gas leak (yes these events happened in short succession)

The stocked DVD cart for 5D and the sweet sign Savannah had made for it.

Tims car after the wreck and it decided to just quit on me.

Day old puppies

My living room

Lauren and Savannah Mae

Proof of Maddy being sweet.

Thanks to all for the messages, calls, etc. I do these posts (most you'll notice are at 3-4am with crazy spelling errors as I'm always to lazy to get up and get my computer) in the attempt to quiet my brain at night so in reality they are similar to the tattoos I got. I do them for me and to remember Tim but I'm glad to hear that some enjoy my rambling on about Tim and I hope this helps to keep his memory alive in everyone. I guess I'm terrified of even one person forgetting who he was.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Hard Day

Today is going to be a hard one. Although the house isn't fully ready I'm moving all of our stuff in which means going through all of our memories. I'm really overwhelmed right now as I go to meet the moving truck at the storage facility. I have lots of great friends that will be with me today and through the weekend which I'm extremely grateful for but please pray for my sanity as well as theirs as well as for a successful move and that this will be more sweet than bitter as I'm reintroduced to our things. I'm hoping they give me more of a feeling of comfort and being "home" than of anxiety and grief. 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The official month anniversary

Although Saturday marked 4 weeks since  Tims death, today was the official month mark. I met with someone from USCU's nursing program today to officially resign. I may change my mind later but for now I know that although I could do the technical requirements, I couldn't do the emotional ones and from experience I can say that patients deserve more than what I can give at this point of my life. The school has been incredibly kind, understanding, patient and generous to me over these last few months. I don't know what my plans are, right now I'm just trying to make it through each day as well as anticipating the upcoming holidays and how hard they will be. I don't think I'll be making any additional major life decisions until after the beginning of the year. Two tattoos and dropping out of school are enough for now.

I've been in the mountains which is healing for me. Tim and I were only able to spend one night up here together. It's one of my favorite memories as we watched pitch perfect, drank more beer than we should and just enjoyed spending time with Maddy and each other. That one good memory is comforting but keeps me from feeling overloaded by the floods of memories that happen elsewhere. The time up here has given me time to think, to reflect and to try to get a little organization back into my life. I haven't even looked at our bank accounts in months (I'm positive they are a mess), I don't know what bills I have paid and who I owe money to anymore, I have quite a few accounts that I have to have placed in my name, I still have to get our money pit finished and move in and I have a boatload of thank you notes to write for all of the generosity bestowed upon me by you all over this last month. 

I'm having more "not horrendous" days than the ones where I can't function. I'm achieving my goals each day (and even did so early today and got back in bed for the afternoon). My life is still very surreal but I'm reading lots of books as I've found they are a good distraction and actually keep my mind focused which is a rare event and I'm trying to focus on making it to the end of each week versus the end of each day now.

I'm terrified of the fact that I'll never be the same, that I don't recognize myself in pictures from "before". I remember the events happening as the picture was taken but I can't evoke any feeling I was having during that time. I feel like an outsider as I remember those events. I hate knowing that the pain will become easier to bear but will never go away. I hate that I not only lost my husband but my hopes and dreams for the future both personal and professional. I'll never know what our children will look like and whose dominate genes ultimately would've been the winner. I'll never get to see Tim as a father, which was one of his biggest dreams, and later as a grandfather. I'll never get to stare into his old grouchy stubborn wrinkly face bc I know that's exactly the type of old man he would've been, the kind that complains about every ache and pain, the weather, etc but secretly loves every bit of being alive.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

One Month

Today marks a month since Tims death. I'm getting a little better each day. I try not to admit it but in my heart I know I am. I mourn Tim every day, I feel his loss and absence everyday and every day I still have to give myself a pep talk just to get out of bed. It still doesn't feel real, I can still see him talking to me so I can't compute that he's truly gone. 

Each day I have three goals for myself: make the bed, eat more than once, accomplish one project at our house. Some days I get the bare minimum accomplished, others I get a little more. I've broken a door and a shelf by kicking/hammering through them in anger. I put up a fan that has blades not too firmly attached and a light fixture that may or may not be an immediate fire hazard. I'm trying though, as hard as I possibly can and although it doesn't get easier or less painful it makes the days go faster. 

Saturday's are bad, many close to impossible as I'm flooded with memories of that day. I know today may be one of the worst yet but I have a big plan a friend is helping me pull off to help make a dream of Tims become a sort of reality and I hope that's something that will make him smile because every day my goal is to do whatever I can to make him proud of me.

A few Saturdays ago I had what can only be described as a full mental breakdown I've been getting better (although I've also been getting sleep and food) since that point. I almost wonder if that was something I needed in order to move forward although now I'm constantly nervous of it happening again. It came on so suddenly and severely that it scared me and I'm pretty nervous about it. 

Tomorrow is All Saints Day at our church where they will honor all that have passed, including Tim. This will be hard on a multitude of levels for me, my first time back at the church since the funeral, my first time back around a crowd since I've developed this overwhelming fear and claustrophobia and my first time truly facing that Tim is gone in an official forum. There have been phone calls to be made but a lot is currently on hold so I haven't had to face the reality just yet, I don't really know what All Saints Day is about but I imagine hearing his name being read aloud will make this more of a reality than it has been. I dread going but I can't imagine not being there for Tim tomorrow so somehow I'll draw from his strength and just do it. Please pray for us all today, each "anniversary" is hard but this just feels so big, so heavy.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My meds

Things have been slightly better, I feel guilty saying that as I feel as though I'm letting go of Tim in some way but actually sleeping and keeping food down (even in smaller quantities) has a way of doing that to a person.

I got a shot of phenergan that completely knocked me out for a full night and the majority of the next day. I went to my doctor who prescribed Klonopin to make my brain slow down enough to sleep and Zofran to help with my nausea. I'm now sleeping about 15 hours a night (technically I haven't slept through the night since the first week of August) and am getting small meals down and keeping them down. My mouth still aches from the sores but the magic mouthwash prescribed by my doctor (a combination of lidocaine and malox) keeps it numb enough to allow me to eat, my mouth is improving too, just slowly. I've also started taking Celexa so hopefully that will kick in over the next few weeks and start to help me feel a bit more stable. Typically I wouldn't share all of my medical data but I've been a little embarrassed about how much trouble I've been having with everything. Sometimes I feel like I'm being over dramatic but can't turn it off so I thought others may feel the same.

I went to the mountains with my mom and some family friends this weekend. Tim and I had an amazIng night there a few months ago of just hanging out, drinking some beer and watching pitch perfect in front of the fire but those are our only memories there which was kind of a relief to get a break from being surrounded by all of them 24/7. I feel like I'm drowning in memories of him sometimes, other times I feel like I can't remember enough.ive felt claustrophobic since all of this happened though to the point I want to do something crazy like bungee jumping (I hate heights) but it reflects in my outfit (or lack there of at times) with the baggiest clothes I can find bc everything else feels so restrictive. I also have no shame in wearing pajamas and slippers in public anymore at any time.

I have some really big decisions to make soon although it feels way too early to make any. I'm freaking out about what countertops to get for my kitchen, much less life decisions. The first being if I start nursing school in January. I don't know if I can be back in the hospital or run into things/procedures/etc. that remind me of Tim and all he went through constantly so I could use a little guidance there. My house is also done (a few more weeks still) and I need to figure out how/if I can feel safe there. I think I'm going to travel some between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tim and I adored this time of year and we've developed quite a few traditions around the holidays. I'm just not sure how many (if any) I can face this year. I'll be in town for Christmas for sure but only because Haley is due and I'm incredibly excited to meet my newest niece. As for everything else, I'm still trying to figure out what I want, what I need and what I can do. They all seem to contradict all of each other. 

Thanks for sticking through all of this with me, I feel like all I do is complain and gripe. I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by friends, family and strangers during this time. I have been receiving and reading every message. I haven't figured out nor had the energy to respond to most yet but I did want you all to know that I do get them, I do see them and each and every one does mean so very much to me. You all are keeping me going, making me get out of bed each day and somehow move forward through the hell. You all have buoyed me with the strength I don't currently have on my own right now. As crazy as I sound, I feel your prayers and know I wouldn't have even made it this far without all of you. Days are long but time moves quickly and I can't believe it's almost been a month since i lost Tim, I keep waiting for life to feel ok again but am realizing that may take an incredibly long time. The fact that you all are still cheering me on and haven't given up on me means so much. I think that's something I'm really afraid of, everyone else moving on while I'm still in this standstill in life.

To my sorority sisters in particular, whichever of you started the campaign of sending me DVDs for the hospital and notes for me, thank you. Hearing from many of you that I haven't heard from/seen since graduation or that we've lost contact over the years has meant the world to me. There are so many stereotypes to sorority girls. Many we ourselves lived up to during our time in Chi Omega at Carolina but you all have been showing the true testament of what a sisterhood is truly about. About a week before he died, Tim told me he was proud of me for coming up with that idea. Thank you for carrying it on for me when I haven't been able to, thank you for carrying me when I haven't been able to.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My memories

My grief counselor suggested I start to journal my memories of Tim during the time he passed away each day to try to change the anxiety I've been having at that point into something positive. I thought I'd start with the things that drove me crazy about Tim. The things we fought over (& we had some nasty fights over the years), the things that I "hated" about him, the things I was always trying to get him to change or improve upon. Those are some of the things I now miss the most as I've realized that they were what made me fall even more in love with him, even as I wanted to throttle him at the time.

1. No matter how much he deserved for me to be mad at him and how wrong he was in a situation, I always felt guilty when I got angry with him. For instance, one night the last I heard from him he was on his way home from the Carolina game and should be back by 12:30-1am. Next thing I know it's 2:30am and he had yet to walk through the door, isn't answering his phone and I'm losing my mind thinking he got in a wreck (more on that later). When he finally called about 30 minutes later he's mad at me for bugging him while he's trying to have a good time (this is after I've been blowing up his phone with calls and texts). Apparently he decided to stop by a friends house on the way home and didn't take his phone inside. He had a way of spinning circumstances that by the end of the call I'm still mad as all get out at him, am berating him for scaring me like he did and feeling guilty and apologizing for freaking out on him. He would've made for an amazing lawyer with his slick way of turning a situation around without me ever realizing it until it was too late.

2. Tim REFUSED to ever admit he was wrong. I can't tell you how many times I would force an apology and make him retry it to me multiple times due to the apology being along the lines of "I'm sorry that you thought I should've called and it scared you that I didn't" granted I had to ask him if he even felt bad about what he did to get the weak apology. Every time after a fight though he'd do something small but sweet to show he was sorry, like offering for me to put my cold feet on him to warm up (usually no matter how asleep he was when I'd try I would get a "uh-uh get them off now").

3. Tim had a hot temper. One of his friends, jake, nicknamed him "Angry Tim" at one point due to that. His road rage in particular drove me crazy. Sometimes it was entertaining to watch him get worked up about the smallest thing, sometimes it would irritate me and sometimes my hot temper would also come out. What was funny about that was that Tim wanted everyone to think he was laid back and easygoing and I was completely uptight (which I am) when in fact he was just like me. In the last few months though I was surprised at how mellowed out he became, it seemed like he was growing out of angry Tim and finally becoming the easygoing person he always tried to portray.

4. Tim was VERY particular. I have major OCD issues that my friends like to make fun of, Tim liked everything to be just so in his own little way as much as, if not more so than I. I took full advantage of that in knowing he couldn't stand to see dishes on the counter or in the sink. I haven't loaded or unloaded a dishwasher (without company anyways) in almost 5 years. He also sorted laundry almost down to the color, whites, lights, reds, darks, blacks, sheets, towels, cleaning rags. Our washing machine and dryer never stopped but I never had to do laundry as he despised my idea of everything being permanent press all the time. I also shrunk a few of his shirts and forgot I was washing something leaving it in the washer for days on end so I was banned. Once he began doing laundry for us there were strict rules I had to follow about making sure everything was right side out. He also just recently got out of the 90s trend of wearing white t-shirts under everything but still had a ridiculous stockpile of them. He had two baskets of them in his closet his "good" ones and his "bad" ones. To this day I don't have a clue of what constituted a good vs bad white t-shirt. His love of order, however different than mine, kept my anxious OCD satisfied and me out of chores I despised.

5. Tim was a terrible driver. He always told me what an excellent driver he was but he could make me incredibly carsick driving from our house to Woodruff Rd. he always slammed on the gas, was heavy on the brake and took turns full speed ahead. He got in more accidents than I can count on the years we were together and I caught him watching movies on his navigation system as he drove down the road more than once. His car is a bit worse for the wear because of it. He always drove though, never complained about not feeling like it or just wanting to relax and be a passenger. For as many road trips as we took together, I rarely, if ever was the driver. 

6. His favorite color was black. I don't know why this bugged me but it always did, secretly it's one of my favorites too even though I always tried to make him like blue more. In fact, in our new house I had it planned for our bathroom to be painted black just for him. He never got to see it but I was so looking forward to his face when he walked in for the first time.

7. His taste in music was TERRIBLE. You can literally ask any of his good friends about tims taste in music and all will just shake their heads. No one has ever been able to grasp how such a sweet and outwardly calm guy loved such hard and heavy music. I was drug to so many TOOL concerts, 93.3 Birthday Bashes, etc. and have never seen more horror in his eyes than when I told him that he was taking me to New Kids on the Block. Poor guy was miserable the entire time. He used to tell me his music calmed him down while it was making me an anxious mess but I find myself turning on his playlists more often than not these days and I finally understand the calm he spoke of. By no means is this my new favorite but I've finally garnered an appreciation for his music.

8. He would seat at bees, wasps, Hornets, etc. and never quite understood that he (& I) were much less likely to be stung if he stopped staging combat against them. He was stung once while mowing the grass which barely made a welt and you would've thought someone had chopped off his leg. However when I got stung multiple times after mowing over a nest a few years later, was yelling at him to open the door as I was standing on the porch ripping my pants off sure that the insects were still in there stinging me and welts all over my legs he couldn't have moved slower and told me not to freak out so much the next time. 

9. He complained about every darn thing. The picture of him that is so amazing and we used for a lot of the service, obituary, etc. as well as the one of the two of us with his arms wrapped around me had him complaining the entire time about sweating, about walking, about having to have his picture taken. I learned that was just Tim and the way he functioned. I also learned how to goad him even more so if I had to hear the complaining, at least I got a good time out of it. For as much as he complained though, he put up with a lot of things I drug him to and through and although he'd complain to me fore, during and after, he never let anyone else hear him (unless a fellow compatriot gave him the leeway to complain to them that is).

10. He couldn't multitask, he couldn't even text and talk to me at the same time. Our dry cleaners knew us well due to the amount of time they'd have our stuff sitting with them before Tim would stop back by with his guilty but winning grin for forgetting yet again. He would get so flustered with me if I told him a list of things to do but he did love a good list and loved showing me the things he was able to check off. As I figured out that getting the tasks completed was a game for him I would've with him and give him a list that was impossible to complete in one day. He would bust his butt though to try to prove me wrong and get it all done.

I really could go on: he was the worlds worst bedhog (would claim he was on the edge when actuality it was his face on the edge while the rest of him was curled up across the diagonal of the bed), he was a notorious cover stealer and although all of the covers would be sagging off to his side of the bed every morning he would accuse me of stealing the covers all night (I did end up figuring out how to partially roll myself into the covers to protect from his attacks), he drank out of all the cartons (sorry to anyone that has been a guest at our house), he could never be in a room without the TV on (I miss turning on the TV and it always being on ESPN bc Tim had it last), he first hated my dog and kicked her out of my bed before falling madly in love with her (& she with him) to the point they would be hanging out in bed with no room for me to get in (we had a king) and so many more. Ultimately I miss those annoying things. If I had to fall into a toilet bowl in the middle of the night every single night bc Tim left the seat up again I would do it happily, I'd go to all of the horrible TOOL concerts where they play the same songs they played at the last one and some drunk idiot inevitably tries to play air drums on your head while your husband is too engrossed in the show to notice (true story), I'd be carsick every day just to have him back. To see that sweet smile grinning back at me as he tortured me yet again, for him to lean down in my ear and grumble about whatever it is he's having to do at that moment, for me to be banned to the other couch bc "it's daddy softer time". 

There is a Portuguese word I ran into somehow years ago and it just recently came back into my thoughts. Back then I thought it was just a beautiful sentiment and I was amazed that there was no direct translation, no word in the English language of comparison. Now I live that word every day and completely understand its meaning: 
Saudade  It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing may never return.[2] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missingmoved away, separated, or died.

Saudade was once described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.

My dog peed on my towel

it's been a really bad few days, last night being the absolute worst. Each day gets harder bc I'm taken further from my life with Tim. I used to feel his presence, no matter if he was in the next room or a few states away. I don't feel that anymore and it's incredibly lonely. 

I'm so mad at Tim and at God right now. I know it's not something he chose but It feels like Tim abandoned me when I needed him most without so much as a compass. I can't find any valid reason why God didn't miraculously heal him and took him instead. I know he's out of pain, I know he's whole again, I know eternity with him is nothing compared to the life I have left without him but none of that provides any comfort whatsoever. I would take him back in any form I could get him right now. I read a quote that stated that moving on from grief is similar to monkey bars. At some point you have to let go to move forward. Problem being that I don't ever want to let go, I don't want a new normal or life before/with Tim and life after. I just want my crappy old life back, as many problems and hurdles as there were. 

Over the years I thought about what life could be like if I ever lost Tim. I had no idea, the imagined pain I felt was incomparable to the real thing. I haven't really slept for two weeks now, nor have I really eaten as I'm so tired of getting sick every single time. I'm hungry, I have a constant headache, my body aches and is weak, I get dizzy doing very little, I have painful sores throughout the inside of my mouth and I'm so indescribably exhausted. 

Maddy hasn't been the same since the night I came home from the hospital without Tim. She gets up and walks away every time I get near her, sleeps or just lays in her bed the majority of the day and most recently peed on the only towel I had in the bathroom/my room while I was in the shower for the first time in more days than I care to admit. I found out as I tried to dry myself with that towel. It wasn't an accident, she hadn't had one in years and actually is notorious for peeing on my parents dog's bed when she's upset with her. Maddy actually peed on my mom in bed one night after I told mom she had to cut out the daily treats she was giving her. Maddy got her revenge on mom the same night mom cut her off. She's mellowed out a little in the past few days but I have no doubt she's grieving the loss of Tim and is confused about where he is. Each time I go to get in the car she tries to hop in with me, if she does make it in she refuses to get out. I've been driving his car the few times I've gone out and each time I pull back in the driveway she comes running up to greet me but quickly loses her exuberance as she realizes it's only me. She and Tim had a very close bond and the big joke around our house was that I was the fifth wheel with the two of them.

My days haven't been much better than Maddy's. I'm trying to slowly renter the world but nothing feels right. Our house still isn't done and now I'm torn about living there, I'm terrified of living alone. I'm anxious about having to go through our things and relive all of our memories. Sometimes I just don't want to have any memories of Tim but I'm terrified of losing a single one.

I often forget that Tim isn't coming back, that this isn't some horrible dream, that he's not on some trip, that I can't call him, can't have a conversation with him, that cuddling up with him is no longer a possibility. Each time the realization of those facts is just as, if not more so, painful as the last. I don't know why I keep thinking that if we could just get in our house everything will be ok and we can go forward. I catch myself speaking of him in present tense, I find myself daydreaming of things we could do, I stumble over every big decision bc I haven't made one by myself in almost 10 years.

I've been told that the grief doesn't get better, but that it gets easier to deal with. I can't imagine a time where it doesn't take my breath away. I can't find the light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes I ask God why he took Tim instead of me.

I search for signs from Tim constantly, in song lyrics, in the sky, everywhere, everyday. I haven't found one yet. I talk to him and God constantly and ask them to send me something but I haven't gotten a response. I've been through more hell in the past five years than many have to experience in a lifetime and I can't conceptualize any just reason. I'm trying really hard to move forward and to be ok but it only gets worse and I'm so frustrated. I know I have to grieve to come out the other side but a reprieve from my body's rejection of me, from life being complicated at every turn and from the constant pain and reminders of Tims loss would do me a lot of good right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What Happened on Oct 4

Many have been confused, and justly so, of what happened as Tim was supposed to be discharged at last word and the next word was that he was gone.

Friday, the 3rd we watched Divergent and went to bed. Tim was uncomfortable and anxious but we thought it was due to some changes in his meds. Around 2AM he had a breathing treatment that he got sick in the middle of. He was given some nausea meds and we went back to sleep. He started throwing up a lot the next morning and was x-rayed. They needed a clearer picture so they decided a CT was needed but Tim couldn't keep the contrast down. They put in a tube through his nose and into his stomach, a very painful procedure for him. Once it was confirmed that it was placed the contrast was placed into his stomach via the NG tube. 

Transport finally came to get him and as he was feeling worse and his toes were numb, vitals were taken and his blood pressure was found to be at 79/29, normal is around 120/80. Transport was canceled and Rapid Response was called. The room quickly flooded with people and I just remember sobbing as I was stuck in a corner behind all of them as they worked to stabilize Tim and he looked at me with so much fear in his eyes.

He was stabilized enough to be moved to the CCU and down there they decided he needed a central line in one of his arteries. His breathing was so hard that they had to ask me if they could insert it in his groin instead. I asked them to do whatever they had to do to save him. They got the central line inserted which is like a mini surgical procedure and stabilized him enough to be taken to CT. At this point I was terrified but certain that he would pull through just like every other time.

When we got the results of the CT a short time later it was the last thing we expected to hear. I don't remember exactly what was said and luckily Steven was in the room with us at that point but the doctor started listing locations where the cancer was and told us the damage was too great and there wasn't anything they could do. The biggest issue being that a tumor was pressing on his small intestine and causing a blockage. This scan was completely different from the scan in August, apparently the breaks in chemo with all of the other issues had just given the cancer the freedom it needed to go crazy with its growth. We had been told two days prior that Tims CEA had dropped 200 points already. I still believe that the trial he was on would've worked had all of these other issues not occurred. 

Tim didn't seem to understand the implication of what the doctor had said and simply stated "ok, let's get this NG tube out and we will figure out the next step from there." I had to explain that the doctor was saying that there were no next steps. It broke my heart to have to tell him that sentence but I thought we'd have a few weeks at least to say our goodbyes and come to terms with everything. 

Tim had Steven and the doctor go out to explain what was happening to our families and bring them all back. I texted Dr. Edenfield's wife to tell her what was going on and ask that they come to the hospital quickly as I had overheard the doctors response to some question the nurse had asked. His response was "it won't be long"

The doctors told Tim he could have anythingn he wanted and their goal was for him to be comfortable. He talked to our families and to Dr. Edenfield and his wife Andrea. We got some time alone together and as I tried to say my good-byes he told me "no" and to stop. He never would let me say goodbye or say goodbye to me. I've been told he was likely trying to spare me pain or that he simply couldn't say goodbye to me but it's one of the biggest things I've struggled with since his death. He slipped into a coma not long after our families stepped out and his nurse moved him over a bit to the side of the bed and told me to climb in with him. Our families came in one by one to continue their good-byes and at some point we were alone again. 

Tim was on medication to increase his blood pressure to keep him alive. He was also struggling with his breathing a lot and seemed very uncomfortable to me. He had a living will and it covered this circumstance indirectly but I had to make the hardest decision of my life when I asked the nurse to turn off the blood pressure medication and give him morphine. I knew it would hasten his death but I also knew it would make him more comfortable and would be what he wanted. It was a straight-forward decision with an answer so obvious that it wasn't even a decision anymore but I still struggle with it every day.

A very short time later I had a gut feeling that I needed to tell our families to get back in the room and quickly. I don't know how much time passed between my text and when he let go but I'll never forget the feeling of his last breath against me. The hoping and praying that I was wrong and that he'd breathe again, that everyone was wrong and he'd come back to life and I wouldn't have to face a life without him in it.

Our families went back out some time later and left me with Tim. I remember a nurse manager asking what funeral home I wanted to use and not having a clue what to say or where to start as a doctor performed his assessment to confirm Tims death. I remember seeing the sheet move as he checked the pulse in Tims feet and having a glimmer of hope that Tims foot had moved. I barely remember signing a form refusing an autopsy bc his body had been put through enough. I remember trying to get enough together to help our parents and Steven get a list of people that had to be called that night. 

I do remember walking onto the elevator knowing I had to walk away from Tim and leave him alone in the hospital for the first time ever. I remember how cold it was outside but that I wanted to feel it bc every other part of me was so numb. I don't remember getting home or falling asleep and the next week is a big gap of nothingness for the most part. I remember the mortuary and having to plan Tims funeral. I remember that I was asked to identify his body at the mortuary and although someone else could do it, I wanted to do everything for him because these were the last things I actually could do and my last connections to him. I remember seeing him lying there, reaching out to touch him and being shocked at how hard and cold his arm was. I remember a day or two later feeling panic that I would never see his face again and that the memories I have are the only ones I get. 

I don't remember much of the funeral or the reception. I barely remember seeing a few faces and I don't remember a lot of that evening after. Ever since, I've just been exhausted and lost.

I miss my best friend, my partner in crime, the one person that knew me inside and out. I feel like a ship gone adrift or I'm floating in the clouds yet I don't feel connected to my body at all. This experience doesn't feel real and I can't believe this is my life. I'm starving yet I can't keep food down so I feel terrible constantly and for the first time in my life the fact that I'm quickly dropping weight concerns me. Up until two nights ago when my doctor prescribed sleeping pills, sleep has escaped me, it's still not good but better than before. I had friends stay with me each night last week and one said I would sit up constantly and just stare at her or straight ahead. I have no memory of doing that.

I'm afraid of answering the phone, crowds and being in public, or just seeing people in general unnerves me for some reason. I know I have to get back out there at some point but right now I can't see how. I am desparately ready to leave town and have had offers to host me from literally around the world but am afraid to be away from my childhood bed at my parents house as it's currently the only place I feel somewhat secure. My uncle is a psychologist and has been helping me start to figure out how to function again. Tomorrow (today) I will start to see a grief counselor. My doctor has been amazing and has made herself available to me for whenever I need her. I wanted to share all of this, not to make you feel sorry for me or bring you down. I have a tremendous support system and am receiving more messages each day than I have the energy to respond to.   I'm very lucky in that sense. Women who are also younger and have lost their husbands have reached out to me to offer support and guidance but ultimately I've found that other than that network and professional help, there isn't anything out there that tells you what really happens in these situations. It shocks me that I'm a widow and I'm only 30. It seems to be a live and learn type thing. Living and learning when you already feel as lost as I do isn't ideal so I thought in Tims spirit of sharing (which was never his favorite, done more to appease me so I didn't have to repeat everything over and over again) that I would share my experiences in case someone else has to endure this hell but isn't as lucky as I to have the endless support, at the very least maybe it will be cathartic for me. The fact that I have no shame is likely to serve me well in this instance, even as I know Tim would be cringing from my oversharing about myself. Bear with me as this isn't likely to be pretty but as Tim told me so many times through his fight, "if it helps one person, it's all worth it."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tims funeral

Thanks to all who made Tim's service so special yesterday as well as all of those who came from near and far to attend. If you missed it and would like to watch, it's still available here: http://new.livestream.com/fbcgreenvillesc/events/3470181

Now the really hard parts begin as I and our families have to find what normal is. Please pray for much needed peace and comfort that seem to be in short supply these days. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tim's Service Today

For those of you that are not able to make it into town for Tim's services today, here is a link for the services that will be live starting at 12:30PM EST. Thank you

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tim Bright's obituary

Hard to believe this is happening.: http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/greenvilleonline/obituary.aspx?n=tim-bright&pid=172723778&referrer=0&preview=True

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pictures of Tim

We're asking for anyone who has pictures, videos, etc. of Tim Bright to email them to me at brightjenny08@gmail.com as soon as possible as we prepare for his service. Thank you for your continued support, each day is just as difficult as the last but there is a little respite in knowing how much of an impact Tim made upon your lives.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Services for Tim

Last night, a little after 8pm, a large piece of my heart was forever crushed when Tim peacefully took his last breath surrounded by both of our families. It's still incredibly surreal and I'll never forget looking into his beautiful blue eyes that one last time.

As crazy as it sounds and felt at the time, from the first moment I saw Tim coaching on the Furman baseball field, I knew he was the man I was meant to marry. He loved me in a way that could never be matched, he wasn't just my husband and best friend, but an extension of me, of my soul, and filled a void that had always felt empty. 

He taught me the meaning of love throughout our ups and downs, of selflessness by being the strong one and calming and reassuring me in moments that were just as, if not more so, dark and scary for him, of kindness by always putting others before himself when even in these last few weeks he told me that he was more worried about me being left behind than him having to go, and he made me a stronger person. 

Many people have noted just how strong I've been throughout these trials, I'm truly not, it just appears that way when you are following in the shadow of someone as strong as my husband. It's Tim that has given me that strength and to be honest, I'm absolutely lost without him. He faced his disease head on, and never asked why, just said that if what he's going through could save one person then it was all worth it. The world is a much duller place without him. 

He fought valiantly until the very end and was noble and brave in his words and actions. He will always be my hero, my world, my heart.

Services for Tim will be held Saturday October 11, 2014 at 12:30PM at Greenville First Baptist Church, 847 Cleveland St. Greenville, SC. A reception celebrating Tim's life and legacy will follow. 

Tim never understood the point of flowers and because of that refused to ever send me any. For that reason, we are asking that in lieu of flowers you donate to the one organization Tim & I believe in the most, iTOR. We know that someday they will find a cure for this horrendous disease. Memorials can be made to 'GHS Cancer Institute ITOR'  Philanthropy Office, 300 E. McBee Ave,  Suite 503, Greenville, SC 29601

Hard to Swallow

Many have already been spreading the news but we wanted to put out a statement from our families as well:

We are sad to share with everyone that after a fight of 4 1/2 years, Tim lost his courageous battle with cancer tonight.  Throughout this fight, Tim and Jenny have exhibited the type of courage and determination that made our families proud.  They have both touched the lives of so many in positive ways and their positive impact will last a long time.  In return, we have all been blessed to watch how their strength, faith and love for each other buoyed them through this fight.
Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes during this "journey".  We will let everyone know when memorial plans have been made.
Thank you and God bless.
The Clantons & the Brights

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Another Down

This morning has been full of all kinds of tests as last night was a really rough one continuing to Tim getting sick multiple times this morning. He's currently in X-Ray/CT and they are trying to figure out what is going on with his poor body. Please pray for this to be a minor issue he can overcome and for guidance for the doctors to diagnose it quickly.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Two weeks in

Today it was decided that Tim would be discharged tomorrow. We were nervous but excited to head back to Tim's parents and hopefully get back into "real" life. Unfortunately since the procedure something has changed and the pain/anxiety meds that were well balanced are now overly sedating Tim so the plan now is to get his system a chance to clear itself out and start again with titrating his meds. Hopefully that will be done rather quickly and we can be on our merry way. We'd rather put the time in now than to boomerang back in a few days. In other news, after four days we have finally figured out how to use rewind on the hospital TV/DVD player. Long story but a huge advancement for our ability to watch movies here :)

Please pray for Tim's lungs to continue to clear out and improve in their functioning, for the new meds to be titrated quickly and accurately and for this chemo to knock out this cancer and be the miracle drug we've been waiting for.

I'll leave you all with a word of advice from a 5th grader's letter we received today (5th graders give some great and hilarious advice btw): "while you are still on earth pay attention to your friends and family and not your phone." :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Praise the Lord, the surgery was a complete success and really could not have gone any smoother. Savannah Stroud Hightower has been Tim's night nurse many times over the past few weeks and has become a very good friend. We just happened to meet her dad the other night who is an anesthesiologist and ended up helping us with doing Tim Bright's surgery today. Such a reassurance considering how many issues he has had with anesthesia and his breathing after. This is the absolute best shape I've ever seen him after a procedure. The worse side effect is how tired he is.  A permanent stent has been placed and the hope is that this should be the final fix for all of his GI issues. We obviously still have some huge challenges ahead, including getting him back on chemo and getting it ramped back up to full-strength. Please pray that he can start moving forward with this treatment and that it can attack his cancer to get it back under control as well as that he can begin to regain strength to be able to start living a normal life once again.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Another Fever

Tim ran a high fever this morning and although they were able to get it down pretty quickly, antibiotics have been restarted and they are working to try to figure out what is causing the fever if possible. We've had success with getting him started on the trial and are slowly ramping up the dosage to full strength. It's still much to early to tell if the chemo is working but we're still putting all of our hopes and prayers towards its success. We've been blessed that he has such great care up here and so many people just cheering him on and doing absolutely everything they can to help give him the best advantage possible in this fight. We've had some great nurses sharing their testimonies with us recently and some of the stories are so amazing they will give you chills. I feel as though we are growing in our faith even more than before because of these experiences. Please pray that a definitive reason for these random fevers is found and can be treated as well as for the success of this trial.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Steven's Speech for Tim

Tim was honored to be asked about being a speaker at the GHS Vision Partners dinner held last night. With this latest hospitalization we knew it would not be feasible for him to do it so we asked his brother Steven to do the speech instead. He did an incredible job and we're honored to be able to share it with you guys.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Encouragement for Tim

Today was another day of adjusting medications for Tim Bright. His pain meds were changed again but we're getting closer to getting those regulated now. Tim is the most resilient person i know but I believe that he could use a little pick me up after the last few weeks so I wanted to ask anyone that has some time to drop a quick note or card of encouragement in the mail to him (11 Don Drive Greenville SC 29607). Please continue to pray for this trial to get his cancer under control.

Maddy Visits

Maddy came up for another visit today and was able to spend a few hours snuggling in with each of us. We've never been able to have children so Maddy has become our child and we certainly spoil her as such. We're taking this day by day and slowly working to regulate Tim's medications and get the equipment he will need ready for whenever he may be discharged. We're currently not in any rush though. Please continue to pray for Tim's improvement and most of all for this trial drug to work. I can't express enough just how important it is for that to happen. Thanks all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pain Management

We met with another team today that specializes in a lot of things including pain management and they were able to make a big difference in Tim's back pain. I think we may actually finally be at a good point with managing Tim's pain. We're still working to regulate all of his other meds and get him rolling forward smoothly upon the trial. We've been really nervous and high maintenance to all of the nurses and doctors assigned to Tim Bright but all have been incredibly patient, kind and gone way above and beyond to help respect our wishes. We can't thank them enough for all of their help. Please continue to pray for Tim, that this trial will be successful in getting his cancer under control and that he begins to feel stronger each day. Thank you.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Today was pretty brutal, we got some sleep last night and Tim has restarted his chemo trial as of today. We're holding all hope that this works for him. Please use all your prayers and wishes that this will work for him.


Today was another hard day. I've had a migraine since Friday and ended up waking up feeling terrible. I haven't had much sleep over the past few weeks but even less over the past few days. I was afraid i would pass something along to Tim so I left the hospital and went to Exigent. In the meantime, our dog, Maddy, woke up with a pretty nasty looking spot on her face and had to be taken to the emergency vet. She's ok but I decided to bring her back to the hospital for a visit with me. She's been such a good girl, calm and sleeping cuddled up next to me for the past few hours. I think this was something all three of us needed. The team at the cancer center is regrouping in the morning to put together some options for Tim so hopefully tomorrow should bring a plan of action. At this point were both pretty beaten down and it's hard for his pain and anxiety to be controlled while still preserving his breathing so we've been struggling with those issues. Please pray for some peace and guidance in what path we should choose tomorrow (even though we don't know the options yet). As well as some pain relief for Tim and rest for both of us.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Moving out of CCU

Tim is being moved to the oncology floor today but still isn't out of the woods. We're still working on what the plan will be for moving forward but are currently taking it day by day and hour by hour. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Still in CCU

Tim has stabilized a lot more today but everything is still pretty serious at this point. He is still in CCU and we're working on a plan for moving forward. Thank you for your continued prayers for him and please pray for peace and guidance in our and the doctors decision making as well as continued improvement for Tim.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pray for Tim

The next few hours for Tim are very critical. I'm completely at a loss for words as this feels like it came out of the blue. We don't know what is causing all of this to happen yet and as of two days ago I thought he was finally on the mend, yesterday we had a slight hiccup in the way he felt but thought we had gotten (or we're getting) past it. Please pray very hard for him right now, he's my whole world and I'm not ready to lose him.

Back to the ER again

This is the last thing I wanted to put out there but we had to return to the ER this morning. Tim was up a lot of the night and around 3 started to struggle to breathe again. His OxSat dropped and his heart rate went pretty high again so the on call oncologist told us to head into the hospital. We don't know what's going on yet but have been told he is being admitted to ICU (or CCU or CVICU...we're waiting to hear) and will likely be here for a few days. Please pray for us to finally get some sort of definitive resolution about what is going on and for Tim to improve. As great as the people are, we're tired of being here...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Overdue Post

Apologies for such a long delay. I don't feel like we accomplish anything from day to day yet I don't feel like we have any time either. Last night Tim actually slept through the night (other than meds) for the first time in over a month. We're both dead tired so that was a big help both physically and mentally. Lauren and Kellie from River Falls Spa very generously helped us to arrange Kellie coming over last Saturday to help with his back. He's still in pain but between that massage, acupuncture today and just getting out and walking he's beginning to see a little improvement. For someone who was so adverse to acupuncture, Tim's taken to it and now adores it. Kathryn at Key has been tremendous about helping get Tim in for treatment and it's not only helping his pain but also has lessened his anxiety. We're still working on it and have a ways to go but seeing the improvement is great. We've been so incredibly blessed that so many people have been so willing to assist us in helping to get Tim these treatments in ways that he is most comfortable so he can get the most benefit from it all. The wonderful people at iTORs CIOS are helping us with a nutritionist and even helping us get him some yoga sessions which we believe will help with his breathing and his anxiety. 

His eating has greatly improved and were hopeful that he is beginning to gain some weight. He's walking faster now and although he still requires oxygen and he doesn't see the improvements he is making, he truly is gaining strength little by little each day.

The trial drug has been throwing us all for a loop recently and we're trying to get that under control again. So close to getting it but still a ways to go. They are likely adding in the Xeloda tomorrow which throws another link in but I'm sure we will sort it out as well.

Our house is still being remodeled (always so wonderful when these things collide at the same time). We started everything a week or so before Tim got into the hospital the first time so there was no going back and as with an older house there always seems to be something. We keep joking that we should've just bulldozed the place and started from scratch. The contractor told us he would be finished by the end of this week so we could have the painter in next week and the floors after that. We will see! The goal is to have our stuff moved in by Oct 7. We're both really excited to be back with Maddy and in our new place. As frustrating as it's been, it will be great when it's done.

Thank you all for you unwavering support, kindness and all you do for us. I'm always hesitant to put anything out publicly thanking people for their generosity simply as I don't want it to appear as though we are asking for anything as we are simply grateful and overwhelmed by the amazing messages and people constantly checking in on us. That being said, there have been so many that have been incredibly generous to us over the past few weeks and with everything going on I'm afraid I've forgotten to send a thank you note to some of you in the madness. I apologize but did want you all to know that we really are appreciative and that it's just been crazy so my organizational skills are somewhat lacking these days. 

There is one thing we have asked for and want to continue asking for which are your prayers for Tim's continued improvement, for his anxiety to lessen (as well as mine, I talk a lot about his but I also still panic at times as I think back to what happened or what could've happened). If you all could also pray for a streak of good nights rests for us we'd be grateful as well. Thank you all for your support, it means so very much to us.