i will...we will....

I cannot seem to find my footing. Where am I? What has happened these past few days? How can I go on? What is my life supposed to look like? …What was our life supposed to look like? When can the healing begin and the hurting stop? How do I live without the one I adore so much?

There is no question John was not supposed to leave this earth…leave his family…leave our future…leave me as early as he did. Ask anyone…it is not fair. Cancer does not have a fair button. You cannot call some sort of “cancer council” and ask them to revoke the chosen few they have put their fury upon. You just can’t. I could only wish this existed…because I would have contacted them a long time ago…because this ending was not what we expected.

Wednesday, November 10 is when John started showing signs of fatigue more than the norm. His normal, like I have said before in previous posts is nothing like ours. His constant pain and feeling of helplessness came to a head this day….and he knew it. We kept him on the oxygen tank most of the night and he turned to me between his bouts of consciousness and said. “Baby…it is happening.” My heart fell to my feet…I replied, “Oh my angel…I love you.” These words, in this moment, were the only ones I could find. We both broke down…held each other and cried for what seemed like the remainder of the night. All of the doctors had always said John was like no other they had ever treated. His pain threshold was beyond anyone else’s and he always was two or three steps ahead of the rest of us. He knew his body, he knew where the cancer was spreading/had spread and he knew how much time he had on this earth. Even weeks before, his mom asked how much longer we had with him and he forecasted it to the exact day…unbelievable. Wednesday turned into Thursday…November 11. We decided to start gathering the family and letting them know it was going to happen any day. He had not eaten anything all week and his bowel movements were not as frequent as they used to be…even with the amount of water he was drinking. As friends and family started to gather at his sister’s house, John continued to get weaker. I would kneel down and whisper in his ear every time he would have a new visitor. He would open his eyes…say “hi” and drift back to sleep. 

I will never forget the last thing he said before slipping into the coma-like state for the 12 hour final fight….his dad came into the room and sat in the bed next to him. I leaned into John’s ear and said, “I love you my sweet angel.” He opened his baby blues, turned to me and said, “I love you more princess.” I proceeded to tell him his dad was in the bed with him and he looked over, said “Hi dad,” and closed his eyes for them never to open again. It was from there….I laid right next to John for the remainder of his life….I did not get up. He was on his back and I was on his right side. His right hand in my left and my right hand rubbing his chest and touching his face….for his final 12 hours. My voice was in his right ear the rest of the night and into Friday morning. His breathing continued to worsen and his pain began to elevate. The nurses were on top of everything that night and morning. They made sure he was completely comfortable and when we could tell he was getting a little agitated, they continued his comfort. I did not want to leave his side. I did not want to miss his passing. I did not want to miss his possible awakening. I did not want to miss a hand squeeze. I did not want to miss anything…I just wanted to smell him, whisper in his ear, love him, be near him, continue to tell him how proud I was of him…touch him. All of it. Finally, his body had enough. I know he did not want to go…but his body was so tired. We talked many long nights and he said he was not scared…he was never angry…he never had an ounce of hate within him because of this disease…but it does not mean my devoted husband, a loving son, a sweet brother, an admirable friend, and this authentic man was ever really ready. At 6:17 Friday morning, John William Goddard took his final breath. My God…I will never forget that final moment….and I cried out. I could not help it…every emotion came pouring out of me at once. Everyone in that room could not do anything but cry with their own incredible grief. What felt like moments later, I left the room and went outside in the freezing air…I sat down on the driveway, shivering and cried. My bellowing voice that Friday morning I am sure was loud…but I could not hear anything…it was like I was deaf. I knew I was crying uncontrollably…but every sense I had was dedicated to that cry. I kept picturing John’s face and how hard he fought in those final moments. Up until his last breath…John fought his heart out. I somehow picked myself up off the ground and ran to the family…to have their arms draped around me and mine around them. 

As the color drifted from his body, he slowly became colder. Everyone got their alone time with John…and between visitors, I could not seem to stay away from him. I could not keep my eyes off him…my hands…and I continued to talk to my angel and let the tears fall. The funeral home came about an hour later…took him away…and it was like saying goodbye all over again…it would not be the last time. 

My incredible father, John’s amazing sister, her resilient husband and I continued the planning…just as John wished, he wanted everyone to get the chance to say goodbye. He requested a viewing and service followed by his cremation. We did it…for him…for my angel…gave everyone a chance to tell him they love him and to show support to our family as we so desperately needed it. There were several blown up photos, melodies he loved, words from his sister, a poem to his parents, words from a friend…and even his own beautiful expressions displayed in the service…it was perfect. Over 500 people came through that room on Monday, November 15 and it was completely overwhelming. The love and support from family, friends (both near and far), those I have never met, those who had never met John…all came…to fill the room with his memory and with their admiration for the man who fought for more than just his own life…but to show how important it is to love with all your might, to live life to the fullest, and to never forget who you are…no matter what.

The Wednesday following the funeral was my birthday…my 27th birthday. It was hard to smile that day…but I tried….because I know he would have wanted me to have fun…and I know he was there with me. I could not believe it was just two days after the funeral. I wanted so badly to ask for a rain check or even skip that day. To have celebrated this day with the love of my life so many years before that and then this one immediately following his service felt impossible. The rest of the week flew by with family and friends…it all seems so surreal. I sit here now in Dallas at my brother and sister-in-law’s house for a change of scenery. I will return to Florida after Thanksgiving to try and continue the life we started together there. The hardest part of my return will be setting foot into our bedroom…the room where we shared so much together. 

I will continue…we all will...I will carry on with John’s love in my heart…though I long for him so much and I feel as though my world is in shambles…I will continue…because I know he wanted me to. I will….I miss him more than anything in this world…I miss him so much it hurts. To John: I love you my sweet angel…I love you more than any words, any blog, any tear, any vow can really express my devotion and immense sorrow. I cannot believe you are gone but I am so thankful you are no longer in pain…I love you baby.


November 12th, 6:17 a.m.

John William Goddard went to be with angels yesterday morning at 6:17. With family and friends in the room, John took his final breaths with complete love surrounding him. The viewing and funeral will take place on Monday evening, at Conkle Funeral Home in Avon, Indiana. The viewing is scheduled for the public from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the funeral service immediately following. John asked in lieu of flowers, donations be deposited to the “Team Goddard Memorial Fund” at any Fifth Third Bank. Thank you for your continued support and love. Our families are broken and miss him terribly…I cannot find words right now…so for now, I will take a break. Thank you for understanding.



Take a moment…right now…take a deep breath. Inhale…you can feel your chest bellow and your tiny hairs tickle your nostrils…now exhale. Every ounce of your breath leaves and you notice a slight shift of your inner body. If you never really breathe deeply like this, you would rarely notice you were even breathing. It is so second nature and a part of our every moment that breathing is completely normal…just a part of being alive. Now…imagine one of your lungs being collapsed…all the time…and instead of your chest bellowing out with a huge sip of air, your stomach has to over compensate for your lack of lung expansion. Imagine it hurting to take a deep breath. Imagine not being able to take full breaths but only quick, short, thin ones. What would go through your mind in that moment? Would you panic? There is no way you could not notice such a change in your breathing pattern because this would be out of the norm for you. What would you do?

Last night, John and I did not sleep. John a lot less than myself. Poor thing…he is exhausted. His coughing during the night was unmanageable and he sat up periodically to clear his lungs of all the mucus build up or to adjust his back. Every position, every breath, just about everything is uncomfortable. We slept some of the morning and early afternoon and were completely fatigued. We drained later that afternoon and that is when his breath was seemingly knocked out of him. He was panting with short, shallow and quick breaths. It was all mid-drain and he turned to me and said, “I feel like I just got done running a marathon.” I quickly grabbed the oxygen mask that sits bedside and hooked it around his ears. I finished the drain, cleaned his wounds and called our hospice nurse, Robyn. She advised me to give him a few meds that would get everything under control as she came quickly to the house. All the while, John was completely calm. By the time she arrived, everything was back to normal. Remember, normal to John is not the normal we know. She even said it looks as though his breathing resembles that of an asthma patient. Even when he is in complete rest, he cannot seem to take deep sips of air. His voice is slowly going as well. I noticed today he was whispering a lot more rather than the cracked speech he has had this past week. On top of all this, his sister was not feeling well and ended up in the ER. She is fine now…thank goodness…but this day all in all felt terrible.

My heart is sad right now…it has been for quite a while now. It is not controlling this journey but rather a part of it. We must continue to try despite the looming sadness…we must continue to laugh…we must maintain our strength for him…we must keep fighting. Moreover, we must continue to take a minute and recognize our own breath...appreciate every inhale and every exhale…I know he does.


take my hand...

It is an interesting feeling knowing I have extended my hand to take you along on this journey and the support is showing no signs of slowing down. Though we do not reveal everything on this blog…we do tell you a lot. There are still certain aspects of this life that deserve to stay sacred between a husband and wife but it does not mean we have/will not be honest. We do not hide much…there is no need to. What we are feeling and what happens in our day to day is something that should be talked about…maybe it will help someone out there realize something…anything in their life that could be altered or improved upon because of this electronic diary. That is fine…why not? We have always been an open book and now with this battle, it is even more magnified and less controlled. Our pain is felt, our tears are seen, and our love is read…here…every emotion is put here…in our own words.

We still cannot get over the fact this is happening. We cry every single day. One of us will start and the other will follow closely behind. It is hard to watch my sweet angel fall apart. I try to stay strong and smile as often as I can in front of him…to try and cry by myself…but the moment I see his tears, I feel mine roll down my already damp cheeks. This is not getting any easier and emotionally, we get pummeled to the ground with every passing day. It does not mean we do not try to press on and keep moving. John did get out of the house this weekend…we went to the mall because he wanted to. His mom, sister, John and I went for a walk around an incredibly busy mall…all in his wheelchair. I could see him in the front seat of the car on the way to the mall and back home...soaking it all in . Every so often, he would close his eyes as if he was really feeling the heat of the sun shining through the passenger window on his skin and taking in that moment to its fullest extent. It was a beautiful thing to watch. All in all, it was a good weekend…as good as it can be for what he is going through.

For those of you still reading and still following…thank you for continually taking my hand.


his day...

Yesterday was John’s day…and it was wonderfully relaxing. Like I said in the previous post, there was no agenda. We had a few visitors who all came to show their love to him. Lots of hugs, kisses, stories and birthday wishes floated around the house. John was able to get out of bed for a while and enjoy everyone who stopped by. He read several cards with their sweet messages and enjoyed a special cake, made just for him...thank you Steph's mom.

There was another beautiful, little gift waiting outside for John that afternoon too...

We usually sleep, eat, and talk about cancer day to day, but John’s birthday had nothing to do with that disgusting disease. It is unbelievable how something can dictate your every waking thought and movement…but yesterday it all went away. Today was just as pleasant and we are trying to keep that trend into the weekend. The plan is to go to the mall tomorrow…only if he is feeling at his best. We will have the wheelchair in tow and will try to brace ourselves for the cold weather. The Floridian blood still runs through us and it already feels a lot like winter here. :) Thank you again for sending your sweet words to John these past few days...it means the world to us. John also received this amazing video from my beautiful coworkers/family back in Florida...please click, watch and enjoy...we did. :)



Tomorrow is John’s 28th birthday. We will be celebrating as much as we can with family and friends by our side. There are no set plans, no set menu, and no set itinerary…we will figure that out soon enough…it is just time to celebrate the birth of an amazing, beautiful, loving, incredible man. He has held on and fought so hard…continuing to amaze me every day. He is still very sore from the fall two days ago, but has kept pushing on. Yesterday, we walked up and down the street two times…all his idea. With my help, arm in arm, we took a walk. We said nothing at all…just walked…it was absolute perfection.

So we raise our glasses…to you John…happy birthday my sweet angel. I love you more than you will ever know and could ever imagine. Thank you for being my husband, my best friend, and in my heart forever. I adore every ounce of you...and I am not the only one.


the weekend...

There is no separation in our days anymore. They all run together and to differentiate between weekdays and weekends are nonexistent. The title should be “the past few days” but since the rest of the world is on a schedule…I will try to be as well. Weekends mean family and friends are around more often and we do not have to think about appointments for a little while. Draining his chest fluid and keeping the leaking under control were what consumed the other parts of our days…just like any other day. John’s breathing is starting to get erratic. When he would get up and get a drink of water, I noticed his breathing was heavier in the past…now even in rest, it has gotten worse. I constantly offer the oxygen sitting in the next room to bring him some sort of comfort and he always refused…until today. “It is uncomfortable…I don’t want it,” he would reply. The tubes sat awkwardly in his nose at the hospital but we still tried here. He finally gave in today and we hooked it up next to his bedside. Right now, it is whatever John wants or wishes to do. I feel bad offering as much as I do because I know he wants to keep his sense of independence and know he can still do things for himself. It is becoming less and less of him putting up a fight and saying he can do it on his own…because he cannot anymore. He still tries…and I am still learning to have those boundaries of letting him try. Yesterday was a good, relaxing day for the two of us. I went and ran some errands with the girls in the area and John stayed up the entire day watching football here at home. I missed him every second. Just being away from him those few hours was difficult but at the same time, he pushed me to get out of the house. We reconvened in our bedroom last night and talked about how much we missed each other for those few short hours we were apart. It is hard not to when we spend every second of the day together.

Today was an extremely difficult day. I cannot even begin to describe the emotions. John and I went to his regularly scheduled Monday morning appointment to check how his hemoglobin was faring since the blood transfusion the week before. We got the good news that afternoon letting us know he was holding strong at 11.1. We had discussed over the weekend to go look at funeral homes together because he wanted to be a part of that journey…understandably so. Wouldn’t you want to be? As we started our walk up to the door of the first home, we held hands for strength…both emotionally and physically. He has been having a hard time walking without holding on to something/someone for balance lately, so I was mindful of that. We got to the front door…I had one hand and his other had the railing…and I let go….for one second…I let go to open the door. I hear him desperately say my name and I turn around to find him falling backwards. I quickly reached out for him but was not fast enough…my heart began to race as I knelt down next to him on the ground…cringing in pain. He fell. I let go of him and he in turn released the railing and fell. I kept asking him if he needed an ambulance as he fell incredibly hard on his tail bone and hit his head the rest of the way down. I felt and still feel responsible/terrible. I got him into the car to start making our way to the ER and John refused to go. He said he was fine and did not need to go…he just wanted to go back home. I got him in bed, sitting up against a few pillows, and made sure not to let him sleep…or if he did, wake him up every few minutes. My mind was a mess…I could not believe what happened today and thank goodness, John is okay. We are both emotionally beat down after today…anticipating the funeral arrangements and then the fall…it took a lot out of us…a lot out of him…he has the strength of a million men…to go what he is going through and still have his tenacity is unreal to be a part of. I think we both cried more today than we have since arriving here in Indiana. It has been gut wrenching. Though we cried a lot today…we kissed and hugged even more. In the midst of our tears, John would grab my cheeks and kiss me…or our foreheads would meet and we would lean in for a kiss…or our hands would touch and we would embrace one another. Today was painful, but those things and embraces from Megan and Susie made it hurt less.

Today is the first day of November and that means John’s 28th birthday is Thursday. What to get for the perfect man? I have no idea…every time anyone asks, he replies, “Nothing.” I just want to give him the world…give him anything to keep him with me, his hurting family and damaged friends….hold him to make all hurt go away…my angel. 28 on November 4…November 4, 1982 is the day of his birth and the best day in the history of the world…that was the day John was born…from there, he took the trail that led him to me…and for that, I am forever grateful.