11.08.2010

breathe...

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.

31 comments:

  1. John and Cat I love you both so much. John I will help you breathe. I smile because of the love I feel from the two of you and I cry because of the pain you have to deal with. Just know when I take a breathe its for you John.

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  2. thank you for writing this beautiful blog- my heart goes out to you two. all i can say is that ya'lls love is so beautiful- so eternal. bless you
    -gabe

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  3. This breaks my heart. I rememeber when Steph went through this. She only had one lung for most of her fight. It's awful to watch. I'm sorry for your pain...and John's. I love you.

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  4. Praying for both of you.

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  5. This blog breaks my heart but I am lifting both of you up in prayer daily and multiple times a day... I appreciate so much more in my life because of your blog. Thanks for sharing so much of your journey!

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  6. Cat, thank you for sharing your heart for the world to read. Please know that we are lifting up your family in prayer. I pray for comfort that only God can provide.

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  7. Love....

    Love is a blessing
    The thing that truly lasts
    Love allows us to live
    Love is the light
    That fills you with hope

    Praying for a miracle....because I know with God anything is possible....also praying for comfort and peace....and hope....you both have an everlasting love....it has touched so many lives...including mine...I thank God for the mutual friend we have that shared your story...now I can continue to spread your story and more and more people will be able to lift you both up in prayer!!! Keep fighting the good fight....we are all alongside you....
    EVERLASTING LOVE....don't ever let go of those feelings that got you both here together today....thank you John and Cat for your love....simply amazing

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  8. Oh sweet Cat and John. Our hearts hurt for you both. John is too young and cancer sucks, but the unwavering love and respect that the two of you have for one another is amazing. The brutal, unpretty reality of what John is going through makes me angry. Trying to imagine John's shallow breaths is impossible. Know that we love you both. Take "cat" naps Cat. Dream of John in healthy days. He continues to be a brave warrior, but this battle should not be happening. How I wish I could take it away.

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  9. You are constantly amazing in your love, your strength, and your courage. I am not sure I can honestly say that I admire too many people more than I admire you and this journey that the two of you are on together, as well as all of those who love you. I respect you. I admire you. I will appreciate more and more every single day granted because of the experience you have shared with us, as well as your incredible gift of strength. I love you and pray for you both. I will not take my breaths for granted, for you John.

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  10. oh cat, i really don't know what to say. i feel so much for you both. what little solace this may be-- you and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers every day, and that of my family's, who are also following your blog (and of course you know, literally everyone at work). i think you've taught so many what is truly important and what to never take for granted, and that's your gift to us, so thank you.

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  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oad8ov10AjY

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  12. I am still praying for you, also......for the entire family. May God continue to be Ever-present in each moment, filling you with His Peace and Comfort.

    Erica

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  13. I just heard about your blog 2 days ago and have read every post. Your unwavering love and support for one another is earth shattering. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and John, and all those he has touched in friendship or this blog.

    ~Scott (Program Manager - Rasmussen Pasco)

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  14. My heart is breaking for you Cat. I am so,so sorry sweetheart. Our collective arms are holding you now. We love you.

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  15. hold this heart when I go
    sing my song when I go
    sing it loud when I go
    sing it proud when I go
    some people are learning to die and some people are yearning to fly and
    some people are learning to die and some people are yearning to fly
    but I know they'd all be yearning to fly
    when my, when my, when my soul
    takes leave of this world
    when I leave this flesh and these bones
    oh I swear to you that you won't have to go alone

    the first time my heart collided with yours
    I know I felt the ocean tickle the Earth's sandy shores
    but changes come and we all know that we can't stop them
    but I hold these memories and I will never drop them
    and I'll watch over you

    I'll watch over you
    oh my care will cover you just like the moon can do
    I'll watch over you

    oh the thought of death has yet to make me afraid
    'cause I will will march right off this world into the next like it's a grand parade
    but if you feel lonely just like you want to run and hide
    then I'll wrap my wings around you and give you
    strength and I won't leave your side
    and I'll watch over you

    I'll watch over you
    you know I'd love to get to heaven
    you know I'd love to see the view
    but first I think I'll stay and watch over you
    I'll watch over you

    brett dennen

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  16. I have read all of your posts. I can't lie, some made me even tear up, but all of them inspired me, all of them helped to show me how pure and true love can be. I know I loved my own wife, but everyday I read your blog it made me appreciate her more. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better man and a better husband.

    Omar Almodovar

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  17. A friend of mine shared the link to your blog, so I have been following along on your journey. My heart breaks for you during this difficult time, and please know that there are so many people who love you and John, Cat~both near and far, some you know and other you've never met. As the previous posted noted, you have inspired so many people to become people, and I thank you for being so open in your blog.

    Many thoughts, prayers, and hugs!

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  18. I found out about you through a friend of mine, Jessica Nester, I do not know who you are, but you are in my prayers through this time. God is always faithful even when times are tough. I care for you even though I have never met you and I will continue to pray for you. God bless you.

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  19. Dearest Cat and the entire Goddard family - - - Our hearts are aching for you. Please know we will hold you close to our hearts, and raise you up in prayer.

    Love,
    Kathy and Phil Beanblossom
    (Phil works with Suzy)

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  20. My heart aches for you and your family....your words remind me to be a better person, to love deeper and to embrace everything I have. Thank you. God Bless....

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  22. I am so so sorry for your loss....words are not enough

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  23. I am sorry for your loss. He is in heaven watching over you. You will forever be in my prayers.

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  24. I don't even know how to express my sorrow for you. I'm so sorry for you and the whole family and I know nothing will take your pain away. Reading your blog has made me feel like I know you and have followed you both through this ordeal. I'm so sorry for your loss, John was a very inspiring man and you are the most awesome woman I have ever "known". Bless you Cat.

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  25. I feel very sad about your loss... I don't know what to say...I pray for you and his family too, I'm so sorry.

    ALDI STORE #20

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  26. John and I went to school together and grew up in the same neighborhood. I've spent the last four and a half hours reading your blog through tears. You both are an inspiration to forever appreciate the love that is shared between a wife and her husband. I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Dawn 'Gray' Warriner

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  27. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. The world has lost a Wonderful Man! Wishing you the comfort of my thoughts and prayers. You, your family and John's family are in my thoughts and prayers daily. May time ease the pain that no words can. May the comfort of family and friends give you strength for today and the days to come. Love you Loads. Moma Solano

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  28. Dear Cat,

    I am so sorry for your unbearable loss...but I thank you again for giving so much by sharing this tender and loving journey. John will live in all of us through the loving and caring acts we will all be more motivated to make because of your strength in sharing your experiences.

    God Bless you,
    Andi

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  29. Cat, I don't think we will ever meet but if we did I would first want to hug you for the incredible wisdom, emotion and honesty that you shared in this blog. Next, I would want to Thank You for being such an inspiration to all of us to keep going and searching for the love and beauty in difficult situations. And lastly, I would li
    ke to take your hand and pray with you, thanking God for the blessings that you and John found in each other. What an incredible gift it has been to be able to glimpse a part of what you shared with him. I hope you feel God's peace with you now. I hope you feel John's love for you always and I hope you realize the impact you have had on so many! God bless you. You are a very special woman.

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  30. Cat,
    I went to school with John also, and I have to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Your words are such an inspiration of the love two people can share. You are such an incredible, remarkable, and a strong woman. I know I have never met you but I have been reading your blogs for a couple months now, and each time I read one I am in tears, not just in sadness, but in awe of your words. You are truly an amazing, strong woman. I truly am sorry for your loss. You and your families are my thoughts and my prayers.

    Amanda "Burchard" McNatt

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  31. Cat,
    I am a childhood friend of Shannon Pimentel's. I have been following your blog since Shannon posted it. You are an amazing woman. Your strength in the wake of what was happening to you and your husband was remarkable and admirable. Though we have never met, you have inspired me in so many ways. I am a newly wed, and have taken a whole new outlook on love and loving my husband because of your words. I am so sorry for your loss. Ironically, tonight I participated in a walk-a-thon for people battling cancer. I lost my Uncle last October and vowed to walk and raise money every year in his memory. Tonight was emotional, but in the midst of it, all I was thinking of was you and of John. Tears came to my eyes for you. I pray that God will continue to bless you with the strength and courage you have shown to so many. God Bless !

    Love,
    Kristi Rippo

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