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.


  1. I am praying for you and John constantly, Cat. Thank you for keeping us in the blog world up to date on your amazing and yet unbelievably painful journey.
    It warms my heart that such an awful fall did nothing but bring the two of you together.
    May you spend each and every day like that.

    God Bless the both of you.
    Katie in St. Louis

  2. Lifting you and John up in prayer daily. You are an amazing woman with such unbelievable strength and yours and John's love for one another is an inspiration to all! Please know the Tanner family in Houston Texas is praying for you guys!

  3. Hi There,
    Can you get him a wheelchair? I know for him it means something else he can't do, but just to get outside, without pain, to just enjoy the sun, or some alone time together, going for walks...I know when my mom was sick, her dignity was all she had left, so she called the shots. She did agree to have a wheelchair for outings and it was a blessing. It makes me so so so sad that John is going through this. He deserves a full happy life, not to be cut down before he even reaches 30. All I can say is keep cherishing every single second - you will NEVER forget these moments.

  4. Cat, reading your post broke my heart. I have no words right now, just know that we are praying for strength for you and john both.

  5. Definitely talk to your hospice nurse about your concerns and his fall. If anything like that happens again, be sure to call them too. It couldn't hurt for someone to come out and check him. I hope and pray that he does not fall again and that he can get some comfort. You are an angel Cat!

  6. I have no idea who either you or your husband are, but I am in awe of the strength of your relationship and the personal strength of each of you individually. The love between the two of you is what every.single.person in this world longs for. And you have it. It's just not fair that love like that gets thrown something like this. But know that you two are truly an inspiration. In the face of the darkest darkness, you both shine. Thank you for sharing your story. You are in my prayers.

  7. John and Cat all I can say is that I love you both very much. I prayer for you every day. The world revoles around you now so embrace and enjoy every minute of it. May God bless you both.

  8. Kat

    You are one of the best writers I have ever read from, especially during such an ordeal. Cancer has touched in someway nearly everyone I know and love. My wife lost her father to cancer and she would have never been able to put her thoughts in such a way as you have. You are amazing and make sure you know that because John will always know that.

    John , you are a amazing person!

    Your Friend- Gary

  9. Praying that the God of all comfort will give you peace in your hearts.
    This is a medical facility for cancer patients I wanted to pass on to you.

  10. My thoughts and prayers have been with you, John and his family a lot lately.
    I dont have the words....


  11. You are both amazing, and I love your love. You are in my prayers and a genuine inspiration to all of the lives you touch.