And the band played on

PC:Scott Likert Creative
(I love this photo because Scott caught me looking at Mike while he talked to me with all the love I felt for him on my face)

I have written a thousand blog posts over the last six months in my head. I havn’t put them to paper or my blog because they were just too dark to commit to paper. Consequently, a month seems to go by between posts.

I started off writing this blog to get information out to Mikes family about what he was going through with his cancer battle. It progressed from caring bridge which was private. Because so many people were interested in the treatment plans, and options available to fight cholangiocarcinoma, and not being able to find much about it online, we decided to take it public via this blog.

Over time the blog has progressed to a retelling of our experiences with clinical trials, death and dying, and finally how to go on living post loss.

The last part is still a work in progress. How to go on post loss. It beats me how to go on. You never move on, you never get past it. The truth that no one tells you about this loss is that there are people who come into your life who just add so much to your life that living without them becomes anathema to you.

This is where I have been. Guess what? Willing yourself to die doesn’t work. At least it didn’t work for me. I spent about 6 weeks just wanting to be with Mike so badly that I was willing it to happen. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to be with my husband. I am sure some reading this know exactly what I am saying. As if watching someone you love waste away to a shell of his physical self, supporting him through the death and dying process, actually holding his hand while he takes his last breath isn’t bad enough, you have to actually live on after he is gone when every single fiber in your body just wants to be with him.

Not eating or sleeping culminated in me getting both physically and mentally sick. I became so angry at the people that slighted Mike in his life, and while he was dying that it kind of took over my daily life. I ended up with a two day headache, that progressed to a full blown flu that kept me down for about a week. I still have scabs on my nose from blowing it almost two weeks later. They say that grief suppresses your immune system, and makes you more susceptible to illness, and after years of not being sick, I have been sick twice since Mike died.

The truth is, God has other plans for me. It’s not my time, and I have made a conscious decision to pull myself out of the anger cycle. I can’t live in that, and live on I must.. So I have been trying to eat more regularly, started seeing a faith based counselor, trying to laugh as much as I can, and have been counting my blessings. Seriously.. sometimes I have to actually say my blessings out loud just to keep going.

One of the many blessings in my life is Mikes family. Of all the gifts he gave me while we were together, his family is the best gift he gave me. I have a very small family, and even smaller circle within my family. Having Mikes family reaching out to me, and helping me through all this grief, has honestly been a life saver.

One day at a time, one hour at a time, sometimes minute by minute.



  1. Sending so much love, and many hugs from the mountains.

  2. There are many stages of grief and you are slowly getting through each of them. I am praying for you and hoping only the best for you.

  3. Not only has his family been a blessing to but to us as well. Maggie, Scott and I now think of them as our family. These are indeed a blessing!

  4. A beautiful photo of two lovely people who were obviously in love with each other. Try to hold onto that memory and let some of the sadness go away. There are many people who care about you and would like to help you with this time of grieving. I look forward to seeing you this evening at the Cancer Support Group.

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