Sunday, August 14, 2011


HERE WE ARE.......still here, only quieter than usual. Mr. Bob is fragile in body with the chemical assault that occurs three days out of every month and I'm embarrassed to say that instead of showing the strength that a caretaker should have, my character is miserably flimsy in the face of adversity. Because our patient in this case has no tolerance for crying, water comes to my eyes at the most inappropriate places and I feel as though I'm blubbering my way through the difficult days, scattering apologies along the way. Mr. Bob is sleepily stoic, braving the treatments well. Sometimes when I sigh, the sound that issues forth is a sob and it's hard to put makeup on a tear streaked face. I admire his courage but I wish I were stronger. Thanks to all of you who reached out to say you were missing the blog and wondering what my silence meant. I didn't mean to leave you in the dark, but for a while I've been at a loss for words.

Christopher drove down from up north to be with his Dad for this latest chemotherapy session. Always when we meet there's much occasion for laughter; it diminishes with the passage of days, but I'm grateful for the humor that we did experience. It helped tremendously to chuckle for a change.  Chris' ability with a camera is remarkable. He was, after all, a photojournalist at one time and has the eye that makes the difference. The photos that he took while last here tell the story better than any of my words can convey.

He's now halfway through the program. Three more months to go.


  1. Oh my dear.....this treatment is devastating for nearly everyone. Please look ahead to better days. They'll be coming.....

  2. You are too hard on yourself! You are there with him every step of the way. That takes courage and more importantly, is a demonstration of your love and devotion. Love, Shelley

  3. Stay strong ! Many people think of you often !

  4. Above post was by me A Non Y Mouse

  5. Aunt Janie, you are the most amazing woman. You are going through the toughest of times right now and it is okay to give yourself a little punch in the arm, but please don't take it seriously. Uncle B is going through the treatment but so are you, be as kind to yourself as you want to be to him. I love you both and Chris' pictures are amazing, thank you for sharing them. Denise

  6. Jane,
    I tried to post on your blog, but no go.
    Our thoughts always with you.
    Susie & Bill

  7. Dear Jane,
    Thanks so much for sharing your pain with us.
    I wish I could help you somehow!!

  8. It is so good to hear from you again. Isn't it just like Bob to be so strong! Jane, your feelings are coming straight from your heart, and there is no need to apologize for your pure love and caring!

  9. Wow--these photos are amazing. I think the black and white really adds to their strength as well. I've been thinking of you two so often--I'm glad to hear from you, but I am so sorry you're both having to experience all this. Bob's treatment sounds phenomenally grueling, and I am in awe of how he's handling all this.

    Your post is very touching, as always, and full of love. Please know that I think of you both very often.

  10. It is good to get an update. I'm not sure what is tougher- to be the patient or the caregiver. Remember that when Bob is finished, he will slowly regain his strength and energy, and he will be more like himself again. Everyone is sending their love, strength, and prayers to both of you.

  11. I had been thinking of you both and wondering, and hoping - I'm so sorry that Bob is feeling poorly, that will get better again when the treatment is finished. Meantime, it's good to cry, it will release some of the pressure you are feeling and I am quite sure everyone knows that.
    Many thoughts and good wishes are coming your way from our part of the world.

  12. Mes Amis
    Welcome back! It's a good sign?! The two of you are part of our daily lives; and, while we can't stand in your shoes, our faith in and love for you both - despite what you do - is abiding..

  13. Shelley said it so well. Just being there is a show of strength. Love to you all, and yes, striking photos from Chris. And to be done with the treatment in three months will make for an extra-special holidays. 'Maybe TWO wreaths hanging from your shower-head this season? :)

  14. Patients and caregivers each walk through their own kind of fire. May there be a cool waterfall waiting to refresh you when you get through the heat of these hard days.

    Love, Lisa

  15. Nice to receive a new blog! Glad you are finding your own pace -- to write or not write as the inclination and energy allows. You don't have a weak character. You don't have to be the perfect caretaker either! We are so blessed to live at Windsor where the professional caretakers help with our burdens when they come. It's obviously very difficult for you to witness your mate - your knight in shining armour - in a weakened condition. We all all do the best we can in times of illness and fearfulness. Sometimes my best is better than other times, just like you. As soon as we are able to cope better, we do it! Be gentle with yourself just as you want gentleness for your Mr.Bob! Love to you both! Evelyn

  16. Oh Jane…..I am so glad/relieved to see Manorisms again. We have been without internet connection for a while and I was hoping the emptiness in your "spot" was because I sent out a "do not send emails until end of august" I actually meant "forwarded" emails but to send only info I should know…or greetings , etc…..but when I was able to connect today and your blog came up I was overjoyed…..However, I am so distressed at your distress….It is so devastating to see one you love in such pain/discomfort/….at least when our guys had their prostate stuff there was not a huge amount of pain or fear….and it was short lived. It was scary, but only for a short time….same with Bill's open heart surgery….all was brief….not the long, drawn out stuff you and Bob are going through….Please know you two are still on my prayer list which I try to get through each night….sometimes I fall asleep before I finish, but you two I never miss.
    Wish I had some sage advice or pithy saying to help….but I don't……From what I read, you are both doing a top notch job of handling all this….
    I have admired you for so long, and this just adds one more reason to my list of Humphrey qualities….
    Hugs to you both….Rusti

  17. Dear Jane,
    So many people said it well in the above comments -- just want to add that I've been in your place and you have all my support. Give yourself a little time now and then to unload your feelings with a friend who can hold you and be a rock for you. Try to focus on what you are doing as much as you can; underlying distraction often accompanies what you're going through.
    Here's a big hug, Sweetie. Give Mr. Bob a kiss from me. Love, Jeannie

  18. lkludeke@gmail.comAugust 14, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Big love from Lynne, helplessly here but praying.

  19. I'm glad I was able to come down and hope that my presence was helpful.

  20. Very nicely photo'd you two.
    The emotion is captured....
    I remember laying in bed with my good friend, after a 10 hr shift, while she went through treatment.
    Hang in there guys.

  21. Dear jane it is sometimes difficult to get the blog to accept my comment --usually after 3 or more goes it does accept.
    Today I must try again as I am feeling for you both so much, and hoping soon Bob will be back to health with the treatment over.
    my dear friend starts Radiotherapy tomorrow She is 88 and has had a lump removed from her breast.
    Every good wish Lilian.

    PS how I understand the tears us women are so sensitive and empathetic.

  22. Dave & ShirleyAugust 15, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Dear Miss Jane...
    I am a loss for words in light of the beautiful and elequent notes you so deservedly received. We share their sentiments and just want you to know Shirley and I have you in our thoughts as well as prayers. Your note about Mr. Bob is a masterpiece of emotions that we took heart in reading. I know it will get better and we can look back at these times and share the emotion we are going through with a common relief. We all wish we could be at your side during this difficult time..however, know we have you and Mr. Bob in our hearts, thoughts and prayers everyday.
    We love you.....

  23. I could never have been as eloquent as your niece Denise or your friend Evelyn so I will just add my name to those who are telling you that you are too hard on yourself during this difficult time. You can not expect to be at your all time high and if you were, it would just show that you had no depth in your soul. Thank you for posting even though it must be difficult to sit down and try to express these most personal emotions. Bless you both!!! T.O. Joanne

  24. Hi Janie,
    It was so good to read your blog and to see photos of Bob. Chris really does a great job with his camera! Both Jim and I think Bob looks pretty darn good!!!!!!!!!

    Being the caregiver in your household is a tough job. Being 'ever so sweet and cheerful' is not easy. Positive thinking is the only way to survive. Or perhaps an extra glass or two of vino!

    Having people around - or not around if you can't bear the questions/comments - is the
    best of both worlds.

    Jim and Judy

  25. Susan H writes: Usually it is my mother's beautiful way with words that evoke moving emotion. Today I sit and cry - moved by my parent's strength, my brother's ability to capture the depth of the experience our parents are going through with photos - knowing that my other brother, Tim, is there doing his best to support them in person on a weekly basis and the incredible outpouring of love, caring and kindness of everyone. I wish I was closer. Love to everyone, from Susan in Alaska