Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mourning my Losses

Patty and I just returned from a few days in P-town, the little trip without the kids that Patty mentioned in her post last week. We had a tiny little one bedroom unit on the harbor in Provincetown, able to watch the tides come in and the boats rock gently on their moorings. On Friday we had an early morning thunderstorm, and a one again in the late afternoon, which we could watch from the couch in our living room. It was sweet and relaxing and felt like being out in the weather without being out in the weather.

While we were there, we hung out in our room, reading, napping and relaxing. Patty did more, walking on the street and running errands for us. An expresso bar is right near the unit we were in, so Patty had lots of coffee to drink, and in the mornings she bought us cinnamon donuts at our favorite little shop on Commercial Street.

Because I'm experiencing shortness of breath, I knew I wouldn't be able to walk up and down Commercial St., one of our favorite things to do while there. We had arranged for hospice to get us a wheelchair, and Patty wheeled me down the street on Friday, so I could check out the shops and we could order a little lunch at our favorite burrito place. I couldn't eat much, but it was fun to share our lunch on the back deck, overlooking the harbor. I still don't have much appetite, or hunger, so when I eat, it tends to be just a small amount.

Riding in the wheelchair was okay, but I'd like to order some better shock absorbers! The street was not smooth, and so my ride was bumpy. Also, at first, Patty was pushing me so fast I began to feel motion sickness! Once she slowed down and avoided the potholes, the ride was much more pleasant!

Another day, we drove around P-town, checking things out, including two rental units we've arranged to spend a week in with the kids later this summer. They each look really special, and like they will be special places for our family for the week, but they raised my anxiety about my energy in 4-5 weeks and how much I'll be able to do or not do.

When we got home from our excursions, it was time for a nap. I've been sleeping 2-4 hours during the day, in addition to the 8 to 10 hours I sleep most nights.

I finished a few novels, read the newspaper each day, checked out some magazines, and generally spent a lot of time on the couch reading, and then watching TV at night.

I mention all of these details to say this is my life these days. Lots of naps, lots of reading, a little moving around, but not too fast or too much. Bringing my current state of low energy to a place I have loved and delighted in enjoying makes me aware of how much I've lost. I'm not the person I was; I don't have enough energy to fully enjoy being in a delightfully different location. I feel the cancer taking its toll on my body and my energy and delight in life. I am mourning all that I have lost.


Julie said...

Dear Lynne,

Your post today brought to mind a movie I saw a couple of years ago, The Sea Inside. It's a lovely film about a man who became paralyzed as a result of a diving accident and who is waging a court battle for the right to die. What came to mind were the beautiful scenes in which the man dreams or imagines himself "able" again, swimming, flying over the water. The images bring him both peace and sorrow, as it sounds yours do, too - the loveliness of the memories tinged by the reality of loss.

I have my own dear memories of you, you know: looking for rocks on the beaches in Maine or P-town, swimming in the cold water, admiring the blond hair on your tanned legs!, cooking in the Maine at Blueberry Cove, doing puzzles, having deep or funny conversations with you as we sat by the fire, your sustained insistence that our baby group meet regularly and deepen our connections.

I love you, Lynne.

Anonymous said...

Lynne...I'm SO glad you had these days with Patty, described to us with still that twinge of humor (I can JUST envision Patty truckin' you down that street and I DO chuckle to myself at the thought of it!)....Have MORE of these days....Thinking of you all, every day.....Jamie

Lipglossles said...


Tanya and I had a little laugh, as we pictured Patty pushing you down Commercial Street in P-town. As we know, you can hardly walk down those streets without, tripping on a crack in the sidewalk (it must have been some bumpy ride). I am glad you two got to and have a little time away with one another. I am hoping you have the energy you want, for family week. But you already know, you have a wonderful partner to maneuver you down those bumpy roads ahead.

We love you,

Anonymous said...

Your wild ride down the street with Patty at the helm..complete with motion sickness made me laugh out loud! What a visual!!
I'm glad you survived the speed, bumps and cracks in the pavement without bailing out.
I'm sorry the trip was a bittersweet one...but...with the bitter came the sweet...sweet time together...a familiar place and a different view.
It reminded me of my mom's last trip to Italy...taken with her beloved brother(two peas in a pod, they were!)She had much the same experience. They visited their old, familiar, favorite spots, sipped their wine and did as much walking as mom could.(shortness of breath was her downfall also)...sampled the food in as many little bites as she could with the lack of apetite and lack of energy to even eat...she said it was all too sad until she finally sat on the edge of her bed and had a good, sobbing cry!
She said she felt much better...temporarily anyway.
So, dear Lynne....try not to spend time wondering how much energy you'll have in a few weeks....take it one day at a time.
When it all gets too much....let yourself have a refreshing cry.
It's ok .
Our spirits are with you,whispering sweet words of comfort with each gentle breeze.

Anonymous said...

Lynne, I can relate to your wheelchair story. When I was having chemo we went to Disney World with my daughter, Wendy, and granddaughter, Chloe, on a trip planned before I was diagnosed. The first day there Wendy was pushing me in a wheel chair, and I felt as though I was on one of the "thrill" rides! Not only did she go too fast, but she would push me so close to people in front of us that I thought we were going to hit them! Now, it makes for a great memory because we were able to all be there together.

It is good that you were able to spend the past few days in Provincetown with Patty. Knowing the location of where you were staying, I remember how great it is to be able to sit on a couch there and be that close to the beach and harbor. I'm glad you had that experience again; and hope your future visits this summer will be good, too. I agree with Cori....just take each day as it comes.

Love and peace,

Anonymous said...

I definitely can relate to your wheelchair story...I was the driver of my former partner's wheelchair many years ago when we went to P-town. It's hard to be the driver of those things!
Please don't forget to through in some humorous readings along with your novels. Humor is a wonderful and powerful thing!
Susan H.

Anonymous said...

I am catching up on your posts since the 24th, and find myself giggling about the wheelchair ride, but crying about the rest. I so wish this were all turning out differently. I ache for you and for Patty. Mostly, I want for you to not feel alone now. True, you are walking a road unfamiliar to the rest of us, but please know that as much as we are able, we are right along side of you, with our continued prayers, good wishes, and love.
Mary M

Anonymous said...

Dear Lynne and Patty,
It was so good to hear that you had some "sweet" time in Ptown, I'm sure the time alone, in such a special place, was good for both of you. After reading Patty's first kiss blog, I think it was just what was needed. A trip to Ptown, just the two of you. The sadness you feel is so poignant. I could feel it as I read through your blogs, and I wish it were not happening to you. I so admire your courage to share your feelings in such a public way, it certainly speaks to your strengths. I feel so honored to have crossed your path on this journey. You are an inspiration to me, I wish you both the strength to carry on. I pray you will spend more time in Ptown, alone and with the kids...and keep writing. Mary

Anonymous said...

i am glad that you and patty were able to get away to p-town, if only for a few days- i am sad for you that you couldn't do more of the walking that you are so used to doing there, in that special place-
i am reminded of that poem which says something about cancer being able to take your body, but not your spirit- i hear that your spirit is strong, if your body is becoming more weary- but that makes me sad, too- i am hoping, wishing, and praying that you have the strength to enjoy your p-town time this summer, because i know how much it means to you-
i love you-
love, alice

Anonymous said...


Just a little post to let you know that I have a card on the way to you, but I am checking the blog daily. Regardless of distance, you have remained a constant person in my thoughts and in my heart through the years. Your wisdom, support and love have come back to me more times than I can count.
I will be up there in 2 weeks and I hope to take a few moments to hug you, and let you know just how very much I love and adore you.

Love and respect,


P.S. I agree with everyone- the wheelchair story is priceless!

Elaine Pascale said...

I can't even imagine the "race" down commercial street with a did you ever manage on that narrow little street? Even though you titled this "mourning my losses," it seems you managed to enjoy the little things: cinnamin doughnuts, a summer storm, etc. I will pray for your strength during your upcoming get away with the kids.

Deb said...

How wonderful it was that you were able to be in Ptown. Thunderstorms/rainstorms are particularly cozy in Ptown for some reason.

thinking about you.

Deb Barsel