The in-laws

We tried to go over to the Airbnb where J’s sister Kris and her husband and my MIL and stepFIL are staying last night to have dinner. Although it started out well, it ended in my MIL walking away with very hurt feelings and us having to leave early.

My MIL Sue started talking about cancer treatments and that she always wanted J to be more open to alternative treatments. At first, I was mostly on board with her, saying that I also wanted him to do some complementary natural treatments along with the chemo and he just put all his faith in the doctors. It was ultimately his own decision, though, and I had to accept that.

But then she started going off the rails quickly, talking about unproven (or completely discredited) alternative cancer “cures.” And saying that all oncologists are only in it for the money and they only get paid if their patients are on chemo. I happen to know that’s not true, as J went off chemo with his oncologist’s blessing when he reached NED for so many months.

Then she started telling so many anecdotal stories, mostly of people who took chemo and died. Her one opposing story was of someone she was related to who had inoperable cancer because it was all through him, and when he went back to the doctor later, it was magically all gone. The only problem is that this was when she was in late childhood or her early teens, so who really knows what was accurate about her memory of something that happened 50+ years ago.

Amy called her out on that story as being very unlikely and that’s when Sue stomped off to her room crying.

It really came across like Sue was saying “if only J would have listened to me, he would still be alive.” It was honestly pretty offensive—especially so soon after his death. The kids and I kept trying to change the subject back to what an amazing man J was and she just didn’t want to discuss that.

The interesting thing is that Amy was there to protect me from her, but in the end, it was me who had to protect Amy and usher her out of there.

J’s sister came outside as we were leaving and said that it was probably too soon, that none of us had had enough time to deal with our grief yet. And that’s certainly true. But John pointed out (extremely accurately) that Amy is J’s daughter after all, and that event was exactly like the sparring debates J used to have with his mom, until he got so sick that he had no energy for fighting with her anymore. (In fact, he kept a list of “safe” topics in his phone that he could discuss whenever she started to go off the rails.)

Sue got pregnant at 15 and unfortunately never matured emotionally beyond that. Her lack of logic and critical thinking skills never progressed past that point, either.

Ultimately, she was really trash-talking chemo and Amy felt like that was extremely disrespectful to J. And although I wasn’t as personally upset by it, honestly, I found it rather offensive as well.

I made the kids a promise after we left that I’ll have their backs whenever they feel like someone is being disrespectful to J’s memory. The sticking together doesn’t only go one way. And I can’t help but think that J was proud of us.

There are so many other horrible and offensive things J’s mom and stepFIL have said and done, just in the past few days—to say nothing of the lifetime of verifiable physical and emotional abuse to which they subjected him, especially as he was growing up. It damaged him profoundly and I don’t think he ever quite got over it. I encouraged him to seek therapy for it but he wouldn’t.

J and Kris turned out so well because they strove to do everything the exact opposite of how they grew up, not because of their superior parenting. And Sue doesn’t get that at all; she still thinks she deserves all the credit.

Sue said a few years ago that she was sorry Denny (stepFIL) was “a bit too hard on him.” J thought that was an appropriate apology and that I should also let it go. I understand that was something he had to do to make peace with his own death.

But that doesn’t mean it’s good enough for me. Sue is very pro-corporal punishment (even to the point of physical abuse) and she even had Amy convinced of it for a while and she thought we should have spanked her. But now Amy understands why we were trying to do things a different way and respects it and agrees with us.

Right now I am so done with Sue and Denny (who is even worse, but in a different way) that I really don’t care if I ever see them again.

That is to say nothing of all Sue’s truly malignant narcissist traits (which I don’t say lightly at all.) From my perspective and that of several others, she profited off her mother’s death and Denny’s parents’ death, to the tune of about a half-million dollars alone.

She has convinced herself that she was the poor suffering caretaker for her mom all to keep her out of a home, when I think her mom would have been much better off in a good assisted-living facility. Great-Grandma certainly would have been happier, as she had always been very social. And frankly, Sue just kept her isolated from the world for years and was even abusive to her, especially in the final years. Great-Grandma frequently expressed the desire to just die already, which makes me so sad.

Sue’s primary concern was her own entitlement to protect her inheritance, which she would have lost if she’d put Great-Grandma in a home. She convinced herself that they were all bad because on the few occasions she used them temporarily, she chose the cheapest ones.

If they come to the funeral, J’s church has a sign posted that no weapons are allowed on the property. I fully believe that my MIL would ignore that sign, thinking it doesn’t apply to the handgun she carries in her purse. I’ve already arranged with John to bring some of his (big and burly) friends to act as security/bouncers and apprehend her gun at the door and keep it locked in a small safe until she leaves.

But seriously, how sad and pathetic is that to have to have security/bouncers for a fucking funeral, all because she doesn’t think rules apply to her?

Still, once again, I think J would be proud of us for how well we stood up to her. I can easily see him doing it himself when he was younger and healthier. His legacy lives on through me and his children.

Adjusting

I put on “real clothes” yesterday for the first time since J died. I wore my Frida Kahlo t-shirt that says “we can endure so much more than we think we can.” It just seemed appropriate.

The kids and I continue to coalesce and come together as a very tight-knit unit. It’s so wonderful and heartwarming to see. Amy and John, in particular, were huge helps to me yesterday (really every day this week.)

Amy used her tough-girl voice to make sure hospice came out and got J’s hospital bed. She had to escalate it up several levels because they really fucked up. The nurse aide they discussed last Thursday still showed up this morning and she shielded me from having to deal with it. Apparently, the fact that J died over the holiday weekend caused a lot of snafus and she was very insistent that she wanted his hospital bed to be picked up today.

When she spoke to someone higher up in the hospice organization, they told her they would reprimand the appropriate people and she said that she didn’t want that, she just wanted to ensure that the same thing would never happen again to anyone else.

John also got me a refund from DoorDash, as I’d ordered and been charged for a case of wet kitten food that was never delivered. (In fact, he’d already called about it once and they said they would send someone out, and they failed a second time.)

It turned out that my local PetSmart was sold out of it, so he ended up going to five different stores to get it for me. (My Scooty is a very spoiled kitty who only likes one flavor of this specific brand of wet food—and usually prefers to be hand-fed by spoon.)

I reluctantly posted a GoFundMe yesterday and that’s had a decent response—including from several people I never expected to donate. I owe a lot of people personal heartfelt thank-yous when I have time.

I had to call J’s boss and tell him about his passing. That was hard. But he also said that he was still in touch with a lot of people from the former place where they had worked together and asked if he could share the news. He also asked about funeral arrangements and suggested that more people might show up for it (possibly a LOT more.) J’s church is pretty small and I would love it if they had a very full church there to honor him.

I also called his priest and talked to her for quite a while. She had no idea that he was as sick as he was for so long, as he never talked about it. I was also able to tell her a lot about what kind of husband and father he was and she was honestly amazed. And she said that she hoped she could do half as good of a job raising her own kids.

At the end of the day, Dylan came in to talk to me and said he’d been thinking about what was really important since J’s death. He wanted to ask me what I thought about him proposing to his girlfriend before he goes back to school in the fall. By then, they’ll have been together for five years. He would plan to get married after he graduates college.

Honestly, all of his reasoning seemed very sound. He also said that he didn’t just start thinking about this and he didn’t plan on marrying before finishing college. In fact, he’s more resolved than ever to go back to A&M and finish. It’s just that J’s death made him realize that he got too wrapped up in himself and his stress last semester and it led him to take the people who loved him for granted.

I think he very likely has found the one his soul loves, even though he was very young when they first started dating. I was young too but I honored the commitment I made (messes and all on both sides.) I asked him a lot of probing questions about marriage, especially asking if he really knew what he was getting into. He should not go into it thinking divorce is an option unless something unforeseen happens.

He has grown up with a close-hand view of what marriage entails and that it’s not always romantic and fun and that a lot of times it’s about sacrifice for the other person more than anything else. He assured me that he knows what kind of commitment he’s taking on—and I truly believe he does.

He’s also taken it upon himself to start telling his friends to make sure their parents have had colonoscopies. He said that if he can help prevent even one death, it will be worth it to him. I’m so proud that even in his own grief, he’s still thinking about others.

I also sent his girlfriend a message, saying that although I was deeply grieving, I wanted to acknowledge that J’s passing probably brought up a lot of painful memories about when she lost her mom/her husband lost his wife (also to cancer.) She was truly touched by that.

Everything is still terrifying and new and I’m sure there is still more heartbreak to come for me as I sit longer with this grief. But the kids are all so dedicated to making sure that I’m okay that I think eventually I will be.

We had no idea that this would be the end goal of how we raised them to be so capable and full of empathy. But I am so, so glad that we did. I think that wherever J is, if he’s looking down on us, he’s so proud of how we’re handling this so far.

The end of everything I knew

My husband passed away 1/1/2022. It’s amazing how fast everything went in the final 24 hours.

I wrote about helping him transition to the other side here, just so I don’t have to repeat everything.

It was an absolute honor and privilege to help him make that final transition. It was also by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, bar none (worlds harder than giving birth to a 10-pound baby without an epidural.) That’s such an extreme understatement but I can’t even find words to describe it.

It’s the kind of shit that changes your life forever.

I had stayed up for most of the past five days and finally last night, I just crashed hard. I slept so deeply and soundly that I don’t think anything could have awakened me.

I had to fill out the death certificate yesterday, which was so unbelievably heartbreaking and grueling. He’s really, really gone and I will never be the same again.

My kids are stepping up beautifully. Chloe has possibly been my greatest source of support, though all of the kids (plus Amy’s boyfriend) have just been amazing.

J’s sister is here too and she has also been a literal angel. Her husband is also here. While we’ve had some very awkward conversations, his past career as a minister came in very handy in dealing with some of the unpleasant stuff (like taking off J’s wedding ring after he passed and making sure that I got back the favorite Clash t-shirt he was wearing at the time of his death.)

My MIL and stepFIL are a whole different story that I’ll save for another post. But I’ll just say that yesterday, I walked out of the room when she was talking to me and hid in my bathroom for several hours until she left. Chloe did the same thing.

After the funeral (assuming that they come again), I may not ever speak to her again after that, but not without giving her a piece of my mind and saying the words I’ve been holding back for 28 years. But more on that later.

I was so glad that I had the money for J’s cremation and didn’t have to borrow it from anyone. Gifts from J’s family always come with lots of strings attached and I just don’t want anything to do with that.

That said, I’m still more than okay with J’s sister; she’s Good People. I love that she was here and I think her presence made J feel ready to transition to the other side (whatever that may be.)

Similarly, I can’t help but think that on some subconscious level, he wanted to die before his mom got here. I know from past experiences—like when her father died—that she freaks out and says all kinds of extremely inappropriate things.

It was just me and him in the final hours and I think that’s how he wanted it to be. OMG, it was SO hard for so many reasons. I even texted my friend Annette (a fellow night owl who has unfortunately experienced a lot of losses) at one point during the night and told her I didn’t know if I was strong enough emotionally to get through it.

I felt like the last hours of his journey were midwifing him through death. But midwifing someone through the dying process is so much harder than through the birth process.

I just felt strongly like this is what I signed up for when I took those wedding vows. I couldn’t run away, no matter how much I wanted to.

I am so relieved that he doesn’t have to suffer anymore. I don’t know what waits on the other side but if there is a heaven, he’s in it. Nobody I’ve ever met deserves it more than he does.

I want to try to communicate with him beyond the grave but I haven’t had any of those experiences yet. I really hope that I will.

I think it’s also very clear that the kids are going to have my back. We have coalesced even more strongly as a family unit. And I think that this experience is especially transformative for Chloe, who is just really coming into her own. She’s lovely and emotionally powerful and she has already proven her loyalty to me in particular.

None of us wanted this to ever happen. But it has and I see now that the way we raised them with a “family first” ideology paid off many times over.

We’re likely going to postpone the memorial service until March, I think. We just have so much to do between now and then (especially taking advantage of J’s final gift to us of one last month of insurance) and we decided that would work out better for everyone.

I am beyond sad and heartbroken. There are just no words for it. But somewhere, on some level, I think I’m going to be okay in the end.

Watching my greatest love

I’m sitting vigil all night with J. Amy and J’s sister Kris will be coming back to relieve me at around 9-10 am.

I have to say that this is by far the most difficult and gut-wrenching thing I’ve ever done in my whole life: watching J prepare to leave this world.

Things have progressed so much faster in less than 24 hours.

Yesterday, I felt sure that he’d need hospice to bring out a shower chair. He told hospice that he didn’t need a bedside commode.

Today, he is using a urinal bottle because he’s too weak to stand up at all. And I’m pretty sure he’s wearing the shirt he’ll die in (fittingly, a Clash t-shirt.) I can’t see him ever taking a shower again.

He hasn’t eaten anything today at all and barely takes sips of water.

He’s fading in and out of consciousness and he can’t seem to get comfortable. I have liquid morphine and liquid Ativan to give him, and nebulizer treatments to give him every 6 hours to help him breathe better.

He always looks forward to those nebulizer treatments but then always apologizes for having such a weak cough. I always tell him that he has nothing to apologize for and that he’s doing great.

The hospice nurse said the nebulizer treatments should help him cough up more of the fluid in his lungs but I think that was extremely optimistic and naive.

The hospice nurse also said he would have a nurse aide come out on Monday but I am pretty sure that he won’t make it that long.

He’s constantly telling me “I love you, beautiful bird” and telling each of the kids when they come in the room that he loves them, too.

A lot of what he says is garbled or sentence fragments but the “I love yous” are always clear as can be.

Sometimes when I lean over to check on him or give him medicine, he kisses me (and once pulled me in for a hug.) He is showing his love for us until the very end.

It’s extremely cold in the house; the temperature is set at 65 F because the pneumonia makes him feel hot. But his skin and his lips are extremely cold (as is every part of me.)

I am honestly just in shock about how quickly everything has unraveled since his hospitalization. Every day, there has been a considerable decline.

I am the only one on duty tonight and I don’t know how I’m going to get through it. It’s terrifying and I can’t help him, other than by administering drugs. I probably could be giving them more often but he doesn’t often say he wants them (or I can’t understand him.)

I am just watching him writhe in pain or trying unsuccessfully to find a comfortable position. I feel so helpless.

I don’t feel like I have the courage to do this but he keeps telling me that he loves me. So how could I not?

I fear it coming

I am trying not to freak out but am not succeeding.

J went on hospice at home yesterday. They can’t bring out a bed until the morning. I am increasingly afraid to go to sleep out of fear that he won’t still be alive when I wake up.

His oxygen is turned up to 5 and he’s still having pulse oximeter readings around 85. His breathing is shallow and I can’t tell for sure but I think he has the “death rattle” which would mean death is very imminent. His lips are cold when I kiss him.

Chloe has a damn ear infection and needs to go to urgent care tomorrow, and there truly couldn’t be worse timing. J’s sister will be here tomorrow and I might ask her to take Chloe, just because the end feels so near. I really don’t want to leave him.

I need to try to get some sleep, especially because I got up early yesterday too. I got some melatonin in the appropriate dosage for moving your sleep schedule but it won’t be delivered until tomorrow.

But I’m so worried about J. It can’t be ending this way—not as fast as it seems to be. But I guess I don’t really have a choice, do I?

I just seriously can’t believe how everything has happened so fast in the past 10 days since his hospitalization.

On the one hand, I don’t want to prolong his suffering any longer. But on the other hand, please just give me a little more time with him. Please? I’m making bargains and pleas to a God I’m not even sure I believe in.

Please stay just a bit longer. Let the hospital bed brought by hospice revive him a bit.

I know that I have to let him go but how?

This disease is the cruelest thing I’ve ever been through by far.

Days tick by

How I wish that J and I could take one last vacation to anywhere but he’s clearly not in the shape to do it. (In fact, he’s worried about a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, where they don’t have valets and may not even have wheelchairs.)

Hindsight tells me that the best time to have taken a vacation was around a year ago but we didn’t really feel like we could afford it then, plus the whole world was locked down due to Covid, anyway. In fact, the one place I really wanted to take him—Japan—is still locked for travel.

We had some good times last year and even this summer. We truly enjoyed being in each other’s company, even if we were just in Dallas. Any place we went together was great, even the grocery store.

But I had no way of knowing what was around the corner. Of course, you never really do.

I am so glad that we decided to splurge on bigger gifts than usual for our last anniversary. As it looks unlikely that he’ll make it to this anniversary, last anniversary really was our last anniversary.

We both mentioned earlier that we now realize when was the last time we had sex. Fortunately, it was only a few weeks ago. But sometimes you just don’t know when the last time is truly the last time, period.

I think that if I’ve learned anything from this experience so far, it’s that you should always treat your loved ones like it might be the last time you ever see them.

Maybe other people won’t experience it as a slow, torturous fading like I will. In fact. I think it’s probably, thankfully, not likely to be slow and prolonged at all.

It might be more like suddenly your world is right and then it changes in a split second. You never really know.

I’m definitely not ready

I know: similar title to the last post. But sitting with this isn’t making it any easier. If anything, it’s making it harder.

I see J struggling to breathe and not able to get any sleep and it just keeps me in a constant state of worry about him. It makes it extremely hard to sleep. Last night, I crashed so hard that I didn’t wake up until 4 pm. Chloe had to knock on my door to rouse me. And my immediate thought was of J and wondering if he was okay.

I feel SO fucking guilty that I need so much sleep. I wish I could put that need on pause for a few months, when (sadly) I will be able to get as much sleep as I want forever.

I want to be able to power through and not need the extra rest. I want to spend every moment with J, especially because I know how soon I won’t ever get those opportunities again and I will kick myself for every moment I wasted.

I always used to say that I could get through anything in life except losing J. And now I have to do just that and I have no idea how.

His hospice bed is going to be delivered next week and it will be in the living room. I told him last night that I would probably set up camp on the sofa to sleep by him. He said I wouldn’t get any sleep then (which is accurate) so if I did that, he’d have the hospital bed set up in our bedroom instead.

I know he’s doing this to try to help me get a minimum of sleep to protect my health, which is very noble and sacrificial of him. But I also don’t want him to do it. I want to say fuck sleep, fuck my health, just let me soak up every last second of time with him that I can. Because far too soon, I won’t have those opportunities anymore, and I honestly can’t even bear that thought.

I’m not ready for this

I am increasingly realizing that I really don’t have the means or the emotional tools to get through this.

My husband is going to need me to fight for him bright and early on Monday morning. His oncologist wants to keep him on chemo and I just see that as an increasingly poor choice.

I know a lot of his symptoms now are due to pneumonia, which is obviously going to make anyone very sick.

But what I don’t know is if the pneumonia is even really treatable because he has the malignant fluid in his lungs. I guess I’ll ask the doctor about that on Monday.

What I do know is that he’s in no shape to get chemo this week, no matter what his oncologist says.

What he needs is adequate pain relief and his doctor is very unlikely to give it to him.

And I don’t know if it’s just because of the pneumonia or not but it feels like his condition is touch and go already. I’m afraid to sleep because I don’t know if he’ll be waking me up again to take him back to the hospital.

I helped him take his blood pressure and use the pulse oximeter before I could finally go to bed and both were in acceptable ranges, although his blood pressure was pretty high still.

I am just thoroughly convinced that his oncologist is going to try to persuade him into taking more chemo. The chemo clearly isn’t doing the trick anymore, though.

I am more and more convinced that hospice is the way to go, to salvage what time he has left. He was eating so well when his pain was well-controlled in the hospital and now it’s not.

Listening for sounds that he might be taking a turn for the worse has me constantly on guard. And that’s to say nothing of how he’s doing. He’s obviously suffering a lot right now.

I just want his suffering to be over and for him to have a few good days left. If he stays on the chemo track, I don’t think he will.

I have to fight for him and get the help he deserves. The man I have loved for my whole entire adult life deserves so much better than this.

I’m scared.

Everything feels like it’s happening too fast.

J was released from the hospital yesterday and I think it was probably too soon. He tried taking a shower last night and afterwards he seemed so woozy and out of sorts that I thought I would have to take him back to the hospital.

His blood pressure was also pretty high (which he knew because I bought him a blood pressure monitor at the store yesterday.)

He does have malignant pleural effusion. From everything I’ve read, the chances of that coming back in the next 30 days are over 90 percent. I don’t know if he’ll need to be hospitalized again for it or not but I would assume so.

He’s on oxygen at home. Though his nurse said in discharging him that he didn’t have to use it at night, he only lasted about an hour and a half before going out to get it.

Then, he needed to go out to the sofa a few hours later. Yes, that meant that I couldn’t bake the Christmas cookies I wanted to before Amy comes over tomorrow. But more importantly, it worries me a lot that he just can’t seem to get comfortable anywhere.

Supposedly, the oxygen is only temporary until he recovers from the pneumonia and he’ll start feeling a bit better then. But I have to admit that I’m finding that really hard to imagine right now (especially given the high rate of recurrence of the MPE.)

I also looked up the survival rate of MPE as secondary to colon cancer and it really wasn’t good. I don’t know how to advise Dylan about going back to school but I think the chances of J dying while he’s at school are unfortunately pretty high.

Another thing that now seems kinda silly is that I told him a long time ago, around the time he was first diagnosed, that I wanted him to write letters or make videos for me and each of the kids before he died.

He always said that he would do that when he knew that he was at the end but didn’t want to do it prematurely. I was always afraid of something like this, where the end didn’t come in an orderly fashion. I can’t imagine that he’ll get to it now.

And I don’t know why that was so important to me. I guess I just wanted some written reminders of how much he loved us. Maybe some videos that I could watch when I was feeling lonely and sad.

But really, he already spent his life showing us that, and I have a whole box full of cards that say how much he loves me.

I do worry more about the kids. He’s always been the type who showed them his love in actions more than words. I think that will be enough. I think it may have to be.

I’m also extremely worried about my finances, especially if he goes on disability soon (which he might.) I still have over two years until I’m eligible for social security survivor benefits and it might take a long time to get the life insurance payout.

But I would be a jerk if I focused on that now. For now I just have to try to take care of him as best as I can.

I guess I am going to get up super early and go to his appointment with his oncologist on Monday morning. Part of me thinks it won’t do any good and I’ll just be wasting my breath.

His oncologist wants to keep doing chemo but honestly I think it’s probably past the time for him to be on hospice. I know he wants to avoid that because he wants to get better; I’m just not sure how realistic that is.

He’s suffering so much and it’s so gut-wrenching to see. It’s not that I want him to die sooner and maybe he can indeed get better from the pneumonia. I just fear that he’ll keep pushing himself way past the point where he could get real relief from hospice and I’m just going to keep watching him suffer.

I want to remember the good times we had together but I feel like they’re getting buried under the trauma his current circumstances are causing. It really does not seem like a good death at all.

Weeks or months

That’s essentially what I’m waiting to find out. J will finally get the results from the cytology lab tomorrow of the lung fluid they drained from his lungs.

Although I should really know better than to put my medical research skills to use, I couldn’t help it.

If the fluid is malignant, the median survival rate is four months.

Of course, Dyl has the extremely difficult decision to make about whether to go back to school next month. J may indeed last longer than that, in which case Dyl would be glad to have gotten another semester under his belt. But there’s absolutely no way to predict how long J will be here. I don’t envy his decision at all and I feel like that’s an awfully heavy choice to make when you’re just 19.

I’m actually going to wake up really fucking early to go with J to see his oncologist on Monday (assuming he does have MPE; I’m not sure if I’ll go if he doesn’t have MPE.)

If it’s not malignant, he may have longer. But now that it’s metastasized to his spine, I don’t think it will be much longer than a year. I’m unfortunately now prepared that I could lose him at any moment.

Apparently his hospitalist called his oncologist yesterday and brought him up to speed. His oncologist is still moving ahead with plans for more chemo, saying that he’s hopeful that a drug that my husband will get called Neulasta will enable him to get treatments more frequently by not causing his immune system to bottom out.

But I’m not sure that’s really the best course of action—especially if J has MPE. If he has MPE, everything I have read says that the focus should be on palliative care and keeping him comfortable. I understand that an oncologist wants to keep patients on chemo—not for any nefarious reasons but just because they believe in it so much and don’t want to give up.

Mostly, I just want to see J stop suffering. I don’t want to remember him like this. I want to remember him how he was even just a few months ago, when we could do dumb stuff like laugh at stupid shows together and have occasional conversations about politics. He’s not really like that anymore; he’s just suffering.

I am starting to think that his oncologist would just keep him on chemo until the day my husband dies. And I want my husband to have some days again that are moderately free of pain.

My mother-in-law, J’s stepdad, his sister, and her husband are going to be coming to visit us in the next few weeks. I’m really glad that they’re coming.

But I’m also just a bit stressed out, too, because my office, bedroom, and bathroom are really unacceptably messy. I’m sure no one expects perfection but it’s really to the point where I think nobody could overlook that.

I’ve known that I had to clean them for a few months and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I don’t know if it was a matter of not having enough spoons to do it or if I was just depressed. But now I really do have to do something about it and soon.

I guess it will be good to have something to distract me. But Chloe has also noticed that I keep taking on more and more to do, like I’m afraid of having free time. And maybe she’s right; if I have free time, I just think about the fact that I’m going to lose J and that makes me feel so helpless and hopeless.

I know that I’ll ultimately be okay once J’s gone, in the sense that I will be able to move on somehow. But I really don’t want to.

I finally broke down and cried yesterday when I saw him. I guess everything I’ve been bottling up inside finally bubbled out.

I just can’t believe that we’re already planning our final goodbyes. My parents are going to see if they can come down, too.

It really, really shouldn’t ever have to be this way.