My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I find myself often thinking about what I went through with TJ after his diagnosis. I have replayed the multitude of conversations we had over and over again in my mind. His prognosis was poor from the beginning and although he was determined to fight the cancer he also knew in his heart that it was a death sentence for him. And while that my sound like a horrible thing to say TJ & I both were very realistic. We discussed all the things we had done together, we reviewed in detail our last 16 years together. The good, the bad, and the ugly as we liked to call it. We talked in detail about my life after he was gone. Where would I live, how I would get by without him, who I could call to help with different things. He even told me specific people he did not want me to date (what a goof! but we had a good belly laugh with that conversation). We hoped that things were going to turn out different than they did but we planned for the worst. His main concern was that I was going to be OK.

TJ was only 49 when he left me and it really made me realize some things about life. The whole thing changed me. It changed me a whole lot actually. Some don't see the change in me while others do. I feel it in myself every day. Oh, I am still the same person basically, I still believe in the same things, I still have the same interests and I still have my friends. But, it is a change deep inside that is really hard to explain.

Often I know people see it when they say to me, "what is wrong with you tonight?" I usually come up with some BS answer to blow them off because it is at that point that I know they are a DGI (don't get it). I know this doesn't mean they don't care, it just means that they don't understand. My world is different now and theirs is still going down the same path. Somewhere my life took a wrong turn and I ended up in a front end collision at 100 mph. My future has been altered, I have to find a new route to take and it is not easy. I am not seriously injured but the scars will last a lifetime even thought they might not be visible to all who cross my path. Little things do not matter to me at all anymore. Some events in life are bigger than most can imagine and it makes everything else seem so small and unimportant.

Yes, I have lots of DGIs in my life and I still love them but what I really appreciate are the ones who do GET IT. They are the ones who see the change in me and not only accept it but embrace it and cheer me after every hurdle I clear, they respect TJ and his memory and know that I am doing exactly what he wanted me to do, they don't sit in judgement but sit beside me pushing, and, yes, sometimes shoving me forward. They are the ones that have grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me in the right direction and are there when I get off course to help me find my way.

We all have some form of DGIs in our lives. They may be a good friend, a family member, even a spouse or a sibling and it doesn't mean they don't love you it is just that they DON'T GET IT. Don't turn your back on them just realize ...... you may be a DGI to them.


  1. Hey...
    I get it. I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you. I love ya & I think you're awesome

  2. Sandy ~

    What a thoughtful post. Something to really think about. Mark and I talk reminisce over TJ often. You might know about my big decision for later this year. It was my epiphany moment.

    I'm so proud of you and I'm glad you're back.

    ~ Sandy

  3. I'm truly touched by this blog entry. I am on TJ's side of the equation, but many of the conversations that my wife and I have echoed the thoughts you've shared here. We have faily detailed plans about what she would do IF I can't finally beat this disease.

    I encourage to keep writing and keep sharing your emotions, as well as your accomplishments.

    Donald Wilhelm, author
    "This Time's a Charm; Lessons of a Four-Time Cancer Survivor"

  4. Sandy, this was a very enlightening post. It gives me something to think about in regards to my sister and whoever else may be going through a rough time. I hope I'm not a DGI but if I am, I hope I can recognize it and become the person who does get it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for your concern for my sister.

  5. Sandy, I must have missed this post when I was in the throes of child-minding last week. I do hope I'm one that gets it, although I haven't had much practice at it. It is so good to see you sharing your thoughts with us, I think you are incredibly brave!


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