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Beth’s Amazing Journey #11

by on ‎04-08-2016 02:23 PM

 

On New Year’s Day 2015 I had a sense we were moving into a much harder phase of Beth’s journey. After Easter she began having more pain and she needed more breaks from the chemo treatments. We had to rush her to the emergency room of our local hospital on the evening of May 24th. An MRI showed that one of the tumors was pressing against her ureter causing a serious blockage. The doctors decided she needed to be transferred to the University of Penn Hospital in downtown Philadelphia.

 

As I was driving to Philadelphia the next morning to see her I called my brother-in-law Ronn. Ronn is an ordained minister. He married Beth and me thirty-one years ago. I said, “Ronn, why doesn’t life ever get easier?” He said, “Because we aren’t home yet.  This world is not our home.” After I hung up the phone, I couldn’t stop thinking about a song I sang in church when I was a young boy called, “This World is not my Home.” 

 

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The doctors at UPenn were trying to figure out what to do as they studied Beth’s MRI’s. I was supposed to go visit my ninety-three year old mom on Thursday, but I was ready to cancel the trip. Our pastor came all the way downtown to visit Beth on Wednesday of thatsame week. Philadelphia is over an hour from the area where we live and attend church. If you get caught in rush hour (which begins about 3pm it can take much longer.) We had a nice visit with him and before he left he prayed over Beth. Our doctor came by the room less than an hour after the Pastor and she said, "I think we can shrink the tumor a little which willttake a bit of the pressure off and help with the pain.” She then looked at me and asked, “Would you like to take your bride home tonight?” I said, “YES!!!” Beth being Beth looked at the doctor and said, “will you tell this man to go visit his ninety-three year old mother in Wisconsin tomorrow?” She looked at me and said, “go visit your mother tomorrow because your wife will be fine until next week when we do the procedure.”

 

Beth was always thinking about everyone else. That was her gift. She was compassionate, caring and understanding. I went to Wisconsin and had a nice three day visit with my mom, sister, brother-in-law and several nieces and nephews. 

The next week Beth’s had a stint put in and she felt so much better. I remember bringing her home aftreward and she had a craving for rainbow sherbet. I drove to three different grocery stores until I found it. When I got home she was on the phone with her cousin, Mark. We hadn’t heard from Mark in decades, but he and Beth had the best conversation. It ended with Mark telling Beth how very much he loved her.

 

I think in my heart I knew this might be our last summer with Beth. I wanted it to be the best summer ever. Beth’s niece, Lisa, was bringing her family for six days in mid-June and I remember working in the yard and around the pool so that everything would be perfect. Lisa, her husband, Jim, and their two boys, Jake and Ryan, stayed at our house. Jake was eleven and Ryan was seven. My grandson, Cole, was five at the time and was so excited to hang out with his older cousins. Since they live in California, that was the first time they met each other.

 

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The boys slept in the basement on air mattresses and they had a blast. They turned our basement into a boys’ dormitory. They had so much fun swimming in the pool all day and well into the evenings. They thought night swimming with the pool lights on was the coolest. We had campfires, roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Jake and Ryan had never seen fireflies, so we got some jars and poked air holes in the lids and captured some. They were amazed at the fireflies’ ability to light up so we did some online research and had a little biology class.

 

Beth was doing well and enjoying every minute. I would often catch her eye and she would give me her “Life is good” smile. She seemed so happy that I didn’t want that week to end. They left on Monday, June 22nd to go to New Jersey where they were meeting Beth’s other niece, Kim, and her husband, Chris.

 

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What Beth didn’t know was that Kim and Chris were driving over to visit us on Friday. We surprised Beth when they showed up. Again, we had the best day hanging out and watching the USA Women’s Soccer team play in the World Cup. Beth cried when Kim and Lisa said, “good-bye.”  She would see them one more time.

 

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Beth felt good enough to go down to Avalon, New Jersey the second week in July. We rented a house close to the beach for the week with Kirstyn’s in-laws and all of their kids (that was the fourth summer in a row we vacationed together.) I had to work Saturday and Sunday night on QVC but we went down early Monday and had a wonderful week. There is something about the ocean that is so calming and soothing. Beth and I were the last to leave on Saturday so we went to breakfast in town before we left. I remember on the ride home Beth wasn’t feeling well, so she slept most of the way.

 

As I look back now I’m glad I didn’t know what lied ahead. The next three and a half months were going to be the toughest any of us had ever faced. Through all of the dark days and the emotional roller coasters we rode there were miracles. God gave us little signs that were often very personal to let us know that we were not walking through the valley alone. In the coming weeks I will write about the miracles I saw along the way.   

 

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Thank you for reading this and God bless!

 

If you would like to see any of my past blogs, click here.

 

And let's be friends on Facebook by clicking here.

 

 

Comments
by
‎04-08-2016 02:50 PM - edited ‎04-08-2016 02:52 PM

Oh Dan~I just happened to see this blog listed when I came online. 

 

I thought I've read all the blogs you've beautifully written about your dear Beth, but maybe I haven't.

 

Would you be willing to share what symptoms, or signs that prompted Beth to be checked out for this cancer?  

 

Perhaps this was picked up during an annual exam. 

 

I'm don't think I've ever heard of this type of cancer before although I've heard of uterine cancer.

 

I hope that you continue to write this blog and it helps you to heal, but it could also help others by alerting them of something they may not be aware of.

 

May God bless you, Dan.

 

Sunday 

by
on ‎04-08-2016 02:53 PM

Dear Dan, I have sometimes wondered if losing a loved one is more painful if it is very sudden or through a lengthy illness. My beloved Daddy passed very suddenly, and he had not been ill. I never told him how much he meant to me, or how dearly I loved him. I guess that I imagined he would always be here. In reading your experience it seems that in your case it gave you the chances to let Beth know just how loved she was. I know that you are going to be okay. These dark days will let sunshine in again for your days to come. May God bring blessings your way, and you will smile again. 

by Cindyo
on ‎04-08-2016 04:32 PM

Dear Dan,

I love all your family photos...and all your loving words. You are very blessed to be able to express things within your heart. I love your compassion and understanding.  Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.  God Bless you all....here from Michigan .

by Annie1962
on ‎04-08-2016 04:34 PM
Another beautiful installment, Dan...I feel like I knew Beth...God bless u for sharing!
by
on ‎04-08-2016 05:43 PM

I can't decide who is the most exemplary human being, Dan, you or your beloved Beth.  Perhaps it was a tie, which is why you made such a wonderful life together.  Not having suffered a loss of this magnitude, I can't put myself in your shoes.  I do worry that you are overwhelmed by your grief and so blind to God's plan for your life moving forward.  Perhaps that's part of the healing process and you will find joy again when the time is right.  I'm not a religious person, but I truly hope you will find peace and love in the days to come.  Live each day fully, appreciating the past but also reaching for the future.

by
on ‎04-08-2016 07:39 PM

Dan, Thank you again!  I love your blogs and the photographs.  The very best

to you.

by
on ‎04-08-2016 08:57 PM

Thank you again Dan for sharing these wonderful memories of your beloved Beth.  What your brother-in-law Ronn said is so true.

by
on ‎04-09-2016 11:46 AM

Thank you for sharing your touching story of Beth's journey.  Much love and prayers for you and your family!

by RubyValentine222
on ‎04-09-2016 02:21 PM

God bless you Dan for another emotional part of the journey...two very special and loving people. I cant tell you how much your sharing this means to me. I usually have tears and yet smiling when I finish reading this amazing journey of your Beth. Truly you have a special and enduring love for each other and family. Thank you Dan.

by
on ‎04-09-2016 11:00 PM

Always inspirational ~

by
on ‎04-09-2016 11:49 PM

Dan,

     I lost my husband when he was 52 due to a sudden heart attack. I don't know which is harder, losing someone quickly like I did, or slowly like you.  Either way, I trust God that they are in a better place now.  

     Thanks for all you do on QVC,  and your positive attitude as you do it.  

 

 

Christine L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Judyjudyjudy
on ‎04-10-2016 09:50 AM

Dear Dan,

     I must say after reading each one of your blogs, week to week, that the start of my Saturday begins with YOU.  The loving attention you gave, and still give to your beloved wife, Beth, is so heartwarming.  My husband & I have been fortunate to have been married 45 years, and have not suffered your loss.....yet!  Life has becaome difficult for a number of reasons, but our strong bond should see us through.  You have been so fortunate to have had such a loving, giving wife.  I see how the addition of family magnified the joy she was still able to participate in, even with all the torment.  We have no siblings and in our selfishness, no children.  I have learned by your blogs how important all those loved ones were and our to both Beth & your well-being.  I hope that comment touches someone as they read that last comment.  May God bless you & ease your personal suffering.  Your blogs I am certain are helping many, as well as you.  

by
on ‎04-11-2016 08:56 AM

Thank you again Dan for these beautiful and insightful blogs about Beth's journey.   Sometimes it's better not knowing what lies ahead of us.   God's blessings to you and your family.

by Freewayangel
on ‎04-12-2016 12:13 AM

Dearest Dan and family,

I want to share my sincere thoughts on your loss of Beth. What beautiful thoughts of your lives together, ones that you only can enjoy of her memory and the latest ones that you would like to erase from your mind. Beth was a terrific  wife, mother and grandmother who can never be forgotten. You and your children alone will remember Beth in a very special way. She was your life, your soulmate, and your friend. No one can replace your special years ltogether.

I lost my husband 21 years ago in our 28th year of  marriage, to diabetes complications, sepsis infection, etc. He was a good man, loved his God and his family.

But, his love was so strong for me and his daughter, named Beth; his mother, Elizabeth, and father, Joseph, who has since passed, that those memorable years of his goodness will be forever in my heart.

I remember the 9 weeks spent at the University of Pittsburgh's ICU unit and the loneliness I felt eating in the cafeteria, waiting rooms for a 15-minute visit every 3 hours, and the Sunday morning church service in the chapel.

It will take a few  years to get over your loss, but it will happen. Although Beth will always remain in your heart, she would want you to be happy. So, laugh when you can and be happy to continue on with your life in the future! My prayers are with you and your family.

by elliemaeclampett
on ‎04-12-2016 10:40 AM
Many Blessings shared & remembered,
Thank you,Dan& your beautiful family
For sharing pieces of this very difficult
Journey as inspiration, hope & true
Love for Beth, and your very special
Family members! I always tear up
Reading your heartfelt blogs& seeing
Your wonderful pics! I lost both of
My parents to cancer and it truly
Touches my heart to read your gift
To your beloved QVC viewers, like
Me, telling your story of Beth's
Last journey!🙏🏽 AMEN&God Bless,
Just as you always say at the end
Of each of your shows. Sending my
Love & prayers to you & your family
by
on ‎04-13-2016 01:49 AM

Dear Dan...

Again, thank you for sharing "The Stories of Your LIfe" with your beloved Beth and your beautiiful family. 

 

My prayer for you is that through God's Grace, the support of family and freinds, and through these writings, you are able to find some sense of peace and healing.  I know the grieving process is a personal and difficult road. I hope you "feel" the outpouring of love from all of us "across the miles" who are supporting you in our  intentions, thoughts,  and prayers.

 

May God surround you with "Legions of Angels" to comfort you as you move forward through your journey.