Lessons from Lou

This blog is about my journey through the brain tumor world with my dear husband, Lou. While not a journey I would wish on even my worst enemy, it is a journey that has enlightened and awakened me to what lies within us, and around us, each and every moment of each and every day. There are lessons here....lessons in this journey.....lessons from Lou....that I would like to share with you.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois

Picture of Lou (sick) and I at a party, circa 2005, long ago and faraway. I'm now a middle aged widow, trying to get my life back together. Mother of two young adult sons, living with two adult cats.

Friday, July 21, 2006

"When The Going Gets Tough.....

The Tough Get Going". That was a mantra in my home when I was growing up. That, and "do your best, forget the rest". I can still hear my dear dad saying these simple words to me. It worked, I think. They are imprinted in my psyche. And I do try to follow them. It certainly isn't always easy. There have been so many times over these last 21 months when I did NOT want to be tough and get going. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and stay put. Now is one of those times. The going is tough...and getting tougher. I never thought anything could be harder then some of the early days of this, the depression Lou experienced for months on end, the unending questions, the treatments, weekly blood tests, MRIs, all of that. I thought that was tough. This is tougher. This, doing "nothing", but "being" and trying to forge a life ,for all of us, feeble attempt that it is. It's getting harder for us to "transfer" Lou (that being the word for "move to another location" such as the family room). Soon, Lou's life will probably all take place in the bedroom. I'm dreading that day. "When the going gets tough..." I've been thinking about what has kept me going. Besides my love for Lou. And for my two sons. I think it is all of you. I know it is. As awful as this journey has been, I have been blessed to find friends along the way to keep me going. New friends and old friends. How lucky I am. There are so many good people in the world, I know that now. You have to be open to it. Not sure I was totally open to it before. I sure am now. There's Walla Walla Washington, for one thing. Thanks to my brain tumor buddy Michelle Meyer, I'm connected to Walla Walla and all the good people there. They're amazing. I'm going to visit WallaWalla someday. I have to. So many other brain tumor buddies I've met online, too many to mention here, Cheri, Claudia, Jim, Ted, Diane, Sandie, CB, Maryann, so many more, too many. They keep me going. And my girlfriends of course. And my family. And all of our helpers here...Doris, Raymond, Joyce, JoAnn, all such wonderful, caring people. "When the going gets tough...the tough get going", yes, ..but better with the help of family and friends. Thank you, all. I can only be tough knowing that you are all there with me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lately I've been trying to keep Matt focused on his blessings instead of his losses. Top on my list is the wonderful people we've met while fighting this BT monster... peopel we now consider not just friends, but family. Your post expressed it beautifully!
May God continue to reveal the blessings in the midst of this horrible nightmare.

Lori Ware

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Peggy said...

Cathy, I have read your posts regularly for a while now and have never written. After I read today's I felt I needed to.

My nephew (my twin sister's oldest boy) was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor (meduloblastoma) July 19, 2004. I remember how important each and every post to Taylor's guestbook was to me, Taylor and his Mom.

I think I have been trying to distance myself from all of IT. It doesn't work that way. Once you have dealt with any part of it, I believe you are in IT for life.

I am heart-sad for you and Lou. I think about you all the time. And I think the biggest lesson I have learned is that it CAN happen to me and my family. It's not just a word anymore. It's still unbelievable to me though even after two years.

My prayer is that any post, any message leaves you with a feeling that people around the country care about what happens to you, your husband and your family. Because we do.

Taylor's Aunt Peggy

9:20 PM  
Anonymous cheri said...

Cath ... I will always been with you ... especially when it's tough. We know tough in ways that I truly hope no man, woman or child ever has to know. Hold tight to this place of peace and gratitude ... it will sson be tested beyond your belief ... don't let anyone sway you from it.

Love to you ...

11:32 PM  
Anonymous cheri said...

oops ... I meant be not been (I will always be with you ...)

11:33 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Walla Walla is always here for you Cathy. We love you so much and pray for you often

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't know if you have one, but a lift helped me big time with transporting, changing bedding, etc. It might be something to look into you don't have one already. Hospice paid for the rental. God bless you.


1:41 PM  
Anonymous Dave Buss said...


First of all...thank you for your site and an insight to your thoughts. I lost my kid brother Eric to GBM in April of this year. One can't imagine the pain in losing a younger family member. Thank god for my Mom, Bob....my mom's husband, and my dad's amazing group of work friends. He's been gone for 3 months now, yet I still look for your words to find strength almost every day. Thank you for your strength and ability to find words for this horrible situation. I grew up in Chicago, and for about a year after college, I lived at Presidential Towers. I can't help but find a connection. God bless you, Lou, and your family during what I know is all too tough a time. I still think about Eric every day, his fight, and how horribly unfair life can be. My sincere wish is that nobody has to go through this again, younger or older...god bless...

2:03 AM  
Anonymous sharonbates said...

Once again you lift me up with hope and determination to forge ahead. Every day now, Kirby seems to feel more nauseated, more tired, and has no energy. Some days he feels as if he can't go on...and some days I feel the same. Then I read your blog and realize that I really should be thankful for the stage that we are in....he stills gets outside, can visit friends, take a walk, etc. I am reminded by you to be thankful for what he CAN do, not want he CAN'T. I just feel so bad that he feels so poorly. BUT when you give me ENCOURAGEMENT, it is easier for me to pass that ENCOURAGEMENT along to him. Thanks again Cathy.
Love, Sharon

7:11 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

And, Cathy...what would we do without you? Your honesty, your caring spirit, your words from the heart...

It's hard to remain grateful, when losing so much. It's hard to remain appreciative, when faced with such trials. This journey tests us beyond the ordinary, beyond simply unfair, to truly cruel.

Yet you find a way to reach out to others, to connect, to find the good that remains in each day and stay focused on that. It's amazing, and all the more so, because it's real. You don't do that through denial, through pretending that things are okay. You face the horrors and still find a way to focus on what is true, right, positive.

Thank you, Cathy, sending you all the love in my heart. Chelle

11:34 AM  

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