I Became a Widow

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Don and I November 2015

Seventeen days ago I started a the worst phase of my life, I became a widow.  My how I hate that word.  It’s a label no woman wants and one I don’t carry proudly except it does mean that the love of my life was here and is now gone.  I guess in a way it honors my husband and lets people know that I’m a survivor.

It all started a little over a year ago with Don’s cancer diagnosis.  At the time we were in shock and then denial set it.  The denial was because nothing was adding up to pancreatic cancer except the numbers on a blood test.  No tumors were found and except for pneumonia and a pleural effusion Don appeared otherwise healthy.  That was all an illusion.

We went for a second opinion and that again didn’t find anything out of the ordinary except for that blood test.  The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was again given and he was told to start with aggressive treatment which we did.

Don did fairly well with the first round of chemo with the exception of a cold neuropathy which had us laughing at times when he stuck his hand in the freezer to get me some ice and had electric shocks going up his arm or when he couldn’t open his own carton of yogurt due to the coldness of the plastic.  Of course going to a restaurant was fun trying to get them to understand that he wanted a glass of water from the tap with no ice and no chill to it.

After his first round of that treatment the numbers on the blood test were going down but the scan showed lesions on his bones which they said was the cancer.  With this he went to another chemo cocktail and according to the doctor, the only one left.  Don went through his first round of this and the numbers on the blood tests went up slightly but the lesions on the bone looked the same.  The only thing the doctor said was an improvement was a blood test showing the bone health. With that he started on his second round of the same therapy with the addition of Procrit for his blood since he was becoming very anemic.  That was the beginning of the end for Don.  He was so sick with this final round of treatment.  He hardly ate, he was tired ALL the time and he had horrible back and leg pain.  His final scan showed worsening of the bone cancer and his tumor market was sky high.  He was told to go home and make himself comfortable.


Now willing to take this news lying down we headed to Mayo Clinic for another opinion.  The doctor there was so thorough going through EVERY test with us and explaining why the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was correct and that Don had two mutations that they’re looking at very closely and if he was in better health he’d qualify for clinical trials.  His prognosis was the same as our regular oncologist.  Go home and make yourself comfortable.

Two days later we got Hospice involved and four weeks later, surrounded my his family Don passed.  We got to say goodbye to each other, we got to comfort each other and we got to share his final moments together.

Now I’m a widow and my life will never be the same.  It’s going to be hard but I promised Don I’d be OK and for that reason alone I will be.  I will not dishonor him by going back on my promise to be anything but.  I have great friends and a family that I can lean on when I need support and I have the memories of our short life together to remind me that I was loved by the best man I’ve ever met.  I also have my relationship with the Lord to comfort me and hold me when I feel like I can’t go on.  My faith in Him lets me know where Don’s at and I have the assurance that we’ll see each other again.  Even though I’m in a new phase of my life, one I can’t share with Don I know this is only temporary and I will be sharing eternity with him and at that time I’ll let him show me around our new home.

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About Dee

Dee Landrygives honest opinions and views on various topics, products and life. She also shares recipes and her life with her family and puppies.


  1. Dee, I’m so deeply sorry. I can’t even imagine the pain you feel right now.

  2. chrisd says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your husband.

  3. Brett says:

    I’m so sorry to hear. My thoughts and prayers. Writing may help your grieving process… And may in turn help someone else

  4. Katie says:

    You have been in my thoughts all along. I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose the love of your life, but know that you have a really strong support network to help you be “ok”.

  5. Wendy says:

    Im.so sorry for your loss.

  6. (((Dee))) I can’t imagine how painful the loss of the love of your life is. I’m so very, very sorry.

  7. Bonny says:

    Dee, I’m deeply sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you! Be grateful for the love that you shared and all the great times that you experienced together. Try to have a positive outlook and look for happier times in the future. Your angels are with you, so if you need them, just ask! They’ll always be there for you! ???

  8. Bonny says:

    Those question marks, were suppose to be hearts. (Alt 3)

  9. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I was a widow. I say *was* because I am married now, years later, to a man I can not imagine ever having been without. But the truth is that I am *still* the widow of my first husband. I remember going to the grocery store after he died and having no idea what to buy for myself. I had to learn a lot of things.
    Right now, you are probably hearing about “time healing all wounds” and “everything happening for a reason.” I tried to find some comfort in those things, but they really just made me sadder and angrier and more hurt. Then I realized that those are things people say because they really do care for you and want you to know it, but don’t really know what to say–that is where I found some comfort. [My whole reply here demonstrates that people want to help but don’t know what to say.]
    The grief will come in waves that do get farther apart with time.
    Take care of yourself.

  10. Alaina Bullock says:

    This made me cry. I admire your strength, and am thinking of you and praying for you! As you said you have tons of family and friends who are there for you- me included even though I’ve yet to meet you in person- and God will see you through. Hugs!

  11. Dee, I am so very sorry that you have joined the elite group of women known as widows. I do not look forward to the time when I will join you as a member. Keep your faith in God, and your promise to Don, and you will be a survivor. Hugs to you.

  12. Valerie C. says:

    Please accept my sincere condolences. My heart breaks for you <3 I'll say prayers for you and your family. Please take care.