• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    Thread: Melanieb Drops In For A Visit

    1. #1
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      Melanieb Drops In For A Visit

      Hey, itís Melanie.

      I wrote the quoted text below yesterday morning, intending on giving everyone an update on my status and letting you all know that I miss being on the forum. I miss your explorations of dreams, your banter, and even the wild debates. Unfortunately I wasnít able to finish posting yesterday, so I am sharing this today with an update at the bottom. Please read on.

      Itís been about a month since I abruptly left Dreamviews and I just thought I should let people know what led up to my departure. I barely took time to say farewell.

      Perhaps I should start with a little history and background info.

      Iím 40 years old. Iím a transgendered woman (some of you know that). Iím married to a wonderful woman and we have two children, ages 15 and 9.

      My family has had some issues recently that required more of my time and attention, not the least of which was the start of school in August.

      The least malignant issue would probably be that of my son. His academic performance has struggled and Iíve had to increase the time I spend with him to better prepare him for 10th grade. His dysgraphia (a problem with writing) makes a large portion of school difficult, and this showed heavily on exams he had to retake in July. His understanding of the material is mostly acceptable but his ability to translate what is in his mind to paper has always been a problem, and he is now in danger of academic impairment.

      My daughterís issues are slightly more concerning.

      For the last 3 years or so my daughter has complained of occasional stomach illness and nausea. Itís starting to become problematic and interfering with her time at school. Following three weeks of recording every tiny thing she ate or drank we had her tested for Celiac Disease, thinking it a possible gluten allergy. That test recently came back negative, so weíre still exploring whatís wrong with her insides and why she has almost daily internal upset. The possibilities arenít thrilling.

      We have additional reason to worry about her digestive system.

      About two years after our daughter was born, way back in 2006, my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Initial radiation treatments (plus chemo) and removal of the affected section of colon were thought to have ended the ordeal, but it reappeared after a few months out of treatment, this time in the lungs (stage 4). Iíll spare you the details of the years of treatment since 2007 but by 2011-2012 things were looking better, despite being told initially to expect not to be alive by 2009. She has been amazingly tolerant of the chemo treatments.

      At the beginning of 2013 the cancer in the lungs was found to be slightly enlarged and a new treatment was started, supposedly the last option. Itís been a hard year but we were all optimistic as she seemed to be responding to it well enough.

      Unfortunately, tests showed a rise in the markers used to detect cancer activity (CEA levels) and concern became higher during the last two months following some episodes of dizziness and neck pain (a congenital neck problem unrelated to the cancer was thought to be the cause). These last symptoms were originally hoped to be unrelated to the cancer, but a recent MRI confirmed the worst; the cancer has now appeared in her brain. The two large nodules in her lungs are now a secondary concern.

      As I type this message, my wife is on her way to have her first radiation treatment for the newly found brain tumor. Weíre uncertain what the next two weeks will bring with daily radiation treatments but I expect it wonít be easy. Seven years of procedures has proven that nothing about cancer treatment is easy.

      Itís been a long time since I was this scared and uncertain about the future. Iíve already faced several years of fear of losing my wife and Iíve done my best to remain optimistic throughout. Iím the rock, the stability that holds the family together. Itís not been an easy position, and it was a contributing factor to joining Dreamviews in the first place. Everyone needs a good distraction from life, and DV has been a wonderful place to find diversion. Certainly I count many of you as trusted friends; the people (outside of my home) who made me smile every day.

      I wanted to remain a contributing part of Dreamviews and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the other volunteers that comprise the staff of DV, but right now I need to invest my energy in my family, without distraction. I hope to return to regular posting someday. Iíve never found a better place to share, indulge, and learn than Dreamviews, and Iíve been lucky to be part of so much amazing work and positive change for the forum.

      I will post future updates. I miss you all.

      ~melanie
      I wrote all of that yesterday but never had the time to post it before running out of the house. Since I wrote that weíve found out the actual results of the MRI scan. It turns out there are six tumors in her brain, 4 small ones and two larger ones the size of donut-holes. The larger tumors are located near her brain stem, and if not found could have led to more severe issues.

      We told the kids last night and that was probably harder than anything else, but weíd spent time talking about how to approach it and we were able to remain positive. My daughter cried quite a bit but managed to pull it together after we told her she could draw on mommyís head if she loses her hair. I think the idea of making mom happy and into a canvas for art appeals to her. My son was initially stoic but also seemed to lighten up as we talked. I think he just needs time to absorb what we told him.

      So far weíre just working on getting by day-to-day. Life goes on and so are we.

      I wish all of you good health and well-being. Iíll report again in a couple of weeks.

      I still miss you all.

      ~melanie

    2. #2
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      Hug. Wishing you and your family all the best. Especially health.
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      You may say I'm a dreamer.
      But I'm not the only one
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    3. #3
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      I can imagine how hard it must be, I feel for you. I hope you all get through it, take care.
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      God bless you and your family in all things.
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    5. #5
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      All the best. We've not interacted much but I can tell from a brief read of your posts that you're a thoughtful, considerate and valued person.

      I wish you and family healing.

      For what it's worth, my mother suffered from Leukemia...essentially cancer of the bone marrow (from what I understand, all over her body). Chemo and a transplant has her still in remission.

      I will hope for a similarly positive result for your wife and the other battles you mentioned.
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      Brothers & Sisters in Dreams

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      I am not sure why, but I downloaded Galaxy Quest last night, and watched it through.
      The courage in the film, and the innocent approach to life will always remind me of you. Especialy your avatar.
      I can not begin to understand the emotions you may be going through, but my best wishes go with you, and your family.
      Often the best of us seem to go through the worst situations.
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      If it means anything, you have my deepest support and sympathies. Whatever happens, I'm sure you and your family will come out on top.
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      We certainly miss you over here but right now your family needs you there with them. You're doing everything right. All of my best wishes to you and your family as you face down these challenges.
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      Dreaming Partner: Dreamer


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      You did what you had to do and you owe nothing to anyone here melanie. I retired the blue and red hats for personal reasons as well. My heart and thoughts go out to you.
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      Things are not as they seem

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      We wish you all the best. Stay strong.
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      Maybe it's a dream and if I scream, it will burst at the seams.

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    11. #11
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      Fuck...

      Hope everything works out for you guys, I can't imagine how hard things must be for your family right now. For what it's worth (if anything), I said a prayer for your wife. =/
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      don't worry about dreamviews, when you gotta take care of real life....it's absolutely no contest.

      it takes a lot to write a message about such a personal, family issue. i'll send positive thoughts your way.
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    13. #13
      khh
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      I'm very sorry to hear that. Good luck.

      Also, about your daughter, if you haven't already, then consider lactose intolerance as a possible cause.
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    14. #14
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      Wow :/ Sorry to hear about that mel. I wish all the best to you and your family, especially your wife.
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      Wow, I pop back in and see all this! You really are the most amazing people!


      Well, it's been a few weeks and I'll shout an update.


      Today is day one of the new chemo regimen. Not sure how that will go yet but it sounds like it will be uncomfortable. 21 days on, 7 days off, and repeat. Fortunately it's an oral chemo and won't involve daily doctor visits.

      She did complete the two weeks of radiation, and despite the years prior not taking her hair, the radiation finally did. Still, she's been rockin' it, and I'm glad. It's certainly one of those things that could impact a person.


      My daughter, it turns out, is not gluten intolerant. Yes, in the past we did suspect lactose intolerance and that also has been ruled out, but she does seem to be doing better. I wish I had an explanation for that extended period of discomfort, and even her doctor is uncertain. For now she is doing better and for that I am thankful. I very much appreciated the well-wishes and prayers.

      My son has his own complicated issues but at least they are his issues...at least most of them, so I'll still let those be, but he is well. His academics are still in question but we are at least working more with his teachers to make progress. It's funny that this has been the most difficult of the issues to handle, despite the discomforts of my wife and daughter. It's taken more effort, and I suppose that's what makes it seem more tiring.


      It's been weird being away but I've achieved much in this time, and it has made so much difference for my family. In time I will be able to appear more often. For now...I'm really just glad that all of you took the time to read this and reply with the kind words. Your generosity in spirit is greatly appreciated!

      I hope to report better news in time. After this first round of chemo I'll try and make some more time for occasional forum posting and getting back to dreams!

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    16. #16
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      Awwr.
      Not sure how i did managed to miss this thread earlier, it's never too late to post though... I hope everything will go well, good luck! *winghug*
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    17. #17
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      That must be really harsh, and I hope you and your family pull through!! I haven't spoken to you a whole lot but you're a really interesting person; totally understand your son's struggles from his point of view, suffering from a non-verbal learning disability myself. School becomes a painful thing for the entire family, so no surprise that issue is taking up as much time as it does.
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    18. #18
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      I just read this. I've been away from DV for quite a while too.

      I never knew you had that much to handle on your own. You seemed like a really calm person in all situations and I can understand how you're the "rock". I hope that things will get well for you and your family. And do maintain your optimistic outlook and take care of your health!

    19. #19
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      Today is September 21st, 2014. On September 1st, my wife died.

      What do you say after that? If someone told me that their spouse died I wouldn’t know what to say beyond, “I’m sorry.” The strange thing about death is how speechless it leaves us, though we all face it. Maybe that’s why we find it hard to talk about. The inevitability of its finality is tough to face and acknowledge.

      Whatever…I’m still here, and I am facing each day the best I can. I have to. My kids depend on me to keep it together and get them through this time. They need me to be strong, to help them see that life continues and that it’s okay to be sad without falling into despair.

      Sometimes I cry. I want to cry now.

      I know it’s been a long time since I visited Dreamviews and I certainly missed a lot of great conversations with people here that I felt I could call ‘friend.’ I had to walk away from DV to take care of my wife and spend time with her. She really needed me more than anyone here did.

      I believe I spent the time well.

      Over the course of the last year my wife endured two different forms of radiation, the loss of all her hair, the wonderful and awful effects of steroids, a whole bunch of chemo, and physical pain that I can’t even comprehend. In the spring of 2014 we found out she had a cracked lumbar, and she was having trouble walking because the tops of her femurs were necrotizing. It’s hard to grasp all the awful things that cancer can do to your body, and that doesn’t even describe half of what she went through…what we all went through.

      At the very end of July her doctor told her that treatment was no longer really an option and she entered home hospice care. I’m so thankful for all they did for us. I know she would have hated to go into a facility, and thankfully I was strong enough to take over all her basic needs during that last month. I had to be…morphine, oxycontin, and methadone were all prescribed for her and she still sometimes felt uncomfortable. That’s some serious pain.

      As many people have said, “At least she is no longer suffering.” I couldn’t agree more.

      I’m still trying to figure things out, and writing this helps keep my mind busy. It gets pretty quiet around here late at night or when the kids are at school. It’s that emptiness and having no one to talk to that really gets to me. It’s been a very long time since I last felt lonely. Having familiar people to talk to or share with helps me sort out my feelings in the background, and it’s nice having somewhat normal interactions. I don’t want to be sad all the time.

      If you’re reading this I appreciate it, though I wrote this more for me and my need to organize my own thoughts. I really love writing, and I’ve really become aware of the value in it, having read most of my wife’s journals from the past several years. What we leave behind not only helps people understand us but understand themselves.

      I’m a single parent now and it’s a hard thing to come to terms with. I get scared sometimes, despite being a capable parent and a strong individual. I think it’s facing the unknown and uncertainties of the future in contrast to the past that really adds an element of doubt to my thoughts. I don’t really want to lean on anyone’s shoulder for support, though I’ve been amazed to see how many people truly care and have told me they are here for me and the kids. I’ve spent so much of my life feeling like I was an outsider that I guess I never realized how many friends I have. It’s a baffling feeling…but a good one.

      I want to thank all the people here who have expressed concern for me and my family. You don’t know me but your words do lift my spirit and highlight all the good of humanity that often gets taken for granted in this tough world. I want you all to know that your words have meaning and impact…and I appreciate you all.

      With luck, someday, I’ll get to thank some of you in person.

      ~melanie
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    20. #20
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      Wow, that's heavy... I'm really sorry to hear that Melanie, I can't imagine what it'd be like to lose your partner. How are the kids handling the transition? It must be exceptionally hard for them. =/

      For what it's worth, this is a bit of a wake up call for me. I didn't realize it had been an entire year since you first posted about this, I thought it had only been a few months ago. I've some health problems of my own that I've been neglecting, and I had expected them to be resolved by now. Instead things have just gotten worse because I've been so negligent. What you wrote served as the kick in the ass I needed.
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    21. #21
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      I hope you do get that checked into, GavinGill. My wife, before being diagnosed, spent months trying to ignore the sensations that indicated something was wrong.

      I recall you talking about health issues a long time ago. I hope it's nothing serious, but I'm always happy to talk or listen.

      The kids are holding up okay. My daughter cries once in a while but I try to keep things positive. Continuity is really important when it comes to kids. My son is holding in his feelings and I still worry that he may break down someday. I just have to keep letting him know he can always talk if he feels up to it.


      Brave front, happy face! - common saying of my wife.
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    22. #22
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      No words, just lots and lots of

    23. #23
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      Spoiler for not even enough words:


      Best wishes to you and your family.
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