Day +1117: If you’re going through hell, keep on going…

“Well you know those times
When you feel like there’s a sign there on your back
Says, ‘I don’t mind if ya kick me.’
Seems like everybody has.
Things go from bad to worse.
You’d think they can’t get worse than that,
And then they do.

“If you’re going through hell
Keep on going, don’t slow down.
If you’re scared, don’t show it.
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you’re there.”

12/21/2013: Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. This mantra can be particularly difficult to remember during the holidays if your world is topsy-turvy. Today we’re very pleased to bring you an inspiring guest post from a fellow caregiver. Deb kindly has permitted us to reprint her recent Caring Bridge update. Celebrating Day +74, she and her husband, Doug, have cleared many major hurdles during the past year. Here’s hoping for a smoother path in 2014!

Day +74 – Dec 21, 2013 5:36 PM

One year ago today the Mayans said that the world would end. We did not experience the world ending, but we certainly had our own apocalypse. It was one year ago today that Doug received the news that he had MDS. Our world was turned on end! But gradually things have gotten better. We will never be the same and our new “normal” is quite different from what we ever pictured. But we both can say once again and with conviction that, “Life is good.”

It is amazing to look back at everything we have done and everything we have come through. Some of the things my husband has endured, I would not wish upon anyone. But as with many experiences in life, it has taught us a myriad of things.

You really don’t know how strong you are until you are put to the test. That test is usually different for everyone. We have learned that you face it, do it, and get through it. For if you don’t, you will not survive. There may be times when you are ready to crumble and think that there is NO way that you can go on. But you do. And then you do it again.

Things I thought I would never do:
1. Flush Doug’s catheter on his chest port every day–me wielding a syringe? Who knew?
2. Help my mom learn how to prick her finger and get more blood out. I have never been a fan of the sight of blood. Now I know how important and lifesaving it can be!
3. Attend my brother’s funeral. You always think there is more time. He and I were so close all through our lives–very different, but very close.
4. Drive in Chicago area rush hour traffic and only be worried about the man sitting next to me in the passenger’s seat.
5. Stop in that same traffic on the side of the road and talk to the valet!!!
6. Coordinate things at the hotel while trying to coordinate Doug’s release at the hospital.
7. Talk to the doctors and nurses on a daily basis–joking, questioning, worrying–all of us together!

Doug and I watched It’s a Wonderful Life last night. We usually try to watch it every Christmas. But we certainly had a different perspective in watching it this year.

Two very good friends stopped by to visit today. What fun! More reminders of what makes life good.

What the next year will bring, none of us know. But hopefully we can remember that it is a wonderful life, and it is good:)


Deb and Doug, thanks again for allowing us to share this. Wishing you both a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of new years.

Karen & Michael


  1. Life – twists and turns, tears and joys, losses and wins – is only measured by the moment ….wishing moments and subsequent memories long into the future.


  2. Rodney Adkins-If You’re Going Through Hell
    This is a goodt tagline for the message. Reminds me of Princess Bride….Never give up. Never surrender. I think I might actually be a little better with quotes from movies than songs. Maybe. 🙂

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