Tough Days

These last days have been a roller coaster.  Friday and Saturday, bluntly, I really thought we were down to a few hours left.  Sunday morning, however, started amazingly strong.  She even wanted to get up and take a shower.  The shower, however, proved a little too much and following it, she crashed.  Monday, Tuesday and yesterday have been tough but not quite as bad.  Today, your guess is as good as mine.

Yesterday we went to the acupuncturist again.  It was an ordeal.  Maggie has a great deal of difficulty walking because her legs are very, very weak.  The work that standing and walking requires winds her which creates strong anxiety which exacerbates the breathing issues.  But, we managed to pull it off with various oxygen tanks, rest breaks and lots of patience and determination.

I asked her yesterday at the acupuncturist if she thought it was worth coming back again (she has another appointment today) and she was unambiguous with her resolve to continue.  She says that, if nothing else, the appointment gets her out of the house and out of bed.  And that she feels that she needs to be pushing herself more.

So, in the spirit of fighting, she told me last night that she’s going to make her multiple nightly visits to the restroom herself.  Quick background: the last number of days, because she’s gotten so weak, I’ve had to assist her to and from.  She’s pretty unstable.  Well, last night she fell.  It wasn’t bad but she’s got a nice cherry on her shoulder and a bruise four times the size.  She’s ok but just a little shaken up and frustrated.  Me, well, I was scared as hell and then mad.  It was tough to get back to sleep after that.  But, throughout the night, she made at least two trips by herself without incident.  I think the fall just reset her need to be more careful and not push her boundaries too much, too fast.

She’s really struggling with the lack of air now.  Sitting up is a struggle and she’ll come up with all types of ways to avoid getting out of bed.  Who can blame her?

Yesterday we got a TV put into the bedroom so Maggie could catch up on her shows.  Flo and Sami have let us borrow theirs indefinitely (I went to rent one and it was going to cost $275 per month!)  Last night, after everyone left we watched one of our shows, held hands and just sat.  She said multiple times that it was nice to watch TV again because it felt like it had been forever.  She was really happy and, gosh, it made my stomach warm seeing her smile.  We even had a little back-and-forth about the characters, their situation, and what we’d do – a standard practice for us.  It was nice.  Really, really nice.

Watching all this transpire is just enormously difficult. Seeing Maggie waste away is incredibly painful.  Watching her fight is crushing my heart.  The overwhelming feeling of helplessness is like pouring vinegar straight into my heart’s open wounds.  I’ve seen things a man in love should never see.  I fear for what’s coming.

I hate to write posts like these for fear that someone who might just be starting on this journey might read them.  I’m torn and my heart hurts for those come after us.  I wish I had some words that might help.  Right now, I got nothing.  I’m too overcome with helping her while keeping my own head screwed on straight.

60 thoughts on “Tough Days

  1. Chris, you and Maggie are in my every prayer. May God bless you both with stregnth. My heart goes out to you both.

  2. Chris – your a strong man and God has at least blessed you with these precious moments to share. I have no words that are truly appropriate or that can really help I guess. I just wish there was a way to make it all go away….

  3. Thank you for taking time to make this post. I’m sure all of us who follow this blog understand the sacrifice it is to pull yourself away from Maggie and post how she is doing. I continue my regular prayers for both you and Maggie.

  4. I’m so sorry for all the pain you’re both in.
    Rest in the truth that God is real and will help you both with all your burdens.
    May the “peace which passes all understanding” flow through you every day.
    Praying for peace and comfort…and a miracle for God’s glory.
    You are precious people!
    Love and hugs…

  5. You and Maggie have shared a Love and Closeness that not many who live to a golden old age get to share.
    Hold onto and treasure every moment you’ve had and have now! Prayers for you both.

    God Bless

  6. Chris I know you both are feeling very scared, and helpless. I wish I could make this pain go away. There are no words I can say except You are not alone, please let me know what I can do to help you. Dont stop fighting and believing in God and his miracles. All my love to you both.

  7. You both are in my thoughts. Im glad you can share TV time again. But you cant have the TV indefinitely, cause Maggie is going to get strong enough again to watch the bigger better one upstairs!

  8. You are both so amazing! Your strength and love for each other is beyond words………Continued thoughts & prayers!

  9. Chris – thank you for the post – even with hard news those of us who check daily or multiple times a day are grateful for any update. My thirty something husband and I are on your same journey and though we are currently in control, I fear the day the current sweeps us away. Thank you for sharing your journey and know that all of us are praying for the best outcome.

  10. Thank you for sharing some of your TV & dinner time with us last night. It was good to see you both as always and as always – I’m at your disposal if you need *anything* … got tons of free time these days. Bless you both. Hugs and Love.

  11. Chris, thank you so much for the update. I know it is tough for you, but so many people follow your updates. You guys are amazing and I love you both.

  12. Cancer is limited …

    It cannot cripple love,
    It cannot shatter hope,
    It cannot corrode faith,
    It cannot eat away peace,
    It cannot destroy confidence,
    It cannot shut out memories
    It cannot silence courage,
    It cannot invade the soul,
    It cannot reduce eternal life,
    It cannot quench the spirit,
    It cannot lessen the power
    of the Resurrection.

    When I read this I can’t help but think of you and Maggie. Both of you have gone above and beyond in so many trials and tribulations and you have come this far. You are her angel. Much Love, Prayer and Hope!

  13. Chris, thanks for the update. I read it a dozen times a day, and every reply that is added. The two of you are never far from my thinking, ever, and prayers are said several times a day. Give Maggie a hug for me, and tell her that I’m still praying for that miracle. God’s strength. Love you both so very much.

  14. Maggie,

    You don’t know me, but my daughter went to Baylor Law School with you (she started the Spring after you)and asked me to pray for you. I’ve been reading your blog over the past couple of weeks. I pray for you and Chris all during the day, every day. I’m sure I’m one of thousands who continually lift you up in prayer. Just wanted you to know. May you feel God’s peace and comfort today.

  15. I went to high school with Nickie. I have been following your blog for a couple of weeks now. You and Maggie and all of the family are in my prayers daily as well.

  16. Dear dear Chris..God bless you for how you love Maggie..your words broke my heart and I am sitting here crying. My heart aches for both of you, and for anyone going through something like this.

    May God give you both strenght in these very tough days.

    As hard as it is for you to write, it is as hard to read………….

  17. Hey, Chris (and Maggie, though I’ve never met you) – I feel so bad that I’ve had to follow this from a distance. Y’all are unbelievable! I will always have in you an example of strength, long after the ordeal is over!

    Like so many on this list, my family is praying for you. Both.

  18. Hi Chris, I am a friend of Brooke’s and have been hearing about and keeping Maggie in my thoughts and heart for 2 years now…. I wanted to thank you, as many have before me, for journaling your life together and proving that love such as yours exists in real life, even through the most trying of circumstances. Thank you.

    I think you have touched a lot of us in so many ways, just by making your struggle with this public. So many people don’t understand how tough and constant caring for someone terminally ill is, and what a struggle it is to want to help but also have to give the other person their independence, let them struggle with the pain, and everything else that comes with it.

    I am so sorry you two are going through this .I believe that if faith, hope, love, and good vibes were cards we could deal in to get Maggie better, she’d be completely cured. I’ll keep sending in all of those in hopes they may help. Keep up the fight.

  19. Chris and Maggie, I’m so very sorry you two are going through this. I wish there were something I could do to make it all better. Prayers for strength are coming your way.

  20. I don’t know either of you and probably never will, but I read this blog every day and pray for you and your wife. Your dedication and love for her is so inspiring…you’re both heroes to me. Stay strong and know soooo many people care about you.

  21. As a friend only through this website, many tears have been shed for you both simply because I hate to know that any friend is suffering. I think of you and Maggie often and also visit your site daily; part of me is a little afraid to go because I don’t want to know that your pain and discomfort are increasing but there’s a part of me that finds I can’t stay away either. This is the impact that you have both had on people like me who are merely ‘virtual friends’.

    I wish I had the exact words for you right now that would provide you with immediate comfort and peace but I’m not certain that they even exist. I hope that you do find some relative comfort in the thoughts, love and prayers that continue to come your way!


  22. Chris and Maggie, please call Dion and I if you need us to bring over some chow or need any errand ran. My phone number is on my website which is, and Jeff has Dion’s. Seriously. We are praying for you and here if you need us.

  23. Chris, thanks for this post. You have a way of sharing that really puts us (me) right here with you two – the good and the bad you face, the Maggie we know and love resolving to fight, and then these wonderful moments of the two of you holding hands that encourage and refresh us all!

    I follow Maggie’s lead and pray for and visualize her healing…watching her tumors grow smaller and happy moments like these becoming more frequent until they’re so common we all forget this time when they weren’t! With Love.

  24. Remember that Maggie is not her body. Her body is broken but her spirit is strong. Stay strong for her, stay connected to her and don’t lose sight of who she is and why you fell in love with her.

  25. Hi Chris- I’m the ‘other half’ of Phase I Longhorn. Thank you for continuing to share your honest feelings. I wish there was something I could do or say to help. You once wrote in reply to one of our posts, “know that you are not alone…and when you are sad, there’s someone else out there who is sad with you…and just as scared”… though that doesn’t make this time any less difficult or less lonely… our thoughts are with you and Maggie.

  26. Chris,

    You have many praying for you both that don’t even know you. You are a true inspiration to so many, and your openness and sharing of your situation touches me so deeply. I do know that the Lord has you both in the palm of His hand. Take comfort in the fact the He knows how much Maggie can handle. You are an amazing husband. Stay strong and know that we are all lifting you both up to Him. Blessings to you.

  27. When I read this I know what a “fighter” Maggie is, she is giving 110% and more to beat this beast, and I am in AWE! She is getting out of bed on her own when she is so weak and accomplishing the task with many difficulties…and again, I have to say Wow! She is amazing and her will to live is so strong. Chris, your love for her is one of the reasons. Keep fighting this beast, keep loving each other, keep watching TV, and talking, and smiling, and hoping. Prayers do bring miracles, and there are so many prayers being said for you both. It WILL happen, I truly believe.

  28. You are such an incredible guy, Chris. Thank you for sharing this with all of us who are following you from a distance – I echo Don’s words. Were I closer you’d be getting a HUGE hug and whatever other tangible support possible. Instead, from a distance I send all the healing energy I can and just a ton of positive vibes (***shrink shrink shrink you stupid tumours!!!***)
    With love and light and prayers for keeping both of you strong.

  29. Chris, I haven’t met you but I know dear Maggie thru LOM class. She continues to inspire us.

    Mother Teresa once remarked there are only 2 questions we ponder as we face our own mortality: Was I loved? Did I make a difference?

    Here you both are — at your most vulnerable — loving each other, being loved and held up by people you will never meet, and shifting the universe in ways you will never know.

    At this moment, hear the whispered prayers of thousands, all uttered on your behalf.

    1. I really really like this post! I think the obvious answer to the two questions is a resounding “YES”

  30. Hold fast Chris. It is a journey no one should have to make, but some of us do, and we do survive. Enjoy each and every moment you have together and don’t ever give up hope.

  31. As Patti brings up Mother Teresa’s questions and Brooke resoundingly replies “YES” to both, I must concur enthusiastically.

    When Chris and Maggie met, it was shortly after I had met my husband, Jason. I was VERY close to my brother at the time, my being in Mississippi going to school did nothing to diminish our relationship, we talked pretty much for 2 hours every week. But as Chris and Maggie got more involved, I began to have some resentful feelings toward Maggie because Chris stopped calling so often and he stopped being as involved in my life. (Looking back, this of course makes all the sense in the world!) But at the time, this really hurt, and of course, I blamed Maggie for “changing” my brother, my hero, my best friend. When I first met Maggie, many months later, it was nice, she was nice….all very nice. But it just didn’t seem a good fit (in my eyes). As she gradually came into our family, I accepted her with loving arms, grew to love her because she loved my brother. When they got married 4 months after Jason and I got married, again I was a little worried because Chris and I had seemed to lose touch again. It seemed to go in phases, we would be in touch and everything would be back to normal, and then all of a sudden, we wouldn’t talk for months, then back to normal again….and I couldn’t explain it…so I worried.

    But after the wedding, as I got to know Maggie better and better, and I spent more time with her and Chris as a couple….I saw their interactions, and I saw their bond, and I saw their love and respect….and my love for Maggie changed. She no longer was someone who married my brother….but someone who made my brother intensely happy, challenged him, encouraged him, supported him. And I loved her more than I could love anyone else on the earth because she could do that for Chris. And I will ALWAYS love her, and I am ashamed to admit that I EVER blamed her for anything.

    So was she loved? YES, by so many people the world over, known and unknown.

    Did she make a difference? YES, in so MANY ways. I convinced a friend of mine to have a colonoscopy…he had precancerous polyps removed. Thank you Maggie. I think we will all love deeper, stronger, and more joyously because of you and Chris. And that makes our world better. Your strength, will, determination, courage, bravery, stubborn-ness, tenacity, love, and kindness all packaged into the tiny body that is you can never be ignored, but has been spread to all of us. We shall go on spreading the amazing story of Maggie.

    We love you, Maggie.

    1. “So was she loved? YES, by so many people the world over, known and unknown.

      Did she make a difference? YES, in so MANY ways.”

      Past tense makes me nervous. I’ll keep praying!

      1. My sincerest apologies, I was thinking about all the differences that she has ALREADY made and all the ways that she has alreaddy been loved.

        IS she loved….YES, of course!!

        IS she making a difference…..YES, everyday in everyway!

  32. Amen, my daughter … exquisitely said …

    Maggie, I am so grateful to you for the love you’ve shared with my son through these past 10 years and still today. You have made him supremely happy.

    I am so grateful that you allowed me to share a small part of your life. You have made a difference in my life simply by being who you are.

    I love you, Maggie.

  33. Love Love Love…and so many prayers…every day…we love you both so much, and thinking of you constantly…xoxooxoxooooxoooooo

  34. I hung our new piece of art up in our bedroom last night. It’s both spectacular and a more than subtle reminder that our lives are finite and that we need to appreciate each day.

    Maggie, thanks for putting your spirit into this fantastic painting.

  35. I am Andrea Exter’s mother – You both have been in my constant prayers since Baylor graduation. We walked your walk with my husband – I feel your pain, frustration and hope. I do know that God was with me every step of the way. Love still remains regardless of the outcome. Ande and I shared mostly with each other and Monty. Your sharing may help others to walk a difficult path. I continue to pray for you. May God keep all of you in his loving arms.

  36. Chris and Maggie,

    The most amazing thing to me is that no matter how much positive power and energy people pour into their messages to you, it never seems to compare with the intense light and energy that radiates outward from the two of you.

    Thank you for being a source of inspiration for so many people!


  37. Woke up thinking about all of you: Chris, Maggie, Lori, Nickie, Mary. Sending you love, strength and energy this morning.

  38. I am another person you will never know. I have been reading your blog and thinking about the two of you daily. I have been down the river recently with a loved one and I truely appreciate you making your journey public. I think lives will be saved as a result. Yes…you too are making a difference. Love and Peace.

  39. Your story wrenches my heart. It’s my sincere desire that Maggie be healed.

    I’ve followed you via this site for a few months now, and each time, I’ve wanted to comfort you somehow. But I don’t know how to. I’ve never been through what you have. And it’s my worst nightmare to lose someone I love.

    I see how you rely on your Faith, and I know God loves you. He has blessed you and will continue to bless you.

    My Faith has also helped me through hard times. And if I were in your position, I would take comfort in my belief that that spouses can be together as spouses forever. You and Maggie can be one for all Eternity through the Grace of Jesus Christ, despite the ravages of cancer.

    I wanted to tell you that, hoping it will comfort you. If it doesn’t, please forgive me.

    If you would like to learn more, here is a web address:

    If not, I wish you the very best. And may God be with you during this difficult time.

  40. Your love, energy and spirit has had a profound effect on my life. Thank you for sharing your story. You will live on through so many lives you have touched and have never even met. That is love transcending, the pretty side of humanity. I am sending positive energy and prayer to you and your family daily. I will never forget you.

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