Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Hello from Susan who used to live in Spokane

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    I thought I’d update anyone who is interested in what has happened since Don died May 10th of this year. I decided that moving was not really something new since he and I had planned to move so in Sept I sold my house in Spokane and by October 4th I was in Port Townsend, WA. I moved myself with the help of a U=haul, driver and my daughter who helped me pack. It was an herculean effort since the gal who bought the house wanted to take possession in five weeks and I had to go out of town for a wedding during one of those weeks. But I got it done and I’m moved into a rental and so happy I decided to go ahead with our plans.

    I miss Don but have been surprised that I haven’t cried more. I tear up but have never just had a sobbing session. I guess I was thinking in movie terms or in the terms of books I’ve read. I’m not the sort of woman who falls apart, I usually just move on so I guess that is a good thing.

    The things I miss surprise me too, I miss the drives we used to take just going nowhere. I’ve tried it a couple of times but it just isn’t the same by myself. I can’t listen to pop music from the 60’s/70’s, makes me tear up every time. I miss having him to email back and forth. We used to sit in the same house on different floors and email back and forth. I miss having someone to share “Tundra”, having someone who puns a lot, someone who called me ‘babe’ even though I don’t think I’m any longer one. Just the everyday stuff.

    On the other hand, I decided to get involved right from the get go and to that end have joined a Unitarian church, a quilt group, gone to several movies by myself, go walking at least four times a week and I think this will increase with spring and summer.

    So I’m doing well. I wish anyone who was here and listened when I wrote in during the hard times from October to May in the last year a good year ahead.

    Susan Sawatzky


    Hello Susan, I was diagnosed in June 2012 and didn’t have the chance to know you and Don. Reading your story, I wanted to take a minute and tell you how I admire your brave choice, moving and becoming active in your new community. You have a beautiful attitude. Stay busy and you will bless other’s lives. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.



    Susan, thank you so much for posting this. Your mixture of sadness and optimism seems very “real” to me and is an inspiration for the way I hope to deal my grief when the time comes.

    I suspect that we are all surprised at the way we grieve. Everyone is different, and who can predict exactly how we will react to such a thing? Just remember that part of you was grieving the whole time that Don was sick. An hour here, a day there, some secret tears… it’s all part of the process.

    I wish you happy memories and a fulfilling new chapter in your life.

    Catherine Poole

    Hi Susan,

    It is so good to hear from you! Wow, you’ve accomplished so much. I try to think of that part of mindful meditation where they say that you should just accept where you are, right now, in the moment. And that is what you are doing so successfully. I hope you find some solid community which is difficult for any of us to do. The things you miss about Don really touched me. I know those feelings well. So please pop in once in a while and let us know how you are doing.



    So glad to get an update from you. It is nice to hear you are moving on and working very hard at it. I hope you continue to come around and give us updates. You went though a long, hard journey and I so hope you’re rested and that each day gets better and that the memories are sweet from you and Don.



    Susan, a friend of mine lost her spouse just before last Xmas. For Xmas, she bought herself a frog ornament to put on the tree. When I asked her why, she said frogs can’t go backward or jump to the side–they can only go forward. That’s just what you’re doing–an inspiration for all of us. You need a frog.

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