Hold me

I am at a tough place. Physically, financially, emotionally.

Moving again combined with chemotherapy plus lorlatinib has been more difficult than I imagined. I am exhausted and raw–figuratively and literally.

In December my five years of alimony came to an end. The previously draconian divorce laws in NH have been revised, and were I to be divorced now, I would have received alimony for up to one half the length of my marriage. I asked for an extension which was summarily denied (no surprise). I don’t qualify for disability (not enough work credits–being a stay at home mom bit me in the ass–hard) so I am going to have to have to rely on my retirement fund. It is all very stressful and yet small potatoes compared to my health issues.

Breathing. So simple and yet not. Thus far no indication that chemotherapy is making a positive difference. Which of course makes the abundant side effects less tolerable as well. And then there is the mind fuck of pushing ahead with the belief that this is all for a reason while also understanding that in fact I may just be making myself sicker with no resultant benefit.

On Monday I was given the option of forgoing chemo. My response was ‘hit me.’ I need to believe that I am accomplishing something.

There is also the reality that I am essentially going this alone. That the dog still needs to be walked and I need to eat, neither of which is going to happen magically.

I have no doubt I shall get through this. It is what I do. But it also occurred to me (again) today that perhaps the worst part of being alone is having no one at my side. That human touch and warmth would do far more toward making me feel whole than a meal or a walk for my dog (things I can do myself).

Well. I am not one to let conventionality stand in the way. If you’re a close friend of mine and within driving distance, don’t be surprised if I hit you up for a sleepover. Nothing fancy. Not sexual.

Just hold me.


25 responses to “Hold me

  1. Hi Our Sweet Linnea,

    I am sorry, but my computer will not let me respond directly to your post. I hate what is happening to you!!! This is NOT THE RESULTS WE WANT. If I lived anywhere near you, I would be there helping you. Walking your dog. Making good meals for you and cuddling with you. I am also fighting my lung stuff, but nothing you are going through. I promise to get my computer fixed and get back to your post to find more support!! I find it CRIMINAL that a woman who raises her children, so they get the best start in life, is punished financially! CRIMINAL.

    Do you have meals on wheels in NH?



  2. How can we help – is there a go fund me page am happy to contribute

  3. Wish I were closer, Linnea. Where are you living now?
    I’m also happy to contribute to a GoFundMe. The cruelty of our country’s choices in funding infuriates me.
    Sending a virtual hug for now.

  4. So sorry the chemo is so hard and doesn’t seem to be doing much. I hope Alice is ready to offer something else to try.

    Don’t forget that your kids may be able to help with your financial challenges. Even one in college could still set up a “go fund me” web page for you or organize a fundraising activity.

    As for meals, my current off-label drug for ROS1+ has several very bad side effects including diarrhea, feeling full fast, intolerance of seasonings, and heart impairment making it hard to invest the energy for proper meals (I lost 17 lbs in 7 weeks). I’m better on a lower dose but eventually I might resort to community “meals on wheels” and occasionally I even do some Ensure/Boost (yuk!), both are ideas that might appeal to you rather than making your own, at least when your inventory of food offered by friends/neighbors/family runs low. I keep reminding myself I can order food to be delivered (Doordash, Uber Eats, pizza, etc.), too, but I’m not resorting to that yet and it’s expensive. Meals on wheels is cheap (for small portion), and it can be nice to have someone stop by to say hello for a few minutes when they deliver it.

    Best hopes,

    Craig in PA

  5. I will feed you. I will walk Kumo. I will help you any way I can – please let me know how I can help….

  6. My heart aches for you, hoping you get many calls with invites to sleepovers and being held. Your dog will stay by your side whether you walk him or not, dogs are the best!

    Sending much love to you!


    Sent from Dawn Horner’s iPhone


  7. Linnea, please email me with your mailing address. I want to send $200. It’s not much in scheme of things but I’ve got it right now and want to send. I don’t know what town you moved to anyway; still in Western Mass? If you can email me it’s kristenaliotti@cox.net. I will put in mail same day. Are your treatments in Boston. If you were in CA, I promise you, I would MOVE IN for a while!!!! Lots of love.

  8. Ervmillerphotography is ME. Kristen Aliotti. It’s a website for my dad’s work. But it’s my message. I was asking for your mailing address. Kristenaliotti@cox.net 619-838-6070.

  9. You know you’re welcome anytime!👈🏼❤️

  10. Nancy O'Sullivan

    Linnea – I too would love to send you a financial contribution. I found your blog via ALK Positive as my husband too has ALK. I stayed home with my kids for many years so I get what a sacrifice that was and it is unconscionable that you should suffer financially now for that decision. You are an inspiration to many and a much more talented writer than I could ever be. Sending virtual hugs, strength and hope ❤ Nancy

  11. My heart aches for you. I am into my tenth year now with stage four multi focal NSCL. After surgery, oral chemo, targeted radiation- I have had five years of no meds and no unpleasant symptoms. Cancer is still there but so far very slow growing. I will probably be back on some kind of treatment this month after my scans. You have been my inspiration and heroine for years now.
    I would be so happy to contribute to a “go fund me” account.

  12. Colleen Broughton

    Linnea, Sending enveloping thoughts to you! Hope today is easier than yesterday, and you had more light than dark. Gentle hugs, Colleen 🌀✨❣️

    On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 6:15 PM life and breath: outliving lung cancer wrote:

    > linnea11 posted: ” I am at a tough place. Physically, financially, > emotionally. Moving again combined with chemotherapy plus lorlatinib has > been more difficult than I imagined. I am exhausted and raw–figuratively > and literally. In December my five years of alimony” >

  13. Linnea, I don’t think I qualify as a close friend, but as you know we are connected by being impacted by this lousy disease. I can be available for some virtual “Just hold me”, phone conversation or I could visit. And I know you probably need to be judicious about expending energy now, and understand either of the latter 2 options could be taxing.

  14. Oh, Linnea – It makes me so sad that you are in such need at this time. How I wish that your pains and sufferings would be gone forever, and that you were whole once again. You are brave. You are strong. You are resilient and loved by so many.

  15. I am new to following your journey, but am moved by your strong desire to survive. Your love of life is a testament to who I imagine you are in life- a force to reckon with and someone who deserves a long and beautiful life. Please email me directly at lizabird@msn.com. I have some things I want to offer you.


  16. Hi Linnea – I am coming to Boston Wednesday for my scan on Thursday followed by doctor visit at MGH. If we can meet – my daughter Rene and I will both give you a hug! Her 3 1/2 year old daughter will probably give a good hug as well! Let me know!
    Email me – Peace and Love to you!

  17. Linnea, My heart aches right now. I feel so awful that you have so much on your plate and feel like hell all at the same time. Doesn’t your friend live across the street from you now? I wish I lived closer. Please send me your mailing address, or some other preferred means, to send you a check, ACH, etc. Email: jon@jonschick.com
    Sending heartfelt prayers and love your way.

  18. I wish I could come and visit and walk your dog, and cook for you. And hold you. xoxo Emily

  19. This absolutely sucks! what’s your address, happy to send an Uber Eats gift card or a donation to help. I LOVE you woman! ❤

  20. This sucks! What’s your address? Happy to send you an Uber Eats card for food or a donation. I LOVE you woman! ❤

  21. I’m on the other side of the planet, by GoFundMe could be my way to hug and be around somehow. A baby-year-and-a-half in NSCLC IV, ROS1, crisotinib, and you’re my hero all this time.

  22. You’ve spoken my mind. There’s just a huge difference between friends and a partner.
    My life partner left me because of my illness. Now Stage IV lung cancer just feels like Stage IX.
    Sometimes you just want someone to be there and to hold you when a terrible dream makes you wake up in the night.

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