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Its Not Only About The One With Cancer.

My husband had part of his colon removed a year ago. He was told it was stage one, didn't need chemo, just had his blood work done every few months. Everything was coming out fine. His mom had stage 4 colon cancer and was more likely to have it come back. My husband and I were close to divorce when he started having stomach problems. The doctors thought it was an ulcer from all the stress in our lives. I  went with him to get his sonogram done and immediately took the xrays over to his gastreonologist. We were sitting in the waiting room and he took the xray out and immeditely knew he had cancer. You could see it in his liver. We also found out it was in both of his lungs. So we have a 46 year old man that was cancer free, had all his tests done, blood work, recent colonoscopy and now he has stage 4 cancer and is considered worse off than his mom that started with stage 4 a few years ago.

Through this he realized that he needed me, and didn't want a divorce. Unfortunately, thats another story and can't write all that down to get to my point.

Its not only about the person with cancer, it involves everyone that loves him especially the spouse that sticks with him/her through every bad moment. The anger, the sadness the frustration. You are made the one to take all the grief and contain it to keep the cancer victim from turning weak. You have to take their anger, their rude comments, and turn it around and try to keep them positive and not give up. I have gone with my husband to his two chemo treatments and I see much older people there, they seem to be doing fine. My husband gets so sick after he leaves, vomiting, went from constipation to diareha over night. My husband was never one to handle sickness, not even the slightest cold, you'd think he was  dying from a gunshot wound. Not to be smart or make fun, but its the truth, so imagine how hard this is for him and how vocal he can be. When he gets nauseated he wants to give up completely and stay in bed, not eating or drinking. Its hard to be stern and make him do things without getting yelled at and you have to internalize it because you really don't know what they are going through mentally. They also don't know what you are going through mentally and emotionally. I don't cry in front of him, I do that in the car, but I hold it back. He started an argument with me in the dr's office during chemo after I had stayed their all day with him, about not looking happy. No, I'm not looking happy, I'm watching my husband fight for his life and writing down everything he wants to give away, making arangements for a funeral, getting a will made out, watching him get sick, I'm sorry if I'm not smiling. He doesn't understand no matter how I try to explain to him how I am feeling, he just gets angry, thinking all I care about is he is going through all  his things to give away and might not get something. Its not that, its the fact that I'm dealing with  not having him here, and while he's here now, he's planning on his death.

I haven't worked in 10 years, my health went drastically downhill when my dad died. I didn't qualify for disability because I was a stay at home mom and didn't get enough credits. I have to figure out how to survive, but I put my faith in God to keep me going. He is able to work when not sick and we are trying to save to pay hospital bills, getting rid of our SUV to pay those bills and to save for the mortgage when he can't work anymore. All this weighs on my mind also, but you can't show it, it takes away from the person with the cancer. I watched my mom almost die along with my dad when she took care of him. I watched the same thing when my gramma died. It is hard for me to believe I am now gonna watch my husband die.

You purposely make it about the one that has cancer because they are the ones dealing with the end of their life, the end of seeing their loved ones. What I wanna say is, even though that is a fact, we, the spouses, or loved ones, that take care of these special people are also suffering and are forgotten about  but we do it because we love the people that need us. We take the grumpiness, the language, the mean comments, we take it because we love them and its not their fault that they are dying. It doesn't only affect the person with cancer but everyone that loves that person.

To this day the doctors still don't understand why he has stage 4 colon cancer that has spread like this, they have never seen this happen. He is considered worse than his mom. He was told even with chemo he might have a year or two. If this chemo makes him so sick that he can't enjoy what time he has is it really worth it? He has already put that out there, he doesn't want to be sick anymore. If this chemo keeps making him feel this way then he doesn't want to do it and I don't blame him. Why spend the last moments trying to survive by being deathly ill and miss out on all the special times with your family. Its not my choice, its his, but to watch him suffer, its unbearable and I have to hide it and it gets harder everyday to do that.

I don't believe doctors can predict your time on earth, they may have an idea, but I believe mentally and spiritually you can out live what they predict, if only I could get him in that place. He can't get there with this nausea, one of the worst feelings for anyone to have is nausea, and this is whats bringing him to his knees.

No, its not just about the cancer victim, but you have to make it about them to help them survive as long as possible. I get my strength from God and I pray everyone in my position also gets strength to help those that need support without judgement. God Bless all of you that understand what I am trying to say and feel.You want to say out loud "what about me?" but you can't, its not selfish, but you just can't do it. You're not the one facing death so you can't put your feelings out there. You have to internalize them, and thats getting harder everyday. It does have to be about the cancer victim, but mentally you are being tortured right along with them in ways they can't understand.

Recently my husband has gone to the cancer institutute of America, he has been given hope and has gained back his spirit to go on. He is getting his first treatment from them, he was was told his tumors have shrunk and God willing he will get through this better than he did before.

Its obviously been a few months since I last wrote. Things have gone down hill quickly, this place he went to was a false hope.  Alot of places cover the truth buy like their bills paid by insurance. we found out when he went to the hospital down here that his cancer has spread all through his lungs, liver and abdomen. Something they didn't share with him up there until he went back for the truth.  He is under hospice care, once a week so far. We have always been very private people in our home so until he needs more care we can get by with once a week.
It is very hard on me, but thats something I argue within myself, I don't deserve to feel like that. I give him his meds, keep a chart and keep in contact with hospice.
the hardest part is that he forgets things, like everyone but when he forget he tries to blame things on people for taking them  when he just can't remember where he put them. I have to go around and clean up or turn things off that he forgets to do. It wouldn't be so bad but he reverts to his old ways of talking to me with a control attitude and then when I get frustrated and it shows he makes me feel guilty by saying I'm treating him terrible when all it is , is me tired of being treated the same way when he was planning on divorce. Sure there are times when he truly appreciates me, he always tells me he wants to make time for me, but as usual he doesn't but makes time for other people. I'm used to this but it doesn't feel any better now than it did then.  I feel like I'm in some kind of personal punishment. I am doing my best to take care of his needs, I just wish he would realize that he never follows through with wanting to spend some last moments with his wife, but calls everyone else to find time with them. This is a hard thing for anyone to have to go through..........nothing can make it easy to wait and watch for someone to die.

It is now November, the doctors thought he would be gone by now.  They think he will make it until christmas, something he wanted the most.
It is getting harder for me everyday to take care of him. He is so scared that they will take him away from his home if I can't take care of him.
They just increased his medicine which made him sick, this is when its the hardest for me. When he vomits the whole world stops for me because he starts getting so loud and makes noises, its hard to explain, its just hard to deal with when this happens.
Between this and my drug addicted son that now believes he might go to jail because he didn't pass a urine test at his court ordered counseling, its tearing me to pieces.
I don't understand how you can court order counseling, and not put him into detox first. Counseling will not help an addicted person stop cold turkey and with his heart problem that would kill him. He has called many times to get into the rehab the court ordered he call, but it is a known fact in this county they never have any beds. Its seems to me the court should have got him in , not him try to get in. 
I constantly take verbal and emotional abuse from my son, he hasn't accepted his part in the problem. Though I shouldn't need to take this, I love my son, he was a good person before all this and between my husband and my son it is truly taking a toll on me. I pray that they don't take him to jail 2 days before Thanksgiving.  He went to drug court, I think they should least help him to get help, not just expect him to be clean because he went to court.

I ask for your prayers, I haven't made time to give my burdens to God, and I know I have to. I just pray this holiday season isn't as painful as last year when my husband was wanting a divorce around the very same time. I truly need a break.

honeysuckle23 honeysuckle23 51-55, F 15 Responses Feb 25, 2010

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this is such an important and well written experience. i am dealing with cancer and have told the doctors that my wife is going through more than i am as she is the care giver. i can only hope i am not too vocal about my discomfort and will pay even closer attention to it now i read this. great writing, it meant a lot to me

My prayers are with you both..............I am glad I wrote something that could help you. I actually wrote this awhile ago and had to read it again. Feels like a dream, hug your wife as much as possible, a hug can say a million things that words can't. God Bless!

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i really appreciate your choice in putting your story on line i needed this my husband put off a colonoscopy for 6 years what would have been a polop is now colon cancer and we were looking at colon cancer surgery but before that happened the type he has tends to make your body throw off blood clots which at first we thought might be a heart attack so surgery delayed hospital stay then he had afib of the heart well now we are looking at a new surgery date the reason your story hit home with me The change in his attitude i feel like i take so much everyday from him and i too when in my car let it out when iam by my self thank you your story described my own issues.Thank You

My prayers are with you. Stay strong through this, its what keeps you together mentally..........wishing you all the best, and you're welcome, glad I could help someone in some way. Hugs!

Just noticed this blog is 2 years old...I hope you are alright

Wow, I am crying reading your blog. I am kinda in the same situation right now caring for my hubby of 12 years with bladder cancer stage 4. You are in my prayer and stay strong.

I'm finding out the second year is the hardest.......alot of depression. Alot of thoughts go through my head, if this or that. I will keep you in my prayers! Its a long road, and I'm wishing you all the best. Hugs

Thank you for your comment. Yes things do get harder as time goes by. I am home constantly taking care of his meds, hospice shows up once a week. He doens't want them totally involved yet because he is still capable of doing things on his own. His memory is terrible, and he thinks things that aren't there or true. He thought my grandson was here and kept calling for him. this stuff hurts and I try hard not to get frustrated in front of him only because I am extremely tired. <br />
I thinks its a shame its taken this for him to see how much I truly meant to him and now stands up to his mom and all the criticizm she has given me and this family. <br />
I don't look forward to his decline or having to make all the arrangements but its something I must do. I had to help my mom do it when my dad died, and I know I must go through it. <br />
He gets scared when I am gone, which is a short trip to the store. Yet he still is the same, says he wants to spend time with me, and never finds time because he does his own thing. <br />
I take it in stride and am just grateful I have put my own fortress up around myself and only have a small opening for people to come in. <br />
Yes, I have faith in God and must believe He will not let me down......for this is not the only trial I am going through, but thats another story......:) God Bless and thank you for reading.

You have been through so much and your faith is so strong. As carers, it is so difficult and yes, I too cry in the car as that is the only safe place for me to vent my tears. Caring is such a trying and tiring job. It is so painful to see loved ones suffer. The uncertainity of tommorrow is frightening. What keeps me going is my faith, that my Father in heaven will equip me for the journey and that all things will work for our very good. <br />
<br />
God Bless you

Try to stay strong. I had to explain to my husband why he doesn't see me crying all over the place. Its my way of coping and being strong. Makes things more bearable because you put a wall of strength up for him. You can always cry when he's not around. My husband just got a terrible case of shingles because of the chemo sapping his immune system. I don't know what its like to be him, but still, it takes alot of those that care for the people dealing with the cancer themselves. I have alot to be thankful for, all I can do is the best I can but I don't throw myself under the bus anymore. I make myself a priority also. I just had shoulder surgery and I took care of myself. He offered but I've learned to do things on my own, I've always had to. Hang in husband tells me now how much he realizes he loves me. He has come to alot of realizations lately.<br />
I don't think this treatment is having the effect is was supposed to, he had alot of hope, he won't give up though. Thats something thats changed about him, though he spends alot of time in bed. <br />
He still makes his trips up to Chicago , it takes alot out of him and he still manages somehow to get some days of work in to keep a paycheck coming in. ( he's gotten on this thing though where he wants everything) I'm trying my best to save money for the worst, and he wants everything under the sun. Maybe thats part of feeling like you won't be around to get those things, but its hard to manage things to survive on a daily basis when the money you try to save keeps flying out the door. <br />
I hope things get better for you, keep your chin up, show your strength, I tell everyone that asks, you gotta just suck it up from your stomach and create your own strength. (with me I don't do anything without God) but I'm not preaching to anyone. My prayers are with you and yours. I wish you the best.

i have to agree with your story here.. my boyfriend has bowel cancer stage four.. we've only been together for a year but he is the love of my life. Since he has been diagnosed he's changed a lot.. there were issues before the cancer like he didnt know if he wanted kids, or to get married etc. Now if i leave him i seem like a mega.... b*tch... but i do love him so i will stay.. its hard coz i cried in front of him the other night and he got all upset with me.. everyone keeps telling me to be strong, dont cry in front of him etc etc.. its so hard. I feel like my life isnt normal anymore, working is so hard..going out with friends is hard. Im scared because we dont know what the outcome will be.. he is trying to stay positive but i know he's scared to.. his oncologist said its unlikely curable. I guess there are a lot of people in the same boat..

Thank you, and yes, I would not be able to survive without God. He is my Rock and the strength that keeps me going. I am dealing with many things all at once, my life would not be possible without the promises of God and the Holy Spirit to comfort me. I will never stop fighting the battle, I want to be here to be a witness for the Lord when He returns. It does get hard when there isn't a day to my own thoughts and to have a little peace in my life, Satan likes to attack those that love God. Its taken me awhile and with the support of EP friends I have climbed to the top of the mountain(thanks BobFrost) for helping me to climb. I won't let anything or anyone knock me back down, for I have God on top with me. Blessings to you :)

Thank you, it is getting harder everyday, but I have to stay strong for him. He is very scared and who wouldn't be? I wish it didn't take this to bring us back together the way we used to be. God bless you always. :)

Thank you, and to address the mental health conditions, I have suffered from anxiety and depression all my life and I know that is also something most people take for granted as just "being crazy" when it is so much more. It is deep rooted emotional problems. I didn't actually get help until I was in my late thirties. As time went by there was more of an understanding of what I was going through. I have a handle on that for the most part, my anxiety pops up in stressful situations but I have more control of my depression. Both my grown children have the same symptoms, so I admire you for being able to take care of your family without judgement and just reconognize and love them for who they are.<br />
My husbands fear is getting worse, he is not responding to the chemo treatments well at all. Is getting dehydrated everytime, and had to be put in the hospital. He does not want to do this anymore and it is his choice, miss out on what life he has with his family or enjoy the time instead of spending those days in terrible pain vomiting 24 hours a day. I support whatever he has to do and it breaks my heart to hear him apologize for not being strong when it takes strength to do what he is doing. He thinks he is weak, but I wrongly made it sound like he couldn't take any sort of pain, it takes alot of courage to want to give up treatment for the sake of having more quality time with your family., God bless and your family.

You are such a special lady and an absolute inspiration. I cannot imagine what it is like to go through what you are experiencing in this journey, but having nursed chronic mental health conditions in my family I do know what the fear is like. Keep up the marvellous, heroic effort and good luck.