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I Can't Handle Watching My Husband Dying Day By Day

 I have been married for 26 yrs.  I met my husband when I was 14 and he was 20.  We started dating about a month before my father died.  My father died on my husband's birthday.  I feel that since I was only 14 when my dad died, that my husband became my father figure.  We were married when I was 18, we got pregnant when I was 19 (this was a planned pregnancy), and I gave birth to my son when I was 20.  When we married we had a home built on land given to us by my husband's parents.  We had only one child.  He is now 24 and recently graduated from college and has taken a job in Atlanta.  All in all I would say that we have had a fairly good marriage.  My husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in his early 30's.  In January 2006 he had a heart and had quad bypass surgery.  He is now on disability.  In January 2007 he ruptured a disc in his neck, more surgery.  In July 2008 we found out he was in end stage renal failure and had to go on diaylisis.  He is currently dealing with blood vessels in his right eye bursting.  He is set for laser surgery but, for now has no sight in that eye.

 

Since going through all of this with him I have let everything in my life go.  My sole concentration is on taking care of him.  I no longer worry about when I get my hair cut, I don't get my nails done, I don't go to the tanning bed, I no longer watch what I eat and I don't exercise.  I have gained 65 lbs.  I suffer from depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia.  I deal with my own pain on a daily basis, be it physically or mentally.  I have begun to drink daily and currently smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day.  

 

I still love my husband and he loves me, but I can't help but be resentful sometimes that I spend all my time taking care of his needs but, no time taking care of my own.  I know his death is inevitable but, I can't stand having to daily watch him deteriorate.  

 

I don't know what I will do without him.  He has been the only life I have known for the past 30 yrs.  I feel very depressed, anxious, sad, etc., every day.  I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.  

 

I guess I would like some advice from other caregivers.  Thanks for listening.

candy1021 candy1021 41-45 34 Responses Aug 6, 2009

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My husband is dying of Stage 4 lung cancer and it is heartbreaking - I only work part-time but the rest of the time is spent caring for him and it is so hard physically and mentally - I love him so much. We have been married nearly 23 years and I find myself being really horrible to him sometime which I regret :-( We have lovely family and friends but I feel so alone.

I lost my dad just over a year ago which was devastating to me and in March this year my husband and best friend were both diagnosed on the same day with cancer, my lovely friend of over 30 years died only 6 weeks later which was bad enough but 2 days after she died my mum had a massive stroke and died 4 days later and I am still mourning her death as well as trying to look after my husband and family and carrying on working - feel like I am having a breakdown :-(

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You are human and I am sure that the pain you feel for him only multiplies your suffering,but 26 years was not all bad and you found and loved each other,many people more than you know cannot say that,I am sure he does not keep you from doing some of the things you say you do not do anymore and would probably feel good about you doing it,you are not going to be a martyr so let go of that self pity,go maintain yourself,get out some and build back up that inner strength you have had all along that just got worn down,you have a good heart or you would have said the hell with it years ago.God bless you and I pray you and hope out of all the awful times the good ones shine brighter for you.

I'm so sorry.. But man do I relate to ur story. Before I write a novel are u still in this position??

I am reading my own words !!!!!!! Very scary. Wish we could talk

Add a response...I know what you are going through.My husband was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.I have watched him him disappear before my eyes for the last 5 months.I decided to leave work to spend the last few months with him.He became nasty and the words coming out of his mouth hurt so bad,that my family doctor sent me to see a physiatrist .He was worried that I would collapse.Just 2 weeks I decided to go back part time to work 3 half days so I would not go crazy.I found out that he awaits my return but has mellowed.I am not telling you to do the same thing,but I would have had regrets if I did not try to spend time with him.Work keeps me focus on myself.I know what will happen,but also what I have to do to be able to keep going on after his passing.I am sure there are more people like us that go through the same and by accident I found this site.Take care

Good for you,strength comes from inside yourself I am told,it just takes different situations to bring it out,be there when ou can and when you cant don't be,it does you nor your usband any good if your state of mind is ot right,he'll know something is wrong believe me my wife does when Im down,sick,mad or just an ***.

I lost the love of my life almost 2 years ago. Just like you I was 18 when we married. He was the light in a dark world. When I was 28 I had to have a hyserectomy and was never able to have children. I begged Dane to leave me so he could have the family I know he so desperately wanted. He told me if I couldn't have kids neither could he because he didn't want anyone else to be the mother of his children. He was the best husband a girl could have. I was very sick all through our marriage. He took such good care of me. On our 16th wedding anniversary his colon burst and he lived in the hospital for the next 7 months. Then on May 18th, 2012 he passed away. That happened to be the day he asked me to marry him 18 years prior. Sure it wasn't a perfect marriage, but to me he was perfect and I miss him ever day. I just try to remember I'll be with him one day and what a beautiful reunion that will be. It's all that keeps me going.

I know theres a better pace but sometimes I get that doubt inside myselfI hope we see all ourdeparted loved ones whenwe leave this world,God has a plan for us all I hope and I ear death daily now and I fear someone I love ma de,isn't it sad that people do that,God Bless you and yurtime you had with your husband.

Oh My God I feel so sorry for everyone writing in this site. Try to do things for yourself. Buy an encumbent indoor bike - used if you have to. Try your best to do things for yourself, I know how easy it is to neglect yourself because I have!!! But reading your stories, my heart goes out to you all, don't give up. I wish I could have my husband back too - by the way he could not walk either for a long time, and I lifted transport chairs in/out of the car, helped him with everything. He is gone now and I am very depressed about how he died. I also wrote below the post starting with "everything you said is what I have been doing also for six yrs."
God will reward you for this....for caring for your loved one. I am positive of this.

Everything you said is what I have been doing also for six yrs. My husband was diabetic, has PMR (learned 1 yr ago about this), had laser for diabetic eyes, he had diabetic kidneys, and every single day was never feeling well on prednisone. All of those things you mentioned about yourself - join the club. We are not the only caregivers who suffer. On the morning of Oct 31 he went to lay down again on pillow saying he did not feel well, and within 30 seconds, he died. Quietly and peacefully to my shock. I am still in shock and would give anything to care for him for another five years. When it happens to you, you will want him back more than anything in the world. You must continue to care for him, but somehow do things to help yourself. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

I too have the same thing. I thought when we retired we would do things. He never cks his sugar. Takes whatever shots he wants. Can't walk. Has neuropathy and his eyes are going. I'm the total care giver. I'm depressed and angry. I love him. We have been together since I was 12. But I'm just 65. I want a life. I know that is selfish but my husband can't do anything physical for over 10 years. I'm so depressed and I have no one to talk to

I too am taking care of my dying husband. We've been married 52 years I've been caring for him the last 9. I can honestly say I don't feel resentful but very often I do feel frustrated and lonely. I find exercise to be very helpful but most of my strength comes from my faith and from my husband. He smiles when he sees me and often kisses the back of my hand or reaches out to touch my face. Many of my friends who have lost their husbands speak of the terrible void after he is gone. I absolutely hate seeing him suffer but I still love holding his hand and fussing with his hair and dressing him in warm clothes straight from the dryer after his shower. Pray and pray often ask the dear Lord to give you the strength you need to do His will. It is all in God's hands. For years I fought the will of God, we had so many plans for our retirement that were never to be. However, I've learned to live life to my husband's abilities. Relax, pray, and get some help for yourself.

I am dealing with the same thing my husband is dying but I am very happy
to spend each minute taken care of him we are married for 35 years no children
he is my best friend and yes I do not comb my hair or eat well but I remind myself
every minute counts please be patient you will a lot time in your hand when he is gone

I know how you feel im going threw the same thing with my husband and I don"t know what to do that's why im on here trying to find answers do I think I will find it no . my husband has copd stage 4 and the days go bye and he just looks worse I love him with all my heart and soul we have been married 20 yrs . I been thinking about trying to find a group therapy but not yet I cry every night I don't wake up to him not breathing please if anyone know how to help

Hi, go to inspire.com - there you will find the most amazing group of supportive carers.
Pen

I wrote this today: My husband is a triple-organ transplant patient who has been ill most of our 33 year marriage. I pray for all of us!

Father, Help me..
I want to run away from here, so far away..
Every day I see someone whom I have loved so dearly
Dying, dying…and yet remaining to live another day

I have lost so much compassion: It troubles me
I feel used and broken
I try to do things to make myself feel better
I clean and repair, clean and repair,
But in a moment it gets destroyed.

I never wanted to be here, being like this
Seeing someone’s eternal suffering
The suffering that has stolen most of our lives
And feeling no compassion

I hide and regroup, only to find
That I’m still so damn angry
I can’t live like this, I am dying too

I remember the days when we were alive,
When we enjoyed each other’s company
When he was vibrant
I grieve every day for those times, which
Will never be again.

Sometimes all I can do, all that helps
Is to cry
Please my Lord, help me! Come to us all
My sons don’t even think You are real sometimes!

I am so very sad today…and tomorrow looks the same

Somewhere in the depths of my heart, I pray
My hope still lives
I have hidden it: It seems foolish
But I cannot give up, and I no longer
Want to give in…
But I so desperately need You now!

If he lives, I die
If he dies, I die
Where is the hope in that??

My frustrations, my anger
Seem like a drug
One of many

I am killing myself with resentment,
Yet I know that my lot is not the worst

I still feel for him, in his suffering
I wish I could make it better
Sometimes I think I can, but he doesn’t always listen
It is humiliating for him, his condition
Whatever it is
He looks to You for peace, but he’s still
So afraid of what may come
And I think I would feel the same, if
I had gotten to where he is

Simply put: I don’t understand all of this
I remember that You are faithful and kind
That you never lose control, like me
I have been so ashamed of myself
But somehow, now and then,
I still feel Your love and goodness
I have run from You and been so very angry
It is the raving of a fool, who says in her heart:
There is no God.
For this, and so many other things, I am sorry

I have been experiencing the ups and downs of caring for a person with a serious illness since 2010 when my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Base of Tongue Cancer. He successfully completed the chemo and radiation treatments, but the final surgery left him with half his throat gone, and an inability to swallow food. We have been battling a multitude of symptoms created by the aspiration of absolutely everything that goes (or attempts to go) down his throat. The choking, gulping of fluids, and pneumonia that resulted from the aspirated fluids and food, was unbearable to watch. Cutting to today (many, many illnesses and battles in between then and now)...my husband can no longer have so much as a sip of any fluid (including water ~ it will go straight to his lungs)...food...or even a mint for relief. NOTHING can go into his mouth. We never would have thought that water would be a weapon of death. He suffers with chronic pneumonia...is on oxygen 24/7. He has no saliva glands after the long battery of radiation treatments, so his mouth gets so dry it is hard to talk. We use swabs to moisten his mouth, but that has little effect in relieving the torture created by thirst. He has a G-Tube for administration of all nourishment, medication, and water, which I 100% manage...as well as his medication schedule (that's a major challenge). It is very hard for me to watch the man I have loved for 43 years, lose his passion for life...I start every day with the thought of how I can make this day a happy or more pleasant one for him...and I am finding I no longer have anything I can do for him physically to ease his suffering or just give him a "normal" day. I have stopped working and my days are devoted to his care...I am fortunate that I am 60 and eligible for Old Age Pension and benefits...it is a Godsend. The most I can do for him at this juncture, is cheerfully go about his care, reassuring him I am not too tired, too stressed, too bitter, too angry, too sad...too lonely...to keep going. We still enjoy sitting a watching TV, or chatting about our "Hippie Days" when we met and fell in love. I am here for the long haul, and will be smiling at him right up to the end. I can (and will) cry later. We have the type of relationship that will endure death...I will be his wife until the day I draw my last breath. "Till Death Do Us Part" will not make me a single woman. The idea of him not being here is hard to say the least. I know how hard this is for everyone that has contributed to this blog...it's totally heartbreaking, and we are doing the best we can. I take time for myself when I need it...a cup of tea outside (I have a Toad Habitat that is relaxing)...a "spa morning" consisting of a scented bath, facial mask and deep conditioning for my hair on Saturdays while my husband is still peacefully sleeping at 5am...and I keep a journal with my feelings on a page, and not all bottled up inside. Those of you that do not...need to take care of yourselves...your loved one needs to see you will be ok, and that you still care about life, and you still have value in the life you are still sharing. Peace be with us all. Namaste ;)

After reading everyones post, I feel so much more dread and fear for whats to come. My 36 year old, best friend, husband, soulmate was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 6 months ago. All in all hes handling the chemo better then most (hasnt even lost his hair) and looks healthier then he has in a long time. But the cancer he has, signet ring cell carcinoma is a very rare and aggressive cancer. Actually found out its a "flat" cancer which is the hardest to detect even with a PET scan. So he looks better health wise. Ive noticed he has allot more anxiety and doesnt think as clearly as he used to. He also has permanent neuropathy from the chemo. He will never be able to be an electrician again (thank goodness!). Hes almost done with the chemo and thanks to obamacare, will no longer have insurance till at least 2014 (another 7 months?). So follow up care we still have to figure out. Hopefully he wont have a recurrence during that time. But the emotions involved. I already have PTSD. I dont handle stress very well and if it wernt for my husband, I probably wouldnt even be here. He is my lifeline, my strength and my support, as I am to him! I think I have been in denial for months over this, drinking and taking pills (which neither I normally do but I do have a prescription for medical marijuana... helps the PTSD) to help alleviate some of this. Obviously just making things worse. And ofcourse if I drink, my husband has to, which is horrible for him right now and quite frankly the ignorance is ******* me off! Im angrier then I was, and I feel I take it out on him sometimes. All I want to do is spend every moment showing him what an amazing person he is and how much he is loved and appreciated but instead I have meltdowns. I have no friends or family for support. My family either consists of toxic people (hence my PTSD) or people who associate with said toxic people. I just try to stay out of it as much as possible, but it leaves me very alone with my issues. And now Im dealing with the most horrid thing I could possibly imagine. My husband truly believes he will be fine, that this will not return at least for a very long time. But the aggressiveness of this cancer scares the hell out of me. Does he really feel like he is going to be better, because I do believe that listening to your body is important and will clue you into whats going on with it, or is he being ignorant again? It was ignorance, I feel that let it go this long before being found! Maybe hes just telling me whatever it takes to make me feel better!? Maybe hes scared? And then I read these stories, which I very much appreciate the honesty people put forth in them, is everything but worse I imagine I am going to have to deal with. I dont care about having to be his caregiver. I would do anything for him. But the thought of watching the most amazing, important person ever in my life be in pain, and deteriorate, and suffer, and then be gone forever, I cant bear the thought! And the thought of being alone??? Im dead meat. I have a hard enough time dealing with people with my issues, I have absolutely no support system and I was already pissed off in the first place (with good reason). Im scared! I try to talk to my husband about my feelings which only get him upset. He keeps telling me "quit making me out to be a dead man" Im not trying to but I dont want to act like this isnt happening either! Communication is really becoming an issue (never was before)! I try to take care of myself but between the depression, panic attacks and lack of funds, I find myself more ruminating over stupid stuff then anything (like I will read this 20 times before I post it...lol). I feel like crud and it doesnt help that we moved to a s###hole that demoralizes women (my hometown), which like I said, if anything happens to my husband, Im dead meat! So, this cancer could be gone or it could come back in a month. You just can never tell. And Im left alone, with all these feelings of sadness, fear and dread over something that may not happen till we are old and gray!? Really just trying to find that place, that no matter which way this goes I will be able to be at peace with it!!!?

As does everyone here, I understand what you're going through. The day my husband received his preliminary diagnosis of lymphoma, I received a preliminary diagnosis of breast cancer. He had a PET scan to confirm; the following day I had a breast biopsy to confirm. My husband and I decided that I (and our beloved dog) would take care of my husband until he died. We didn't think he had much time left. Well, it's been 6 months since the diagnosis, the dog passed away last month (there goes "the entertainment committee"), my husband is rarely lucid, has quit eating, and almost quit drinking liquids, and I'm now having pains in my breast.

I can't do anything about it because I agreed to care for him, by myself, until he passes. I've read many, many books about caregiving, cancer, and breast cancer. The caregiving books all say you should take care of yourself first. The breast cancer books focus on nutrition, exercise and controlling stress. I can't cook anything because it makes him sick. I have no time for exercise, and controlling stress? lol.... Get real. All in all, I just don't see how I can take any time at all to care for myself. And with all he's going through, I feel guilty even thinking about me. (of course, that's normal, right?)

Oh, let's add to this mess. Our retirement (2 years) isn't working out at the way we planned because of health issues, and I will most likely lose this home that my husband built, almost entirely with his own blood, sweat, and tears.

We've always felt so blessed, so lucky. But sometimes life just throws you a curve ball. It doesn't really matter so much what happens to us; how we react and adjust determines a lot of our outcome. I plan to continue to be as happy as I possibly can be (and I can be pretty darned happy!) no matter what.

Every day is still a blessing, even if it isn't anything like it was 'before.'

God Bless Everyone.

I am in the same situation only my health is poor also and i only receive 609 a month with his disibility check we make1,500 a month.I am his only caregiver and i am so tired not to mention we have not enough money to live on.I pray every day for strength. I don't know what to do any more , I am 50 yrs old, I turn to the Lord every day to get by.I pray things will get better, I am always afraid of being homeless. I know God will take care of me he has so far but things are beyound hard.God bless all those going through situatons like this. Don't give up hope we have a loving God.

I, too, am the primary care giver for my husband. We have been together for 10 years, but when we met we both felt that we had finally found the love of our lives. He told me in the early weeks of our relationship that he had Hepatitis C. I thought that didn't matter; he had no symptoms and I had no idea what was to come. The disease suddenly manifested last fall. It has come on so suddenly and it is such an ugly disease. My husband is fragile and the man I used to rely on for my strength and courage just isn't there anymore. I am scared. I am lonely. For us, our husbands -- the men we married -- are already gone.
I am aware that I must put effort into caring for myself. Though I have quit going to the nail salon and even painting them, I make an effort to take some care of them by clipping them short and filing them smooth -- that is safer for him, anyway, because any kind of nick causes copious bleeding (the liver plays a huge part in healing wounds).
But I will be honest -- doing little things like putting on make-up in the morning and doing my hair is a great effort and I don't even get to brushing my teeth every day. This depression is overwhelming. I have gotten some counseling to help me; I suggest you do the same. Most insurance plans provide some mental health care.
I am concerned about your drinking and smoking. These drugs make you even more depressed than you already are. I recommend you get some help to quit drinking and smoking. As you seek help with these issues, you will get help and support for the causes.
Another service available to people with terminal diseases is hospice. Hospice will provide a care giver to bathe the patient once or twice a week, and provide some respite care so the primary caregiver can have a break. I use these breaks just for me. I have begun walking and working out. And though the shadow of knowing my husband is dying never goes away, I do feel better and less depressed after I have worked out.
I guess the bottom line is this -- you don't have to do this alone. There are support groups, services, family and friends that can be of great help. I hope you will solicit their help. Bless you.

I can relate. My heart goes out to u. My husband was diagnosed w PPMS just last mnth. He has been detiorating before my eyes and misdiagnosed for years. So in last 4wks w actual dx, has taken its toll on me. This dz has affected his memtal capacity for hoq long? At thia moment, hes a paraplegic, extremely confused, and gettn worse every day. Next mnth will b our 17th anniversary. I honestly dont knw if he will make it till then. He has extensive brain damage but can fool the best. I just recently discovered he lost vision in left eye. He always told me he can see fine. MRI showed he had an infarct as well as progressive brain damage since a mnth ago. A mnth ago he would answer the phn. I miss my husband. Even though hes in hosp, i cant bring myself to visit. Ive taken care of him the last year not knwing real dx. Havent had time to prepare m. Between all the drs amd er admits in this 4wks alone, im still not used to idea of my life wo him. Resentment and all, i do love him and live w guilt of how i couldve done more....i dont knw how to cope. Drinkn, pills...are all temp fixes. But when someone can give me somethn that has a more permanent solution, that will have to do. I truly empathize w u. Wish i had more positive coping techniques to share w u. All my best...k

im so sorry you have had so much sadness. reading these posts is difficult. i am dying of cancer. my husband has fallen in love with someone else, but wont admit it to me. a wife knows. someone downthread said something about the real victim being her, not her dying husband. i am speechless. while living with a terminal spouse must be extremely difficult, when his battle is over, she will still be living. knowing you are going to die a painfull death, and watching your husband grow further and further away from you is a pain that cannot be described.

Well, I feel your pain. My husband has pulminary fibrosis which mother, brother died from. He's lived a good life. He's 66, retired, a part-time realtor, musician. I teach, clean, cook, take care of the house, and sing in his band. I know have to move much more musical equipment than before. He lives to play music, and I wouldn't take it away. But, he's driving me crazy. I feel I never have no time to rest. He wants to be around people always, and I get upset with him and yell about it. I tell him that I still live in the house, I work, and don't rest. I have to entertain. He doesn't ask me when he asks people to come over. I feel he doesn't care about my needs, his in a relationship by himself, and has threatened me by telling me he'll put himself in a home. (So, he can get his way.) He is so selfish. Everything is for him. I do love him, but it's hard to love someone when he's becoming such a dictator. So, I am becoming resentful. I think he is taking advantage of me because of hiis illness. He's 17 years older than me, his health is deteriorating. He's part of a pulminary study, so he'll be taking a placebo or medication for the next year. So, he has hope. He also will be able to get at least one lung, but that will be when he needs to be on oxygen. After reading some of these blogs, I don't feel so bad about my husband. There are so many women far worse than I. There are women struggling to keep things normal, yet they've lost their house, social lives and self preservation. He might not have as many years as he thought he would, and that hurts, but as least he has me. As much as I want to kill him myself, he still loves me, and laughs and lives. I will try to be more understanding, and hope it doesn't kill me, too.

I am a therapist and have a client journeying what you have experienced. Do you have a book I can recommend? In addition to therapy she would like a book that will encourage her to care for herself and not feel so alone.<br />
Please advise,<br />
Theresa

A year since my last post here and he's been gone 16 months now. The heartache is endless! Still, I would not wish him another day of his misery, even though I long for him constantly. Someone said it best "I close my eyes and I see you. I open my eyes and I miss you." I feel my life ended when he died. Now it's just the long lonely journey to be by his side again. Oh God, I miss him so much!

I am at my very end of sanity. Thanks to all who have shared their own stories and I found this today. My husband became disabled 26 years ago when his aortic valve ruptured. Our boys were 2 & 8. We lost our house and lived in my mom's attic. He told me to go to college and I did. It took me 7 years but I have been teaching for 12. During my student teaching, we lost our home to a fire. Through the years he has developed diabetes, had surgeries from falling, a pain pump in his back, mini strokes and a major stroke last year, and he has been fighting congestive heart failure. I wait on him constantly, give meds and try to do everything because I have no help. I just feel that I want to cry all day even though I can be very strong. I feel I am losing my support and best friend. Bless you all!

Add lymphoma to the mix now-he started chemo last week

Three heart transplants, one kidney transplant, dialysis, hospitals-what a life for him-for me handling anything not so difficult does not seem to occur in my life. I guess thats why we are a fit-who else to be hard enough to handle the pain and love of this level of caring but a crazy ***** like me? or who else to put me in my place, shut me up, and add value to my life than a sick, kind, gentle spouse?

Dearest Candy1021,<br />
<br />
First of all l will definitely be praying for you! I truly feel for you and your husband both. In short, l somewhat know how you are feeling and truly understand your depression & anxiety. With that said l also very much know what it is your husband is going through. @ age 11, l was in a horrible accident, died three times,in a comma for 3weeks, crushed my scull, with a portion of my brain removed. I was on the road to a very long & exhausting recover (which l eventually healed from). Then, as years past l have had to so many surgeries (unrelated) l often have lost count. Your husband, speeking from experience is fighting a fight that only looks to show defeat, though it's through your selfless love that has inspired another human being (your husband) to want choose life with you rather than without you. We, the patient dream of making people like you free from our prison within our own bodies. Faith, is a key factor in life, love, and happiness,though it is hard to see light at the end of the tunnel when you have lost yourself. I often think, yes this life was not what I intended, though if it was to give someone else's life freedom or purpose then l have everything to live for. His last day, as all of ours will come at some point, is nothing short of a miracle because you were apart of it. I wonder why or how others took care me the way they did, gave up & sacrificed so much, all to see help me heal and live....You have all the right in the world to express your hardship, though fight for another round or two for the amazing infinite love you and your husband embraced the first time you choose forever, the first time you saw the miracle of life in your child, the first time love was all the cure. Pray & believe!

Bless you all. I am going thru this as well. It seems we have no right to feel any pain and yet we are the one who is truly the victim, left behind to pick up the pieces of what is left of our lonely existence. If I call his daughter and ask for help from her, I feel like I have failed. The burden is simply more than I feel strong enough to carry. Stage-IV liver cancer will take him but not soon enough to spare us both the misery and I am just trying to hang on to enough of myself to be able to live on without him after he's gone. I have had to give up my job in order to care for him and yet in doing so he now makes me feel that I have let him down or I am just not giving all that I have. He is robbing me of any self esteem I have left. It is just so hard to bear. I am praying just for relief. Oh God why does it have to take so much?

I just came across this while I was looking for another email and I have to say that looking back on the misery that I was going through during the last couple weeks of his life (he died 2 weeks after my post here), it was truly a nightmare, those 2 weeks. The worst of it all. Yes, it was like going through a forced divorce. We loved each other so intensely and the last couple weeks we did not want to face what we both knew was coming and I think we both tried to take it out on each other even in spite of our love. It was a time when we should have been drawing closer and yet getting close was so painful because we both knew the words we couldn't say..goodbye, it's been wonderful, I'll see you again soon, don't cry, please don't cry.....now he is gone.....I don't like to look back and I can't bear to look ahead.

My husband is dying of renal failure, congestive heart failure, and recently suffered several mini strokes. He has been in one after another hospital or rehab for almost four months. He is the love of my life and my best friend. What I am finding is that it`s a money game. If we had the money, we could choose a facility where he could live out his final days in relative comfort. Instead we are being forced to fill out forms we don`t understand, to give up the life we`ve always known and loved. We have lived simply and enjoyed each other without tons of money or material things. I will be left homeless and lonely. Thats our government at work for us. If I were an immigrant my life would be far different. Someone would guide us through this process. It wouldn`t cure or bring my husband back, but it would relieve the stress of this financial nightmare. If he were a pregnant teen he would find more compassion and support from the system. We live in a strange world. I am so very sad.

I am so sorry for you. I worry too, that when my husband passes, I will be living in poverty, even though I am working. Teachers in Illinois are not allowed to collect Social Security Disabilty spousal benefits. Yes- it is all sad shame....