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hi..i'm new here - husband has colon cancer 
Started by sickness
08 May 2013, 4:36 AM

hi...my husband is palliative with stage 4 colon cancer with mets to liver.  he has been battling this damn disease for about 10 years!  he is sooo positive and he refuses to admit that he is dying!!  he is a trooper, we have a son  who is graduating in june and is17 and a daughter who is 16.  i am hoping he makes it to our sons graduation!!!!  this is soo guilty of me to say... but.... i am getting sooo stressed, pulled in every direction and still working full time.  all i want to do is cry!  when i talj about things to "close" peope @ work... sometimes i feel like there just liste'ning.. they really have no idea what im goung thru..and i end up cying and feeling liking an idiot....cause hes the one 'going thru hell NOT me!!!!  then i get super jealous of their lives and what coukd have been for us!!  how do i continue on knowing ibwont have him in the future?


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Reply by Tian
08 May 2013, 2:44 PM

Life has asserted itself and placed you in a horrendous situation. You should be stressed, it's perfectly natural to cry, you are going through hell. And that your husband refuses to admit that he is dying makes things even more complicated. It seems that he is in a state of denial. Is your husband in palliative care? If so there should be psychosocial services available for both him and the family. If he isn't then I think you should approach his oncologist or GP to get access to that type of help. Cancer is only part of the battle. Do you have family and/or friends outside work that understand what you are going through? You should not face this situation alone. Precisely because your husband won't be in your future it is critical that you do what you can in the present for your husband, your children and you. In the meantime please know that you are always welcome here. We are here to listen and do what we can. 

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Reply by marstin
08 May 2013, 3:32 PM

Hi sickness,

I'm so glad you have found this community. Here you will hopefully find the support that you need from people who have walked roads similar to yours and understand the fear and pain you are living. I often wondered how my husband stayed so positive throughout his battle with bladder cancer and yet now, nearly 10 months since he passed, I finally get it. I don't believe that anyone would want to admit that they didn't have the strength and ability to fight this horrid disease and win. I'm sure that your husband has his fears but that he refuses to just accept what is happening to him and stays strong for you and your children.

Although your husband is battling this disease, you also are going through your own hell as you fight along with him. While he is being cared for by nurses and doctors, you are trying to keep a 'normal' life going by working full time and caring for your young family. It is such a frightening time for you and so much pressure. Life as you know it is changing rapidly and I would guess that you are afraid of what life will be if he loses this battle. Please don't feel guilty about it, it's okay to be scared.

Your friends at work are probably doing their best at trying to understand your emotional turmoil but I think it is really difficult for them to truly know what you are going through unless they have been there themselves. I had been a stay at home mom for 20 years and my closest  friend was my mom who I was with every day and when I shared with her I could tell that she really didn't get it. I wish I had found this site while we were battling cancer but even so I am so grateful to have found it at all. It has been my lifeline. If you have the time to read some of our stories on here, you will find how much support there is on this site. Some of us have had double blows, I lost my mom just weeks after my husband, and my daughters and I are still standing. I understand your jealousy at other peoples normal lives. I remember saying to my brother 'at the end of the day you go home and your life hasn't really changed. For me, life will never be the same, I have lost my two closest friends'. I must say that he still doesn't get it and has been no support at all.

Do you have other family members that you can turn to? How are your children dealing with all of this upheaval? It must be very difficult for them. My daughters are in their early 20's and still at home and I know for them that they battle daily with their emotions and losses. What I can say is that you will find strength to face each day but that it will not be easy. It will be like a rollercoaster ride of emotions. For myself, I find an incredible amount of anger. I know that it is normal but that doesn't make it easy to deal with.

Have you been offered any councelling? If you can fit it into your already busy life, it might help you. I have held off for the past 10 months and only now am I able to reach out and admit that I need some help to get through this. I think we all deal with our pain in different ways and at different times. We have to do what is right for us, there are no guidelines to follow. It is a personal journey.

Please know that we will be here for you when you need to share your emotions. You were brought here for a reason.

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Reply by claudia c
08 May 2013, 7:13 PM

Dear Sickness,

I know it's such an easy thing to say - sharing our stories of suffering and loss with others brings comfort and a sense of not being alone - but it is true. It took me a long time to acknowledge this. So you have taken a huge step forward in writing to us and telling us your story and we can share with you what we're going through - and it will help you to feel you're not going through this alone.

Last summer I had just begun to feel my mourning my mother's death 4 years ago was beginning to lighten a bit when my husband told me he had been diagnosed with level 3B lung cancer. I was so devastated.  It seemed so unfair.  When anyone complained about something not being quite right in their lives - I wanted to scream at them - but your husband doesn't have cancer! I've come to accept that my anger, frustration, even hate of others who seem healthy and alive is totally natural. I've also come to realize that I have to try to let go of this awful stress because it's so harmful to me and to my husband. He depends on me to be upbeat and I can't let him down.

But to be practical -
a) Focus on the company you keep:  I simply don't talk to individuals whom I've found are unsympathetic. When they ask how we are I just say Fine. It isn't worth the energy to explain and then be upset when that person says something stupid or worse - doesn't even answer.  I've connected with all my friends and acquaintances who've dealt with cancer and I contact then regularly. They always have something useful or at least supportive to say.

b) Focus on your self. I've found counseling a tremendour release and relief. I see a lady in our city's palliative care community once every 2-3 weeks. She asks me, How are you? and I just tell her - all the unkind and angry things I think and all I'm suffering, and I get it all out and go home and put my smiley face back on. 

c) Count on your kids for support. When my Mom died I didn't communicate with anyone about how I felt and my husband and our 2 daughters didn't really seem to want to know.  But this time round I tell them how I feel. I encourage my husband to speak honestly with them. They need to know what's going on. We're a family - good stuff and bad. It's life - their lives too. Maybe one day they'll be able to help someone else because of what they're  experiencing at home now. Be honest with them. Share. Also my daughters found that when they opened up they met and were comforted by their peers who are also experiencing similar events. They were very surprised at who came forward once they let it out what they were having to go through.

d) Sort out the big stuff - wills, investments, financial matters. It's hard because it makes you feel as if you're admitting to what's coming.  But we all should be doing this anyway as a matter of course as we age.  

Please keep on sharing with us!

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Reply by sickness
09 May 2013, 12:04 AM

hi Claudia....my dear dear Claudia..... wow you sure hit the nail on the head for me!!! thank you for that advise.   but....i cant get over the extreme jealous I have for people and their "normal" lives..ex today...i work in a hospital, was going for break and i passed an elderly couple holding hands in the hall...instantly i start crying and saying to me....i wont have that life my husband is dying and i am only 46 years old!!!!  Grrrr...

wow ...i have never admitted this to anyone before!!! thanks for listeningKiss

as for the company i keep...my family and his are very supportive....but I HAVE THE PROBLEM IN NOT VENTING!! they ask...but i dont tell...it seems like it is my problem and nobody really cares and if they say they do...i feel like an idiot and just CRY!!!!!  lately I have been avoiding people whenever I can..even family!!!  how awful is that!!
counselling.. i have tried that a long ways back...hated it...it seemed all i did was cry in front of a stranger and felt like a blubbering idiot when i left!!  i know im pathetitc!!  

soooo in a nutshell i am  having a hard time with this...he is sooo skinny and weak goes for bloodvtransfusions almist every 2nd week....im scared to death that the end could be soo close!!  But when i come home i put on my happy face and attempt to ge strong for everyone!!!!!   

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Reply by claudia c
09 May 2013, 1:15 AM

Dearest friend, please tell me your name. You help me so much too. I too hide myself away too much. I tried to sound strong in my first email to you and I am sometimes, but sometimes I'm not.
I even feel angry and resentful to my dear husband sometimes that I have to go through this. and then I remind myself I am strong and in good health and I must be for him too.

But about the counseling maybe you could ask around and try to find someone else that you would be comfortble with just speaking your mind. I find the venting really helpful. My counselor doesn't explain away what I'm feeling and expressing. She makes me comfortable saying what I'm feeling and that helps me a lot.

Also about the financial things. Taking the lead to sort everything out might help your husband feel he is working with you to settle all the details and ensure you and your children are taken care of. It might be a conversation you could have that would enable you to feel strong together - something you can both take control of and not be a conversation about ill health which I find is what my husband and I talk too much about.

Good night for now!

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Reply by sickness
09 May 2013, 3:20 AM

Thank you all for your support!!  
Tracie i hope your right in saying i was brought here for a reason....i guess time will tell....
Tian your right that thi is hell...but i need to be strong for HIM...hes the one dying and needing the support, not me!! so i am hoping i get over my anger with God and he too can help me/us
Claudia i too feel resentment but then i give my head a shake cause how rude and terribe it is to even think that!!
 we do have ourvaffairs in order ( i hooe..not sure what all there is)..    one day atva time..

once again...thank you Kiss 
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Reply by worried daughter
13 May 2013, 6:35 PM

Hi this is great place to vent! And please do not let anyone tell you it is not about You as well. Biggest Hugs Tracy
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Reply by Loll
13 May 2013, 9:02 PM

Hi Sickness,

I know EXACTLY how you feel. Dad is dying of colorectal cancer/prostate cancer.  He has 2 to 4 weeks left.  I too work full time and have a young family. I am also the only family member left to look after Dad and his needs, meaning I am constantly taking him things and going here, there and everywhere to make sure he has everything he needs.
Being pulled in a million different directions is exhausting, as is the waiting.  I feel I have to constantly be 'on' and prepared for 'the' phone call.  It seems there is never any rest and I don't feel there will be until it's over.
Hang in there, know that I know what you are going through, because I am there too.

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Reply by NatR
14 May 2013, 9:12 AM

Dear sickness,

my heart goes out to you and your children.  Also to your husband who is dying too young.
you are getting amazing supporst from the forum members.  You are right, it's not fair - life.
Your children are losing their father way too young.
You have found a group who understand your cry for help.

Looking for support amongst your co-workers can be hard - not everyone will be able to support you, but usumg this forum certainly will be a big help.
You can be You here.

its going to be a lifeline for you to vent/ask questions and share with others who understand your feelings.

i send you a cyber hug and hope you will continue to write notes as you can, let your feelings out - it really helps 

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