Author Topic: Cancer Wids?  (Read 17836 times)


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Cancer Wids?
« on: March 11, 2015, 03:16:13 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering how many other cancer wids there are out there?  I know that there are many of us, and that we all have a unique experience, but I just wanted to get a feel as to how many there are.

I don't belong in the suicide threads, because, well, not suicide, and I'm not quite sure I belong in the caretaking thread because it wasn't really a long time, in perspective. 

Really just confirming I'm not alone!  I don't like to be "unique" all the time, you know?  (Even if I do sing at the top of my lungs throughout Walmart while my 2 year old tells me to shush)
Life's tough.  Get a helmet


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 03:37:06 PM »
I am with you. Wife was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer when our son was 5 months old. She survived for 5.5 years. She was 34 when she passed. I ended up being in the Extreme Caregiving because the last 10 months were hell on earth.

You are not alone!


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 03:47:28 PM »
Pancreatic Cancer wid here.  2 months from diagnosis to his death, 3 months if you add in the month it took for them to diagnose it.  I felt we didn't even get the chance to fight.  Watching him in the agony he was in for those 2 months and especially the last one,  and being completely helpless was hell on earth. 
Rick, an amazing husband, father, fisherman & fisher of men with a servants heart who served God every day. ReRe, miss your smile & twinkle in your eye.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 03:52:48 PM »
I'm a "short time" cancer wid. DH was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in early December 2011 and died in mid December 2012. We went through chemo and radiation hoping that he would get more time, but didn't help much. He died the way that he wanted to, finally pain free but at the cost of not being conscious of what was going on around him. We spent so much time trying to keep each other upbeat that we did not spend enough time talking about how much I would miss him and how bereft I would be without him. He was my best friend, knew me better than anyone and would have liked his insights. You are not alone, smabify!


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 03:55:40 PM »
I lost my DH to esophageal cancer 2 years after diagnosis. Though I did not consider myself an "extreme" caregiver, the last few months were pretty difficult. Telling the kids he didn't want any more treatment. Planning a quick wedding as my daughter and husband were determined he would walk her down the aisle. He did, but that was really about it. A couple of weeks later he broke his arm, as the cancer had moved into his bones.

He wanted to be in our mountain home, and we were able to make it happen with the help of great friends and family, but it was not easy. I still go there, but it is so different now, even though his mark is everywhere.

We always meant to name it "The next stop is Heaven". How little did we know.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 04:06:02 PM »
Gallbladder cancer. Eight months from diagnosis to death. It was fast and brutal and so hard to watch.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 04:43:55 PM »
Pancreatic cancer, the neuroendocrin type. He was stage 4 when diagnosed, there was a football sized tumor in there that was starting to invade his stomach and there were numerous tumors in his liver. We had just over 2 years from diagnosis to his death--2 years to obsess and research and try almost every conventional and alternative treatment possible, none of which did any good. The surgery might have given him an extra year, but he suffered miserably for most of that year. He was probably sick for the whole 7 years we were married and we just didn't know it.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 04:45:53 PM »
Appendix cancer.  Health issues started in early 2010, official diagnosis in September of 2010 after a ridiculous number of tests and hospital trips.  The longer it took to diagnose the worse I knew it was going to be, it's like they were crossing off all the more treatable ailments first.  We were completely devastated as the oncologist said she'd be lucky to live 5 years if treatments went well.

DW responded well to chemo which enabled further treatment.  Positive news.

Major surgery (oft termed "the mother of all surgeries") June of 2011 - cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.  Was informed by doc he felt he got everything.  She had a ileostomy bag as a result of this surgery.  Months of recovery but fairly positive news.

Went back a few months later to attempt reversal of the bag only to find cancer had returned, very quickly!  Devastating news.  I had a horrible feeling the whole time waiting for the procedure to be done, the doc called me in to his office well before it should have been complete.  I knew before he said anything. 
Back to chemo in an attempt to kill cancer cells again.  This is when I knew I'd be losing my wife, best friend and mother to my girls well before her time.  They would never perform that surgery again as they removed too much the first time.  It was about quality of life and making the most of the time we had left.  no matter what I never let her know what I knew - I could tell by doctors reactions how bad this really was. 

She responded well to chemo again but they can only do so many rounds.  We were willing to do everything, we did do everything we could.  Hell I had to discover the surgical option myself as our initial oncologist said there was no surgical option!  A lie, they just didn't perform it in BC.  We had to go out of province but there was an option.

DW always fought, and we never gave up hope for a miracle.  She was incredibly resilient and strong.  In May of 2013 she went into the hospital for dehydration (commonplace for us with her bag and chemo) and this time never came out.  This was incredibly hard, having to slowly break the news to our girls that mommy wasn't coming home this time.  That we were going to lose her!  Even harder was that she would continually tell the girls that she would be home soon, despite her rapidly worsening condition.

I know everything we did extended her time with us and ours with her.  For this I am forever grateful.  We lost the battle in August of 2013.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 05:55:29 PM »
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), he was diagnosed in October 11, 2013 and died February 4, 2014. His first round of aggressive chemo was successful. All of his tests were coming up cancer free. We were so hopeful. Then they scheduled him for monthly treatments. His first treatment went well. When we went back for the second treatment they told us that his cancer was back and worse then before. He went in for his second round of aggressive chemo in January and never left the hospital. He celebrated his 39th birthday at the cancer center and died one week after. His cause of death was ischemic bowel, cancer, chemo.

He was in extreme pain the day he died. It started at 1am, he had a CT at 11am (finally!), by 4pm I was begging the doctors and nurses to manage his pain. They brought in a pain pump, and he was finally resting comfortably and fell asleep. He never woke up. Our last words were "I love you" and "I love you too." He went into cardiac arrest just 3 hours after they gave him the pain pump. We made the decision to take him off life assisting machines at 6am because he wasn't showing any signs of improvement. I still wonder if the pain pump was set incorrectly. I question all of the doctors treating him that day in the ICU, and  then his oncologist a few weeks after his death.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 06:55:14 PM »
Stage IV colon cancer. Diagnosed in December 2009.  Chemo every 2 weeks until he passed in April 2013.  Guess we had it "good" though.  He worked full-time throughout, we took vacations/trips, he played golf the afternoon of his treatments.  He had minor side effects (hair loss, minor neuropathy, fatigue) until the last month when we had to go to the ER and emergency colostomy.  He always said once they operated, that would be the beginning of the end and he was unfortunately right.  Although I miss him every single day and I hate that we are not able to grow old together (he was 60), I know the time since his diagnosis are our most memorable years and such a gift that I will always cherish.  Cancer sucks though...
I miss how happy I was with you.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2015, 07:11:39 PM »
Cancer Wid here. Neuroendocrine, rare and no one really knew how to  treat it.  He did 3 different types of chemo, and many other treatments.  Awful.  @Meema, My husband was sick before he was diagnosed too, they gave him nexium and said it was acid reflux.

My late husband was diagnosed at 36, when our son was just three years old.  It took us ten years to even get pregnant :( , then this stupid diagnosis was devastating!

He survived six years.  Like @robunknown, I felt like I would fit in the Extreme Caregiving, but didn't know what "extreme" meant to others.  I had no family around, so I did everything myself, along with taking care of a toddler.  Yea, the last months were hell on Earth.  Horrific, Hard, name it.  I had him home on hospice for 3 weeks before he passed.  I still cry when I think about this.

In and out of the hospital numerous times, had his gallbladder removed, one kidney removed, then we were convinced to have a pain pump put in :(  I should have never have let them do that.  They could never control the medication, he couldn't was making his legs numb. 

Doctors knew, they knew... I was told in the beginning "it's manageable", right, false hope.  I stood by his bedside when they had to put a pic (His port got infected and had to be removed) in his arm to give him fluids, and platelets, he screamed in pain.  Only to be told that after 4 blood transfusions his count still wasn't coming up. 

Morphine at the end, hallucinations, screaming someone was cutting his legs off :(  Asking me if I was there to take away the pain, cause he couldn't remember who I was sometimes.  I laid on the couch next to the Hospice bed at home.  I took care of him 24/7, I was exhausted, but somehow managed. 

I miss him, I was by his side when he passed...I am thankful for that last moment cause I needed that to survive.  He told me to tell our son that he loves him more than 1000 pancakes and he'd love me forever and ever and ever...and then his last breath. 

I brushed his hair and changed his clothes before they came to get him, gave him the paper fish my son made.  I tucked it under his "keeshond" (our dog) tshirt so when he got cremated he'd have it with him :(  I watched them zip him up in the bag and walked him to the van...I went as far as I could...I promised I would, it was as far as I could go.

We were suppose to have our "Someday"  Someday, we'll retire, Someday we'll go to Alaska, Someday we'll grow old and sit on the front porch.

Cancer stole my "Someday"...
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2015, 07:15:48 PM »
Tim had neuroendocrine cancer in his intestines that was diagnosed at stage IV,
He was gone within 4 months of diagnosis and inbetween was 3 Hospital stays, an illiostomy and 2 different types of chemo. I was an extreme caregiver for a very short period of time so I can't really imagine how difficult it was for those who did it for years.  5 years earlier my Dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and gone in 3 months. Neither of them had a chance to work on a Bucket List because they were so sick from day 1.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2015, 08:46:12 PM »
Esophageal cancer - he went in for a routine scope as it was suspected he had an ulcer.  Diagnosed in March, gone n October.  He did radiation and chemo simultaneously, then surgery in July when his esophagus and entire stomach were both removed as the mass was centered where the two meet up.  The surgeon thought he got it all, but before DH recovered enough to start the second round of chemo.....things went badly very quickly.

We tried to keep him at home as he wanted, but the hospice nurses, DH and I realized we simply couldn't (gastric pump issues, which he thought was funny as by then he didn't have anything gastric) so the last week was at the hospice.  I was with him at the end, it's the only time I ever lied to him when I told him it was okay to go. 

Every day was a gift.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2015, 08:56:30 PM »
Cancer Widower here too,
Glio blastoma multiforme,, GBM and 2.5 yrs. later Leukemia,,AML... About a year before diagnosis Pam threw up a couple of times with no idea why and was having vision problems.. Fri. at work she became nausious and was seeing grey stars, Pam never worked again..Aug 30-2010 they removed a marble size tumor by her left ear about an inch inside the skull..Did chemo and radiation until Christmas 2010..
I retired April 2011 to care for her, we knew she would not live long but was hoping for a miracle..June 2011 her brain was speckled with cancer so we used Avastin which for a year and a half cleared it up and gave us hope. 8 months after stopping the Avastin, March 2013 brain cancer came back and leukemia showed up.. We had an excellent match for doing a Bone Marrow Transplant but Pam had turned acute so 7 days before our 35th we had to call it good and just enjoy life the best we could.....3 months later Pam would be gone.
We bought our farm Sept.18-1995, 18 years later the farm is paid for and Sept.18-2013 will be the last full day that Pam will live.. She picked out her casket and funeral arangments and made a big dish of chicken divone on her last full day. We knew the end was near but thought we had a few weeks left. We didn't know..11:28am the next morning I was with her in the E.R. as she took her last breath..Pam was 58,, she took care of the previous housewife of our farm that died from brain cancer and leukemia at 56.. Wives are too precious and I will tear down that house before I sell the place.. I'm not going to gamble with the life of wife #3.
I very much count my blessings in that I never had to watch my wife deteriorate and be in severe pain as many of the other caretakers experianced.. Pam made it into the 3% that live longer than 3 yrs. after diagnosing a GBM..

Too many loved ones die of cancer, I hate it,,,Jeff1973


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2015, 09:23:51 PM »
Multiple Myeloma. I had never heard of it before. A cancer in the bone marrow. She died of a massive stroke about 4 months after she was diagnosed.