Author Topic: Cancer Wids?  (Read 17335 times)


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2015, 09:38:43 PM »
Breast Cancer, two go?rounds, 5 1/2 years out now.
As Maura once said to Kevin, "I never knew what it meant to love someone?? trulymadlydeeply?? until I met you."


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2015, 09:48:20 PM »
Lung cancer. 13 months he was gone. Details are hard to talk about.
Life is not fucking fair as we all know.
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2015, 12:42:29 AM »
My husband was misdiagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the age of 35. He survived that and was in remission for 13 years. He then suddenly became septic and was eventually diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that was that to be dormant and triggered by the intensive chemo treatment he had received 13 years prior. He was dead within weeks of the diagnosis.
Reality has set...thawing in life.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2015, 01:39:14 AM »
Colon cancer.. I was his only caregiver. He lived for 2 years after the diagnosis. It was just the two of us when he died in June 2013. I died with him.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 01:59:57 AM by storrmywx »


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2015, 12:38:49 PM »
Colon Cancer. My husband Chuck Died on May 10, 2013. It all began rather innocently enough. That day he went to work at his usual time. It was about mid October. We would talk or text often but that morning I didn't get a reply. I thought "how strange". A few hours later he walks back thru the front door . I took one look at him and he was gray colored and was complaining he didn't feel well. So I threw on my shoes and out the door to the ER. We live in a rather rural area and the hospital is small but when you are in a pinch , it was the best option. We go thru all the formalities and the doctor examines him and says "well I think you just have some indigestion". My response is ooooooooookay..He is handed a script for Prilosec and sent home.

After the weekend, my husband returned back to work. He still didn't feel 100% but he never missed a days work so he soldiered on.. Halloween came and went. He had bouts of just overall fatigue and then starting having bleeding. I took him back in to the docs and this time we were told it was impacted bowels and written a script for stool softeners an sent home with an enema..

About a week or so later he started complaining of lower stomach pains again and wasn't keeping food down. This coming from a man that was always a good eater! I took him back to the doctors and said we are not leaving here till you figure this out! Something is very , very wrong! The doctor again assured me that it was the same thing, nothing different! He did have an x ray there and we were told he was just backed up. At this point I am really pissed off and quickly dismissed by these damn doctors who think they know everything..

Thanksgiving. We went to the Outlaws and tried to enjoy it but on the way home he asked me to stop the car. He got out and emptied everything he had eaten.. By this point, he wasn't even keeping water down. We went back to the ER and this time he said he was constipated and again sent us home with an enema..(I would so love to use those up on some certain arrogant doctors).

At this point, I had gotten online and was researching anything I could find to see if I could figure this out. Everything I looked at was telling me what I didn't want to know, but deep down I knew already. I made one more appointment with our primary and this time I said I want him to get a scan and we need to concentrate on his bowel area. Something is wrong! The doctor orders a scan but we can't get in until Jan. 18th.

My poor husband was miserable for those three weeks. Sleepless nights and pain so severe he barely slept at all. He continued to work right up until the 18th. We go for the scan. We check into the hospital and we receive this order from our primary doc. It tells all his information and in the diagnosis box it reads. Possible Colon Cancer with metastases. I think time just stood still in that moment. Our doctor never even mentioned his suspicion to us. We get the scan and are told to follow up with our primary.

I get a call from the doctors that afternoon and we are told to come into the office immediately. We go in and are then told he has 9 feet of impacted bowel and that it is colon cancer. We are immediately sent to a specialist in the same day . We are told he is critically ill and will need surgery immediately to save his life today. If it burst he is likely to die. This doctor was brutally honest and told my husband when he was asked "how long do I have doc?" He said at the most 10 months. I felt like someone had punched me in the guts and remember the room just got so small. My husband , being the eternal optimist said: "I am gonna beat it!" We go home and pack , check into the hospital and surgery is performed. (colonoscopy).

Surgery went as well as could be expected. He was still struggling to keep foods down but they gave him anti nausea meds and it helped a little and after 8 days we go home. Second phase of the nightmare begins. I became my husbands full time care taker at that point. He couldn't change his bag or even stand to look at his body. I helped him bath, ran for meds and took care of everything at that point. Next course of action was to put in a port for the chemo but he needed to heal up from the surgery first before we could. March 1. Placement of Port. First round of chemo March 10th.

He didn't tolerate the chemo at all. It caused him to get very weak and still couldn't eat or keep it down. Dehydration. We were back in for intravenous fluids within days. His pain was increasing rapidly and his weight was plummeting. He was 6 foot and usually weighed between 180 and 190 but now he was down about 40 pounds. We kept trying to get his pain and everything else under control.. Second round of chemo. Worse than the first. The pain was unbearable and in one day I had made 5 trips to the cancer center for pain meds to get it under 
control. He would lay on the floor on an air mattress and just moan in pain.. I thought I would lose my mind! I looked like Sally fields in steel magnolias at the cancer center and refused to leave until I got something that was going to kill his pain! I was taking no prisoners either! At this point we were told the cancer had spread to his liver and lungs and bone and brain.

The next month was spent trying to regulate everything and nothing was working.. Finally after much trial and error we thought we were seeing some light , the pain was a little more manageable but we talked and he didn't want to go thru another round of chemo. I had to let him make that decision and personally I know he made the right choice. He never did fully bounce back from the two rounds. We got 4 weeks of managing pain and him being able to tell me all the things he wanted to say and we planned for his death. He got all his affairs in order that he could remember.(there were some he didn't ) and he got to spend quality time with his parents and his brothers and children. His Birthday was on May 3rd. I had a small party for him. Family came and we tried to enjoy it as best we could. He was really weak and tired and very frail. He was about 100 pounds at this point. Just a horrible thing to watch the person you love go thru. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

The last week he fluctuated between semi consciousness. I would change him and bath him.. and every night lay next to him with my arm on his chest so I could tell if he was having trouble breathing. The last thing we got to say each other was "I love you". The last day was so hard. I knew it wasn't long and told the family to come by to say their goodbyes. They all did. Late that night ..I got up for something to drink . It was 1:18 in the morning. I had only left the room for a moment and when I walked back in he was gone.

I stayed with him right up till the very last moment . I helped get him ready for the funeral home, watched them zip him up , and walked him out. Some things you just never will forget. Till death do you part. I had his memorial on our 4th wedding anniversary May 18, 2013. That day is still a blur to me.

It was 3 and half months from the diagnosis till he passed away. It feels like it was someone else's life at times to me. I didn't think I would survive this long without him. I thought also this would be the worst thing I would ever have to go thru in my life. I was wrong again. I lost my son this past Oct.14 to suicide. At 28 years old. I am coming up on 5 months , 22 months since I lost my husband. The past two years have been the worst ever. Some days it is brutal. I am struggling to make sense of it all. Some days all I can do is lay in bed and want to disappear.

Sorry I got so winded in this post. I hadn't been posting a lot on the boards. I had been reading and lurking in the background. Finally, today I felt the need to just share with everyone and maybe this will give me some healing in my heart. God knows I sure could use it . Thanks for listening.

I am different! How could I not be?


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2015, 12:59:32 PM »
Renal Cell Cancer wid here.   I knew that my husband had a history of kidney cancer; he'd lost one kidney when he was a toddler and then half of the other one as a young adult.   We met each other later in life (me in my 40s, he in his 50s) and he had been cancer free for over 20 years.   We both kinda assumed cancer might eventually get him later on, but we thought we had more time that what we got.    He was diagnosed just 3 months after we married after a doctor's appointment for back pain that turned out to be stage 4 RCC that had metastasized to his spine.  The doctor gave him 6 months; he made it 18.   

For a long time, I made myself crazy with the thoughts of 'we should have done this' or 'we could have gone there'.   His last 6 months involved a lot of extreme caregiving and I know I did the best that I could with hand that we were dealt.   Watching helplessly as he deteriorated and fought through the pain is something I still have trouble getting past.   He could be stubborn and pigheaded at times (probably part of what kept him going so long), but also had a heart of gold and would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed help and it was heartbreaking to see such an active guy waste away to nothing. 

I find it a little ironic that although he had renal cell cancer, that half a kidney he lived on most of his adult life was still functioning up until the end.  It was the RCC cells that had spread to his spine and other areas that finally killed him. 

As we can all attest, life can be very unfair at times and I have to keep reminding myself of the phrase my hubby always used -- it is what it is.  Sigh!
It didn't seem possible to take the next breath; but I realize today that I am surviving your death. Some days are hard when weakened by sorrow; Remembering you inspires me to face my tomorrow  ~Author Unknown


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2015, 01:44:46 PM »
Pcns lymphoma,9 months from diagnosis my Katie technically beat the cancer but due to treatment had a bleed on the lung and passed away due to septicemia and pneumonia on August 7 2013.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2015, 02:05:18 PM »
CBB, HUGS!!!! 

Everyone here, virtual hugs!  Cancer is a horrible thing, watching a loved one struggle so much, endure so much, and still have that smile for us cause they know we need it.  My late husband is the one who was strong, he was a fighter as I know the rest of the cancer spouses were. 

Words seem inadequate to express the sadness, only the knowledge of the experiences that others have had too.  Just makes me sad to see so many.

To all of you, my heartfelt condolences. I should feel comfort that my late husband is no longer suffering, no longer looking for that "cure", no longer being poked with needles, filled with medicine and riddled with pain.

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 #23 on: March 12, 2015, 08:34:35 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...

...sometimes I don't know where I belong either.

In 2005 my wife was diagnosed with non-specific interstitial lung disease which later became airway centric interstitial fibrosis.  She was treated on and off with prednisone for years until it began to no longer be effective.  In June of 2012 she was put on 24hr oxygen.  In November we were in Boston for what was supposed to be a routine lung function test with her specialist.  We ended up staying in the hospital for a week being worked up for a lung transplant.  We went back home with a few more tests to be done, everything so far was looking good.  The week before Thanksgiving she had to have a mammogram as part of the transplant workup.  They found three small spots on her right breast, three days later we were told they were cancer.  Early stage and treatable through surgery only.  We decided to wait till after Christmas for surgery, it was high risk due to her lung issues.  We were supposed to leave for Boston on Sunday for early Monday morning Dr. appointments to plan for the mastectomy. She died in her sleep Saturday night.

I say I don't know where I belong because while I'm sure it wasn't the cancer that killer her directly it was the cancer that kept her off the lung transplant list that she surely would have been near the top of the list for based on her age and condition.
Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us everyday.
Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2015, 09:52:42 PM »
What we thought was a groin pull turned out to be Stage 4 kidney cancer with metastasis to his bones. The eight months it took to kill him were one shitshow after another, the saddest being losing the ability to walk almost a year to day he finished hiking the Inca Trail. He fought like hell and remained his kind, decent, hilarious and optimistic self through it all. He was the best person I ever knew. It'll be five months on Saturday.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2015, 09:55:25 PM »
Reading though all your stories, my heart breaks for every one of you. Fuck cancer.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2015, 11:20:07 PM »
Adenocarcinoma.   It metastasized to his liver, his whole abdomen was full of it. He felt a little punky in April, was diagnosed in May and was gone in June (2009). He was scheduled to have a port placed on Monday,  but he didn't make it, he died on Saturday instead. Completely unexpected. I was so very angry with the Dr's  (still am when I can't keep the thoughts at bay) because they never did anything at all to help him. No treatment, no pain management,  NOTHING. Just test after test, then passed him off to the next Dr.  We were so helpless & had no idea how sick he really was.
Yes fuck cancer!


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2015, 11:58:46 PM »
Michael was diagnosed with a very aggressive renal cancer late  November 2011... there was no rallying on his part. It was straight fucking downhill. He died 6 months later. Watching him die was painful and emotional. I am almost at my 3 year mark and am quite surprised by my blueness... I have been quite sad and it has surprised me. Fuck cancer!!!! Hugs to all of you who lived through this awful scourge!



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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2015, 06:31:04 AM »
Stage IV kidney Cancer. My son was 3 and my daughter 5 months. It was a rough road mainly due to my inlaws reaction of the diagnosis. SIL wanted to be in control. Mind you, she lives in another country! My husband abandoned us. He eventually came around months later but the damage was done. He turned his back on his children including one with special needs. I wrote him a letter telling him how our son lost all of his hard earned speech. My husband didn't react at all. He continued to go on trips, lease a new car and rack up a ton of debt. Even though I wanted to leave with the children, I stayed. I knew my SIL would not be there in the end. I also decided I would treat my children's dying father with respect. It was the right thing to do. 21 months after diagnosis I was with him at his last moment. That gave me  peace. It also was a valuable lesson on how to handle discord for my 19 yo step daughter.  3-1/2 years later she and I remain very close.

My grief can be complicated. I loved him. We enjoyed a good life even if it was a little disfunctional. My life was better because he was in it. For that, I will be forever grateful.

My life is better because you were in it. You encouraged me to stretch my wings. I will forever be grateful. Rest in Peace Babe. Till we meet again.


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Re: Cancer Wids?
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2015, 12:57:35 PM »
I guess I should add my story as well, especially since I started the thread.

DH was diagnosed with MEN2B, a syndrome that attacks the endocrine system, at age 7.  By that time, it was too late.  He had medullary thyroid cancer.  By the time we were dating, at age 20, it was clear it had metastasized, but we weren't sure where it was.  He went through several neck dissections, taking out cancerous lymph nodes.  The surgeries were horrible, but also effective at keeping the cancer manageable.  We were told that although there were likely to be many more surgeries needed, his quality of life wouldn't be affected overly much, and that he could live to 60 or 70 years old.

After our first daughter was born, he never felt very well.  He was constantly fatigued and said he felt "funky" (I rubbed off on him for that language!).  More tests were ordered, and they found a pheo located on his left adrenal gland.  Operation in December 2011.  We came home from the hospital christmas eve. 

He never really recovered.  Sure, he was up and about a little bit, but found everything to be a ton of effort.  He would go in to work (as a landscaper), and be sleeping in the office.  Throwing up out of the door of his truck.  He made every effort, but couldn't seem to get better. 

In late January, his bowels decided to stop moving.  They just quit.  Another surgery and a bunch of drugs made them go again, but that was kind of the beginning of the end.

March 21 saw us back in the cancer hospital for more tests.  This time, a mass was found in his liver.  They admitted him to hospital to biopsy it, and results came back that this was the thyroid cancer we had been watching for.  Another surgery was just not realistic - there were so many nodules in various parts of the body (spine, pancreas, lungs, gallbladder, intestines...) that if they started taking things out, they would never stop.    There was a promising new drug just come onto market which would possibly shrink the tumors, but it was going to take a while to get it.  On Friday, April 13th, we were sent home from the hospital to wait for the drug.

While we were at home, things went downhill quickly.  Organs started shutting down.  Pain was unbelievable.  He were given  a pain pump which would give him constant morphine, however he had to drag the stupid thing everywhere.  I lost count of the times I would tell him not to take the lamp out of the bedroom, because in his confusion, he would think the lamp was the pump.  I was on call 24/7, doing everything for him.  I was also caring for a 16 month old girl with gut issues who was not sleeping through the night, and 7 months pregnant.  To say it was horrible was an understatement. 

He turned yellow from liver failure.  His kidneys were shutting down.  His blood work showed a lack of several vitamins and minerals his body was just not producing anymore.  He had trouble getting oxygen into his lungs. 

But we got the call.  The drug was coming in!  We expected it to be available in a week.  May 10.  However, this was a version of a chemo drug.  With failing organs, was it even worth it to try?   I refused to make any decisions until I had to cough up the money for the drug.  We had a week.

On May 9, it became clear that the drug wouldn't work.  Organs were shutting down, toes were becoming black.  Technically, Colin shouldn't have been alive anymore.  The next night, we had our final conversation.  He said that he was tired, and he wanted to go home.  He wanted it to be over, he wanted to die.  I kissed him, and told him he had done well, and it was time for him to rest.  We talked of the baby, and decided on her name.  We said our final I love yous, and then he fell asleep.

A nurse was staying the night at our home, for I had finally broken.  I slept in the spare bed, for I was exhausted.  But that night did not go well.  Colin was walking to the bathroom, though all indications were that he should not have even been able to walk.  He refused help, wanting his dignity to the end.  The nurse had to almost carry him back to his bed, with him fighting her every step of the way.  It was his one last fight.

By the time I woke up, he had surrendered.  He was in a coma.  I spent most of the day laying beside him, holding him. The nurse came by many times that day, sure he would be gone.  Also sure that I probably wouldn't call, since it was not an emergency. And then, at 8:20 in the evening of May 11, 2012, he was gone.  He went peacefully, in my arms. 

I loved him.  Forever and for always.  Even if he left me with a 16 month old, 7 months pregnant.

My girls both inherited MEN2B from their dad.  I am terrified that this will happen again, even though they have each had their thyroid out.

PS - sorry this is so long. I guess I really needed to get it out.
Life's tough.  Get a helmet