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This is a heavy topic to discuss; however, many of you have mentioned that you're dealing with a terminal diagnosis.
Grief is a strong, overwhelming emotion, regardless of whether your sadness comes from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis that you or someone you love has received. You might find that you feel numb and disconnected from your daily life, unable to carry on with your regular routine as you're dealing with the emotions and sadness of grief.
Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. It's important to remember while you're grieving that you can't control the process and to prepare for varying stages of grief. Some emotions you may experience during the grieving process include:
Grieving doesn't always follow the stages above, but you may experience many of these feelings as you deal with the reality of a terminal diagnosis. A host of emotions are involved and normal. You might experience a sense of shock, sadness, guilt and fear along the way. Talking with others is sometimes helpful as you try to recover from the shock and adjust to a diagnosis of a terminal illness.
I want to have an open discussion about grief through this blog so that you might help each other with some of the feelings and emotions. It's not an easy discussion to have, so I admire your willingness to share.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
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My mom has been fighting ovarian cancer for almost 3 years. She is 71 years old, full of life and love . She is almost always positive and upbeat. A month ago she was given 2 to 3 months to live. The cancer has spread and chemo isn't an option, nor is more surgery. Mom is on steroids which are causing awful side effects. She has a PEG tube and a PICC line, can only 'eat' full fluids.... My heart is breaking. We ate all being brave for one another.
i was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. i am 56 and a ovarian cancer survivor of 2years. it has not sunk in yet and the hardest part is leaving my son. i will never see him get married or have children.
I'm 21 and lost my mom almost a year ago to an aggressive oral cancer. Throughout every stage of her 1 year battle with it, everything was always cut short, giving us little time to adapt to anything. Everything was too quick and it also didn't give me time to say everything I needed to say, which is an incredibly difficult thing to accept. I'll never forgive myself to having been in such denial that I wouldn't tell her all the things I wanted to; it's so hard to accept that the woman who was so strong and carefree the year before could be gone. I miss her everyday. Never waste any moments- say what you want to say and I'm so sorry to everyone coping with terminal cancer. If I could make a suggestion: write your loved ones a note. I know it might be hard to find the right words, but any words will be treasured forever.
I marvel at the caring words people have submitted to this post, even as they have and are dealing with their own losses and grief. I'd like to know how to do the same, especially right now for my family.
My whole extended family is grieving from the unexpected terminal cancer of my brother-in-law at the exact time my father is in his final days. (Both are in hospice in different parts of the country.)
My sister whose husband is dying from cancer, (brother-in-law) will be hard enough to console but her boys, both young men just getting started in their lives, and our other family members. I get overwhelmed thinking about it.
I don't know exactly what I hope to get from this blog but see that some of the other contributors have wisdom and experience I'd love to learn from.
Too start my family has dealt with lots of grief and sadness . We lost my brother , wife and daughter in 1983 from an accident . Then we lost my nephew from sids . Then in 2004 we lost my father and then my little brother a week later (the day of my dad's funeral) . Then we lost my grandson at birth . I thought that nothing could be worse then what we had been through but them my mother was told she had lung and colon cancer . This was in May of 2011 . She was already in bad health and decided against treatment . She spent the next 2 years fighting a hard long battle . The last straw was when she broke her hips trying to go to the bathroom alone , she didn't want to bother anyone to help her . She took a turn for the worse .Things went down hill fast . I sat with my mother watching her fight for each day . She was not ready to go she said , and don't let bad things take away from your joy . These are words that were spoken at her service on Oct 1, 2013 . I miss my mom more then anything , she was my best friend and the rock that held our family together through all the past heartaches and pain . I am trying to live each day with what my mother told me don't let bad things take away your joy . I hope that others try to think of this also when dealing with a terminal diagnosis or the loss of a love one . My mother's smile never faded and she loved each day of her life and looked at the good in each one . She will be greatly missed my many , her smile carried in our hearts.
I read so many comments, and I wish I could hug each of you...It is so difficult either being ill with Cancer, or dealing and helping someone who is battling it.. It changes your life! You see life so differently. You fight, and NEVER give up...We never know how things will turn out... Some of the kids my son was in the hospital with made it and are still battling, and there were 4 teens like my son Timothy ages 16-17, and 1 13 year old that passed. It was a tough year so far...living with a disease like cancer is tough, but you make life as pleasant as you can, and live as long as you can, because when it is over, you cannot go back and change anything. So I encourage you to research, fight, love, and LIVE!!!
Cheryl, I know it is hard dealing with your mom being ill, and I can tell you, she is having a hard time dealing with it as well. Sometimes, when a sick person feels bad in their body they don't know how to del with it, and in a lot of cases they lash out at those around them they care about. I just want to encourage you to hold on...and stay prayerful...I lost my son two months ago to Rhabdomyosarcoma, and it is so difficult living without him. Hang in there...and reach out to support groups yourself, even if your mom doesn't go. You need support to get through this tough time. Blessings
My mom was diagnosed with adencarcinoma lung cancer stage 4 last September. She had brain surgury to remove 1 of the 2 tumors that was in her brain and then She had radiation in December. The dr's told us the treatment would give her 6-12 months instead of 2 -4 months. It has now been a year since diagnosis and she just completed another MRI on the brain. She has 2 new tumor growths in the cavity of the removed tumor and the 2nd tumor at the back of her brain has grew. We also found out that 3 areas of her lymph nodes are enlarged. 1 right beside the main blood vessel of her heart, the 2nd on the left side of her esophagus and the 3rd area is under her right collar bone. She has done very well up to now and I am not sure how to deal with the emotional portion of her illness. She is always fighting/arguing with other family members about nothing in particular. I tried to get her to go to support groups and her family Dr has put her on an antidepressant. Does anyone have suggestions as how to help deal with this stage?
After years of being healthy, I was diagnosed May 24, 2013 with bile duct cancer Stage IV, inoperable. My husband died June 16, 2011. I have chosen to not do chemotherapy of Gem/Cis because I am terminal and chemo has not been proven to extend quality life. I've always tried to remain upbeat and positive knowing that bad health can strike at any time. My attitude and outlook has drastically changed. I am so angry at everything and can no longer find peace or joy in anything. Truthfully, I want to die as soon as possible. I pray to die in my sleep. I can't deal with my attitude towards life. Health meant everything to me and I cannot cope any longer. Those of you who are dealing with someone that has cancer, please be gentle. They may be experiencing what is happening to me. Enjoy your good health while it lasts. To know I will most likely die within a few months, to know I have to cope with my horrible anger and frustration for the next few months is something I do not look forward to. Not only is my cancer killing me, my anger, frustration, and feelings of hopelessness are killing my spirit.
I have just been told my brother has aggressive oesophagus cancer which has spread into the liver they have given him 6-12mths, he is my baby brother only 50 years old and I don't want him to die. Does anyone have any advise, could there be hope. I don't know what to say or how to deal with this.
My Mother was diagnosed with terminal liver and lung cancer 2 1/2 years ago. She and my father have been married for 58 years. He has help but the times alone with her in these final stages are very difficult for him. He is an old fashioned 50's man, don't show emotion, stand strong, etc. but he had a mini breakdown last week. He stopped eating dinner when he stopped cooking for Mom so he has lost weight, he is lonely and sad but won't accept much help, he loves it when my sister and I are there but we can't be there all of the time. Last week he just went limp and was rushed to the hospital. I was with him in the ER. He was shaking all over, would not let anyone touch him and was talking about how long he and Mom had been together, how he had not done a good enough job taking care of her, how much he loved her while crying the entire time. It was a tender and lovely experience to be there with him but he does not remember a lot of it. I think that is the first time he has actually allowed himself to fall apart, or maybe he was forced to when EMS picked him up. We were there around 4 hours and there was nothing physically wrong with him so I took him home. We had to start getting more assertive with him concerning his taking care of himself. He was very embarrassed about the entire episode afterwards (there is more to the story) but he seems to have taken the advice of the doctors and accepted that he is not Superman (although he seems like that to us)
4 years ago i was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (GBM). At the time i was told to expect a year or a year and a half at most. The years went by and I began to plan for the future again. Then i find out today that a new tumor has been found. sigh. I guess that's why they call it "terminal". Like some of the others have written, it is hard to discuss this with friends and family. i get "think positive" or "you'll be fine". They mean well, but it leaves me feeling patronized. I hope that i can fight this second round and get 4 more years, we shall see.
This is for Barb. My dad was diagnosed with MM just about two years ago. I am a nurse and have seen a lot of terminal patients and believed him to be dying. We would not have even had a diagnosis if not for his family doctor who knew him and knew something was not right so pushed the specialist for answers. When we first saw the oncologist, my father could not walk,sit lie down with out intense pain. He had lost 60 pounds and looked like a skeleton. The doctor we saw, offered a treatment to put him into remission but no cure was offered. I asked if his time was going to be spent in agony and illness only to die. The doctor told us he would have my father fishing by the next summer. This was hard to believe as he had tumors in all his long bones as well as his spine. Dad finnished his course of chemo last June and did go fishing. He has also gone snow mobiling and is living a full life once again. He is not cured but is indeed in remission. The treatments caused him to be sick only once and that was when he developed hernia just to add some excitement to things. He also GREW more hair and it has stayed. Baby fine but he was bald so any hair was good. He was told he can have more chemo of a similar kind if it returns. There is hope and success.
My beloved husband Dwayne was diagnosed with non-small cell carcinoma (lung cancer)which we were told was very aggressive in May 2012, this was the primary cancer and then it was established he also had secondary bone cancer which was in his ribs, spine, thighs, & pelvis and it had also spread to his liver and his lymph nodes. He was Stage 4!! This was terminal! Emotions??? Will how do you feel when you have drawn the short straw?? Noone wants to be told "this is it" so I will go along with of course you will beat it as to me hope was all he had & I was not going that away from him but inside Disbelief,Anger Sadness...then after the initial diagnoses the journey began of getting his medication to the right levels along with the 4 rounds of Chemotherapy(palliative only)for his organs and lymph nodes and then 5 days of radiation(also only palliative)for the bones.He responded so well to the Chemo that his tumor in his lung shrunk by 90% & his lymph nodes & liver by 50% but then he became breathless.After a course of antibiotics he was still really unwell we were told he had pneumonia so after 6 days in hospital he was allowed home but his energy levels had lowered so a wheelchair came with us. Then 2 days later after a restless night & him saying he had the worst night ever he just collasped & died. 51 years young.It was October 31 2012. We were told the chemotherapy was going to give him a few extra months,We got 6 mths.RIP my hun. The tears a
My husband, Timothy, died of prostate cancer on August 6, 2012. He was mis-diagnosed for many months - the urologist thought it was an infection. There were many hardships in those months. The oncologist was very hopeful for his case, even though he was stage 4 when diagnosed, but then it turned very aggressive. We miss him dearly. He was saintly, joyful, loving peaceful man. We had 3 children - the youngest is in college. I am grateful that we had that time, at least. Even so - I feel terribly lonely at the thought of the years ahead of me. He was only 61, and I was 57 when he died. It seems terribly "unfair", when I compare it to the way I would have wanted our lives to go...But with the way it unfolded, I have had to accept that sometimes it is simply a person's destined "time" and nothing will change that. There have been sacred dreams expressing his love and reassurance to me directly, and through my children and friends... Even so, my heart feels broken and i miss him so very much. I am relieved that his suffering is over now, and he has found peace... It just does not change the fact that i miss him so much. I do try to find some joys in life... We have been blessed in so many ways - but I was having a rough time of it recently... Well-the one thing is that last week i went on a very strict diet, and I think it made the grieving almost more than i can bear... So please take good care of yourself if you are now grieving. God bless you all...
I am awaiting a diagnosis of posible myeloma. I am a 53 yr old woman that was dx. with fibromyalgia 10 yrs ago. I have been disabled since August 2008. I have been told that my symptoms were some of the worst ever seen although I am active, take deep massage and never consider my pain level to be a 10. In other words, I'm a fighter. No whining! But now as I await further testing and results I find myself grieving. Frozen. I'm afraid to get excited about my first CBC which was normal. Other blood test are not back yet. I got onto this dx. via kidney/bladder study in which I have had 14 months of off and on infections. In my CT scan they found bone marrow to be sugestive of myeloma. I know this is fatal and harsh treatment just by un-promised time. Can one have MM with a normal CBC. Trying so hard not to be so encouraged that I fall harder later. What a roller coster ride. Any input would be appreciated. Thank You and God Bless.
@Mary -- Please accept my condolences for your loss. I know you heart is breaking at the moment and I am sure you miss your husband terribly. But I want to believe that you will find the strength each morning to rise up and have your life. I lost my best friend nearly thirty years ago and I still miss him and have dreams about him. But I try to move forward. Please believe that I am lighting a candle in my heart for your and your family
My husband went to the Dr. last Oct. The Dr. took and Xray. He was diagnosed with an inflammation on his rt. lung. A week later because of the pain, we went right to emergency. My husband was diagnosed those two days with small cell lung cancer. Bone Cancer and it had spread to his spine. My husband thru ten radiation treatments and died two days after the chemo was suppose to start. The Dr. told me the chemo could cause my husband to have a tortuous death. Immediately I put Bob into comfort care. He died Jan 31, 2013. Just over a month from the first diagnoses. We had our first Dr. for 20 years. Of course we never went back to him. My husband died in my arms. I am in shock and sorrow.
Thank you, Maria....I am very glad if any of my postings were beneficial to anyone, especially if they brought any comfort/hope. I would like everyone to know, that while everyone's situation is, of course, different...that we are all united in our feelings of grief, loss, fear, etc. You can decide to give in to the despair and pain...and live what is left of your life in a state of perpetual grieving. Or you can choose to LIVE that life....with some sense of hope and expectation of happiness once again. Yes, this is very hard, for some....it certainly was, for me. But, I have found a sense of peace with his death, acceptance, if you will. I find happiness in life once again...and so can all of you...use whatever resources you have within yourself to consciously strive to be happy, take joy in even small things. You will always miss the one you have lost...but the wrenching ache of it does ease if you do NOT dwell on the pain. The lost ones would wish us to be happy again, correct? It is rather a disservice to them for us to NOT appreciate the life we continue to have, that was denied them...LIVE your life to honor them. Blessings to all of you, and wishes for happier days ahead!
my dad is terminelly ill only when im there he moans very loud he cant talk what dose this mean
Anything positive ever happen?
My Bro Scott found out he had stage 4 glioblastoma in 05/2010 he lived 17 months to 10/2011. Before this diagnosis he was a easygoing/funny guy. After a couple brain surgeries his demeanor completely changed. He became fearful and suffered panic attacks. He did not want to die. However in the 8th month of his 45fth year he succumbed to his disease. I miss him and wish I had spent more time talking and visiting with him in previous years. All I can say is try to live your life to the fullest, because you never know.
My mom was diagnosed with the Lung Cancer more than a yr ago. The cancer has already metastasized to her brain, bones, and kidneys. When my sisters, my brother, and me heard this from the Dr. it felt like everything just stopped. She is still battling this condition at this time. She went through a week of radiation therapy, and almost 3 months of chemo. Watching her go through it was the worst. Me and my sisters are all nurses, but now, everyday we encounter a cancer patient we always tell them that before we never understood what cancer is...we've read it in our text books, but we were all clueless on what the patient really goes through. Seeing my mom battle this disease everyday is very humbling. I know me and my siblings are all in denial stage, we know what is coming, but we refuse to even talk or think about it. We just live life everyday like it's the last day. We thank God everyday for each day that we get to spend with our mom. We are unusure on what the future will bring us, but there's one thig we are sure about. Prayers and faith had made us go through this change in our life.
My husband just passed away from Metastatic melanoma brain cancer. He was diagnosed last November. We knew that the prognosis was very poor, no cure. He also had widespread cancer. Sometimes I would wake up weeping from my dreams. I took care of him for 10 months. I quit my job and devoted all my time to him as I knew that time was precious. I am so sad that he has passed even though I knew it was coming. It is something that you can't totally prepare for. I will say that I always felt that I should be positive with him regarding treatment and fighting the disease. He never wanted me to give up hope for him so I didn't. It made it easier for him. I always told him there are miracles everyday and that's what we were going to work towards. I pretty much just figured out what he needed mentally to deal with this and so I said what I thought he wanted to hear. Once they are gone, that's it, so it is important to say all that you want to say and then some. I felt that I continually wanted to tell him that I loved him and I did that.
Medical treatment is hlhgiy standardized across the world. The exact same procedures, medications, and treatment offerings are available in Tokyo, Shanghai, London, New York, and every other major city. There is no difference.
My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer and had a histerectimy. The doctor stated that there were not visible signs of cancer but recommed chemo to fight the cancer that was in her blood stream. The doctor also stated he wanted to start the chemo early before it showed up anywhere else. My mother started her chemo in August and with chemo the cancer has spread; the doctor says that he her bone marrow could not take anymore chemo and the cancer was spreading to fast so they stopped it and sent her hmoe to die. I would like to know if there are any others out there who has had this type of cancer? I am just dumb struck, one minute she is okay with no signs of cancer and the next she is dieing. Could someone please tell me something?
My husband is currently getting chemotherapy for prostate cancer. He has had surgery, a recurrance, radiation,a recurrance, hormonal therapy, a recurrance, clinical trial, didn't work, and now chemotherapy. We have been through a lot. It is so important to be able to discuss our feelings together. Cry, laugh, cry, and then live life as best we can. There is a determination on both of our parts to make every day count as much as possible. My suggestion is for those in our situation who face what looks like insurmountable odds to reach out to friends and family. If you reach out to them, they in turn will be a support to you. It is awkward for most people to know what to do but once you make the first step it is a relief to them and they will become comfortable and most likely want to be with you. The important thing is not to feel alone. If you have a Faith that can be hugely helpful but even if you don't it is a comfort to know that we are all on this planet for a finite amount of time and our last days, weeks, or years, need not be spent in solitude, dispair, or complete sadness. Whoever mentioned the fear of seeing oneself in the mirror when they look at a person struggling with cancer is right. But maybe if they see that life goes on until it ends and that life can be good until it ends it won't be so threatening.
I hope I made some sense.
I had to leave everything behind, and walk the streets alone so utterly alone it has been agonizing in ways I have never known. I also want to say to watch and care for two loves of my life was also agonizing, and yet there were gifts along the way for I saw the will to hang on and fight together until the end. I also found out along the path what it means to be a "man" a human being, a lover of my love's, and no one can ever take that from me.
Regina was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and went through chemo, and radiation. The radiation destroyed her intestines to the point they had to remove 18in of it so she could have a bowl movement of some type. Then they had to place tubes in her kidneys because the cancer spread there so they could drain the poisons out of her system. Two weeks later she died at home in my arms.
Jennifer was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis of the liver. She also had C.O.P.D., diabetes, Asama, angina, along with all the complications of those combinations which at times was overwhelming for us both. I have to say both women kept their faith right up to the end, and I am glad for that for they had a peace about them.
I'm not sure where to start. I'll try not to miss spell anything..lol.
I have buried two wives in the last nine years, and find myself in terrible agonizing physical and emotional pain over both. The last one died on March 6th 2012, and the first one died on August 17th 2003. Just having gone through her 9th year sense she died, and the feelings are sometimes just as fresh and when it happened yet I thought the first wife...Regina, and the feelings of loss, dis-pare, loneliness...were going to kill me physically obviously they didn't. Now after burring my second wife...Jennifer her children decided to throw me out of the house making me homeless which has only compounded my pain, loneliness, dis pare, resentment-anger.
I love there mother more than life it's self gave up everything for her last two years so they all could be together for some old amends to take place. They promised there mother on her death bed they wouldn't throw me to the streets yet in the end they did, and some how they have to live with that. I would understand if I were doing drugs or was uncontrolled emotionally or abusive in some way yet I wasn't, and asked on numerous occasions if they were going to give me some time to recover before I left they said yes of course we love you. Yet just 3 short months later they came to me and said; you have two days to pack your stuff and leave. So I had to leave all my wife's things behind taking only our wedding bands which I wear together on the same ring finger.
we found out 3 weeks ago that my father had pancreatic cancer...they opened him for the whipple procedure this past friday and found more cancer on his liver that is incurable...my father will only be 55yrs old on the 30th of this month...i am his only child...granted im 33yrs old...but this is all very quick and very hard to process...he is being quiet...withdrawn...doesn't want to talk about it...yet seems to be in good spirits and his old self from time to time...they are giving him 6mths...maybe a yr with the option of chemo at this point...i cant get over the fact that i am losing my father and have no idea where or how to start accepting this within myself
I have posted before and mentioned the waiting for recurrence is so hard! Well, my wait may be over had a biopsy but the test came back inconclusive! How can that be? it is a cancer cell or it isn't.I had three different areas (lymphnodes) light up how can it not be a recurrence? Has anyone else had this experience? Waiting 2 months for another biopsy seems so long it was a VERY FAST GROWING CANCER teh first time. I am so scared. and I feel so alone I am crabby and frozen I can't move forward on even the most basic things.
My wonderful momma passed this last wed may 2, 2012. She was 81, but very funny and made everyone smile around her. She was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer on apr 16 with extended to pancreas, liver and nodes. On wed may 1 her biggest fear happened, she had a big stroke. She knew it. She was paralyzed, couldn't speak but looked at me in desperation for hours. I can't seem to get that fear in her face out of my memory. I'm so so sad. Can't stop crying. Someone must have some advise cuz I'm falling apart. Never before lost a loved one. I just wanna be alone. Help.
@ Erin, I so understand! Last spring upon diagnoses of a blood clot in my liver and tumors in several organs Carcinoid cancer, my world stopped, but no one elses did. I was shocked at the lack of response and concern from from my family coworkers and friends. Everyone was too uncomfortable talking about it. But I needed to. When I tried to talk to my spouse I just got the you're going to be fine response. This was harder for me than hearing I was ill and made me feel more alone. I learned a great lesson through this. You are holding up a cancer mirror to their faces and its too difficult for them to look to see if it might be their own face staring back in that cancer mirror. Mayo has a great program and book taught by Dr. Amit Sood, "Train Your Brain Engage Your Heart Transform Your Life". It is a course in Interpretation Therapy. It helped me a great deal.You can download the book and workbook from Amazon. My doctors at Mayo sent me to talk with his wife who is also on staff there and it just clicked for me. I understood then and it helped me to understand myself and my family better. Good luck to you and know that we all understand.
i have cancer en cuirasse, very rare, it's a stage further on from breast cancer. it's subcutaneous growth that tightens up the skin of your chest and surfaces as pink lumps as it grows. does anyone out there know more than that? i've had it already for about 4 yrs.
This is for Karen
It took me surving a year before I bought my first thing for NEXT Christmas. When first diagnosed I prayed and bartered for just one more of everything. and prayers or not Karen please just think about today and then tomorrow and then maybe next week and then who knows. It is hard there have been times where the waiting is so difficult I have thought of the short cut but then I think of that grandson I lived to se born and again I start with dealing with one day
I am terminal Thymic Carcinoma am just waiting for the recurrence.It usually comes between 1-2- years I am 2 1/2/ yrs out. all my friends say that is great! and it is, it is just for me it seems that must mean I am just that much closer to the recurrence. When first diagnosed I went thru a bit of shock but not much else..it is the waiting I find depressing anad I become edgy especially as it grows closer to my 3 month check up. My biggest problem is I have no one to talk to about my feelings and fears. I have a husband and two children they dont want to sit around and discuss it ..ever!! So I go on with my life acting as though nohting has happened, nohting is wrong with me. I look pretty good (except the oxygen hose hanging from my face) so even all my friends can forget about me without feeling guilty because I look so good!! That can make me angry.
I would just like to talk and have some one look me in the eye as I discuss my fears and needs. I do not want sympathy or expect them to be a problem solver just listen and look and me as a friend not something to be afraid of. What I hear from many is it scares them, makes them sad,makes them worry.
I deal with those feelings everyday !!!!1
Can't they for just an afternoon?
O.K. my rambling is done
Thanks for listening lol
my cousin has terminal cancer-I would love to know comforting words, thoughts, actions to let her know how much I love her. Can anyone offer suggestions? Thanks so much!
how would a nurse care for a patient during the grieving
On August 10,2011 I was diagnoised with stage 4 colon cancer it had already spread to my lungs, liver, bladder and kidneys. So I am terminal. I never had a symptom, I went in for a bladder infection. I am undergoing chemo and it has shrunk tumors and masses but I know this is what it is and to get any quality of life that I have left I must accept it. My question is when is enough enough? When do you say no more. I want to go out with dignity.
i,ve read your comments,find them very encouraging. hope your husbands anniversary was,nt too hard.
Continue: very hungry, that thursday.I got a call from the surgeANTS office that her surgery was scheduled the next day at 630 am so we panicked, we live 4 hrs away from san Antonio and it was already 6 pm and we had already come to the conclusion that surgery was not gonna happen after all but we decided to take off after all, her surgery went very well n doctors still wonder how well she was doing n her incision was healing very fast. I.started the pills four days after surgery and she has been doing very well, we did a cbc blood exam to check her blood count and everything came out normal. I know the pills have been doing a lot for her. Please search them, you tube it 4 life testimonies do whatever you have to so you can understand what these pills can do, they don't cure you but they will help in making you feel better and avoid other things.
My mom was dignosed with right kidney cancer(thrombus tumor, very agressive) n small modules of 1 cm on her right lung on december 5, 2011, the tumor was interfering with the arteries and needed surgery ASAP, our world made a rough 360 turn to our lifes, she had surgery in san Antonio on Dec 16, they removed the tumor and after two weeks later on her follow up appt from surgery the doctor told us they checked other organs and she looked very clean as far as they saw, she has an appt in 6 mths. Before surgery we came about to a problem of no money n no insurance n no assistance from gov or no one that could help us for her to have surgey, so I was told of some pills called 4 life, a lady from work suggested that I should give them a try and i did cuz that was my only hope of making her feel better and praying that some how that thing would disappear. My mom had lost a lot of blood in the urine and had lost a lot of weight, after her dignose she really did not eat or talk, was in a lot of pain she was still bleeding and was swollen from head to toe. I gave her the pills on a Wednesday night and continued all day Thursday and that Thursday morning after taking the 2nd dosage of pills my mom was not swollen, not bleeding and not in pain any more. She looked very different, her skin look very glossy the color of her cheeks were rosy again and she made a coment that she felt like a newborn with lots of energy. She asked my dad to make her a steak for lunch because she was very
Sorry but 1500 letters isn't enough!!! So like I was saying after seeing my Kids mom(rock of the family) make a complete miracle recovery...knock on wood, and yes she still takes the Magic Mushroom(turkey tail) and quite a few other supplements to boost her immune system I reconciled with my (current)wife after a year of separation...that was 3 months ago and today after some tests, Ct.. etc found out that SHE has Lung Cancer!Not staged yet but the tumor is 5.5cm with signs of mestasis.Will know more after her surgery on Friday.Based on my prior experience and months of self education I would say she's probably stage 2a-3a,statistics show 50% chance at 5 years? So now I am faced with the prospect of losing my current wife to this horrible disease. I love both these women dearly.We are all devastated.
Also my eldest sons Mom died of an incurable cancer 20 years ago!!! How can this be happening I ask? Why should my 3 kids and stepdaughter suffer so much pain? I don't have any answers for you, my heart is shattered, my grief overwhelms me as I type this, but may be if there's still time for your loved one, do what I did, don't believe everything that the Doctors tell you, beware of snake oil and false hope.But ask yourself why do all the drug companies pursue nature for cure's? You can't patent a natural product.There's more money in research than cure.So don't give up,your loved ones life may depend on it.To you that have lost their loved ones, I am truly, truly sorry.....
18 months ago my children's Mom was diagnosed with Cholangiacarcinoma or Bile Duct Cancer. A rare and terminal form of cancer with no treatment or cure. They wanted to attempt a resection but her insurance would not pay for it.We had been divorced for 10 years but she was like a sister to me , we were very close.I was married to another woman while this occurred. I stepped up to the plate and devoted myself to helping her since no one else would, I mean how could I look my children in the eye and tell them I didn't do everything I could to save their mom? It cost me my marriage to my current wife, she understood at first but then it was too much for her to put up with.I found a wonderful website www.Cholangiacarcinoma.org that had a forum with many amazing survival stories and information therin. Utilizing other patients approaches I suggested that she should try the same way.You see I had my arrogant male chauvanistic "Mr logic" skeptical ass turned 180% by what I learned.....I was humbled.She followed my(their) advise and also did chemo shortly therafter (pubmed claimed 60% of patients lived 6 weeks longer with this new chemo..WOW!)Like I said that was 18 months ago. My childrens mom is alive and kicking and according to the Docs "Cancer Free!" was it the "Magic Mushroom",or Chemo...cisplatin,Gem & Tarceva,or perhaps a true Miracle? Who knows...I have since reconciled with my wife(current one)Today SHE was diagnosed with Lung Cancer!Doesn'
Recently told I need to repeat procedure for right breast - ultrasound. I have always had a premonition that I would die from breast cancer; no family background of this type of cancer. I am a Christian, I am not afraid to die, as a matter of fact I would embrace going into Jesus' arms. I am 67, retired caregiver - lost my first love to divorce after 17 years, 2nd husband of 11 years to Lou Gehrig's, 3rd husband of 4 years to cancer, currently married 5 years, but more of a co-habiting relationship with my 4th husband. He has lots of health issues so we take care of each others needs, physically & financially. My life is very much "every day the same" - involvement with church activities but other than that watch TV most of the day. My husband does his thing, I do mine. If I did have cancer I feel like I would choose not to have to go through terrible treatments of chemo or radiation. I would prefer to believe it's God's will and let nature takes its course. Am I allowed to think that way? Is it wrong to choose Heaven over a mundane existence? I honestly believe my absence would not be that great a loss. My current husband lost his 1st wife to cancer and was single for many years before me. Other than keeping the checkbook correct and his medications straight, he'd be OK - family member can help there. I have 2 sons that choose to live life without Mom so no great loss there.
This is a response to James...how hard it is to face ongoing losses due to death and changes in health and now to have your partner desire "freedom" another potential loss. Your sadness, anger, feelings of unfinished business with those you've lost are all so very appropriate and normal grief reactions. I'm sorry you've had to cope with so much.
I'm a bereavement coordinator for a small hospice,and a cancer survivor,(Stage 2, breast cancer in 2009)who leads bereavement support groups and offers support to patients and families.
Have you ever given thought about a bereavement support group or a cancer survivor group? They are usually offered by area cancer centers/hospitals,hospices, normally free of charge. Often times the pairing of an individual therapist and a support group can be a powerful, healing combination. (the therapist if you feel your grief is not improving, changing or you feel "stuck")Grief expressed is grief diminshed...
The good news is most folks are quite resilient when it comes to loss. Wishing you well on your healing journey.
About this blog, what a helpful forum to share about a sensitive, often unspoken topic. Living with a potentially life limiting diagnosis seems to change the lens through which we view everything. Working in hospice, I especially appreciate the gift of each day of my life...
I HAVE HAD 5 SURGERIES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS FOR TUMORS AND MY LYMPH GLANDS REMOVED IN NUMEROUS PLACES. THEY CARVED OUT MOST OF MY LOWER LEFT BACK AND REMOVED THE AREA 6 MONTH'S AGO. A TUMOR I HAVE REMOVED 16 MONTH'S AGO CAME BACK. THEY DRAIN BLOOD OUT OF THE TUMOR FOR 6 MONTHS TRYING TO KILL IT. BUT FINALLY THEY CUT IT OUT. I HAVE A TUMOR IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD WHICH IS GROWING QUICKLY. THEY HAVEN'T DECICED TO OPERATE ON IT YET. I CAN LIVE WITH THIS. BUT TODAY MY WIFE OF 26 YEARS TOLD ME SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BE WITH ME ANY MORE. SHE WANTS HER FREEDOM. WHAT IS FREEDOM. WHEN PEOPLE ARE GONE YOU NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN.YOU NEVER TALK AGAIN. ALL YOU THINK ABOUT IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENT. WHAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE CHANGED. WHAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE SAID. I HAVE LOST SEVERAL PEOPLE IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. YOU CAN'T EVER SEE THEM TOUCH THEM OR TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM AGAIN. I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYMORE. WHAT WOULD YOU GUYS DO IN MY SHOES. DEAD IS GONE FOREVER. PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THIS WE SEE SO MUCH ON TV.
Just been diagnosised with Lung Cancer. I've cried, cried again and again. I've prayed and again. I've been looking around at my family and wanted so bad to be their for them. It does hurt. But now I'm leaving it in the hands of God and trying to find peace in his plans. I have 5 kids, two of which are in College, 15 grandkids and a Husband that will be so lost. I hurt for them more. Just took down my Christmas decorations wondering if this will be the last.
Just wish to post...it will be one year, on 01/16/12, since I lost my Jamie to cancer. I just wish to let ALL of you know...the horrible grief DOES lessen, to the point where you can function, and actually enjoy aspects of life again. Please, do not give up hope, or feel your situation is hopeless...it is NOT. We, all of us, are blessed with an infinite capacity to live on, and even love again. This is NOT an insult, nor a forgetting of the loved one we lost, it is a totally natural, and NORMAL, condition. They WANTED us to move on, we should never feel guilty for doing just that...the part of our hearts that was theirs will always be THEIRS....but, we can, and should, love again. Hope this makes sense, and helps some of you out there?
To many of you- Remember that the result of having a diagnosis of cancer and what the long term prognosis(result) will be depends on many factors(type of cancer, stage, treatment, your general health aside from the cancer, physician care, etc.) Generally, a good idea to obtain a 2nd medical opinion confirming the diagnosis,treatment alternatives, diagnostic tests,etc. before you embark on treatment(s) at all.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 gall bladder cancer in September. I am 47 years old. My oncologist does not want me to think about prognosis right now but I KNOW it is bad. Everything I've seen on line seems to be about a 2 year prognosis. I am responding EXTREMELY well to chemotherapy and my cancer seems to be shrinking - which it is NOT supposed to do. I think my age is playing in my favor - but I still wonder if this is just prolonging the inevitable when cancer takes over completely. I have a strong faith and that is helping me have a good outlook. I don't like to talk to my family members and my friends too much about it because it really feels as if I am burdening them. It is an extremely heavy load to bear. My husband is AWESOME! We talk about everything and my children are also extremely supportive. We have definitely dealt with the denial, anger, and some depression - but seem to be in acceptance mode right now. I've put my trust in the Lord and He is in control and all will work out to His perfect will. That's my hope and prayer. I hope you all have someone to lean on. It's quite the journey!
Maria...you are SO right, I call this "griefbursts"....I still experience this, but not so often now...I lost my Jim almost 1 yr ago, 01/16/11. The grief does become bearable, but the "griefbursts" do still happen...but I am noting that they are farther apart, and do not "hurt" quite so much as time passes, which I think is what it should be. We still mourn our loss, but we are slowly....slowly healing. Again, not because we have forgotten, or care less....just because we NEED to in order to live our lives. And, know what? We CAN be happy again...it is what our departed one would've wanted for us, and we can/should strive for that!
i first wrote back in march.my husbandjohn had died of brian tumour. i thought i was going mad,couldn,t cope. the grief is different now , i am in another place can be fine then wham the grief engulfs you . you could be out shopping or at work then something triggers it,you are just so drained . i miss john so terriblyand pray for all of you who are going through too.
My mum has been diognosed with terminal cancer,i am 25 and she is 52-we are both to young to have to deal with this :( people say i need to be strong because my children need there mum.... But there mum needs her mum! I really dont no how i am going to face the months ahead....iv got to watch my mum die infront of my eyes and there is not a thing i can do to stop it! Sometimes i wish i could run away and pretend it wasnt happening....but im not selfish my mum needs me and i have got to be there for her! I cant believe in just a few weeks our life has been turned upside down
Hello-my mom just got diagnosed w/stage 4 bone cancer.they told her she has 2 years. She's only 52 and were all in severe shock. She's the healthy one who doesn't smoke or drink.no family history of cancer,etc. Any advice on dealing with this would be very helpful.she was healthy as a horse last week ,now shes going to die?I can't understand and im scared.we've done nothing but cry and were having trouble finding the strength to deal with this. Thank you
To Diane (Cairns)from Australia, post of June 4th 2011:
I posted on April 25 2011 about my husband having prostate cancer for the past 8 years. I'm very interested in your natural remedies. I've also tried many things for my husband. Could you write in more detail about the different remedies you gave your dad? And let me know if they are very expensive. I live in Canada. Thank you and good continued health to your dad and to you.
It's now been 9 months since I lost my mate to cancer. Most days are quite tolerable now, I am, as they say...."moving on". While the terrilble sharpness of grief has abated, there are still moments when I think of him, and cry for the loss of our future together. But....to all of you in the early days of this process of grief, please...know that the wrenching sorrow does truly lessen to the point that you can live life again. This does not mean that you have forgotten, or care less....it just means that you are healing, just as your departed loved one had wished for you to do. Live your life fully, enjoy it...keep the good memories, try to forget the bad...it a good way to honor them. Blessings to all of you.
My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in January 2010. He passed away this summer and we never talked about mortality or dying. Even when the hospice people came into the house, he still made comments about things we would do in the future. It's those comments that haunt me.
I have just been told that I am terminal.
I am so lost in a fog of unreality.
I just recently moved here to receive treatment. One year ago, my husband left me. He couldn't handleit.
My son tries, but he is a basket case now.
My head is spinning
My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3A lung cancer, she has a spot on her liver and its in her chest nodes. We are doing chemo right now and the latest MRI came back with significant improvement in the lung. I'm scared and wanted to know if this is a good sign. More test are due next week to see how the chemo is working or not. Doctors mentioned in passing radiation for the second phase of chemo but we won't know until the test are taken. Also, we are having a terrible time getting my mom to eat anything. Any advice on getting her to eat? no weigh loss and the doctors are happy about this, however her legs are swollen and she looks puffy to me which the doctors said its the chemo. Any help or guidance would be great. Thank you! Sam
My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in May 2011 just a few days after mothers day. I was shocked, sad, scared, and in denial, the dr. gave her 6 months to a year. I cried every day for her, I could not believe this was happening to her, she was only 68. after about a week of crying and depression, I had hope that the treatment would work and spent as much time with her as possible, she seemed great once she left the hospital after the initial diagnosis, during treatment she handled it well and she had no intention of dying. I truly held that hope that she would beat it but it had spread to her brain and on July 6 she passed away after we had to make the painful decision to take her off life support. I am so angry that she is gone, she was my best friend, whenever my children do something or say something funny I want to reach for the phone to call her, I spoke to her almost everyday, we were always visiting each other, my children are devastated. I worry about how my father is handling her death, he wont talk about his feelings with us. Sometimes when I talk about what happened to other people I feel guilty for not crying, I don't know how to feel, I am crying now as I write this, but I feel like I need to hide it from everyone because my dad must be going through worse than I am, my house is not empty and I have my family here with me to keep me occupied but I miss her so much. I wish we had more time I am lost I wish it were all a bad dream, how do I go on now
My boyfriend passed away on July 30 after a two month battle with cancer. The pain is sometimes overwhelming...and it takes my breath away, but I know it's part of the grieving process. The hardest part is that we were in the midst of a long-distance relationship. I was going to relocate to him in Sept.
I was blessed in having 10 days recently with him while he was still himself for the most part. I believe that during those 10 days, we lived a lifetime together.
Death of a loved one is not new to me, but what is new is the relationship factor in this death. Not only new, but more painful than any of the others.
The coping skills will be different as I make my way through this gut wretching, unable to breathe grief.
My father first got prostate cancer then esophageal cancer and then lung he is 65 has lots family support the doctors told him his lung is different and not connected to the other cancers i do not get it,any ways what does any one think am looking for some good feed back thanks.
I lost my grandmother in April I lost apart of my soul and can not find it I am so lost in life now, than my couson Two months later one year younger than me we grew up together I feel scared sometimes alone when I have other family members just do not know witch way to go any more soe family members shaved their hair off I gave up everything just to be here with my family, we were a close nit family but with them two gone what is family we are lost souls that will never be found we have tucked it so deed that yu would not know that one was gone where ever she we'nt to we have frozen are selfs to apart our life that some of us refused to let go their gong and we can not find them any more in this life time they were there for us two generations have been affected we are so clueless and it is going to kill someone in my family because some are just that weak to thinking that he or she can not go through life with out one of their support my family is now not my family any more i do not understand some of them any more I am one of the oldest left in my generation and this one with these two the mess that they have cause by leaving us we were a praying family, but now we need the prayers hurt and pain that is all that it has done to my family alot of then are leaving this home town of ours is not for us any more I wll e one of the last to go then i will be leaving with no since of directions my body is tired my days long wondreing like a lost puppy doing for everyone
I meant to say Liz and not Lynn, whose mother has lung cancer. Liz, I am 60 and have been cancer free for 17 months now. Prayers and loving support from family and friends help.
This is for Lynn (whose mother has Lung Cancer): I am a Stage 3 Lung Cancer survivor. I was told I was in-operable because it had spread into my lymph nodes. I had chemo and radiation that shunk the tumors and I then had surgery and am now cancer free!
Don't give up hope!
I have been diagnosed with melanom in 1982 and have been in remission till 2006. Then, was also diagnosed with stage 4 non hodgkins lymphoma and copd. Seems there is a problem with my liver also. Had rituxin (chemo) and I am done with it. No one tells me anything. Can anyone help me with info? By the way I am 74 but, I still dont want to die. Just feel tired and some hot and cold spells. Love to all
I have just read all of these comments posted on this page & it is shocking and truly heat breaking,My dad was diagnosis with Mutiple Myeloma a bone & blood cancer that the DR,s told me that this is uncurable.He has 2 lots of chemo and lost heaps of weight & was in hospital for 2-3 mths vomiting from the side effects of chemo & than while he was in hospital he got a staf infection & that nearly killed him so I was very up set with the Dr's so I was detirmend to beat this cancer with natural causes as our family is right into natural therpy,so I told the dr's that dad was having no more treatment & he was coming back home to his farm where I started natural therpy on him,I did a lot of reserch here in Australia & overseas and found a tonic that comes from Equdor from a root that was to kill the 3 large tumors on dads spine and kill of the cancer cells,I allso brought a machine that that sends frequenzy;s into dads body to help build up dads good cells in his body so as they can kills of the bad cells he is also on Apricot Kernels B17 ,Minerals from the USA & Liquid Oxygen as cancer cells had oxygen & he has to keep his body alakine as all people with cancer have acidic bodys cancer loves that as well.I put him on a diet of no sugar,no red meat as once again cancer loves sugar & red meat so he eats a lots of fish & fresh orginic vegies. As of today my Dad has gone back for several test & his tumours are gone and his cancer is near
As one who's knows his prognosis from metasizises prostate cancer at the age of 58 I will share my approach. My situation is eventually hopeless ... At least at this time
First all prognonises are based on averages and attitude counts a lot in terms of your current quality of life. Start doing what you can ... While you can.
Recognizing that death is inevitable and many of your friends may pass before you; reminds us all were in the same boat. You have two choices enjoy the time while you can or be miserable during the time remaining.
The choice is obvious to me ... Get on with living. Sure it's on my mind but I just take it one day at a time. I also realize the good years, friends and family. These are things many people have never had a chance to enjoy.
WHEN MY MOM WAS TOLD SHE HAD CERVICAL CANCER..I WENT CRAZY..WHEN MY SISTER TOLD MY BROTHER WHO HAD DEALED WITH MUSCULAR DISTROPHY 4 YRS ND HAD A PACE MAKER..HE DIED OCTOBER 25 2009 WHEN TOLD ABOUT MY MOM'S CANCER..SO I WAS DEALING WITH GRIEF,DEPRESSION,ANXIETY,PAIN,ANGER,EXT..ND I WAS TAKEING CARE OF MY MOM WHO WAS DEALING WITH THE LOST OF MY BROTHER HER SON ND WITH HER TERMINAL CANCER..AFTER A YR ON MY BROTHER'S 1ST DEATH ANNIVERSARY THE SAME DAY MY MOM PASSES AWAY 10-25-2010..MY WORLD WANTED 2 COME 2 A END..IN A FEW DAYS IT WILL B 7 MONTHS SHE PASSED AWAY ND MY BROTHER 1 YEAR IN A HALF..ND I'M I A VERY BAD DEPRESSION..MAY GOD BLESS ALL THE PEOPLE WHO R GOING THROUGH CANCER OR A TERMINAL DISEASE..MY HEART GOES OUT 2 U ND UR FAMILY..R.I.P.MY DEAR MOM ND BROTHER..GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN..U WILL BOTH LIVE IN MY HEART 4 EVER..LUV U UR DAUGHTER GIGI
Liz, my husband was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in November, he had surgery to remove part of his lung that the tumor was in, and right now he is cancer free. There is hope!You just have to have faith in God and in your Doctors. Get all of your options and take them home and study them and then make your decision for the treatment that is right for her. Everything can seem so overwhelming but you HAVE to take one step and one day at a time.
Yes, when you know your love one, in this case, my son of 34 years old, having stage 4 stomach cancer and already spread to other organs, the grief cannot be describe. His mother also died of stomach cancer some 23 years ago and you can well understand how this strikes deep into me. I unashamely cried in public and in private moments, I cannot control my tears when thinking why this tragedy should befalled me twice. He is now undergoing chemo more of to control his cancer and prolong his life and with one last hope that he can live comfortably for a few more years. As a father what more can I wish. I hope he will enjoy himself though I can sense he is sometimes in pain and took pain killers. The chemo effects is giving him a terrible time. I can sense he really loath it whenever every fortnight when he is just feeling better from the afters effects of the earlier round, he has to go for the next. He is very brave and he wants me not to worry too much. My tears cannot but shed uncontrollably when I think of his suffering and how he has to bear with it and for how long?
MY MOM WAS DIAGNOSED WITH LUNG CANCER, I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE HAS SURVIVED THIS TYPE OF CANCER, AND WHAT TO EXPECT SHE IS 61. I AM SO SCARED.
I feel that the grieving process started the day of my mom's diagnosis of terminal cancer, then again the day of her prognosis, and now each day we grieveof what is to come and will grieve when she passes. It is awful mourning her now and later. How do you live with that? She has 3-6 months. Two of those months have passed since diagnosis and one month since prognosis.
Does your wife have any physical impairments that would make sex difficult/painful? Did you have a satisfying sexual relationship prior to the diagnosis? If you did, and she has no physical limitations, it seems as if you would both benefit from counseling. You say she is angry/resentful...NOT good feelings to live with! It is vital to be supportive of her, and understanding...let her know how much you love her, and that sex is a physical expression of that to you. Reassure her that you find her attractive...especially if treatments may have changed her physical appearance, she may not "feel" sexy anymore. While some may think sex would be irrelavant at this time, if it is important to YOU, then it is relevant. Speak openly and honestly with her, in a non-confrontational manner, about this. And again...counseling for the both of you, to deal with this, and all other issues related to the diagnosis, seems very much needed. I wish you, and your wife, the best of luck!
This is something I never see mentioned. My wife has Stage Four cancer and was told that it is incurable and that the goal for her treatment is to make her comfortable, not to cure her. It has been a year since the diagnosis.
I know this sounds selfish but I want to have sex! Even though I still love her and want to make love, she has no interest whatsoever. So now I am expected to go without affection for the rest of her time on earth? She seems angry that she will die and I will live for ever. I feel like I am being punished for being healthy.
Quality of life for me seems to be zero, with an angry. resentful, wife who may live for many years. Does anyone else experience this or am I the only selfish pig in the world who has emotional needs?
My best friend 48 just died from cancer. This was a long 5 months but my friend had a great attitude and she enjoyed life to the fullest. My friend as in a lot of pain the last month of her life. She asked me why she had cancer ? My answer god doesn't give anymore that we can handle. More tumors popped up and she stated how much more can one person take. We love her and miss her. It is hard to watch someone you love die so young or at any age with cancer.
My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer seven years ago. He chose not to get an operation and we have tried a lot of alternative remedies as well as hormone injections. However, his PSA keeps going up and the last bone scan showed the cancer has spread to his bones. He was well and very active last October, but since December, he has more and more pain. Tomorrow, he is going for his first radiation treatment. Grief, fear, anger and a great sense of loneliness accompanies us at this stage. Nature is my solace and I go for long walks as often as possible. Also I keep repeating to myself that this is where I need to be in my life at this moment. We are hopeful the radiation will help him live a more active life for another while. At the moment, he sleeps a lot of the time because the pain killers are making him feel drowsy. The anger I feel is very much because, seven years ago, he was told he had about 18 months to live. This has very much influenced his quality of life. Why do doctors say such things? Does it help their patient to heal? I doubt it! Fear has a strong impact on a person's life. Wouldn't it be better to be positive and impart a sense of hope to their patients?
"Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon."
— Woody Allen
I second Meg's post. Treated 2 years ago, at 43, for eye cancer (one of only 4 out of every MILLION people under 50 each year -- Nifty!), my February scan should liver mets. Oh, joy. I'm getting liver immunoemobilization from the team that invented the procedure, and I have almost no side effects. You wouldn't know I have cancer. On the other hand, I was told I would probably live about 20 months. Super. Thanks for telling me that. You mean I get to die when my daughter is 12 instead of 10? Excuse me, Dr., but go stick it.
It's an interesting place, out here on the bleeding edge. I know the stats, but I'm also on an email list with people much older than I am who have beaten the stats. Am I indeed terminal, or could I be part of the new, growing group of "chronic metastatic" survivors -- never cured, but certainly not dead -- continually surfing from one trial to the next?
Kaye...in my experience, those who have a spiritual belief, while not happy to be dying, are much more at peace with the knowledge of their impending death. Which makes sense...if you believe that death is not a final ending, and that there IS an existence after death...you are not likely to be as distraught. I've known a few that were actually rather looking forward to it, in the belief that they were soon to be reunited with ones they had lost and wished to be with again!
I have said goodbye to friends who were in dying process from cancer. I often wonder if those who have a strong spiritual belief find that dying more acceptable than those who do not believe in a spiritual existence. Thoughts?
thanks kathleen ,we,ve got a very hard road to travel .I wish you comfort as well
Maria...you are not going mad. But the horrible overwhelming feelings of grief are very much real, the feeling of being utterly ALONE, the painful yearning for the one we lost. My Jim was also ill for quite some time, and although I also knew it was coming, contrary to what some believe, it does NOT make it much, if any, easier! Expect to find it difficult to even go through the motions of everyday living...I went days without even brushing my hair, eating, caring about much of anything. Had to force myself to even get out of bed. All of this is normal. It's been almost 11 weeks now. I am back to work, on the outside I look and act "normal"....but the grief, although the terrible sharpness has receded somewhat, is still unrelenting. I still cry, every single day...sometimes off and on for hours. I've found some comfort in talking to a few close friends and family...even if it is about things other than my situation...I look for distractions. And they understand if I suddenly choke up. There is no way to tell how long it will take to really feel well and whole again...it will take as long as it takes. As much as possible, try to be good to yourself. There is, online, an org. named "GROWW" (you can just type that into a search)...they have chat rooms for the grieving, and one specifically for the widowed. I've found some very good people there, that understand...it helps. Especially at nights, those are the worst. I hope for comfort for you!
I just feel awful,I lost my husband john 5 weeks ago,he had a brain tumour. he was diagnosed 7yrs ago was not expected to live so long. I knew the day would come when john would die,yet the grief i feel is overwellming. The emptiness no hospital appointments,no nurses coming in, no doctors..I miss him so much ,feel so alone,feel like am going mad.
I just read an article on grieving, and one thing mentioned really hit home...the phenomena called "griefbursts". I've been experiencing them, and thought perhaps I was the only one! I will feel pretty good...then suddenly, with no apparent trigger, I will be SLAMMED with intense grief, so much so that it darn near immobilizes me. It was good to know that this is "normal". Lots of good info on the website that I am finding helpful, it is found at www.centerforloss.com. Many articles, and good advice for just about every grief situation. Hope this helps someone out...this journey through grief is so hard, we need all the help we can get.
My dad had been complaining about ear and throat pain for months. He had been to the VA and was being treated for a upper respiratory infection. After the 3rd trip, he was finally referred to the ENT specialist. He was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer on my birthday Nov 20, 2010 and on Jan 22nd 2011 he passed. I miss him so very much..
I am in the strange position of having been told I have incurable ovarian cancer while having NO symptoms! I was "clean" for 21 months after surgery and chemo, and then blood tests indicated the cancer had returned. Doc says it's back, but we're not doing anything 'til I have symptoms or a positive CT Scan. Talk about weird! I am blessed w/an optimistic outlook and now it's REALLY coming in handy. So is meditation, and so is my wonderful medical team. Peace, everyone.
Evelyn...yes, so many decisions to make, at times it seems to add to the ordeal! Research all the hospitals, some are good, some not so great. See if there is a group nearby that could guide you to a decision, firsthand experience is excellent! I believe you will know when it is time to discontinue treatment, most reach a point where the treatments are simply not worth it....the side effects can be very bad, for some. DO look into Hospice, they were a Godsend to me...they will take very good care of you, you will NOT be in pain, and they will also be there for your family. Don't make the mistake of waiting until the very end, they can help early on. They were sanity savers for me when my love was so ill and then died from cancer! They did all they could to ease his way with dignity and real caring...and helped me in so many ways, too. I cannot stress how wonderful these people are! I wish you the best on your journey, you have a good attitude that I find admirable. Blessings and peace to you and your family now, and in the future!
I have a friend out east who has a stage 4 cancer that is rare. She was given 6-12 months. She is now in her 3rd month, and has been told the chemo has not been working, so the doctors she had been seeing are treating her more for comfort. I just learned that she just left for Mexico to go through treatment, hoping she'll live 10-20 more years. I now worry about her, wondering how those clinics in Mexico are so much better than the ones we have in the USA. Have any of you had the experiences of seeking Mexican treatment? I'm very confused right now why she hadn't checked with Mayo, Anderson, etc.; wondering why people go that route, rather than check on USA clinics first. After reading up on Mexican clinics, I worry even more about her health.
In Oct my bile duct collapsed. I've been on a roller coaster ride ever since. Doctors gave conflicting diagnosis' from not seeing anything and the biopsies were all normal to a mass in the pancreas head. In Dec. I went in for the mini Whipple procedure which the doctor said looked good since they found it early. Upon awakening from the surgery, my daugher said they couldn't operate to remove the cancer because the Hepatic Artery was covered with cancer and if they tried to take the head of the pancreas out I would bleed to death. They removed my gall bladder, did a Celiac Nerve Block and put markers in for radiation. At that point I knew my time was limited. It was if someone just told me they were going to the store. No Shock or sadness since I know where I am going and looking forward to my home in Heaven. The hard part is the journey there. There are so many decisions like where to go for chemo / radiation. We have good hospitals in the area but which one? I have to go out on FMLA and when do I go to long term disability? They say I will probably only have 1 yr to live with chemo / radiation. I seem to get lost in the decision making process. And then there is the insurance companies you have to fight with just to get the drugs that are necessary for treatment. Hopefully I will know when to stop treatment. It is hard to see my family going through this and knowing how they will grieve when I am gone. Thanks for letting me share this journey.
Hello Maggie. I am in sympathy with you. I am losing my mother to pancreatic cancer and we see her just wasting away, very weak and will not eat. It was November when she was diagnosed and we have had many tears and a few tantrums too. Bless you Maggie.
I lost my dearest friend to cancer, and I experienced the overwhelming grief that many describe. I, too, never thought the depression and sadness would lift, but, miraculously, after two years, during which I was in weekly counseling, I did start to feel better, and I think that I am continuing to heal. I am writing to encourage others who feel hopeless, depressed and grief stricken to seek professional help (counseling, support groups and medications may help). Reading about others' grief experiences also helped me. Also, for those who are caring for someone with cancer, please consider hospice care to assist you. Most people wait until the very end to engage hospice, but hospice can be of more help, if they are brought in sooner--they have doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers who all pitch in to help. You don't have to care for your loved one alone and in isolation. Diana
For 4 months I kept going back to a healthcare center in another state. Most of the time I was seen by a PA, intern or a nurse. 2 times I was seen by a doctr. My symptoms were bloating, 20 pound sudden weight loss, vomiting and finally unable to swallow any solid food. My family history is a daughter who survived breast cancer and a sister who died of ovarian cancer. The last doctor I saw said that if I can't swallow food then stay on a liquid diet and come back to see me in a week.We immediately packed and moved to our winter home near our family. I went directly to the emergency room at an excelent hospital and was diagnosed within 2 hours with stage 3C ovarian cancer. Now I have recurring ovarian cancer. I also had a double mastectomy. When my oncologist asked for my films from the other hospital, it clearly showed a tumor which had grown in the past 18 months. I don't know how much longer I have to live but I want to do anything I can to help doctors and women realize what the symptoms of ovarian are. I would like to donate my body to ovarian cancer research - I have daughters and grand daughters. I don't want them to go through what i am. I try not to think about dying. I count my blessings, of which there are many. I have traveled the world and have a fantastic family. I am blessed beyond words. What more can anyone ask for at age 72.
My wife of 31 years has been fighting cancer for three years. She has undergone several surgeries. The cancer came back twice meaning more surgeries. Each time we pulled together. Linda is a fighter and would always beat the odds. We were told about a week ago that the cancer is back again and she is terminal. There is some surgery that can be done with a life expectency of 10%. Some chemo in trials that might expend life another year. Linda is weak and does not want any more surgery or the constant sickness she experinced with chemo. She has decided to do nothing more and wait for the end. We were told she may have 4 - 6 months. She does not think it will last that long. I am posting this in the hope it will help others that make that decission and to speak to the person or persons that it will affect. I try to be strong for her. However, all I can feel is lose. I don't cry. I normally try to suck it up and deal with it. At this point, I can not. I bawl like a baby everytime I think of lossing her. I can not sleep or eat. She says I "hover" around her. Yes, I do. I try to be pleasent and mask the pain. I try to focus on the benefit of having sometime with her and that it was not a sudden loss. This helps. I focus on the happy/good times. No one should have to go through this. We did not have a chose. Enjoy the remaininig time. I loved to see her laugh when friends and family visit. Just do what you can and love them. Crying is OK.
Still taking small painful steps into the future....getting used to being alone for the first time in my entire life. Ken, I could not cry either, for a time...I did not wish to add to his suffering, and he passionately hated to see me cry at any time, even before the cancer struck him. And I had to maintain my composure at work, for I work with the public. So I would NOT allow myself to cry. And partly....I feared that if I started, I would be unable to stop. Crying eventually came, when I allowed myself to "feel", and let myself out of my "numb" mode, especially after he died. Marie---I understand very much that which you write of. I, too talk to my love, sometimes just as if he were here, tell him about my day at work, etc. just as I did when he were alive. Who knows? Maybe they can hear us...and I find it calming, in a way. Cleaning up some things after his death, I came across a note he had written me once...no idea how it did not get tossed out long ago...in it he wishes me a good day, and asks me to be safe, and tells me he loves me...I keep it where I can see it on my desk, it gives me some comfort and the words seem to "fit".
For all who are going through this horrible experience of grief...I wish you all the comfort possible, NO one can "make" us feel better, it is truly a solitary journey
...we have to find our way out of the abyss of grief alone, in whatever way works for us...and I believe that it is very importan
My husband died of pancreatic cancer on 4th January this year. The worst thing being the cachexia that accompanied it. He just wasted away to nothing and he could see this happening to him. I just want to say that I love him so much and thank him for 40 years of marriage. I miss him so much. xxx
Well, I had another nightmare, re-experiencing my husband's death. Why does this keep occuring five years after his death??? At the time of his illness other major events were also going on. After his death, our family broke up for the most part, inheritence claims, etc. People came after me like a ton of bricks, I lost my job.......why????? How can I ever move on if society won't let me? I am still raising our last child, keeping all of my promises to my husband who died of liver cancer. Why should my life end because his life did? How can I move on; stop reliving his death more than a few times a month, and get over not getting any support whatsoever from basically anyone. Oh yeah, there were hundreds of people at the wake, but then nothing at all. It seems like others decided my life was over once my husband died; not me.
My wife of 7 years is in her third year of fighting stage 4 colon cancer. She was realeased to Hospice care in December after she exhausted all Chemo and the cancer spread to her lungs. Today she is in pain in her lungs and i wonder how much longer she will be with me. I often ask myself..was i a good husband? Can i go on without her? Why can't i cry? I have not cried in over 20 years!! I want to cry seeing her decline like this..but the tears won't come! Why can't i cry????
I am grateful to be in the 3rd year since my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He is still here, but fear has moved in and has no plans to leave. I have fought for this child since before he was born. This time there is not much to do but hope we are 1 in 10,000. I see no hope and that is hard. I am angry too. I also find people to be more aggravating than comforting. I seethe at their stupidity and smugness. I loathe having Bible verses thrown at me! Do they think I will have an AHA moment? I would like to smack these quoters! I am the 100th sheep, but noone is seeking me.
My hisband of 55 years passed away from Cancer 4 months ago. I am grieving for him, I can't seen to get the finality of death. I have fleeting thoughts that he is here & I want to talk to him, so I talk to him whenever I feel like it, I cry when I feel like it. A comfort for me is a Mothers Day Card from him that I found amongst photos, I placed it on his bureau & as I pass by sometimes I stop & read it. I find comfort in the words he choose to tell me how and why he loved me for always & forever. I believe that we will be reunited again, it gives me relief from some of my sadness for a short time, how I love and miss him is beyond words.
To all of you I want to say that I am sorry for your pain. I recently had a Cancer scare that has sent my emotions reeling. Test were negative, but the lesson will stay with me eternally. I can imagine what you are going through as I prepared myself for the same. I will never see things the same way I did, and will enjoy all the days of this precious life that has been given to me. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, but for you it maybe called something else or have a different name. We are all brothers and sisters of humanity and must try to treat each other well. You are all blessed, but may not know because you exist in a much higher plane or level of consciousness than those around you who live in darkness or have been given only cloudy images with which to see . To Chris, I especially want to say that if your significant other has failed you in your desperate time of need, have no fear, because I love you and all of the people who have posted here do too. You are not alone and when the words in our individual posts end, our love for you won't. Always finish strong, and do it with dignity and self respect. You are worth it and your new friends think about you all of the time. To all of you.... God has blessed you. Now share your gift of insight with those around you...... I will too.
My husband ( 57yrs old ) was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the face with peri-neural invasion. this was detected quite late ( 6 months after presentation of initial symptoms involving numbness and loss of movement to the brow and temporal area) We were resident in Beijing at the time and he was completely misdiagnosed fo 6 months . After flying to hospitals in London he was finally diagnosed and the "tumour" was about 6cm in diameter. He had Moh's surgery to remove the cancer and "free flap" reconstruction to the face. This was followed by 6 weeks of radiotherapy as they could not remove all the cancer. He is currently having his 1st check up ( 6 weeks
after end of radiotherapy ) He is not feeling well and his symptoms seem to be getting worse ( increased numbness and pain ) We can't seem to get a prognosis from the oncologist and surgeons . I am told this in an uncommon presentation and there haven't been many previous cases like this . Can anyone who has had a similar condition or experience with this type of cancer that has invaded the nerves share their experience?
Thank you for writing in with your feelings and, not to worry about venting the anger. I also appreciate your feedback on how to be kinder with words when you are dealing with a loss that is so very, very personal. He was your love, your life and future. Please just know that I have you in my thoughts and prayers.
My love has been gone 3 weeks this past Sunday. I cannot believe how some people can add to my grief with thoughtless comments. I do not mine the trite ones, such as "At least he is no longer suffering" Or, "He is at peace now"....both are true. However, knowing this does nothing to lessen MY grief, I am STILL suffering, and I am so NOT at peace! The ones that make me upset are "You need to start moving on"...HELLO, it's been only 3 weeks and I am supposed to be over it? Or the ones who say, "Well, you are still young, you will probably find another man"....trust me, people, this does NOT help and actually HURTS. They make it sound as if an easily replaceable pet died, not my mate of 7 years, the man I intended to grow old with! And the one I've heard about 3 times now..."He was so much for you to care for, you must feel a sense of relief now"...to those I say, caring for him was my PRIVILEGE, I feel NO relief for myself, not one iota! I just wish people would stick to a few sincere words, such as "I am so sorry". It is enough, and does not add to what is already a horribly painful time for me. I know most mean well....but my God, THINK before you speak! Thanks for letting me vent, did not realize I was so angry!
So, I just posted about my mom. My brother has been diagnosed with lymphoma- do not know what type. I am so not looking forward to this again but I am resigned. I am researching. I educate myself as much as possible. I think this is how I get control over a totally uncontrollable situation.
to ANNA from1/28/11
My mom died, in 2000, from leukemia. I did not bargain or deny.I was angry at some behaviors (be it hers, mine or siblings) while simultaneously accepting the most likely outcome after diagnoses and that arrangements should be thought about. I was depressed. In fact, the foggy feeling stayed consistently for about 5 months, but lingered on lessening weekly, for about a year and a half. I guess you call the foggy feeling depression. Others do. I called it learning how to resort the filing cabinent as one of my world truths had just been, well, "gone" is the best word to use. I do not remember some things about that time because I had gone into "effecient mode". I had too much to get done to think about everything. I understand why I did and felt the way that I did, but I do not feel that I followed the typically described patterns of denial, anger acceptance, depression and bargaining. I finally forgot about how I was supposed to feel, which was actually a worry to me (Ha!) at that time. I finally just felt. THEN, I felt less crazy and more human.
Thank you for your thoughts, comments and honest feelings on this topic. You have helped me and each other understand the reality of grief and survival from all perspectives. It's so true, that everyone experiences grief in their own way, some times not the way anyone else might describe or expect. And, the idea of resilience and beating the odds with a positive perspective, I agree! Thanks to so many of you for sharing your experiences. Tina, I love the way you wrote to just be in the stage you need to be in, and not worry about what anyone else thinks. This is the perfect way to put it. I admire your courage and perspective to reach out as you are dealing with your own grief.
For the past three years, I've been living with metastatic breast cancer. I just want to encourage everyone who reads this blog to think twice about the word "terminal." We are all terminal if you think about it, and there are many survivors out there who were told they were going to die but beat the odds.
I think hope is the best medicine a doctor can prescribe, but one that is not often given with metastatic cancer. That is why I've interviewed people from around the country who have beat the odds of a terminal diagnosis. I share these stories and ways to stay healthy on my site, www.MiracleSurvivors.com.
I believe too many patients "listen to doctors' orders" when they're given a death sentence. As someone in my book told a fellow survivor, "You're living with cancer; get that dying stuff out of your mind."
My dad was fine by all outward physical accounts. He got the shingles, had trouble breathing, and was admitted to a hospital. At first they said severe double pneumonia but throughout the course of tests, it was determined he had spots on liver, spleen, lungs, verterbrae,etc. He had a biopsy and it was positive for cancer. Things got so bad so fast they started chemo without really knowing what type he had. He had one treatment and died 2 days later. Needless to say we had no time to process any of this. My daddy was gone within a week. After he died, I went back to the hospital to get final pathology reports. Turns out he had the silent tumor of pancreatic cancer. It spread all over and like majority with no symptoms. I am an only child and close to my dad. I was and am devastated. It was almost 7 months ago that he died. He was the first man I ever loved and I am learning to live without my dad. It is not easy. I want to make sure all of you know that whichever stage of grieving you are on-is where you need to be. You will move on when you are ready to move to the next phase. No one can tell you where you should be in that process. People have told me I should not do this or be over it-I will never be over it. And those who tell you to move on or that you should not grieve have obviously never experienced what you are. Embrace the stage you are in-you will go through many and each one teaches you a little more about yourself, what you can do and become.
Thank you Oldart. I promise.
I am three years out from a diagnosis of Stage 3C ovarian cancer. So far I am cancer free for which I thank God everyday. When I got this diagnosis I knew it was not a "good one". I am a nurse and I have lost two very close friends to OC and many other friends to various types of cancer. I am a very pragmatic and practical person. Before my surgery, my husband and I had a talk and I told him if they got in there and the cancer what everywhere with little chance of a quality life, I didn't want to spend precious time dealing with side effects of chemo. On the other hand, if it were confined to the ovaries and I had a good chance I would "go for it". Fortunately, it WAS confined to the ovaries and one microscopically positive node. I had rigorous chemo which wasn't fun but now I am cancer free. I did grieve and the hard part was telling our kids I had this very serious diagnosis. As a family we have rallied and now realize every moment we have together is a precious one. I had wonderful support from friends too. We have a deal "no one goes to ANY appointment alone". Good advice from Sandra. Many blessings to all of you who are fighting this fight. Stay strong, seize the day and don't let cancer define who you are!
Marian, maybe I can offer insight into your daughter/sisters depression. I was diagnosed with Terminal cancer in 2007. My partner and I had been together for 7 years and were planning to get married. We have 2 beautiful children 5&7. My husband pushed for us to marry before my masectomy so we made it happen. I felt so blessed that my husband who was also my best friend was with me on this journey. It was a challenging year with me doing 7 rounds of chemo and having real health challenges. I did not feel I was going to get better. I had no idea, but my husband left me after 18 months of hospital visits to move in with his healthy substitute in the same street as me. I would say finding out about the cancer was a 100 fold worse. I was an emotional wreak and I prayed to be taken because I couldnt see any light in my life. I sobbed every day, my spirit completely broken for the next 18 months. My children would try and kiss me and make it better, but as soon as they were in bed, I sobbed and sobbed. Experiencing the shocking grief and dark thoughts of cancer and then the complete shock of abandonment and betrayal of the person you loved the most was hell. I still have mainly angry emotions about this man and how dare he do that to me. But these angry emotions have served me well. Because I have more fight than ever live the best with this thing called cancer and not let it take centre stage. Im going to do whatever I want to do and my health has improved as w
It it true that there is cancer cures like The Issel treatments in the states?or cancer centres of America ?? Then why the regular treatments cannot use the same methods ???? Armand xfgVCH
Just a question to pose to everyone.
Has your experience followed the offered process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and final acceptance? As a long term care nurse, I would have to say this is
not more than one of several patterns. I'd love see a more realistic description of most people's coping. I see plenty of early depression and acceptance. I detect very little bargaining. Thanks for all replies. My heart is with each of you and ache to hear of your journeys. Anna
I just wanted to finish my previous post. I ask lots of questions and won’t be satisfied until I understand clearly what the health care professionals are saying plus it has to make sense to me because often times the person who is ill is coping in their own way and not always hearing what is being said. PLEASE BE A PATIENT ADVOCATE FOR YOUR LOVED ONE Or they’ll be left to the mercy of the health care system which is not always attentive.
My father was diagnosed with Cancer of the Lacrimal Sac on Feb 2, 2006 (his 75th birthday). This is a very rare cancer (1 in 200,000-300,000 people). He lost his eye and had heavy doses of radiation. Several months later, the cancer was back in his lymphatic system. More surgery and just about the time he was to get a second dose of radiation, the doctors said he was terminal. They gave him 6-18 months and I had to break the news to him. He asked me why this had to happen to him and I had no answers. At that time I told him that he could either live with Cancer or die from cancer. We chose to live with cancer as he does with his diabetes rather than wait to die from it. In the last three years, I accompanied him on a trip to South America, India and last year to the Panama Canal which was his dream and one he thought he would never be able to do. He has a mighty will and a positive attitude. It goes to show that one’s emotional health is as important as physical health if not more so. The mind is a great thing – it can give you the will to live or it can take away your life.
He is still with us, although very weak now but about to celebrate his 80th birthday on Feb 2. The biggest lesson I learned in the last 5 years is the importance of being a strong advocate for someone dealing with an illness. I have gone to every major Dr’s appointment with him, I monitor his meds, nutrition and fitness and I am sure that without that, he would be dead by now. I ask
Wendy: I would always say to get a second opinion if you ever have any doubts as to your current treatment! If the second opinion concurs with the original one, then you have the assurance that all is being done that can be. If the second opinion differs, then you can go from there to decide what option would be the best for you....heck, I would go for a 3rd opinion if that were to happen! I can undertand your concern, I would feel much the same way! Best of luck to you, and blessings!
Oldart, I certainly feel for you! Bad enough to recieve such a diagnosis, it is compounded with your wife's seeming inability to cope with it. All I can offer is to give her time, perhaps she will come to grips with the situation, and assist you in making whatever time left not full of fear and grief, but a time for closeness and strength for one another. Perhaps counseling of some sort, for the both of you, or just for her, would be in order. I just hate to think that she is wasting time in fear, when the concentration should be on your treatment and support! You have my very best wishes, and prayers. Kathleen
I was diagnosed with bladder cancer 2 years ago. It has reacurred twice since then. I find myself wishing for the doctors to just remove my bladder instead of waiting for it to show up somewhere else. Is this normal? Should I get a second opinion?
I recently loss my younger sister to lung cancer at 57.She had a rough life,being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her early twenties. When she received the cancer diagnosis she went into depression and lived for only four months. We were all there for her but nothing made her happy. She is at peace now,but it will hurt for a long time.I have non-agressive form of Non-hodgkins lymphoma and I thank God that I am doing as well as I am. And it helps to hear from others.
I love the Mayo Clinic! Dr. Steven Alberts is so great! It will soon be a year that my son, David passed away from colon cancer at the age of 34. His 6 year long journey to heal himself has left me with a profound feeling of loss. I am so proud of the man he was and think often of the beautiful boy who embodied the best of me. The tears are never far. I hope you all hold on to the hope that one day there will be kinder, more successful treatments for cancer. I find comfort in the poetry and music of David M. Bailey, a brain cancer patient who spent the last years of his life ministering to others through his music and writing. May all of our loved ones who have passed on rest in peace!
Thank you for this chance to talk,my wonderful husband,57 years old dxd with Pancreatic tumor...been given six to nine months...We are both trying to handle this ..I cry constantly and somtimes we cry together.
He is now a Christian accepting Christ..thank you Lord. My family is spread out all over the country and Canada.Its a nightmare..I so need to talk..thank you for being here.....Bobbie
My wife of 47 years was diagnosed with a Glioblastoms (GBM) WHO Catagory IV in March 2008. Since her GBM was mostly in the thalmic area of the brain no surgery was possible. She has fought the good fight with radition and concurrent chemo for six weeks then chemo alone for four weeks, when we found this was not working then travelling 600 miles every two weeks for sixteen months for treatment with off-label meds which have since been approved. Through out all this treatment she has continued declined slowly. Now she cannot speak, walk or feed herself and has no interest in much of anything. I know I am losing her and this inability to communicate is pure hell.
My oldest daughter was diagnosed with Lymphatic MRSA 7 years ago, has lived in hell with that, has had 10 or more of her lymph nodes already removed, now she has nonhodgkins lymphoma stage 3. After her last diagnosis her husband left her for someone who isn't diseased. Her 2 children don't know she is sick. She has actually gone through the 5 stages posted here and is in 2 of those stages now. I'm going through a couple myself. She doesn't want to talk about the future, so I'm making all the arrangements. Since her husband left, she suffers severe depression and I can't get her to come out of it, she won't even let me go to the doctors with her. She could be making such great memories with her children, but she is so depressed over the husband, that the illness has taken a back seat sort of, except for the 3 or 4 doctors visits a week for treatments and such. How do I help her forget the husband and concentrate on the kids? I stay so mad that I don't have time to think of the sickness myself. My only hope for help is in God where all help comes from. Just thought Id'e put this out there for all you brave and grieving people. May God Bless you and give you the answers you are seeking for! Thanks to Mayo for this blog-oh an the Psycho who posted earlier about the 5 non researched stuff-God Bless Him/Her too! But he/she doesn't know what they are talking about! Mayo got it right! Talk about a bowl of mixed emotions-WOW
The following seems improbable but it is nevertheless true. I have been diagnosed with three primary cancers - one each in '96, '08, and '10. From this experience and for me every day is a blessing and every day is the one God has given me. It is my choice on how I live it. With the first cancer I was young and believed I could beat it. The second cancer was terrifying and I awoke every day to grieve my own death. For a week I cried (sobbed alone) for 45 minutes in the morning. Having just finished my treatments for the third cancer I am more calm and accepting... I do not remember experiencing denial or anger. I have experienced fear, sadness and Faith in God. On the last day of my '10 chemotherapy a cancer friend of mine and I brought sparkling juice and cookies for every one in the treatment room. We had a make shift party and for just a moment enjoyed the holidays with laughter and hope. Facing your mortality can be what you make it. With love, Faith and hospice care a high quality of life until the end is possible. The un-noted person behind all of this is my ever caring husband who is brave beyond words as we live our marriage under the veil of sickness.
14 weeks ago on my birthday I received the news from my doctor that I had multiple myeloma, my wife of 29 years is taking this thing hard, her Dr. has her on all sorts of drugs to calm her, while me I really haven't had the time to even think about it. This is my illness I have to fight it no one else. I guess what I'm trying to say Diane and Renee. Give us some elbow room, I just sold my childhood dream, a house on the outter banks. As my wife was worried it would be too much for her to be concerned with after I'm gone. I might have a few years so why get huffy I'm going for chemo and maybe a transplant in Feb. that may buy some time and possibly a better quality of life so don't kill the end for us. Rather help us enjoy whatever time we have better.
My best friend that I've known for 47 years has had a reoccurence of ovarian cancer after 8 yrs. of remission. It has metastisized, two tumors on her liver.
We still have hope that she'll get into a clinical trial.
Does anyone know of clinical trials out there?
Has anyone experienced a loved one with a similar diagnosis. What are the survival rates?
I grieve with all of you. Blessings and prayers to you.
I appreciate all who have shared on this particular topic. I am a 2 year NED colon cancer patient and a hospice nurse. My younger brother has multiple myeloma too. Renee, I will tell you that I appreciated people asking me how I was and giving suggestions because it was hard for me to bring it up. Still is. I tend to like to compartmentalize that part of my life.
As a hospice nurse I have a unique perspective about being terminal and the gifts it gives some people. I have seen patients and their loved ones make so much out of the time they have. Unbelievable peace and being able to tell each other how much they mean to each other. As a patient now myself that is what I embrace. Every day I want to be able to live fully and do good for the world, that is the gift of my cancer. Also, I tell people what they mean to me and never take them for granted. I also very much agree with some who have posted about grieving through the journey, I have done that personally and also as the sister of someone who has limited treatment options. Thanks again for all of the honest sharing. TLC
I thank you all so much for truth. I am just the mom. Our daughter is almost 22 and although our child, she is the adult patient who calls the shots. It will be two years in March off chemo for Hodgkin's and she is now away at college. She no longer knows what to study or if she should. I caught her feeling her neck. I think about it coming back constantly. I know she does. The dr. said it would come back as something else, that cancer wouldn't kill her, pneumonia would be more likely. GREAT! As much as I appreciate the smarts of the drs, sometimes maybe they should try not dropping the whole thing in the first 5 minutes. Slow down a little. I know you know what you're talking about and what it looks like but we don't. I don't mean hiding anything but even now hasn't ever told us the things that she encountered. I'm sorry. I'm crabby when I worry and I just want truth. I can deal with truth. It hurts and sometimes it takes me awhile but don't hedge, it makes me worry and I KNOW the dr is busy, just don't act like she's a bother. She's afraid and I don't have answers for her deep sobs in the middle of the night. Sorry everyone. I didn't realize I feel like this.
This is my problem. A cross-country friend has recently received her diagnosis. How much should I talk to her (in our e-mail "conversations") about it or do I never discuss it unless my friend initiates the conversation? Should I make any suggestions about web-sites to check out or alternatives to treatment or simply assume that my friend, her family and her doctor are "handling" it? I don't want to say or do the "wrong" thing and upset my friend, but I also don't want her to think I'm "ignoring" this very serious turn of events.
One of my younger sisters was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer late in Oct. 2007, she fought a long hard battle, and finally was taken by her cancer early on New Year's Day, almost 3 weeks ago. She is the first sibling to pass away and it is so very, very hard to deal with. The memory of her in the last few weeks before she was taken is so present in my memory, it has replaced all the good memories of her. I am in contact with a grief share group from my church and hope that will help. God bless all of you who are facing a battle with cancer, either yourselves of someone you know and/or love. Tell everyone you know to get necessary screenings and make whatever lifestyle changes to improve your chances of not getting this horrible disease.
In April of 2009 my husband was diagnoised with rectal cancer. He had surgery, radiation and chemo for 6 months. After a colonoscopy in June of 2010 he was told there was no sign of cancer. However, in July of 2010 after having lab work his CEA level was up and a CT Scan was ordered. After that a liver biopsy. the rectal cancer had met to his liver - tumors in all 3 lobes. The oncologist told us he had less than a year without treatment and 2 to 4 with treatment then maintenance therapy. I could do nothing but cry for days. I felt he had been given a death sentence.I went into deep grief almost immediately. I left my full time job and went part time so we could spend more time together. We have been married since I was 16 for almost 43 years. I couldn't imagine life with out him. Chemo was started again August 23, 2010 and it has been extremely hard on him. His CEA has dropped and the last CT Scan showed the chemo is doing its job shrinking the tumors. We go to see a surgical oncologist Monday, January 24 to see what the next step will be. I am anxious to find out. It is a tough journey for sure but I know my God is always by our side. I am going to check out some support groups as soon as I can and I would surely suggest that to others. My prayers are with you all. Pam
My husband passed away back in Nov 2009 after a 10 yr battle with lung cancer,non hodgkins lymphoma and then squamous cell lung cancer in what was his good lung. We were married for 16 yrs. We had a love that alot of people will never experience or find. We did everything together. I was the main caregiver-
When he recvd the news of his dx,it was a death sentence -just didnt know when.He had a hard time dealing with a few friends that were diag w/cancer and then passing away several months latter and he would continue on . He had a great team of drs/nurses caring for him.
My husband was in a state of denial- never wanting to talk about it- never wanted to be a burden. When he passed away it was a shock to his medical team as there was no reason as to why he wouldnt bounce back- he was an energizer bunny.
I was a total mess for most of 2010. I knew i needed help after his funeral and wasnt afraid to seek it. I saw an indivual counselor for about 10 months and still attend group grief counseling sessions 2 xs a month.
I am in a much better place today due to my counseling. I have accepted the fact that things will never be the same- i will never be the same-you learn pretty darn fast how to survive on your own. Not a day goes by that i dont think of him or wish he would walk thru the door- tears are still shed -not 7 days a week anymore.
I know he would want me to smile,open my eyes,love and go again...
I am learning to smile again....life goes on
My wife of 24 years was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer last May. The first doctor we went to see sent us to see a surgeon who wanted to take off at least one breast and maybe two. I urged my wife to get a second opinion and we went to the Mayo Clinic and they told us that it was already to late for a masectomy. The surgeon had made me feel like a selfish pig because I wanted to avoid the surgery. My wife's sister had been there and her sister in law and they ganged up on me as if I was the enemy. Like somehow this was my fault? My sister in law even got mad because she anticipated me gloating over the fact that I had been trying to get my wife to seek help for a long time but she was in denial and wouldn't go. Here I was getting blamed for trying to do the right thing?
All this only two years after my mother in law lost her battle with cancer. My father died about two years later from cancer.
My wife has been told she is uncurable but treatable? How long we don't know?
I don't get much support from her family they seem to feel like I have done something wrong.
I am starting to hate them.
If I ever develop cancer I don't think I will tell anyone. What good would it do?
I am amazed when I read that people say that cancer is the best thing that has ever happened to them. Are you kidding me?
I hope I can die first.
As I read the previous postings, I know that I am not alone - grief is painful - and we are all experiencing it. My husband of 35 years died in December only 7 weeks after his diagnosis. Melanoma mets were found in his lungs and liver. He accepted the diagnosis and only wondered if his life had made a difference in the world. He had been a teacher for 24 years where had been like an adopted dad to many of his students, and we had both worked in church camping for many years. My daughter send facebook and email messages to the network of adopted children, family and friends and letters, cards and emails filled with love and the answer to his question about making a difference cam pouring in. We read them and cried. As his body quickly declined, the love he received lifted his spirits. It was painful for us to watch his fast decline, but a most life changing experience to experience the love that was so much a part of those final 7 weeks of his life. God was so real and active through angles without wings and halos. We talked openly about our faith and I read Our Greatest Gift by Henri Nouwen over and over as I prayed to better understand the meaning of life and death. I was there in the Hospice Center when he took his last breath. There is a big empty space in my life and the world is now a very different place. Life will continue - and I want my life to make a difference in the world. I am learning that the most important gift of all is the love that lives on.
My wonderful husband was diagnosed with colon cancer mets. to liver only 6 months after we were married. We had waited our whole lives for each other and found a love that few have experienced -- perfect soulmates in every way. Cancer did not change that. He underwent extensive treatments and 4 surgeries, lots of various chemo and radiation.... even new experimental treatments. Through it all he remained level-headed and positive, no matter how his body was suffering under it all. We decided (yes, we talked about it often) we decided together not to "die a thousand deaths dreading one." For the most part, we were able to accomplish this feat but only with the help of our Father in Heaven.
In the last month things got very bad. The worst thing for me was seeing him go downhill -- getting so thin and yellow and weak. Still, his sweet smile warmed my life day and night. The last words he spoke were telling me he love me with all his heart. I cried so hard then, but continued to speak words of comfort and hope to him.
After he died it really got hard. Depression and lonliness set in full blast. I have pictures of him all over the house and I play his original music that he recorded most of the time here at home. Somehow it seems his presence is still with me as I do these things. Still, I KNOW he is never coming back to this house or to my arms again, and that makes me weep bitterly every day and night.
I try to stay busy, but I know that life will never be the same ag
I just read Kathleen's submission, and yes, grief can manifest itself physically. Over 40 years ago my fiance was killed in a car accident two weeks before our wedding. I felt as though someone had ripped my heart out of my body and kicked me in the stomach for good measure. It took a very long time for that feeling to subside. As a true blessing from God, after he died, if found out I was pregnant, so my son was born and gave me reason to live. In 1993 I had stage II breast cancer, and it returned in 2006 in my lungs and bones. Dealing with the terminal diagnosis has been difficult and then dealing with the reaction from family and friends even more so. If one more person tells me they could be hit by a bus, I swear I am going to buy a bus and hit them with it. This site is great to help us with the diagnosis and those who love us. I find my joys are far greater (especially the grandchildren) but my tolerance is lessened. I just tell it like it is - has helped my husband to not tick me off so much. Bless all of you in your daily struggles.
My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year, which is common in the elderly. At first I cried and cried as if she had passed away. Then I would blame and beat myself up over it. Then I thought I wasn't doing enough for her. Well I am constantly reminded by family and friends how great she looks considering her multitude of health problems. Finding the support one needs as a daughter and caregiver was one of the hardest things to do. Now we cope and live day to day doing our best to enjoy the simple pleasures in life ie:walking, touching and singing. We are not at the hospice stage yet. I just don't know if I will know how to let go when the time comes. It's a bowl of mixed emotions, I grieve daily wondering yet thank god daily for the day we have together.
Kubler-Ross made significant contributions to the field of psychiatry, but one of these was NOT the five stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While this notion enjoys immense popularity among layman and some professionals, it is simply not supported by empirical research. It surprises me that someone representing Mayo Clinic would continue to perpetuate these stages as having a reality status for most people experiencing a significant loss or facing a terminal illness. A more data based discussion of this issue is referred to in the last issue of Time Magazine - hardly a professional journal but at least they cite supporting research based on reputable sources. Research findings indicate that most people do not pass through these five stages and that many persons accept a significant loss or face dying with acceptance on day one. I realize that you have qualified your recitation of the five stages by saying that individuals vary in their experiences, but the implication is that many go through these five stages which is contrary to research findings. May I request that you review relevant research literature and reevaluate whether you wish continue espousing, even in qualified form, this rather dated and unsupported conception of Kubler-Ross?
I lost my wonderful husband of 35 years a few months ago to mets. from Prostate cancer. We have both been stage 4 for a couple of years . We have the same Oncol. and got our treatments together . He had been in the hospital almost all of last year and I stayed with him every minute untill he lost his battle . I am having a very hard time and now I am getting sick . Starting to lose a lot of weight and feeling awful . My Daughter Inlaw told me I had to take better care of myself because my family could not go thru this again so soon . I am afraid I will not be able to control this . I also do not want to go thru all the stuff we did to my husband to try to save him . I just keep tell my Dr. every three weeks I feel great . I am afraid I am headed to hospice soon . I should have let him go there before the last few days . There is much second guessing going on . Maybe I should have changed Drs. maybe we should have not moved to hospice . I also think this awful grief is a factor in my health going down hill so soon after his .
I have stage 4 colon cancer that met.in to my liver and other parts of my body.This was Aug.08 they gave me 2/3 yrs.with chemo.I went thru some very tough chemo that almost got the best of me,i cried a lot i prayed a lot.I have 3 sons that i need to live for and i will keep fighting with the help of God i will be here for them.I made my dr.let me return to my part time job in April 09 i would go for 3 days every 2 wks.and get my chemo then home an back to work.I thank God everyday for believing in me and hearing my prayers and everyone else that prayed for me.My wonderful mother-in-law was by my side every day telling me what a strong woman i am an always have been.I lost my dad in 84 to liver an lung cancer due to tobac.,mother 6yrs. ago due to smoking since age 14.They say i am in remission now since Dec.2010 as of now i'm off chemo til March.I have 1 sm.place still in the left lobe of my liver i wish they could just go in there and zap it out or cut it out they i maybe could here[Jeanie you are cancer free]i worry everyday and every pain that it is back, but i am going to keep believing and praying a lot and pushing forward for i have learned to live for today an don't worry about tomorrow.This is the short part of my story i'm sure everyone of you know what i have been thru and will again in the near future.My prayers to all of you.Jeanie
I was diagnosed back in May 2010 with stage IV prostate cancer which had metastized into the pelvic bones and lower spine, the prognosis was 3 months to a year. I had been expecting a "bad" diagnosis so it honestly didn't come as a surprise. By temperament a happy-go-lucky individual, I think my sense of humour, coupled with a genuine feeling that I've lead a pretty good and rewarding life helped in my upbeat acceptance of the situation. Today I have to say, in all honesty, that this cancer had been the most amazing gift I have ever received. I have never experienced so much love and loving and truly amazing experiences since that diagnosis. I have met and had very close dealings with a number of very young (8, 9 & 10 year old terminal cancer patients) and to have been given the opportunity to bond with them and to being a little joy and happiness into their lives is quite the most staggering and amazing experience I have ever had. I might almost say that it has taken me all of 61 years to finally feel that I am doing something truly noble and worthwhile and I wouildn't change that for the earth! I have been a teacher for most of my adult life and in my role as a school counsellor and ordinary teacher I know that I have made a difference in the lives of many young people, but that doesn't even begin to compare with what I now experience with these young cancer buddies. We refer to ourselves as the "terminal tribe" a sort of fun club at Groote Schuur ho
My younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 - her 4 children were teenagers at the time. I had breast cancer 4 years after her.
In 2008 - 9 yrs after her first bout - it came back - in her spine - OMG - I thought we had paid our 'dues' going through cancer once already.
It has always been the two of us - I am like a surrogate mother although I am only 2 yrs old then she is.
My grief over her terminal diagnosis had me barely functioning for the first year. I was going through the motions of working, being a mother, a wife but I felt like my heart had died and I was soooo tired all the time.
I ended up going for counselling and am only now being to feel human again. I have never experienced depression before and although I am feeling better I still have a ways to go.
My sister is still with us and I call her every day (we live about 3 hours apart), and see her every other weekend. I guess I have gone through all the stages of grief and although she hasn't died - I can now accept that she will. The thought still hurts and I know I will grieve again when she is gone but for now, we are creating memories - for her children and for me.
I know I will never be "me" again. My child is still living, but the shadow is always there, drawing close, darkening. Pleading, begging, making deals with God is silly. I do it anyway. Friends have jumped ship. I am too busy to deal with them anyway. I am surprised, but don't have the energy to care. A few are still there, calling, caring. Thank you. The description of physical pain is true. Spirit and soul feel cruelly beat up. There will be permanent scarring. Few have the courage to listen.
We have a dear friend who informed us of a diagnosis that he is having great difficulty with - back in December he was told with chemo his prognosis was 1 year. This is someone who has become a dear friend to my husband and I as well as countless others. One of us had the idea of holding a 'celebration' for this person - which we will be doing within a month. The most challenging thing is that some individuals are very supportive of this and are honoring the conservative and positive focus we want to have. Others are trying to cheapen it by possibly changing this into a 'roast' which could possibly take a turn toward the negative. It's also difficult to get people to speak directly to this individual rather than avoid him, which I understand as a very normal reaction for some. I just want so much for this person to not feel isolated nor his family disrespected in any way. Any and all input would be sincerely appreciated.
Thanks to Mayo for this discussion.
I cared for my dying father who passed in 2008. I too still have intense grief and feel I didn't do enough. I also have a terminal cancer although it is progressing slowly compared to many other cancers. I try to go on living normally, but nothing is the same. I don't want my children to experience what I did taking care of my father, but I don't know how I to spare them.
wiki....I am so sorry to hear that even after 11 years you are still having such grief. But I DO know what you mean, and understand it all too well. Like you, I was the main caretaker, and all of my family and friends were over 1000 miles away...they were supportive, of course, but it was not the same as having someone "here" for me....a very lonely, frightening time. having lots of trouble w/sleeplessness. I fall asleep, just to jolt awake...the last days he was quite out of his mind and I had to watch him like a hawk...was afraid to sleep, still am, I guess. I think....what we NEED to do is maybe to accept that, even if we did not do everything "right", that we did the best we could for them. Kind of like being a parent, no parent is perfect, but we do the best we can do...may make mistakes, but that is only human. I have a feeling that some of the pain will never go away, just hoping that it does ease, as people say it does. I want to allow myself to feel happy again someday down the road, and smile when I think of him and not just break down crying. I know he hated to see me cry, very much. I think things will get "normal" again, but a new normal. Try to look for even small things that give us comfort, or a bit of happiness....I think we deserve that, and that the ones that died would want it for us, as we would've wanted it for them if we had been the ones to pass. My heart goes out to you, wiki....you will be in my prayers.
It over 11 years and I still feel pain.I Question myself if I done enough for my husband, so I fell quilt, also I have nightmares..... Going again and again in that time of those days and nights it is like in movie...scary dark painful.
I done everything possible in that time everybody people telling me that but in my mind is ......maybe was more I can do.
Over 6 months I was nursing him home alone far away from town and people. I develop sleepless problem because I was on guard all the time.Also everybody said I was very brave let him stay and let him died at home as he want. After he died I was very sick. Now I am much better by health but in my mind I am not so well. I am hoping that one day I will be "normal" again
Thank you, Ruth. I agree 100% with all that you said. I think also, that it is hard to find a focus, right after the death. In my case, I was his primary caregiver until the last 6 days of his life...and the cancer consumed our lives in a way. I tried to juggle a full time job, care for him, manage the appointments and treatments, doing his tube feedings, keeping track of meds, take care of the household stuff he used to do, time was at a premium...seemed there was never enough. Now, suddenly I have all of this time on my hands...and I feel directionless. It adds to the grief....I did all I could and yet he still died. Everyone says I did a wonderful job, that I should be proud, but I feel like a failure, does that make sense? Today I started getting rid of everything "medical" left behind...leftover meds, all the paraphernalia, commode and such. My feeling is I want no reminders of his illness....I want to remember him as he was before the cancer started. I think this is perhaps healthy, not sure.....just knew I needed to start pitching the stuff! I hope this will feel like a home again and not one big sickroom.
I am very sorry for your loss, Kathleen. A loved one's terminal cancer diagnosis brings a profound sadness. I think with cancer you do a lot of preparatory grief, before your loved one passes. And that grief can be a physical ache as you describe, as well as an emotional one. The pain is intense when the loss is impending or very recent. I have walked through this with my mother this last year and also my father and brother. I miss them.
I understand very well how the stages of grief affect you when you are first given the news that your cancer is terminal. I just lost my love today. He was diagnosed with oral cancer this past April, despite surgery, chemo and radiation, it spread rapidly. We were told that the cancer was terminal and treatments were stopped in early December. I was in shock, disbelief....then intense pain. I kept on praying that I would wake up and find that this was all a horrible nightmare. I promised God that if he were to grant a miraculous recovery, or at least a remission, that I would be a much better person. At first I prayed for a miracle, then prayed that the pain he was suffering would be eased....towards the last few weeks, all I had left was to pray that the end, when it came, would be peaceful. I'd like to say that I am in acceptance, but I still feel overwhelmed, and am angry that he was taken far too young. In my head, I know that I will eventually be "ok".....but my heart hurts so badly that it seems as though the pain will never ever ease. I never knew that grief could be a physical pain, as well as an emotional one. It quite literally HURTS.
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