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No energy. How do I go on?

SUMMERDAY
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2003

My husband died of cancer January 18, 2003. My only child, 26 years old, son has leukemia. I am 47 with colon cancer. I had sugery last March with follow-up chemo therapy. I was coping pretty well until the death of my only support, my husband. He was diagnosed just a couple of months ago with prostate cancer but it had not spread and the doctor said he would be cured with radiation. He was to begin radiation on Jan 28, 2003. He died Jan 18, 2003 of another form of cancer that went undetected. He had gone in to the doctors several times over the past several years complaining of chest pain and difficultly breathing. They kept telling us it was nerve pain and now he is gone. I am ill and alone. When he died I lost all of our income. What am I going to do now? All suggestions are welcome. Please help me if you can.

Patricia_Sexton@hotmail.com

ingridryan
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2003

Hello. I am so sorry for you. I too have suffered multiple tragedies and know the pain and sense of overwhelming sadness of which you speak. My 2 year old daughter died last April and then 2 weeks after her funeral I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. I am now dealing with a recurrence. One of the ways that I have been coping is by sharing my feelings on forums such as this one and getting advise and support from people who are actually experiencing the same problems. I don't have any magic answers but I know that in the beginning daily walking helped and then trying to only think one day at a time helped to.

SUMMERDAY
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2003

ingridryan,
Thank you for responding.
I am so sorry for the loss of your 2 year old daughter. The death of your child would be far worse, I would think, than anything else that could happen to you.
I have been to college and have had several successful jobs. My problem now is the illness and no income. I have some savings put away so I will use that for awhile and in the meantime perhaps a solution to the situation will emerge. I too have stage 3 colon cancer. The chemo therapy was far worse then the surgery to remove the two tumors. I had a kidney removed several years ago so they were not able to give me the full recommeded dosage of chemo but even at that I was forced into the hospital twice because of the side-effects. The illness and its consequences were not much of a problem for me as long as I had the support of my beloved husband at my side. Now with his death, I don't know with to do. I have lost all of our retirement income. When I was able to work I had several friends that I hung around with, but now with all of the illness and problems in the family, the friends have moved on with their lives and are not able to handle what we have been going through. I do attend church but have found that when you lose a spouse and/or have a serious illness, people do not know how to approach you. I am finding that the people at church seem more comfortable in not approaching me at all. I don't understand why they do not see the desparate situation I am in. Or perhaps they too are finding all that I am going through just a little too difficult to deal with.
What you said about taking life one day at a time is so true. I would not be able to face this situation any other way.
Again, thanks for the response and please take good care of yourself.
Patricia
Patricia_Sexton@hotmail.com

remission17yrs
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2003

Dear Patricia is Here,
I empathize with you, I feel your pain. I am here to give you hope. When I went through colorectal cancer in 1984, I too was very weak with very little energy! I was tryng to take care of four little girls all under the ages of 10! My in laws helped as much as my husband would allow but still was the issue of energy!! I went to a health food store and found ginsing tea to be a great help! I wasn't running around but it did give me enough energy that I could cope with what was left for me to do! I would like to also suggest that you get on a good organic multi-vitamin multi-mineral complex! I have found them to help immensly! Talk to your Doctor fo suggestions or e-mail me for the information for the ones that I use! I have also since then gone through 2 divorses and found that I had very little money to survive on, because of the severity of the situation my ex-husbands left me in. First I went to my church and God with the problem and asked for suggestions. They were able to help direct me to possible places of employment that used what little skills that I had. I looked into going back to school to obtain some marketable skills and filed for financial aide. I got it! This schooling helped me to get a job that sustained me, and helped me to re-build my life! while I went to school because of financial aide, I only had to find part-time jobs to fill in where I needed it. Another thing that you might want to consider is any other family members, church, or support groups that you may contact that could help. I don't know if I helped, but please know that I am here for you and that I do care.
Giver of Hope
enipko@msn.com

erica259
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2003

Patricia,
I am so sorry for your horrible loss and your current condition. PLease never say you are alone. You have all of us here and your friends and family.
I would also like to recommend another forum like this one that just deals with colorectal cancer SURVIVORS. Its on the Yahoo website. you can access it and join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/colon_cancer_support/.
As for physical energy. My mother has recurrent colon cancer. She is 57 years young and diabetic. She drink BOOST, both the milk shakes and the fruit juices. They aree really tasty and do wonders for her energy level. Plus, she has, knock on wood, not been sick all season and she works in an emergency room !!!
Keep the faith
Erica

mkp7750
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi Patricia, I am very sorry for your loss and all the other crisis you have to endure. I too have colon cancer, Stage IV, which metastisized to my liver. They removed the cancer in my colon, but the cancer in my liver was inoperable because of the wide spread of the tumors. At the time I was diagnosed I had my own cleaning business which was going well and for the first time I was happy in a job I really liked because it was something I could give to other people and at the same time enjoy what I was doing. Anyway I was going through my second divorce ( I had been married to him for 19 years) at the same time I was diagnosed. Then I was unable to work after my surgery and I wondered how I would survive with no income and no support. My brother told me about applying for social security disability which has helped me a great deal. My daughter who is 18 lives with me and also has numerous medical problems so she is not able to work at this time either. I too, have been feeling down since I have been in treatment for all of 2002 and now I'm on a different regimen that makes me very tired and weak. I do a lot of visualization , seeing my tumors being torn away by these little roofers for example. It sounds crazy but it works. It helps to laugh a lot by reading books, watching funny movies. You will have your up days and down days but the key is to know there is a lot of support out there and a lot of people who will be by your side. So you are never alone. I will be praying for you and if you would like I will keep in touch with you. If you have e-mail and want to talk more privately I would be happy to do that. It is so good to talk with someone who has been there. Take care. A loving friend

livin
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Patricia, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I know there is nothing greater then a loss of a loved one. I understand how you may feel that when will all this maddness will end, and the silent "why me". No disrepect but have you sort help in the Psych field meaning something to calm your nerves at this time or something in small doses for depression. My own experience with Cancer lead me to Paxil which I no later take but it did help when I needed it. The month before I was Dx with Breast Cancer which was September, I was involed in a automobile accident, Thank God no one was seriously injuried other then the Truck I was in. Then in October 1999 I was DX with Breast Cancer. Just about to lose my mine. I thought Cancer was all through my body. I couldn't sleep eat or think straight. Then Boom, November Thanksgiving Day 1999 my Mother had a Massive Stroke, she survived. Beleive Me it may sound bad but My Mother Stroke helped me. How, it took the focus off my problem eased my pain that I was going through so I could concentrated on her recovery. I Prayed Day and nite. Well its going on 4 years and My Mother and I are still here. I have learn to take one day at a time. I just go on. I have no more Bad Days No Matter What. Moving along Year 2000, I had scar tissue and adhensions that had my intestine growing to my abdomen had Laporascomy Surgery in I beleive April-2000 then I was told I had a large Tumor in my Uterus. In May 2000 I had a Hsytrectomy-Total. I worked until February 2001. That when I Found out I had Colon Cancer Stage 3. Beleive with the help of God I took the DX well. I said " What Am I going to Do". I decided to fight and I fought like Hell to be Here. I kept a positive Attitude. Thank God I was not sick the whole time I had Chemo In fact I kept gaining weight to the point that I am 30 pounds over weight. I know your experience is worst then mine, I just want to say there is light at the end of the tunnel. It just may take awhile. As for insurance Do your state have Charity Care Program? How about PAAD so you can get precriptions for 5 dollars.Even My Oncologist told me about a program at the Hospital where I could get my Tamoxifen ( Breast Cancer Med) for free. I have said a Prayer for you. You are not alone. We are all in this to together One way or another,being here at CSN. Please try to stay strong. I beleive in Hope. Livin

JesHappy
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

Patricia....Our lives have been very similar. I had colon cancer. After surgery, there were complications and I wound up being in the hospital for a month - two weeks in ICU. When I began radiation treatments, my husband drove me 50 miles to the hospital and 50 miles back every day. On my last week of radiation, we were sort of celebrating on our way home. Only 4 days left!!! Wow. We were laughing and joking when suddenly he got a strange look on his face and keeled over dead in the driver's seat (while driving). He had a massive heart attack. He had taken such good care of me, and here he was - gone - and there was nothing I could do for HIM. The loss was horrendous. You ask how to go on. You just do, Patricia. The hole in your life is never filled, but somehow you DO GO ON and life becomes bearable again. You WILL laugh again. You WILL be happy again. You WILL NEVER stop missing him.

SWilkin676
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

If you haven't already, file for social security disability. They often can expedite your claim so don't let the prognosis of 6 months paperwork put you off. My husband has stage IV with inoperable metastatis to liver and we recently filed. We downloaded the application from the web and filled it out prior to going in to the center. All we did was turn in the paperwork with a copy of his medical records and a month later his claim was approved.
Remember that things look very dark at the beginning of a tunnel but there is light out there somewhere just ahead.

For now focus on getting well. Hope this helps.
Susan

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