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SusanClaire
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2008

Hi! I am very glad that I found a support group for caregivers. My husband of 30+ years has recently been diagnosed with liposarcoma. He had a 10 pounded stomach tumor removed in June 2008 and has been undergoing chemo treatments. He just finished his 5th round which I hope will be the last. The doctor told me that there is no such test that will determine whether or not the cancer has spread. So, from this point forward we just have to monitor him.... this seems very weird to me! I thought that since we have had soo many people survive cancer that there were numerous tests to determine if it came back.... Please let me know if there are any tests that your loved ones have completed from chemo to determine if the cancer had returned. Also, I am having a VERY difficult time interacting with my husband. He has become recently VERY negative:( Has anyone else experienced this with their loved one? If so, what did you do to help over come this difficult time? Please let me know.... I am very much in need of support!! Thank you for your time:)

~Susan
Folsom CA

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Susan:

I am a survivor, twice. I would suggest that maybe your doctor is trying to say that at this point in time there is really nothing available for testing your husband.

There are, of course, any number of examinations and tests used to determine whether cancer is present, including CAT scans, PET scans, MRIs, a number of blood tests, and, I am sure, others that I do not even know about.

But they do no good, for the most part, if any existing cancer is too small to detect. I THINK (I HOPE) that your doctor is advising that some time needs to pass before they can have another look. They would likely compare previous scans, for example, to a later one, to see if anything has changed.

I have personally decided to adopt "The Waiting is the Hardest Part", a Tom Petty song, as my cancer mantra. The waiting can be difficult, but is often necessary.

I hope that helps with respect to that subject.

Regarding your husband's negativity, it is not unusual, is in fact typical, for cancer survivors to go through a number of emotional stages, including denial, anger, acceptance, depression, and even entitlement. Not all of us do so, but enough of us do that it is not unusual.

I would encourage you to go to the discussion board related to his type of cancer and read the questions and answers there, if you have not done so, and to share them with him! Perhaps you can get him to take that journey himself, to learn about his cancer and to interact with others in similar situations.

As for dealing with his anger/negativity at the moment, please try to understand where he is coming from at the moment: for most of us, there is no learning curve re cancer; we have not spent a lot of time learning about it before someone of a professional sort tells us that we have it. The first impression is often, "Oh, I'm going to die!". That IS natural for those of us who didn't think to much about the disease beforehand, which is most of us.

Understand where he is at from that perspective, and maybe you can not only accept the negativity, but also help him to move away from it, again, by asking him to share the positive things you learn about success and being positive.

Best wishes to you and your husband and your family.

Hope and Humor!

Take care,

Joe

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 677
Joined: Nov 2005

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986, my husband thought I was WAY too negative.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, my husband thought I was WAY WAY too negative.
When I was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1996, my husband had left me because I was too negative.
Then he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
Suddenly cancer became something to be negative ABOUT in his opinion.
The point is, when it is happening to US we are down physically, mentally, and emotionally. If I was diagnosed again today would I handle it any better than I did the first, second, or third time? Probably not.
You can struggle to try to bring your husband up out of his negativity, but realistically speaking, that is work he will have to do himself. You might be better advised to concentrate on the practical aspects of his care...making sure he gets to all appointments and follows all doctor's orders (as much as it is in your power to do so), and so forth. More than likely, knowing that he doesn't have to deal with every little detail of his situation by himself will boost his spirits as much as anything.

friscov2
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2009

An important note is that the first reaction to pain is anger. Medications may also change moods. You might be the safest target for the emotional frustration. Counseling is always a good option.

Kudo's to you as a spouse. Are you seeing good specialists regarding this matter?

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