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Susiebelle
Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2009

I am new to posting here, but have been reading for months.

My husband was diagnosed with Stage IV Prostate Cancer in May. It has mets in his entire lymph system, and every bone in his body. He was only given one treatment choice by several doctors. Hormone shots. He took the treatment, and continues with it. While it isn't fun, it is our only hope. Our oncologist, whom he likes, said that after a year or maybe two, the hormone shots could make enough of a difference that he might actually become a candidate for chemo. That is his first goal.

When he was first diagnosed, he took a few months off of work by going on catastrophic leave. There were many donations of time for his sick pay bank. He works in law enforcement, so there is never a shortage of help from his fellow deputies. In late September, he decided to go back to work on modified duty. He continues this now.

It wears him out. He comes home sore and tired, barely able to move, but he wants to continue. I have given up on this arguement. This is apparently something he feels strongly that he needs to do. For as long as he can. I am not going to continue to try to get him to stop working. One of his Sgts. had called me and asked me what my concerns were for his return to work. We spoke frankly, and covered all our concerns. She had many of the same concerns that I did. She continues to keep an eye on him, and actually, most of his fellow deputies continue to watch out for him. This makes me feel good for him, but it doesn't make him hurt less, or feel less tired out.

We have been married for almost 30 years (next June is 30), and have three daughters and eight grandchildren. We are close with our youngest daughter and her family, our middle daughter lives out of state with her family. Our oldest has decided that she doesn't want much to do with us, that is her choice. We have seen her periodically, but she remains distant and out of regular touch. We have come to terms with that. After a year of going back and forth with her father, she maintains her distance. He has decided that is her choice, and whatever is going on in her head, is her issue, not his or mine.

We spent the last three years caring for my husband's father. He was bedridden, and required full care. He was on hospice for the last year of his life. They were a gift from God. We had a wonderful nurse, and home health aid who was an angel. Our social worker and chaplain were the best advocates we ever had. My father-in-law passed away this past October. While it simplified our life, it has been difficult for my husband. He has now lost both his parents in the last three years.

Mostly I just wanted to introduce myself to you all. I have followed many of your stories and have understood most of your pain. Some of the pain I have yet to face. I also visit the caretaker sight, and the prostate cancer site. When it comes my turn to provide care for my husband, I know I will find the support I need here.

Susie

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Welcome. It sounds like your husband has strong support at work. My husband was also law enforcement, retired, as is one of our sons. I'm glad you have joined us. The more minds and thoughts represented here, the better we all are. Take care, Fay

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

The pressure to remain positive is really misplaced. We knew from the beginning that my husband was most likely terminal. After his second recurrence we accepted that we were just buying time. Some people felt that we were not being positive, but for us that was positive. It helped us deal better with bad news. My husband still fought to buy as much time as he could. So vent away and don't worry about us judging. We know that each of us must deal with the cancer our own way whether others consider that positive or not.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

...the only thing I was ever "positive" about was that I was totally miserable! You could say I was "positively miserable"! In my very humble opinion, anyone undergoing mutilating surgery or torturous chemo and radiation who still remains cheerful is completely delusional and in need of psychiatric help!

Love and Courage!

Rick

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

I am glad you introduced yourself. I also worked in law Emforcement. I was a State Corrections Officer for 17 years. And I could never say enough about how I was treated by my fellow officer's. I returned to work after my cancer and everyone wanted to do my work for me. But I am not that kind of person as I believe in pulling my weight. After two years I ended up on disability. Not working anymore was one of the hardest things I have done in my life. It had nothing to do with the job. It had everything to do with my fellow officer's. When people cover your back in dangerous situations on a daily basis you get pretty close. Even after a couple years I still meet them for breakfast on occasion. I worked in pain for a long time as I felt it was my duty to provide for my family. And to sit home feeling worthless is worse than putting up with pain. So I think I understand where your husband is at. Best wishes Slickwilly

Susiebelle
Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2009

I thank you all for your kind words of welcome. Not a nice place to be is it? But thank God it's here.

I just got my husband off to work about half an hour ago. He had to worst weekend. He was in so much pain that we doubled up on his pain meds. He had me e mail his doctor and he has an appointment for next Tuesday.

He is scared, and worried, and stubborn. I am more scared than he is I think. I am facing something that I have faced before, just not with my husband. I took care of my best friend of 30 years as she died from breast cancer. Her daughters though grown, were in need of some help. They were emotional wrecks, and I appeared on the scene to take some of the work and worry off of them. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I know I will be doing this again with my husband, only I will be the one needing the help.

My brother has decided to wrap up things in Texas and come out in January, and stay as long as I need him. He will get a job so he can help with the bills and mortgage, and then my husband can feel free to stop working when he needs to. Like you slickwilly, he feels compelled to continue. They don't let him do anything, but his need to be there is strong. Having been a law enforcement wife for many years, I understand this. I guess it would be easier if I didn't, but I do.

Mostly I just worry that the cancer is starting to outsmart the shots, and growing again. This has basically been our fear since he started treatment. I guess when we see the doctor next week, we will get some good information on what is going on. He is also in corrections, only on the county level. He just loves his job, and is the one they call on when someone needs to be talked down. No one is better at this than he is. He makes me so proud.

I better get moving. I have some lab work of my own to get done today.

I just want to say thank you to you all. Something deep inside of me is afraid this is going to go very badly, very quickly. I just pray that I am wrong.

Susiebelle

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

The not knowing is the hardest. I understand about being a law enforcement wife. My husband started as a city police officer. Then he became a game warden. He was in law enforcement for 30 years before retiring. Our son is a city police detective. One of the most common traits for these guys is stubbornness. It's also probably one of the reasons we love them. I always knew that my husband was my rock. I could always depend on him to be there for me. I expected to really fall apart when I lost him, but I haven't. He is the one who taught me strength. Yet, I can understand your fear, too. These guys are known for holding their feelings and fear in. They want to protect us. I'm sure your husband is afraid, too, but if he is like mine was, his greatest fear is for you.

I'm glad your brother is coming to lend a hand and help with the bills. I was really blessed to not have financial concerns. I can only imagine how difficult that is. I don't have any words of wisdom, just a desire to help. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Fay

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