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New Years Eve

sarge57's picture
sarge57
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2010

Have spent this New Years eve feeding pieces of fruit to my wife (53) in bed, I was advised on Dec 23 her cancer (Cervical) is stage 4B and has 1-3 months left, when first diagnosed in September she was 4A. This time last year we were cruising the Mexican Riviera, how quickly things can change she was diagnosed end of August 2010. Her pain is coming back and the meds are not working that well, however she does not want to talk about the inveitable. It seems all she wants to do is bury her head is it best just to let her be and let time take care of it self. Any suggestions how to cope would be greatly apprecaited. Happy New Year to all, most of us here probably do not have much to be happy about though.

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

Sarge, if I knew how to cope I'd definately tell you. All I know is that some days are better, some are worse, some are both. This morning I was in the depths of dispair because my husband, who is suffering from liver cancer, had been moved to ICU the night before and was unaware of his surroundings. Today he got on the liver transplant list and was sitting in bed, talking to me this evening.

We've had a few talks about the "inevitable", but none that I brought up. I waited until he was ready or asked a question about his wishes when the time seemed right and he was open to it. Mostly we just take it one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time.

There are a lot of people on this board who lived far longer than their doctor's prognosis. There have been a few times with my husband when I thought death was near. I'm trying not to get too excited about the really good days and too overwhelmed by the bad ones. This is much easier to suggest than it is to do!

The best thing you can do for your wife is to love her unconditionally and support her in whatever decision she either makes, or doesn't make. Ones own mortality is not an easy thing to face. Live every moment you have with her to the fullest and take joy in the small things. This is what we call "the new normal". I wish you both the best.
Penny

sarge57's picture
sarge57
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2010

Penny thanks for the words of encouragement, as with your situation I do not bring up any discussion of what the future holds only if she does. I do know what her wishes are anyway so it's not really necessary to discuss. I know the doctors are not always right but I would hate to see her time go on if she can not improve. In the last week she rarely gets out of bed due to the pain in back.

When you get some positive news like with your husband you need to hold onto it and take it a day at a time. I hate that phrase but it is the only way we can all deal with this horrible disease. How long do you think the wait is for a liver transpant, and will that cure the cancer. I do hope so please let me know.

All the best in 2011

John

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2010

We used a combination of the Alcoholics Anonymous "one day at at time" philosophy and Scarlet O'Hara's "I'll think about that tomorrow" mantra.

We didn't worry about what horrors awaited us, but we also sometimes decided that the current horrors could be dealt with "tomorrow." Sometimes things got better and sometimes they got worse, but a few hours of not worrying about anything was the best vacation we could give ourselves.

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

John,
A liver transplant is the only cure for cancer that can't be removed surgically in the liver. my husband is currently in ICU with both liver and kidney failure. The MELD (Mayo Endstage Liver Disease)system of transplant listing is based on numbers 6 through 40, and is designed to avoid long waits for those who are sickest. The only time length of wait is considered is if two individuals have a tie score and a liver becomes available that matches them both.

My husbands MELD score yesterday was 40, which moves him to the front of the line. Pretty good news, except he only has a few weeks to get the transplant. The combination of organ system failures give him a prognosis of three to five weeks.

we are waiting with baited breath.
Penny

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Glad to hear that your hubby was talking to you. Hope he moves up on the liver transplant list fast. It's so hard being a caregiver, but I"m sure being the one who's got cancer is hard too. I hope he has some good days for while. Keep us posted.
Carole

mswijiknyc's picture
mswijiknyc
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

Your story is so similar to mine. Husband dx'ed in September laryngeal stage 4b, had surgery to remove it all, now we are told any treatment would buy time and chemotherapy alone would be palliative.

We watched the Honeymooners last night. I finally got to see the episode where Ralph was the chef of the future. I laughed so hard and enjoyed doing something with Patrick that he enjoys.

All I can do is be present for him and love him. See also my post "A Prayer for the Dying" which sums up how I want our time to be.

The doc gave him 6 months - in reality we are looking at weeks.

All you can do is be there and love her.

sarge57's picture
sarge57
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2010

So many of the stories here are similar regardless of the time left we only want it to be quality time, it is so hard to see them agonizing. This time of year is hard as they as well us know we will not share these holidays again which is so sad.

I did read your prayer for the dying and I found it very touching and what most of us feel.
It is good that you and your husband are home together and I wish you all the best as we know we have a difficult road ahead.

Good Luck
John

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