Feb 26, 2011 - 5:20 pm
Hi - I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I can't find a "new members" forum so here I am.
My husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer in September, had the kidney removed in October, and during the surgery we found that it had metastasized into the lungs and abdominal wall. He is on Sutent for the cancer and appears to be doing really well in that area, but other effects of the disease may kill him before anything else does.
One of the results of the metastasis is that the abdominal tumors "weep" into the abdominal cavity, a condition called ascites (please forgive me if this is old info), and he has to have a paracentesis procedure periodically to drain the fluid. The fluid draws protein from his body and during the paracentesis he loses up to 100 grams of protein, which can be partially (but only partially) replaced by an albumen IV. Our first oncologist (now fired, thank God) let the ascites go so long that the pressure on his stomach caused acid reflux and esophageal erosion, which was invaded by an opportunistic herpes infection. We didn't know about any of this, and the resulting abdominal pain and pain and swelling in the esophagus made it difficult for him to eat, causing dehydration and further weakness. Needless to say, the swelling from the ascites also makes it hard for him to eat.
I finally broke down today because this is the third weekend in a month that he has spent in the emergency room because he did not go for a paracentesis on Friday. I went with him the first two times, my son took him today. I am really trying to be helpful and supportive but I don't know how long I can handle this. I was up until 2:00 this morning with him because he was in so much pain from the ascites. I am under a lot of stress at my job, and I have to keep working because my husband is self-employed and while he can't work mine is our only income. My insurance is also covering his treatment.
If I don't have weekends, I can't clean, grocery shop, or take any time for myself. My Christmas tree is still up and my house is a pigsty because I am in a stupor all the time. When I *am* at work, I can't concentrate. I am a member of a gym but find that less and less do I have enough mental energy to get myself there, even though I know it would be good for me. I am seeing a psychologist but have very few friends and feel uncomfortable burdening other people with this anyhow. I am just so tired and I know my husband is worse off than I am so I feel guilty about being tired and impatient and don't know what to do.