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*Sigh* I FINALLY had to find this place.

dreenme
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011

Hello-

I'm new to the boards, but not new to being a cancer caregiver. My wife was first diagnosed woth breast cancer 6 years ago & the fight really hasn't stopped. We've had primary DX, local reoccurance, mets to bone that caused her to actually break her tibia, and the discovery that mets are in ALL major bones and several minor ones. She's on perma-chemo (as in: permanently on chemo for the rest of her life) My wife still works full time as a teacher (4th grade), but each week gets harder and harder.

We have two young boys (7 & 4 years old)who are a joy, but struggle with Mama being sick. The youngest says things like, "My Mama has treatment that makes her tired. Some Moms don't. Mine does." The 7 year old just crawls in bed, snuggles, and cries when he's dropped off for school. (The 7 year old has learning challenges that make language and expressing feelings difficult)

Not to forget, about a year ago, I had the lovely joy of going through thyroid cancer and treatment. (Sure, it's like getting hit by a tricycle vs her mack truck, but cancer's cancer) So I have lovely mood swings as I deal with the process of my meds.

Anyway, all of this is a long, round a bout way of saying that I'm done. I'm over it. Cancer can take a flying leap for all I care. My family's depressed and I hate what it's doing to us all.

Also, I'm tired of friends. They were there for us in the beginning, but as this has continued and has become a permanent factor in our lives, they have all but dissappeared. No one is there to help either of us through this. And for some reason, the playdates are not happening as promised.

That's it, I'm done ranting, I just needed a place where if I ranted, someone would understand. Someone would just 'get it'. I don't need to explain every detail, I just need to know I'm not alone.

Thanks for reading.

-Dree

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Dree, I get it. My husband of 31 years (also my best friend, favorite comic, ski and biking partner, etc.) passed away from stomach cancer a little over 8 weeks ago (no kids unfortunately). I hate cancer; it s__ks! And rant away as we are here to support you and because we have ranted/do rant on occasion ourselves. Take care.

dreenme
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for your kind words. I'm sorry for your loss and I wish you love through this process in your journey.

Thanks for allowing me the pace to rant, I think I've been missing that lately.

-Dree

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

but I am going to suggest that you be that. I am very pissed off on your behalf that your friends have drifted off and are not helping with the kids, but that won't really help you out. It's not fair that you should have to ask, but it sounds like you need to.

I had a friend who was overwhelmed with what to do about her twins (10ish at the time) while she underwent treatments. She handed her list of friends over to her best friend and asked her to organize rides to after-care, home, clubs, etc. for the kids. I'd suggest something similar - ask the least distant of your friends if he/she could take over organizing play dates/trips out for the kids once a week. You provide the contact information for all those folks who offered to help.

You might piss some folks off, but I'm betting some really want to help, but need the nudge. Your kids need some fun time and you need some rest. I hope you both get it. I salute you and the wife - it is very hard to do what you are doing and it sounds like you are making the best of it.

dreenme
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for the suggestion! I may have to try that.

A neighbor (and friend) of ours randomly offered to watch the boys for a little while yesterday evening, just to give us a few minutes of peace.

I'm glad I have found a place (here) where people seem to understand what's going on in life.

-Dree

tc_sis
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2011

I am truly amazed, each time I see that someone is continuing to work through the symptoms and treatments. It really does speak volumes about the strength and determination of your wife and so many people here.

My heart goes out to your children, I know how confusing and scary all this must be for them.I only hope that more of those well meaning friends will come to realize that your children could sure use some distraction, now and then.

It is a lot better to vent it all out here, than bottle it up and let it rear it's ugly head in your physical health. Some days I feel like even though it's my brother who has cancer, but that cancer has me...helpless and captive, so I tend to vent a whole lot!

Good thoughts for your family...
tc_sis

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

Believe me, we all get it. I was the caregiver for my mother while she had breast cancer and passed away in December of 2009. In the summer of 2010 my husband was diagnosed with primary liver cancer and I was his caregiver until he passed in January of this year. Cancer is a beast that steals lives, steals peace, and steals joy. My heart goes out to your family, especially your boys. My three sons are adults, but the all were reeling from the illness that was inflicted on the family. I cannot imagine the heartache of having a sick mommy when you're young--as an adult child, it definitely brought me to my knees.

The fact that your friends have dropped off is heartbreaking as well. While those of us on this board can't be there for you physically, know that we are with you in spirit. Being able to post here and vent has been a gift for me. I have developed "cyber friendships" that have been absolutely invaluable.

You are not alone. Post often, lurk if you want. Hopefully just knowing that we're here will help you feel more supported.
Penny

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

I get it. My husband fought colon cancer for six years before his death in Oct., 2009. Six years is a long time for your lives to be disrupted on a constant basis. I know you appreciate the time you have been given and I hope you continue to have more time. My husband was retired, so work wasn't a factor. He did keep going, though. We were in Yosemite just days before he passed away. Our sons are grown with families of their own and were a great support for me. We did find that people really wanted to help but didn't know how. When I started asking for specific things, I actually had people thank me for letting them help. We were also lucky to have a church family that helped us in many ways and continues to be there for me. There are programs for children whose parents have cancer. Ask your local American Cancer Society if they can help find one for you to connect with services. I know there are camps for youth whose family are touched by cancer, too. Also, your children may need some counseling to deal with this. If your 7 year old is on an IEP at school ask them to add counseling if it's not already there. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Since your wife is a teacher, I'm guessing that there are people there wanting to help. Ask them to organize a meal once or twice a week or any other specific help you could use. All of this is just some thoughts. I don't have any words of wisdom, I just know how worn out you must all be. The constant stress doesn't help either. Hang in there. Come here whenever you need to vent. Many of us have been there and really do get it. Fay

Cindy Bear
Posts: 560
Joined: Jul 2009

I am so sorry to hear of all your troubles.. you do have your hands full and my heart aches for you. This is the place to come to vent, to ramble, to cuss.... bring it on.. we've all been there and done that. I lost my mother to Uterine cancer in 09, my FIL to a sudden heart attack in 2010 and my BIL to esoph cancer. Cancer sucks and it's esp. rough when you have young children depending on you to be strong. Please hang in there and feel free to vent to us anytime.. we do understand.

eibod
Posts: 160
Joined: Mar 2011

Dree, so sorry to hear that your wife is so ill. My husband has stage 4 colon cancer. dx
on our anniversary in 2009. Since then our life has been cancer. But our children are
grown with their own families, I can't imagine how hard it has been for you with your
little ones, and with your own health issues as well. I will remember you and your
family in my prayers, and hope that you post again to let us know how you are.

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