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Sandy and Laz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I know both of you have doctor appointments today and I am sending good thoughts, prayers, and hugs!! Stay strong!

mp327's picture
mp327
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Joined: Jan 2010

I would like to second what Marynb said!  May all go well today for both of you!

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

...so much!

Laz

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 788
Joined: May 2011

I was thinking of you too, Laz. You are a wonderful addition to our group. Good luck.

What stage were you at the time of diagnosis?

All the best,

Sandy

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

I'm being hooked up right now. I feel good and very optimistic.

All the best for you as well,

Laz

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 788
Joined: May 2011

My Pulmonologist, in whose care I have been for many years got quite a few laughs with me bringing in the scan reports with all the circles and question marks. He answered my questions and seemed to understand perfectly well why it was frustrating to read for me it showing new things on it and enlargements and lymph nodes lit up. It looked to me to be awful.

He said I had a terrible inflammation at the time they took the scan, and that affected the outcome. He said he feels certain the glowing lymph gland just confirmed the beginning of some infection that has now cleared up. I do have a lung condition that is chronic and progressive, but it is not cancer. He feels sure about that, but said he will review the disc when they send it to him. (I have to request it). He also said medicine is unpredictable some of the time and often there is no absolute way to predict how something will progress or improve. He doesn't even really have a firm diagnosis for what is wrong with my lungs. He just measures my breathing and acts quickly when I get inflammations. He said I actually could lose the hearing in my other ear, which upset me. He said it is highly unlikely, but it could happen.

Martha was exactly right with her response to my worries. He said the radiologists say some of the same things differently so it doesn't work very well sometimes to compare reports. He just goes to the disc to read for himself. I felt quite relieved and happy when I left his office, until I got home.

Thank you for being there. My husband acts like he is fed up. He has been sarcastic and dismissive. It's really hard to be with him. Sometimes I think he is just not in love with me any more. He can't show empathy or be comforting to me. He just acted like "I knew it all the time" thing. It's been this way the whole time. I don't think I ever really knew him until this all came up. He could calm me better than anyone if he would just sit beside me and hold my hand and tell me he understands or something. But he just tasks away,which is admirable but he judges my behavior, about learning about my illness through research pretty obsessively, when he has hardly ever been sick a day in his life.

Maybe after this 2nd anniversary of last tx has passed, things will improve. He is trying to be a really good husband, I know that, and he is. This cancer business has brought out the worst of both of us.

Thank you, my friends! I really would be out of my gourd if it weren't for you!

Sandy

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

Sounds much better!

As far as your husband is concerned, probably I don't tell you a secret that we, men are pretty childish when it comes to emotions and commited relationships. When things change and they are not like they used to be, we get stubborn and offen close up. We don't say "I love you" or "I'm here for you" verbally. We make you a cup of tea and put it down next to you without look at you or saying a word. Or we research everything about your problem and start lecturing you about the solution like we do our buddies. But women don't speak this kind of "language" at all. You speak the language of holding hands, hugs , closeness and endless conversations filled with real feelings.

My suggestion to communicate this to a man is this. Do Not sit him down face to face or lock him in a corner. This is way confrontational and scary for a man and he won't hear a word you are saying, shot down and/or get angry. What you do is take him for a walk or a ride in a car, where he doesn't have to look you in the eye while one of you is talking. I know, I know. For women communication without eye contact is not coplete, but if you want your man to get you, you have to compromise.

And tell him everything you told us above and more.

Laz.

pializ
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Joined: Nov 2012

Mars & Venus...... Laz you explained that very well.  

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 788
Joined: May 2011

Laz

I never would have thought of that in a thousand years. Thank you. This is my third marriage and I always found out at the end of my marriages that my ex husbands were only ever acting tough. If only I had know, particularly in my second relationship, marriage how afraid he was of losing me. They both acted like they really didn't care, it seemed to me.

My third husband and I have been together for 20 years and I still don't know how to communicate effectively or feel like I have been heard, but perhaps this is what is wrong. I do usually look him in the eye and the way he seems to be is like distant, remote and if he is angry, he becomes dark in color and sulks, becoming even more remote and distant, which just makes me feel so abandoned!

You probably just said way more than the PHD Psychologists and Medically trained Psychiatrist I will see, right there, Laz. ha, ha!

Still I will have to train myself at this. I will definitely work on my end. He is worth it. He is a very gentle soul and good person who loves at least some version of me.

Thanks!

Sandy

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

First, let me say that I am very happy to hear that your doctor was able to explain away some of the things on your scan report.  My friend, Dr. Mac, who is a radiologist, and I had a discussion one night when he brought me my scan results about how scary some of the things reported on a scan can be to the patient, even though they are completely benign.  In his words "there is no such thing as a perfect scan."  I could have gone forever without knowing that at sometime in the past I had been infected with histoplasmosis or that I had a cyst on one of my kidneys, even though neither of these things are cause for any alarm. 

Your comments about how your husband is reacting to all this make me quite sad.  If it gives you any consolation, my husband is not a touchy-feely kind of person either and when he sees I am down or not feeling well, his reaction is usually just to leave me alone, when I would really appreciate a hug or some hand holding.  That's not to say that he didn't take good care of me while I was going through treatment because he did, or that he isn't a good husband because he is.  But we are different in some ways and what we need from each other.  My 5-year anniversary of being a survivor is coming up and I don't think he fully understands the significance of it and how I would like to do something special with him, such as take a trip and spend some time together.  He wants to buy me another piece of jewelry, of which I have enough as is.  The other thing that has bugged me in the last 5 years is his lack of knowledge about this type of cancer.  He has done no reading up on it and doesn't care to know even the most basic things about it.  Ignorance seems to be bliss for him.  In his defense, I think he is being a typical guy in that if something is not discussed, it will just go away.  Meanwhile, I deal with abdominal adhesions, excruciating stomach pains and unpredictable mad dashes to the bathroom.  I realize he can't fix that, but just holding me for a little while when I have an episode would certainly make me feel better.

Okay, I'm finished!  Just know that you can come here and unload any time you want.  We may not always completely understand, but I think we do most of the time--and we will ALWAYS listen!  Love and hugs to you, my dear friend.   

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

You said it yourself, we are different with different needs. We have to know each other's language. I know I have been with my wife for only two years and that's not enough time for these issues to develope. But I had a failed 20 year long marriage and a devastating  divorce. That motivated me to observe and learn about myself, women, relationships, communication between the genders. Also to make changes in myself. For example, I really believe that a couple has to stay attractive for each other physically, hygiene and grooming wise (women are much better at this) and doing admirable things to each other and to others in our every day lives. I for example wear a casual suit every single day, because it makes me feel and act attractive a I noticed when I met my wife that she likes it like most women like an attractive men. I never show myself at home in some torn up outfit and I learned this late in life about 3 years ago.

Learned to communicate the way he understands it. Is it perfect? No. But the best I know.

Communicate with your man the way I described it above. Copy him the way he shows that he cares with his drinks and stuff. 

Ask for what you want and need. The problem is not what you need, it is the way you ask for it. Ask him what he needs and give it to him.

Don't give up on your relationship no matter how long it has been like this. This is the most precious thing you have besides your health. Would you ever give up on that?

lf you have more questions don't hasitate to email me and that goes for everybody here.

Thank you for listening,

Laz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Wish I had understood the different communication styles before my horrible divorce. I still don't really get most men. I have several friends getting divorced right now, after very long marriages. I just tell them that I have no idea what men want, so I can be of no help! I actually think that I communicate more like a typical man, as I don't dwell on emotions, and try to solve problems rationally without all the fluff.

If I ever decide to marry again, I will give your suggestions a try! Lol

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sandysp
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Joined: May 2011

Martha,

Are we married to the same man? That's exactly the way I feel. I understand completely about your wanting to celebrate your fifth anniversary doing something together. Being removed to a festive and celebratory place, maybe like a Club Med or something. Laz is right. Try going for a car drive together (where there is not much traffic) and see what happens.

Fondly,

Sandy

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

LOL!  Is your husband lying on the couch right now sound asleep and snoring?  If so, we COULD be married to the same man!  LOL! 

About the car drive, we do plenty of that on Sundays in our old convertible, but it's usually a pretty quiet ride.  For one, the radio doesn't work, and for two, hubs is just so into driving that car, he rarely says a word.  I am working on him, dropping a few hints here and there about going away for a long weekend in between my anniversary date and my birthday.  We'll see what happens! 

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 788
Joined: May 2011

Look for what YOU would like, get the brochures, and ask him which one he prefers while looking anywhere else but at him! :-)

P.S.

(I need to remember this advice).

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

No, you are not married to the same man. This is just incredibly common. I agree with Cynthia. Sit next to him, ask for what want and give him something to choose from. That will make him fill like he made the decision after all.

By the way, after I learned this I never set face to face to a woman. Not on a date, not at the dinner table. This way "you are both looking at the same thing" and you can comment or talk about it. On the other hand I learned great eye contact when talking and listening, the importance of  hand holding, hugs.

Laz

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

Laz - Wow! I must say your comments about communicating with men are very interesting. My husband was good to me during my treatments, but a few things baffled me during that time and still do........ He is a scientist, very intelligent, and will do all kinds of research about certain things (dog training for example), but yet never did one ounce of research on my cancer or the treatments, nor did he ever ask one question of a Dr. when he would accompany me on Dr. visits......... It made me feel like he didn't care, but I know this is not true. After a while I just thought maybe it was fear, he didn't want to do research, since it would probably be bad news since I was Stage 3B with lymph node involvement......  The other thing that baffled me was him getting really, really mad at me a few times for stuff that I would have overlooked had the situation been in reverse. Maybe his way of letting loose of his fear and lack of control about what was going on? I guess it's just as hard for women to figure out men as it is for men to figure out women..... Thanks for being willing to share some of this mysterious, secret world and giving suggestions on how to communicate.Smile

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

I was disappointed with my husband too, in that he made no attempt to learn anything about this cancer when I was diagnosed.  He is a person who is not into details, such as when he talks to his mom on the phone for a half hour and I ask him for an update afterwards.  His response--everything's okay.  That's all I get!  I think that's what a lot of men want--for everything to be okay.  I think burying their emotions is one way they deal with this.  If they don't think about it, it will go away.  I am quite the opposite.  I want to know what's going on and what I can do about it. 

Perhaps we all need to go on Dr. Phil to discuss this.  Smile

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sephie
Posts: 523
Joined: Apr 2009

ok... i agree with all of you...we are all married to almost the same man....my hubby also never resesarched anal cancer and he thinks i stay on this web site too  long...he is a good man and i was only married to him for 6 years when i got this dx.... one bad time:  he  got soooooo mad at me the week after tx had finished ..  i was released from the icu and hospital part of MDAnderson   and i was sooooo tired i could barely make it to the hotel room so i cut my cell off ... he was trying to reach me to ask if he should buy this doctor ordered rx that was soooo expensive and blue cross would not pay for it.... i could barely think much less make a decision...he blew up...really hurt my feelings... later on another time,, i was upset due to blood in bm after 3 years post tx.... he just scoffed and said that it was nothing... so now i do not even mention it or my fear....of which , i have had lots more blood many more times  ( getting anoscope at end of month to check).... hubbys are not perfect and do cause stress .... but he is doing the best he can.....do not want to complain too much cause i know it is hard on him.....sephie

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

I so agree with you - I don't want to be hard on my husband either; I think he too did the best he could....... I can SO RELATE to your post though,  cuz my husband got REALLY mad at me on the way home from the hospital cuz I was acting demanding at the pharmacy and it REALLY hurt my feelings and I cried for hours afterwards........ Thinking back, I probably was acting kind of bad, but I just couldn't help it cuz I was so sick and frustrated and couldn't hardly stand to be on my feet.............. And we were only married for TWO MONTHS when I found out I had cancer!! (we had been together for a long time though before we got married). During our marriage ceremony the Clerk of the Peace said something like - There will be good times, but there certainly will be bad times!!! Boy was she right and we had no idea it was right around the corner...... But we came through it, we still love each other, and he still can make me laugh everyday so I count my blessings!

 

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

I saw one of your previous posts about celebrating your 5 year survival with your husband. If you haven't already, I would suggest just TELLING him what you want to do to celebrate, that you don't want jewels, you want to spend time together..... In July we celebrated my being cancer free for one year.... I told him, I want to go out somewhere special to dinner..... He agreed and we really had a nice time togeher. Sometimes you just have to hit them over the head with stuff. Subtle suggestions just don't work. lol

 

mp327's picture
mp327
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Joined: Jan 2010

Sometimes we have to be direct and to the point--you are right!  I'm sure we will find some way to celebrate this special milestone together.  However, I may be celebrating it in another way as well.  I am on a cancer blog and a get together has been planned for early November in San Diego.  My husband is encouraging me to go, as (to my surprise) I think he realizes how meaningful this would be for me.  I would have an opportunity to meet many of the people I've been online with for several years now.  That really excites me!  So I may go--still sleeping on it.

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2011

If someone asks ME how I'm doing he is quick to answer... "Oh she's doing great, can't get far from the bathroom, and she's tired a lot, etc, ect.". I QUIT taking him to the doctors with me because he either corrects or adds to my answers!!  Its true that he cooks for me (us) but always has!  He researched what I SHOULD be eating but has just gotten the hang of sometimes it's more CAN EAT than should eat!

Now I have to say he was  and  is an awesome caregiver.  I have had to run him off to get him to do something for himself.  He kept track of meds, built a redneck bidet (his term) for me!  (a hand held shower with warm water beside the toilet) talked to my friends when I wasn't able, etc.etc.

BUT he is NOT the romantic, handholding type.  He dresses in sport shorts and tshirts around the house, and if they don't match?  Oh well!!!  So over the 20 plus years we have been together I have learned to ASK FOR WHAT I NEED OR WANT!  "lets take a walk and hold hands, I really need hugs today, please try not to look homeless when you go to the grocery store!"  And he always says, Oh, that sounds wonderful, or, "hey, my socks match, and I'm going by myself so do I have to change?"   

The one thing he always does for himself is go to the gym and workout nearly every day of the week.  He walks to the gym around 430 in the morning and works out for an hour or so.  (I'm still asleep when he gets back, LOL!). He's a special, stubborn man who loves with all his heart but boy does he not show it!  EVER WONDER HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT US?  If caregiving is hard, being sick and miserable sure makes it difficult to be loving and caring to people in return!  Hugs to everyone!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

That I will never get men! I am blessed with wonderful brothers and brothers in law and they are all very caring, open, demonstrative men. I guess I expected to be treated the same way from my former husband. Bottom line, I am just fine being single now......lol.

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

I have come to the conclusion that being not so good at caregiving must be biological in nature.  There was such a difference between the patience and tolerance of my female friends vs. my husband in dealing with me when I was really sick that it was astounding. Not to say that he isn't a good man because he is. He cooked for me everyday and tried hard to get me to eat (he's the main cook of the house anyway cuz he likes it and I don't) and took me to my radiation treatments and Dr. appointments when I was so sick I couldn't drive. But not good at doing dishes or cleaning the house or doing the laundry during this period of time when I flat-out just couldn't do it, so the house was a pig pen. This to me is all part of caregiving, but he just didn't get that at all.  It just seemed he had a hard time dealing with me when I was really sick and needy after I came out of the hospital.  He said I seemed like an "alien" to him, that I was demanding, and I could tell he was annoyed with me at times although he wouldn't admit it.  He just didn't get how sick and desperate I was, (and yes I felt like an alien in my own body) and I couldn't even begin to explain it to him or anyone else for that matter. But my female friends seemed to "get it" even though none of them had experienced cancer, radiation or chemo themselves. So I just think some of this must be biological in nature... men are biologically geared to provide and protect, and women are geared for nurturing, and our brains are just "wired" that way.  Maybe Dr. Phil could shed some light on all of this for us, as Martha suggested..... Smile

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I really, really, don't buy the biological difference excuse. Jerks are just jerks and women let them get away with it!

Sorry to vent...but darn it feels good!!! Lol

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

I must say a part of me agrees with this too. lol

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

...there is a huge biological deference between the genders that fundamentally regulates how we communicate, relate and react. But within one gender there is a broad spectrum. Some try their best through intelligent effort to bridge these differences and maintain a healthy, caring relationship, some don't give a damn and stay ignorant, selfish jerks and *****e$. I'm dealing with one myself too.

I don't care, I still haven't given up on good relationships, romance and making everyday the best I can make it to myself, my loved ones and the world. What else would I live for?

Laz

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am sort of being tongue and cheek, but I do think men are perfectly capable of being kind, considerate, communicative, and demonstrably caring.

If I ever have another committed relationship, the man would have to be all of the above. I put up with a self centered man for over 2 decades and I would never put up with it again. That is just me.

I focus all my love on my child, my family, and close friends. Real love is all there is to live for, I agree!

eihtak
Posts: 840
Joined: Oct 2011

We come in in all different shapes and sizes and no two are the same. I was blessed to grow up in a home where both my mom and dad displayed, kindness, respect, responsibility, faith, fun and romance daily. When my dad was treated for prostate cancer 20yrs ago my mom dug deep for patience, and found just what they both needed, then 8yrs ago she was treated for ovarion cancer and he was devastated but remained the strong husband he always was, he didn't quite understand what she was going through but he often sat NEXT to her while she rested, feeling sick and watched HER favorite shows on t.v. Sometimes she would dose off, but he would continue watching so he could tell her how it ended. When she died after 3yrs he continued, and still does  watch some of her favorite shows, he says he doesn't like them but when he gets to heaven he knows she'll be talking about them!

My husband was treated for cancer (a bone marrow transplant) during the same time that I was recovering and then as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although the "romance" left our marriage long before either of us got sick......truthfully I don't know if it was ever there????, we were and remain the BEST of friends. We will be married 30yrs this month and have raised 5 children and help with 6 grandkids. I usually think that Gods plan in making my husband sick was not to cause more stress but to make him a better caregiver for me. He has done little if any research on my cancers or treatments, the fact that I have a colostomy completely freaks him out, but in his "manly" quiet way, he is always there for me. We are comfortable with each other and I couln't imagine going through this with anyone else.

As always, all in my prayers as we move forward in health.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Your Mom and Dad must have been the sweetest couple. Sounds like your husband is a very good man too! Romance is terrific, but fleeting. Love endures. When I go to the hospital and see the couples holding hands in the waiting room, or in the infusion center, or radiation wing, I smile to know that real love is possible, and know very well that I had tons of romance(and it was great fun), but the man I was married to for 20 years never loved me.

I really don't think being uncaring is a gender issue. There are caring men and caring women. Uncaring men and uncaring women. I don't think it is a biological difference. I know it isn't. It may be a sociological influence, but not biological. Parents need to really focus on raising caring boys to men!

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

Loving care is present in both genders, we just express it differently as we discussed it above And we have different needs. 

The way I see romance and love is this. Love being a very intense emotion, we have no control over. It is there or it is not. Too often it  happens that two people fall in love then this emotion subsides and they freak out, because they can't regenerate it. If love endures it's great. But what if it goes away and you are stock in a marriage with kids and mortgage?

I believe in attraction on top of love. Attraction says it in its meaning: pulling two people together. I like it because attraction can be generated and maintained. Everybody can and should dress attractively, be groomed all the time, treat others with respect, perform attractive and admirable things for themselves and to others. When you are attracted to a person even if love subsides or disappears you have something holding you two and your family together. Relying and building a future and family on an unpredictable emotion like love is irresponsible. You can't work on love, but you can always improve attraction towards one an other.

Laz

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Without going into it too deeply, I do not agree that we " have no control over love". I think that love is a choice. It is much, much deeper than attraction, which is fleeting. Love is what I see in the hospital, not attraction! A cancer patient who is vomitting from chemo may not be attractive, but may be very loved. Love is sooooo much more than physical attraction!

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 852
Joined: Jun 2013

...if you talk about universal love, but this discussion started about marriages and romantic relationships between men and women. 

Im all for love and I'm in love now, but we see it way too often that love subsides, burns out and may disappear. I'd like to, but I can't build my realationship and family on something that way too often disappears between couples. Should all relationships and the families built on them be damned as soon as the love goes away. No! You need a force that holds it together just in case. And attraction, admiration, respect are perfect for that, because they can be maintained forever. Is attraction fleeting? If you let it. If your man walks around in the house in pee stained pajamas, if the woman wears her green cucumber mask in front of me, if he is a jerk with the waiter without a reason, if you curse out your own mother infront of your children...

Both men and women will check out an attractive person, we all notice someone who is kind, we recognize hard selfless charity work. And this works in romantic relationships too, it just takes some learning, implementation and maintainance that not too many people are willing to do. Guys get the wondering eyes or porn, women have their fantasies and their girlfriends to complain of lost love and excitement.

Look what a cancer forum posting turns into ;)

 Laz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I still believe that real love endures all things. A marriage is only meaningful if it is based on real love, not attraction. I know nothing about attraction.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 788
Joined: May 2011

That description of how your Dad was when your Mom was sick brought tears to my eyes. That is what I craved. Him sitting with me even to watch a tv show he wasn't particularly loving. I was lonely a lot. He left me several weekends for motorcycle trips when I was at my sickest. But when he was home, he never made me a smoothie. People from the church were making him dinners at my request, and he never blended me a smoothie. But I didn't know how to ask for help. So I have really been working at my communication and learning to be a lot more direct so he knows I have needs and from time to time expect him to help me with them.

This has been interesting reading. I just got back from a trip and am catching up! God bless your parents.

All the best,

Sandy

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