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In shock!

Posts: 25
Joined: May 2014


Two days ago, we found out my husband has colon cancer. Now he's facing a battery of tests - MRI, CT SCAN, SURGERY, POSSIBLY RADIATION AND CHEMO. I love him with all my heart but  my first instinct was that I wanted to run away - just simply run away from it all.

For the past 10 years, my husband has been sick. He's had open heart surgery, a huge, huge battle with arrhythmias including life-threatening ones, seizures, then the addition of stents where his body rejected the first set and they had to re-do them. His heart has been a constant battle. Then along came prostate cancer 5 years ago.

Four years ago he had a colonoscopy and had benign polyps removed. He was told to get another one in 3 years, but we had to wait 4 because of the stents - he was not allowed to come off his bloodthinners for one year. So when the doctor asked to see me after his colonoscopy, I figured it was that he had more polyps and they'd have to test them. Instead I was greeted with pictures of his colon and how he needs a battery of tests and surgery and that it was cancer.

I felt completely exhausted and worn-out by it all. It's been 10 years of waiting in waiting rooms several times a year to hear what the diagnosis is for his many many ailments. Ten long years of dealing with his mood swings and ten years of stress.

Of course I will stay by his side and do everything in my power to help him but man oh man, I just want to run away.

Anyone else feel this way at times?


wolfen's picture
Posts: 1316
Joined: Apr 2009


Being human, not one of us is perfect. I'm sure as caregivers, we have all felt what you are feeling at one time or another. But as I think back over many, many years of caregiving, I wonder how far I would have had to run to escape the love I felt for my husband. I knew that if our roles were reversed , he would not have run away.

For the last 25 years of our 40+ year marriage, he was ill with diabetes, heart attacks, heart surgeries, urologic problems, amputation of foot, & 2 types of cancer. Mood swings & stress were a way of life. Our lives were ruled by appointments, tests, hospitalizations, treatments, & too many medicatons to count. Six months after the cancer diagnosis, his tired, pain riddled body finally said "ENOUGH". Strange as it may seem, I would welcome all those things back in my life again if only he were still here now. Of course, for his sake, I would wish for much better health for him.

Do not let the cancer rule your lives as it does mine. My daughter is a 6 year colon cancer fighter, so our situations are a bit different now. Check with your doctor's office or hospital for cancer support groups in your area. It is truly comforting to find others who care and who "get it".

Best of luck to you both.



grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I am so sorry you are having to deal with yet more illness. I felt like I wanted to run away at times when I cared for my husband with colon cancer. The biggest problem was that he was the one I wanted to run away with. We even did that a few times, escaping the reality of the cancer. When he felt well enough, we often went away knowing that we could only run away between surgeries, chemo, and other treatments for a few days. Then we would come home and face the real world. you are not alone. I think most of us caregivers have felt like running at one time or another. Fay

Posts: 25
Joined: May 2014

Awwwww.... thank you so much for your kind, kind comments. I'm feeling much better now - stronger and ready to face what needs to be faced. I love my husband with all my heart and would never really run away - I was just feeling so shocked and panicky. Mike had just gone through a battery of heart tests and we got the good news that everything was okay (at least for now) so the colon cancer was a real shock. After all, 4 years ago his polyps were benign so I figured the worst he would have was polyps that had to be biopsied. I had no idea he would actually have cancer. But we'll get through this together, just like we've got through all the rest. Because it's a long weekend here in Canada, we won't hear anything until tomorrow - Tuesday - and then hopefully we'll have the times for the MRI and CT scan etc.

Thanks for listening. It was such a shock and we couldn't even talk much to the doctor because he was in a rush - he had a whole line-up of patients to see - so it was all a blur.

So I'm treasuring every moment with him and I will definitely be by his side every step of the way.



Posts: 66
Joined: May 2013

Dear Sue,

Wow. I just posted a little paragraph on the site just now about caregiving because I thought I was having a bad day. You have put me to shame. You must be a strong person. Totally understandable after 10 years to feel like running away. Shoot it's 2 1/2 years of my mom having first,  stage 4 Colon cancer and now advanced Colon Cancer with mets to bone. And there are time I want to run for the hills. You are a beautiful person and even though we don't know your personally know that you are loved and understood.



Posts: 1856
Joined: Aug 2010

While my husband was going through treatment and the stresses of trying to get everything accomplished that we need for our family, I often thought that while it is lovely to have the retreats that are held for cancer patients, wouldn't it be wonderful to have one for their caregivers?

I know we all want to be with them every minute we can to help in whatever way we can but a beach trip with people who understand the stresses caregivers gladly endure for their loved ones sounds really nice.Cool


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