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Loss of my husband, my best friend

drsolis
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2016

My husband, Rick was diagnosed on November 25 or 26 of 2014. He had throat cancer due to smoking according to doctors. He was sent to treatment and had issues with the center. Then in February 14th of 2015, on our anniversary, he had to be hospitalized. He was having difficulty swallowing and breathing. They did an emergency tracheostomy the next day and then on Wednesday, the 18th, he had his lower set of teeth removed and a PEG tube inserted. He was not happy. He fought and fought hard. He had many complications that nobody would address. Either way, we wound up in the hospital again in August right before his birthday. He wound up being diagnosed with PE and leg clots. They rushed him to ICU and we waited, because they were afraid of issues on his heart. He wound up being ok enough to do just lovenox. He hated it, but we continued on. In October is when we would get a huge scare, because he began to bleed from the trach, his nose, and his mouth. We went to ER and they admitted him for observation. No clue what he had going on, because they just pumped him full of antibiotics and let him go. We then had the holidays and he began bleeding again right after Christmas. He mentioned that he did not want to go to the hospital until after the New Year. So, we spent the week after Christmas just doing things we needed. New Year's eve went great and up until 2 am or so on New Year's day was when we were having some fun. We began to get sleepy and so we went to lay down. At about 9 something in the morning, he was using the restroom and I checked on him. He seemed fine, and then I went to get his meds ready and go back under the covers because I was cold. Then he coughed with a congested sound and I went back to the restroom. This time, something went wrong. Blood was everywhere. He was trying to maintain calmness. I turned to get the phone and he was up and the blood was coming out more. I told him, I am calling an ambulance and as stubborn as he was, he said "no, call my mom". So I did and she didn't answer me. So he said fine, call the ambulance. Within that time, the house was becoming bloody, because his anxiety kicked in and I was trying to keep calm, because we didn't want him to die. As I finished with the dispatcher, it seemed like an eternity for the ambulance to show. He was able to tell me, "I love you both." We have a 13 year old. He also told me that he was having trouble breathing. The ambulance finally got there and he was walking out to the stretcher, but the EMT made him go back and get a towel for all the blood. He got back to the stretcher and he told me, "make sure they don't lay me back." And I did, but the EMT made me go get his meds, and I had to grab our daughter and turn off all heat sources I could remember. That took me a few moments, and I ran back out and knocked on the side door of the ambulance and on the back of the ambulance, but nothing. THEY DIDN'T LET ME IN!!!! They turned on the sirens and took off. I yelled to our daughter and she hurried and we jumped in the truck and I sped off. I didn't have a care in the world other than to get to him. I got to the ER and told the nurse that they'd just brough my husband in. She said, "I'm sorry, we can't let you back yet." UGH, why is time so slow. It seemed like forever, but his mom and step dad finally showed up and at that point a nurse came out and asked for me. She wanted his meds. We walked back and she told me, his heart stopped and I lost it, but kept it together all at the same time. I needed him. He's only 38 and we've been together going on 15 years! Either way, she says "you can go back or stay out here." No, I wanted to see him. I needed to. So, I walk back and they are pumping his chest. The dr tells me, he was responsive until he got here and his heart stopped. They tried 6 rounds of epinephrine and were now on CPR. About 5 minutes later, they gave up. He wasn't coming back. AHHHH, I cried. Alone, I cried. The nurse asked me who to call back and I asked for his mom. She cried too. They took us to a room and brought our daughter, his step dad and grandfather back. Our daughter lost it. She was broken. I hate cancer! They were cleaning him up and getting him ready for us to go see. He was so cold. He hated being cold. I hate how he passed on. He suffered. He had had enough suffering. Why couldn't he pass on peacefully? I also live with regret, because I don't truly know what happened when they got him in the ambulance. I don't know if they layed him back or what. I don't know.

 

I don't even know how to move on. We were supposed to grow old together. I am only 33. I lost my husband. I have people telling me he's in a better place. NO, NO HE'S NOT. He was supposed to be here and see our daughter grow up, graduate. I have other's telling me, you'll find someone later on. NO, I MARRIED HIM!! He was my partner for life. Oh, I just don't know.

cheatinlil's picture
cheatinlil
Posts: 194
Joined: Jun 2014

drsolis

I have no words for you. Just HUGS.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  It is a horrible thing.  I am hear for you if you need someone to listen.  Keep typing we all need you. 

drsolis
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2016

Thank you. I trying to get through it, but oh, it is a struggle. Everyone tells me different things and I really just want to curl up and cry and not go on, but I can't show our daughter that.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

I am sorry for all the worries and stress you and your husband have gone through.  It is very disturbing to hear it seems you never felt as though you got resolution for the issues Rick was having.

My husband's experience with throat cancer (hypopharyngeal stage 4) could not have been more different than your husband's and that makes me even more sad for your loss.  I'm upset your husband's course of treatment went so badly.

While my husband now lives with the side effects of head and neck cancer treatment, the trauma you have experienced is disturbing.  Please get help dealing with this and assume your daughter also needs someone to talk to.

You may not want to think about it right now but you will be ok and come out of the other side of this.  Well-meaning friends watched you go through this last year and they are trying to give you the hope and desire to go forward.  You will, but at your own pace.  It is normal that a person in your position, watching your husband suffer for so long, has considered the possibility you may have to go on without him and make tentative plans for your daughter and yourself.  I hope you have.  It is a good and normal thing to do, even it was only briefly.

drsolis
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2016

Yeah, I really wish I had the closure I feel I need to move on, I mean, he suffered his whole life and then the cancer and even his death he suffered. I just wish he would have gone peaceful. I mean, I wish he was here still dealing and fighting, but for whatever good reason, he is not. We are trying to go on, but it has mostly been us for the past 14 or so years.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

There are some things they don't tell you when you start cancer treatment.

Jim survived the cancer but now he has some incredibly serious side effects from the treatment, several of which are life-threatening.  Jim has been through the ER three times in the past year with a DNR bracelet at one and mini strokes at another.  It has been an emotional and physical roller coaster.  I never know when I come home from work whether I will find him alive or dead because of a condition called dysautonomia which causes extremes in blood pressure which cannot be controlled.

I cherish every moment with Jim and I can only imagine how much you miss Rick.  Every day a little more of Jim's independence and privacy and privacy slip away and with them, Jim.

If Rick could be back with you whole and healthy, I would wish that for you because I surely want Jim's health and whole self back.  Failing that, I pray for acceptance and resolution and good thoughts and memories for you and your daughter.

Hugs.

drsolis
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2016

Hugs back at you.

I just wish the doctors would have done something to be on top of this more. I am suffering and try to hold on, but it isn't easy. Life just goes on for others like nothing and my partner, my best friend, the one I should grow old with is gone. It hurts so bad, I just want to lay down and do nothing. I know I can't, because as an adult, I have responsibilities, but I am truly suffering. I HATE IT!!!!

Noellesmom
Posts: 1859
Joined: Aug 2010

When we lose someone we love it seems impossible that we can even breathe sometimes.  Maybe that is why we catch ourselves holding our breath and have to remind ourselves to exhale.  The good thing is once we do exhale, we are compelled to take that next gasp of good, refreshing air we so desperately need.

I suspect you have been holding your breath since Rick became ill.  You are exhausted.  Remember to breathe and rest.  Your will to go on will return.

debbieg5's picture
debbieg5
Posts: 170
Joined: Nov 2010

Drsolis....I truly know how you feel.  It sounds very similar to my husband's experience.  He had already had a full laryngectomy and couldn't speak at all.  We don't know exactly what happened.  He was in the bathroom and I heard strange gurgling, coughing noises.  I just thought he was trying to clear the trach tube.  When i went in to check, all I saw was blood everywhere but didn't know where it was coming from.  He was clinging to the towel rack.  I looked at him and asked what was happening.  He looked into my eyes for just a few seconds and collapsed.  My daugher rushed in and tried to raise him up and hold him and he was bleeding to death.  It seemed an eternity for the ambulance to get there.  Same as you....following him to the hospital, not being let in at first, then taken to "the room" for consultation and finally to see his body.  I can still picture it all like it was yesterday.

I would suggest that you and your daughter may want to seek some counseling.  I was raised under the ideas that you just sucked it up and moved on when bad things happened. I tried for 2 years and things got worse.  Eventually I had to admit that I had some issues that were not going away and saw a therapist.  It took a long time and the process was hard but it greatly helped.  Please feel free to come on this board and let out your thoguhts and feelings.  We are all here to help.

Debbie

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