keeping me in the dark...

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Hi everyone,
Just for a background, I'm married to my HS sweetheart of 20 yrs. The 'love of my life'. Well 3 yrs ago he was diagnosed with stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma, rt tonsil and 1 Lymph Node. Chemo/Rad(Cisplatin) cocktail worked great, he lost 42 lbs but made it thru with flying colors. It was a rough 4 months but the doctors were amazed at how well he did. He was 38 at the time.

Now on to the present. Recently, well 3-4 months ago, I noticed changes in him. Attitude, eatting and then the coughing. After being together for 25 yrs and going thru cancer the first round you notice changes immediately. I asked if he was 'ok', he said of course don't be silly. More time went on, coughing and out of breath at times. Nothing. Until one night he had 1 too many(I know drinking is a no-no, but occassionally is ok), he decided to break down and tell me it's back. And that I was right when I said I think he's 'sick' again. He went on to say it's in his lungs now, a few 'spots', but no need to worry, dr's are watching it. After I let this sink in, we had a talk where he then informed me that the drs are watching it(2-3 spots in his lungs) but told him if it is back there's not alot of options. Surgery w chemo or nothing. Well my husband said he just wants to live life and what happens....happens. I'm devastated by this, can't sleep etc. We have faught none stop for 6 wks bc of his mood swings. If this really is it, I don't want to spend time argueing. Is he doing this to push me away, to make me mad and not sad? We have a 20 yr old daughter who has also noticed changes but hasn't asked what's going on.
Has anyone else gone thru this? What can I do besides be mad and try not to cry all the time??

Comments

  • alaskanjan
    alaskanjan Member Posts: 42
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    Pain
    First of all, I feel so badly for you because I see the pain in your heart. It is so hard to be pushed away when you need understanding and support too. You two have been together for a very long time and have been through so much together. Maybe it would help if you could get it across to him that this is not just his cancer...from the start I knew, as did my husband that this was "our" cancer, not just his. I suspect that he has not truly meant to wall you out but rather is turning inward, possibly because that is his way of being strong. You are right, arguing and being at odds with each other is not helping either of you to cope with this. I wish there was a magic answer that could turn it around but I think by appealing to his sense of caring for you too he might be more open to discussion. God Bless you both.
  • buzz99
    buzz99 Member Posts: 404
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    In the dark
    First of all I would like to say I know exactly what you are going through. Wanting to cry all the time and feeling a lot of anger are entirely normal. My hubby's cancer is back and he is receiving Palliative chemo which does not seem to be working. What I don't understand is that your husband's cancer may be back but you did not know anything about it. Did these spots show up on a scan? Does watching them mean another scan is planned? Sometimes nodules show up in the lungs but when they don't change over time they are probably benign. As for mood changes, it would be wise to get your husband checked for depression. He might benefit from an anti-depressant. I hope you two are able to talk about this situation. You can only benefit from being open and honest. I am here for you. Karen
  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    buzz99 said:

    In the dark
    First of all I would like to say I know exactly what you are going through. Wanting to cry all the time and feeling a lot of anger are entirely normal. My hubby's cancer is back and he is receiving Palliative chemo which does not seem to be working. What I don't understand is that your husband's cancer may be back but you did not know anything about it. Did these spots show up on a scan? Does watching them mean another scan is planned? Sometimes nodules show up in the lungs but when they don't change over time they are probably benign. As for mood changes, it would be wise to get your husband checked for depression. He might benefit from an anti-depressant. I hope you two are able to talk about this situation. You can only benefit from being open and honest. I am here for you. Karen

    Karen is right !
    Hello !
    I am a cancer survivor...but saw my Father go through the mood swings with my Mother. I feel for both of you. I am not a walk in the park most days...very moody. Keep open communication, so that he knows your there for him. But also let him make the harsh decissions knowing that your walking shoulder to shoulder with him. Also please take care of you in all of this. He may need meds for this....but you might too ? I wish there was a magic fix for this....I'll be thinking of you both and hoping and praying things look better soon. Warmest regards, Katie
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    let her in
    Hi loveofmylife92,

    I am sorry for the pain and anguish you and your husband are going through. Do you have permission to speak with your husband’s doctor and get the true scoop on his condition? You need to be on the level with each other. Right now you are shooting in the dark.

    By your description he sounds profoundly depressed. As we all know there are activities and medicine to treat that condition. If he is depressed, that can answer a lot of your questions and if he is treated for depression he more than likely will start to buck-up and share with you.

    There are a lot of people treated successfully that are in your husbands described condition.

    Best,

    Matt
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    I truly feel for you.....
    I honestly don't know what my reaction would be if my husband kept something like this to himself....I'd be hurt and scared, and I'm sure it would come out sideways as PO'd. I agree with the others, tho...he sounds like he's feeling depressed and defeated before he even got to the fight...I'd be calling his Drs. and find out exactly what was said about his condition and what treatments might be out there.

    p
  • loveofmylife92
    loveofmylife92 Member Posts: 3
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    I truly feel for you.....
    I honestly don't know what my reaction would be if my husband kept something like this to himself....I'd be hurt and scared, and I'm sure it would come out sideways as PO'd. I agree with the others, tho...he sounds like he's feeling depressed and defeated before he even got to the fight...I'd be calling his Drs. and find out exactly what was said about his condition and what treatments might be out there.

    p

    possibly depressed....
    I'm starting to agree with all of you that he might be depressed. The mood swings are awful. It's hard to take, so I've just been walking away. If I don't I might say something I'll regret. I'm starting to think we BOTH might needs meds to deal with this, this time!!
    As for talking to the doctors, I had an exceptional relationship with them the last time. In the past month I've left 2 vm's for 2 nurses and haven't gotten a return call yet. I'm wondering if he told them not to talk to me. Who knows.
    Also, I should clarify that during his last xray in Feb is when they seen 2-3 'spots'. During that time the dr said he could not be certain that it is cancer. Just that they would watch it and take more xrays or a CT in 6 months. All of this is from my husband, I did not hear it from the dr. My husband said no need to go with him to the appt bc he felt great and would 'probably' get a great report like he has been.
  • loveofmylife92
    loveofmylife92 Member Posts: 3
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    possibly depressed....
    I'm starting to agree with all of you that he might be depressed. The mood swings are awful. It's hard to take, so I've just been walking away. If I don't I might say something I'll regret. I'm starting to think we BOTH might needs meds to deal with this, this time!!
    As for talking to the doctors, I had an exceptional relationship with them the last time. In the past month I've left 2 vm's for 2 nurses and haven't gotten a return call yet. I'm wondering if he told them not to talk to me. Who knows.
    Also, I should clarify that during his last xray in Feb is when they seen 2-3 'spots'. During that time the dr said he could not be certain that it is cancer. Just that they would watch it and take more xrays or a CT in 6 months. All of this is from my husband, I did not hear it from the dr. My husband said no need to go with him to the appt bc he felt great and would 'probably' get a great report like he has been.

    P.S.
    Thanks for your support and kind words. They mean alot :')
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Knowing My Wife...
    It wouldn't fly telling her not to go to an appointment if she thought something was going on.

    So as like mentioned, depression or not having the will to fight might be part of it, not sure.

    But I guess it depends on your relationship.

    My wife would be all up in it, whether I wanted her to be or not....and down deep, I'd expect nothing less from her.

    Best,
    John
  • KareGiver
    KareGiver Member Posts: 301 Member
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Knowing My Wife...
    It wouldn't fly telling her not to go to an appointment if she thought something was going on.

    So as like mentioned, depression or not having the will to fight might be part of it, not sure.

    But I guess it depends on your relationship.

    My wife would be all up in it, whether I wanted her to be or not....and down deep, I'd expect nothing less from her.

    Best,
    John

    Definitely...
    As a "Kare"giver...I would be all over it too - perhaps to my husband's dismay. I do get "the look" from him sometimes, meaning "that's enough" when talking with the doctor but that's my nature.

    As John says, it depends on your relationship but do what you need to do...

    Take care.
  • Jan Trinks
    Jan Trinks Member Posts: 477
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    Let the light in!
    So sorry to hear that your husband has chosen that path to keep you in the dark. I do know what you're going thru as far as cancer being back, time may be short, etc. However, Charlie was totally up front with me we were in it together. Now, he did temper some things and had a wonderful attitude. We were married for 35 years and no children except the four footed kind, but we were so connected and so together and all that. Also, as noted here many times, I am complete basketcase at times and he knew that so I can't really relate to that part of your situation. Is it possible for you to talk to his doctor? That might help some and answer some of your questions and maybe help with the arguing as it is so important to treasure every moment you have. Best of luck and my prayers are with you and feel free to pm me if you like.

    Jan (Basketcase)
  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    P.S.
    Thanks for your support and kind words. They mean alot :')

    Question
    Hello !
    Depending on the state you're in HIPPA gets in the way of getting info., even on a spouse. Do you have anything in place (written documentation) signed by your hubby for release of information ? If not would be a suggestion for you to do. I am so sorry you're going through all of this, and don't want to add another problem. Will be thinking of you both, and praying things get smoother for you both. You sound like a very loving caregiver, and your husband is very lucky to have you ! Warmest regards, Katie