New to all this - looking for advice

KJinNH Member Posts: 1

My husband and I are just starting the journey to his good health.  He has been diagnosed with colon cancer that has already moved to the liver.  We see the oncologist for the first time tomorrow.  He has been feeling really poorly as he has complicating health issues throughout his digestive track.  He's probably lost 30 pounds in the past 2 months,

He has gastroparisis - slow stomach emptying which means he throws up a lot - and that makes eating really hard, to a point where he is on mainly liquids right now.  Soups, Ensure, protein shakes, yogurt, ice cream etc.  Until he got sick he has been for our entire marriage (30+ years) the chief chef and organizer in the house.  I've been the bread winner.

I got laid off 7 months ago and am struggling to find new work - but now, this diagnosis complicates that.  I've taken on the organization, meals, etc for our family.  My kids (both young adults) are stepping up as they can and as they have time for.  I want them to keep on track of their lives as best as they can.  It is important to their futures.  

The other complicating factor is my mother in law lives with us and she too is needy - very needy - but very stubborn.  Her body is where the problems are - but her mind is totally sharp.  She absolutely refuses to get herself any help or assistance.  Up until my husband's cancer diagnosis, she made him do everything, her shopping, cooking, taking her to doctor's appts (she doesn't drive) etc.  Now she expects that I will take over.  As soon as he got sick, every day she has a new ailment from a cold, to an itch, to anything to get attention.  She isn't a very nice person, and has alienieted her granddaughters and 99% of any family and friends she has ever had.  

I'm trying to keep a balance and keep peace in the house while taking care of literally everything...the money, the dogs, the kids, the cat, the fish, and her.  She doesn't like my cooking and complains bitterly about it.  

So here's my "ask" - I need advice on how to juggle and balance all of this...

1 kid in college, commuting.

1 kid working retail full time

1 mother in law with demands and needs and no willingness to let anyone outside the family help

1 very sick husband

0 job and income 

What if I get a job offer - what do I tell them if anything?  How to I then manage? (Yes, I have interviews scheduled so this is a possible reality)

What should I be expecting from treatment cycles?

Okay - I'm rambling.  Sorry for all that - but as  you probably all know - this is very overwhelming and I wasn't sure which way to turn.  Thanks for listening and any advice you can offer.


Good luck to all of you on your journeys to health. 


  • jen2012
    jen2012 Member Posts: 1,607 Member
    My husband was


    My husband was diagnosed with CRC (rectal) 3 years ago. Also stage 4, but mets to lymph nodes and bone, not liver.  We have a pretty active colorectal cancer board here.  I recommend reposting there for better response and support.

    We have three kids - 2 teens and an almost 4 year old, so I can't really give advice on your older kids, other than continue to accept their help and support and push them to keep their lives as normal as possible.  

    The mother in law is tough!  Does she have money for outside help?  Sometimes we need to demand it.  My friend did this with her mom with parkinsons.  The mom wanted to remain in her own home and wanted my friend, her daughter, to clean, run errands, bring her to the appts, etc.  It was running her ragged and her mom didn't want outside help.  My friend insisted when she couldnt' do it anymore. Her mom loves the help now.  If it's not a matter of money, I think you just have to insist that you can not do it all.

    I'm in a similar situation as you - I lost my job of 29 years eight months ago and I've been looking - because we need the money.  At the same time, it's really hard with a little guy at home, the teens and being able to go to appts, chemo, etc with my husband.  No good advice there...sorry.

    look at the forums on the list above this one and come post in the colorectal board.


    Oh and as crazy as it sounds, he will probably feel better once chemo starts and hopefully the tumor starts to shrink.  Bring treatment plans and questions to the CRC board and folks will try to help.