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What happens when the spouse quits?

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Does anyone else have a spouse who could not handle the stress? I was diagnosed in Dec. 2003 with Dukes C1 stage colon cancer - I went through 6 months of chemo of 5Fu/Leukovorin/Camptosar with lots of nauseau, diahrrea, fever, gas, etc., but was able to take the whole treatment. I finished my treatment on July 9, 2003 and all my check ups have been great, good blood work is normal, CEA is now 0.7 and I am feeling pretty good. My husband is deserting me. Now what happends?? I spent about 1 hour crying tonight. I know that is stupid, I have a loving family, wonderful children and many friends, but I am scared. What do I do about insurance if he decides to leave me? I do not work, I can probably get a job but I am in the depths of depression right now. I'm sorry for this type of post. I know we are all fighting for our lives right now, thanks for letting me vent.


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001


big hugs to you. I am so sorry about your husband. If you ever go to chat there is a woman in there (Sassy Sally) whose husband left her while she was on the gurney in the hospital. Turned tail and left.....gone.....adios....

I am glad you have family support and friends.

How long were you married and how old are you?

peace, emily

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Kerry -

I was served divorce papers in my hospital room two days after my surgery. I looked at them, looked at the document server and told him that if I wasn't hooked-up to a morphine drip and didn't have my guts being held in by 27 staples, i would get out of that bed and kick his @$$. I shouldn't have been so hard on him, he was clearly ashamed of what he had just had to do and asked me not to blame him, he was only doing his job.

Since that fateful day in 2001, my ex has gone out of her way to try to make my life miserable (as if 6 months of chemo while working two jobs to make her payments didn't already have the market cornered on "miserable").

But you know what? I came to believe that every cloud has at least one silver lining. Here's what I see for you:

1. You had C1 and the chemo was prophylactic. Your CEA is awesome and you appear to be out of the woods.

2. If he left you when you were so far down, he would have left anyway. Consider it like I did; you got rid of two cancers at once.

3. You have, by your own admission, a loving family, wonderful children, and many friends. That's all you need. Remember what the Wizard of Oz said to the Tin Man; "The true measure of your heart is not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others." You obviously have a great big heart.

4. When one door closes (and I would recommend you keep this one closed forever), two more are opened. You have a wonderful opportunity to start out fresh. You don't work, but, judging by how well you articulated your situation, you're a very smart person. Seeing as you did your entire chemo regime, you are obviously a very strong person. You appear to be a remarkably good candidate for a great job - people like you are hard to find in the workplace. I would venture to suggest that God has a mission for you and perhaps that mission will be accomplished through your new job.

5. As far as insurance goes, look for a job that offers good medical benefits. If they won't cover you for a "pre-exisiting" condition, make it a term of your divorce decree that your husband provide you with medical insurance at the same level it was before he deserted you. Given the circumstances, I sincerely doubt he'd fight it, and if he were to fight it, I have no doubt a court would find his behavior so reprehensible that they would have no problem awarding it to you (along with attorney's fees).

You and I aren't alone in our plights. There are plenty of semi-colons who have experienced this sort of thing. We're the strong ones.

I know you're probably beside yourself with grief and anger and hurt and a whole host of other feelings right now. Someone once told me that the best thing about hitting rock bottom is that you have no way to go but up.

Focus on living and enjoying your life. Cancer-free, and that goes for EVERY type of cancer!

The sun'll come out tomorrow... bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun.

Keeping you in my prayers

- SpongeBob

rep801's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Apr 2003

SpongeBob, what an awful story regarding your ex. As I have inhabited this board over the last 6 months or so, your positive attitude to everything stands out. Keep it up.

God Bless


alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

Kerry, I am so sorry to hear how sad you are feeling....it must be unbearably painful. Some spouses just cannot take the stress, and, as a caregiver myself, I know how hard it is. However, leaving my husband would never be an option. It has brought us closer and I truly know what love is. I think, like the previous responses, that when you get over the shock of this, focus on yourself...treat yourself...you have an excellent chance of survival and complete recovery. As to the insurance, I too would insist that he ensures you are covered.... that is the least he can do.

Hang in there....these boards can help alot. Spend time with your children and friends, who, unlike your husband, will never leave you.

Take care, Alison

Posts: 29
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Kerry: My heart goes out to you, I shed a few tear reading you posting. I am a caregiver to my husband Hunt. Sometimes I believe it is just as difficult for the caregiver as it is the victim. We see our love one suffering and our heart breaks. The caregiver is "what can I do to make you more comfortable, make you well", and I feel so helpless because I don't think I am doing enough. I love him with all my heart and I believe this illness has strengh that love.

I must say your husband must be leaving something beautiful, I can read the "between" lines of your posting and you are a strong person, but strong people do grieve, cry,some times hate and I think that is ok. A divorce is like a death, but for your well being, you must move on. It sounds as if you have beat this terrible disease at this point. Love you family, let them know this, ask them to be there for you in times of low points and high points. Let your angry show, your happiness show, and above all, you are a person that God made, and God does not make mistakes. Ask for help, that is ok, let your love ones know how you feel. I have a friend that has a very serious illness, she has no insurance, but gets the best of health care. Insist that your husband carry insurance on you, as you have not worked, I believe the divorce will include this as it did for another of my friends, she also received monthly checks from her spouse due to court order as she never worked.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. Yes we are fight for our lives. Hunt has stage 4, the onc. didn't expect him to be with us this long, he has been on chemo for one year now. Pray... Pray... it works.

Hugs and concern for you. Schoolgirl

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

You all are my blessings right now. I prayed last night to find strength and this morning I read all your supportive and loving wonderful posts. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I am doing ok today. Like I said yesterday, I have wonderful family and friends. When I was taking my chemo friends and family were lined up to go with me. I must stop to remember just how blessed I am. Thanks for opening my eyes to the beauty in life.
My husband is a very selfish person and SpongeBob you hit the nail on the head when you asked if problems existed before my illness!! Yes, I guess they did, I was just trying to make everything work.

Thanks again all of you. I'll let you know.


Sheepy's picture
Posts: 48
Joined: Nov 2003

Hi Kerry,
I've only just read your posts, and I can't begin to understand how you feel - but if your husband is really that selfish, has he been dragging you down for some time?

I went through a difficult divorce, but while it was hard work my strength came from the knowledge that I could make a new start. Yes, money was tight (and still is), but the divorce was the opportunity for me to stand proud again, and meet my wonderful wife.

Evidence is poor, but I firmly believe my cancer got a hold when my marriage was falling apart and my self-esteem was nil. It could be the same for you - and your own pride and strength can now come to the fore and let you start on a new cancer-free life (both literally and by analogy).

Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Kerry I am so sorry to hear about your situation with your husband, but like others have said, you are fortunate to have had excellent response to treatment.

As Sheepy has said, if your husband has been that difficult, perhaps the clouds have a silver lining.

If your husband works for a company with more than 50 employees, I believe you will at least be entitled to 18 mth of insurance by COBRA coverage. You must pay the whole cost of the coverage, and that may be several hundred dollars per month, but it is the group plan price, and it is the full coverage. Some company insurance plans include the right to continue coverage with an individual policy at the end of that period. I would think that insurance coverage would be a consideration in any sort of settlement, however.

aspaysia's picture
Posts: 253
Joined: Nov 2003

What do you mean you 'don't work' when you have been working at home 24 hours a day raising his children. Get a good lawyer. It's time to collect that back pay. You soon-to-be-ex will have to support you until you get a job even if it involves a training period. He owes you. That is the law.

I felt like a failure after my divorce even though I was the instigator. It turned out to be a good move but it is scary being alone with kids. You are a survivor. You beat cancer. You can do this, too.

Allow youself to free fall for a while and when you land on your feet start making some decisions. Sounds like you have a good support system. They want to help you. Let them do it.


StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

Hey Kerry!

The way I look at it, you should view this experience with "Mr. Personality" like you would Thanksgiving leftovers...YOU'RE BETTER OFF WHEN THE TURKEY IS GONE! He is just dead weight for you, and you are worth MUCH more than that. Plus, you don't need a wimp like that in your corner, as it's obvious he can only put his own personal agenda before that of anyone else.

Your family and TRUE friends will be there for you when the dust settles, and that is all that matters.

In the meantime...we can coordinate a little road trip to give him a well-deserved farewell on your behalf if you want...just say the word!

Take care, and congrats on your new INDEPENDENCE!


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