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Taking care of hubby

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2008

Anyone else a caregiver for their husband with cancer? Mine was dx in April with lung cancer, mets to liver and bone. after just 2 treatments his cancer decreased by 50%.. I was amazed and so was his doctor, he is doing great so far. This cancer has changed our life in so many ways, it shattered our lives and now we learning to cope and deal with all this..not an easy task. staying positive is difficult but praying sure isn't.

arbrab's picture
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2007

I took care of my husband for 2 1/2 years. he was dx 2005 and passed 2007. We had our ups and downs, CEA levels up and down, went down to 85 once. It's a hard battle. But keep on fighting. Never give up hope that something just might make the difference. Just be there for each other. You may have longer than you think or not as long. Cancer plays tricks. My husband just got tired, and gave up. PLEASE FIGHT. Knowledge is the best medicine that you have. And ask questions after question, and get answers NOW. Nothing is so meanial that it doesn't deserve an answer. Our best thing was going into the Cancer Center and saying "Hi Honey We're Home". To most it wasn't funny. But the receptionist thought it was and it kept us in good spirits. They became family, and if it is a good staff they will treat you with the respect that all Cancer paients deserve.
Good Luck and you have my Blessings
And Most Of All Laugh

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2008

My husband was diagnosed over a year ago with colon cancer. As well as a colon resection, the cancer (tumor) had 'attached' to his abdominal wall, some of which had to also be removed. We have had a trying year to say the least. His major problem(s) is overcoming infections from the abdominal wall surgery. He has lost over 120#, so there is something to be said for being a little overweight before you get sick. Hahaha. He is still very weak and has had 3 hospitalizations and two surgeries in the last eight weeks for these infections.

But...We have found that humor has been a good way to for us to cope. Many days it has been our saving grace. When you are down...and I mean really down...there is nothing like a good ol' belly laugh to brighten the day. There will be good days and bad days. Take each one for what it is worth, and as a blessing.

The caregiving in itself is overwhelming, much less keeping up with all the everyday 'life' things that suddenly YOU are the manager of. My husband was and still is so weak that he isn't able to help me out much. We still have dressings to change from his surgeries he has had for his infections.

Do what you can and ask for help for the rest of it! Whether it be family, friends, church, etc. ask for help. Don't let yourself get so tired that you lose track of the important things. That happened to me. I was bound and determined I could handle this by myself. All the doctors appts. themselves can be immensely time consuming. My husband has probably had 20-25 cat scans in the last year! But, I'm also talking about taking care of hubby, full time job, all the bills, laundry, grocery shopping, home with a huge lawn to mow. Not to mention keeping up with the vehicles and our animals. Just remember...no matter how 'tough' you think you are, you will need help at some point.

I can't say enough about the small real estate company I work for. They have been SUPER! There have been many days I would get a phone call and I would have to go home. I've missed lots of time just taking Gary to Doctors appts. Hopefully, If you work you have a employer as understanding as mine.

Good luck to you and your husband. Prayer is a wonderful thing, and remember...take care of the caregiver!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2008

well i guess i am not the only one feeling blue,your letter let me know I am not alone. Thank you so much. I have been taking care of my husband since May 2008 diagnosis and i think i am going crazy, now I know someone felt the same way as iI do. This disease is so overwhelming it took over our whole life. I am no on a leave of absense from work and taking care of everything else. Sometimes I am so angry I just don't talk to him because I know I will hurt him with my words and he has enough to handle. Maybe knowing I am not crazy will help. thank u thank u again

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2008

It's good to hear that you're going through much of what I am, too. My husband starting dealing with his fourth bout of lymphoma in April of this year. This time required a stem cell transplant after chemo to kill all the cancer. I can really relate to "handling everything myself". Although I've had a great support group from our church - lots of cards, emails, phone calls, meals brought in, etc, it's still full-time for me.

We had to move in July of this year to be closer to the hospital and clinic where we spend 6-8 hours a day (even Saturday and Sunday). One of the hardest parts is being away from home and isolated from friends and family. I've not had a solid day off since middle of July, just a few hours here and there - mostly for errands and to work on my job (I took an extended leave of absence, but still do some telecommute work whenever I have available time).

He had transplant 15 days ago and has made much progress - all his blood counts are rising as they should, the diarrhea is mostly gone. But the nausea remains and his eating is almost zilch. He survives on Ensure, jello, yogurt, ice cream. It's very difficult to know what to try to feed him. But the worst part is his nightly routine. I don't know how to correct this pattern and problem. He can only sleep but an hour or two at a time during the night. He sleeps a lot during the day at the clinic and even when we get back home. He cannot seem to stay awake during the day. He seems to have his days and nights reversed.

Just wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem and has any suggestions for a solution. He absolutely cannot stay awake during the day.

Anyway, I'm glad I found the website. It's always good to hear from others who are experiencing similar issues. I really related to what you are now in charge of. I've become nurse (having to give injections, flush lumens, change dressings), keep trying to get in a few hours here and there for my paying job, pay bills, file insurance claims, keep house clean and be a good caregiver - updating the website I created to keep everyone updated on his condition, and try to figure out what to do to get him eating again.

I do pray a lot and know we couldn't have made it through this far without God to lean on! But the physical demands right now are just overwhelming. If anyone has any answers, I'd love to read them! Thanks!

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