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OK come clean guys

SmithMama2's picture
Posts: 48
Joined: Oct 2009

This is to all the male cancer survivors on this list. Have you even played the cancer card with your wife when she needed your help even when you were really feeling better?

Kevin is a little more than 10 weeks post treatment. He is finding more and more energy every week as he recovers. Energy especially for things he likes/wants to do.

We are moving tomorrow to a house we have been renovating throughout his treatment. On a good, pre-cancer day, moving would be overwhelming to him, but he was usually able to pitch in and pack a box without being asked to do it.

We have known for weeks when we would be moving, and we have had boxes in our apartment living room waiting to be packed for at least three weeks. He promised to do the kitchen while I was teaching weeks ago. Today I finished the kitchen myself. I think over the weeks he packed two kitchen boxes.

I became quite frustrated today when he sat for more than an hour playing on his computer sorting his itunes account while I packed and cleaned. Then he got mad when I asked him to help. Actually he stormed out and went to the store without even saying goodbye.

I know chemo brain makes you foggy. I know that post chemo/radiation leaves you physically and emotionally drained. I know that depression is very common (and he is taking anti-depressants to help with this). I know that I have not walked in his shoes and I can't really know how he feels. I know that everyone is different as to when they find a new normal, and really I don't think he is depressed or struggling right now.

He just hates to pack. Hey so do I, but someone has to get things ready before the movers arrive tomorrow morning. I would like to sit and read a book to relax too. So instead I have run away to this computer to post a question/share a frustration with the sages.

So please, I beg of you don't read this and send me a slamming e-mail about how I don't care or how I don't understand. I do care. I have been available and caring 24/7 for more than 6 months now while he has gone through this incredibly rough ordeal. I have cleaned up vomit countless times. I have set my clock to wake every two hours to feed him, medicate him, or monitor his temp through the night. I have taken so many hours off from work and gone to every single appointment with him except two. I have been his cheerleader; his nutritionist (he still weighs the same after all this despite the peg tube); his caretaker; his best friend; his rock.

When might he return to be mine? It doesn't seem too much to ask for help now that he is feeling better.


cwcad's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: Nov 2009

I do not think that you are unreasonable in your thoughts. Please feel the way you must.

I do not understand how the treatment skews the ability to think and reason. All I know is that it does. Hang in there and continue on the path that got him and you to this point.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you this date for strength to deal with this situation. I wish that I could add more. I am sure that my wife has stories of me. To be honest it is all kind of a fog. At ten weeks out I could not even get up to see my son off to school. You have done well if he hasn't lost any weight. Keep up the good work. You should be proud of yourself and don't beat your self up about your feelings. That is my take.

I wish that I could give you a time. He is light years ahead of me when I was 10 weeks out of treatment.

pk's picture
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Good for you for feeling you could vent here!!! I wish you could take some time for yourself as you need a break. My husband is about 12 weeks post rads and is recovering nicely, but I do notice even tho he has much more energy, he is not volunteering to do things around the house that he used to. I also know what you mean my having a foggy brain - processing is just not quite the same as it used to be YET!!! I think this will improve as time goes on too. I was able to take a week the end of Nov. and go on a cruise with a girlfriend - my husband encouraged me to go and he was totally fine without me. Today he announced that he was going back to South Dakota to pheasant hunt for 4 days which made me happy. He is definitely getting back into the swing of things. Hang in there. Plan some things just for you - rely on your girlfriends. Have some fun!! You deserve and need recovery time too.

doitforoj's picture
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2009

All I can say is that i have gotten testy a few times with my wife and that is not like me, but I do know she did not take it. She reminds me quickly that we both are going through this. You need to yes give him some room for misjudgement but let him know that positive and active is the healthy way to go.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

You need to have his thyroid checked to make sure it has not stopped working during treatment. I did great the first time around but the second time killed me and I would get very week, then the doctor check me and found thyroid gland had stopped working. A few pills later and I was me again. Also we do get very lazy and depending on our better half to do everything for us, I feel really blessed having my Wife and have learned to appreciate her so much more.
By the way I went through treatment twice and missed work only on Chemo days, I needed something to keep my mind off the problem and to help keep me positive

Landranger25's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm a firm believer that the more active you are the quicker you will recover. Our bodies are amazing in that unlike most everything else "mechanical" that we deal with in our lives, we actually get stronger and healthier with increased usage instead of breaking and wearing out like the other stuff. Once he gets up and active he'll realize how much better he feels and will keep it up. Anything you can think of to get him moving will help. Also, keep in mind most changes that occur throuhout our lives are gradual for the most part. This experience is just a slam in the face for most of us. Just as cancer took a physical and emotional toll during our treatment, we have to learn to adjust to the new physical changes we all now have. I'm sure we all have new mental/emotional changes too. I'm sure your husband has changed from this experience. I know I have. (Like my wife, I'm sure you have gone through some changes as well.) Good luck.


Posts: 95
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Mike, How are you doing now. I have seen your posts. Our paths/disease/treatment are very similar. I had my tube out a few weeks ago and was feeling great. I went to work for a couple of days and have been exhausted for 6 days running. Any problems with fatigue comming back unexpectedly? Alex. How was the scan?

Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2009

I have done pretty well so far. I have healed very quickly, and I'm planning on starting back to work in less than six months start to finish. Doctors praise my quick recovery, as do I and my family. But...

I'm not the same anymore. Yes I get fatigued easily. In another thread I nodded when I read that someone is tired the whole next day after over doing the day before. I find every meal a struggle. And though I haven't gone through any depression, I am nervous about getting "back on the horse" and starting work again.

But ALL THAT ASIDE, things don't look the same to me. Everything is different now, and I see things through a different lens. On second thought, maybe it IS some form of depression, but motivation is very tough for me now. Some of the simplest things seem hard, and its difficult to get revved up to do things that I would never have batted an eyelash at before. Things I took for granted before, I don't anymore. And EVERYONE around me seems to have a much easier life than I do.

Yeah, definitely depression. VERY low key. Not weeping, sobbing, "I don't want to live" depression. More like, "everything is so much harder now" depression.

When will you get your husband back? I hope soon. But when should you EXPECT him back? Well, looking out from where I am now, I wonder if you aren't taking a risk by EVER expecting him to "be back". This whole "new life" thing - I consider it a euphemism. I don't think I'm going to get my old life back ever. I have gotten a new life to replace the old one, and its not ever going to be the one I had. Even if I have all the energy and taste buds in the world, will I ever be that "old me" again? I think not.

I am SO grateful, especially after reading the hard times that some folks have had, that my treatment went well. But I am going to be looking over my shoulder every day for the rest of my life. Every ache and pain I have makes me wonder "Is that it again? Is it back?". I am struggling every day to "look on the bright side" and not feel like some terrible, cosmic injustice has happened to me.

A few months before I was diagnosed I told my officemate that I wasn't afraid of dying, because I have lived such a full, rich, wonderful life, and I have no regrets.

Just yesterday I was thinking about my 10 year old son, how close I came to not seeing him enter the fifth grade, and how very sad I felt that the odds now seem against me that I'll make it to his high school graduation (I'm an older parent).

These are thoughts that are going to be there from now on for me. And they have definitely affected how I look at things, how I get motivated, etc.

Its bizarre. After such a raging medical success that thoughts like these start plaguing a survivor like myself. Yet there it is.

I think cancer survivors need to have their butts kicked a little, to prevent wallowing in self pity, and I have a wonderful wife who does just that. But she also seems to intuitively recognize the changes I've gone through. She knows how much is enough, and how much is too much.

Frankly, I think this has been harder on her than me, and clearly she is the stronger person between the two of us. All I had to do was "survive". She's been the one to carry on in my "absence".

I'm not there. I know little about you, and less about your husband. And maybe he needs a little kick.

But there is no doubt in my mind that he's a different person now, and things may not work the way they did now, and perhaps ever again.

Well, opened myself up there, didn't I. Make the kicks gentle, folks, okay?

cwcad's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: Nov 2009

Wow were you inside my brain? You words are so familiar. Like you took some of the words right our of my memory box.

Your post may not help some of the thread readers but by golly you have me in your corner. I understand why that hits so close to home.
what I don't understand why it is so hard to accept? Knowing that you need to get over it just makes you feel more guilty.

Thanks for the post, Jeb!!

Landranger25's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Nov 2009

I feel almost like my old self I think. Yes there are a few little things that I have to deal with but compared to others, I am doing great. I am 9 weeks post treatment now and can say there isn't anything I eat now that I wasn't eating before. Breads are still hard to get through but with a drink in hand, I can get the job done. Yes they don't taste the same but I can taste them. I am still about 20-25 pounds below my weight when I was diagnosed. Despite eating lots I can't get more weight to come back. I need to find some physical activity to build muscle back and I think that will take care of it. I missed 12 weeks of work during my treatment but have been back now for 7 weeks. Right after my treatment I had the shakes pretty bad whenever I would exert myself. (Like you had the flu for 3 days but are finally over it) The first hockey practice I skated with my 11 year old I didn't hardly do anything and within 1/2 hour my knees were shaking like crazy. Now 6 weeks later I can do everything on the ice I could before although stamina is not back yet, it will come. I try to walk a mile or so each day on my break at work. Mentally, I am fine. This was one hell of a detour to be taking but I am back on the right road now. Waiting for a good report from my first PET scan I had last Wednesday. I fully expect good news. We are planning a trip to Florida for spring and will be going on a summer vacation here in Michigan which we had to cancel last summer due to my treatment starting. I don't plan on disapointing my family again. Bottom line is, all things considered, I could be in a lot worse shape than I am. I will get up every morning and do the best that I can through the day just as I did through my treatment. I will count my blessings this holiday, laugh and love with my family and head into the new year bearing everything I have experienced this year. It's just added to the other 49 years of living I have accumulated. It is who I am.


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