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Does it get easier?

ktlcs's picture
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

I lost my husband on 7/17 to colorectal cancer after only 9 months. Prior to his cancer diagnosis he had suffered a stroke 9 years ago that left him wheelchair bound. I was his main caregiver the entire time. My entire life had become about him and giving him the best quality of life possible. I didn't mind for a second. I know he would have done the same. He meant everything to me.

Although his prognosis at dx was poor he was doing very well, handled all treatments really well, much to the Dr's surprise, had minimal side effects, tumor markers had returned to normal and CT/PET scan showed good response to treatment. Suddenly in a 4 day period he deteriorated dramatically and passed away.

I miss him terribly. I've gone back to somewhat of a daily routine, work etc, but feel like I am watching myself from the outside instead of living. Little things remind me of him and break my heart. I replay that last week over and over in my head. I have a very difficult time understanding why this terrible disease exists ad HATE it for what it does to all of us.

Does it get easier? Will the time come when I can think about him with joy and not heartbreak? will I remember the good times instead of the bad? I want to, I want to enjoy the memories of our life together and not dwell on the bad times, but I don't know how to ge there.


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband passed away in October after a six year battle with cancer. I don't have any words of wisdom. I am still dealing with my grief as you are. I have found that some things have become easier. I don't cry as often, but I do still cry. It is often something little that sets me off. I have accepted that I am grieving, and that it will take time. I have given myself permission to fall apart on occasion. As I said elsewhere here, I remember a song when I was a teenager that said," it's my party and I'll cry if I want to." Sometimes, I feel like that. If I don't cut myself some slack, who will? This grief and our loved one will stay with us in some form always. We lost the loves of our lives. What can we expect? Each of us must grieve in our own way and time. We are moving forward. I do make a point of remembering the good times. We had many of those in our 42 year marriage. I find talking with family and friends about those times is helpful. Doug used to tell people who asked how he continued to smile and enjoy life even with his dx that he woke up each morning and made the choice to have a good day. I try to do the same thing. I don't always succeed, but then neither did he. All I can do is try. Many of us here are struggling with this grief thing. Hang in there and come here to talk when you need to do so. Both the surviving caregivers and the grief threads have many who will listen. Fay

filimu's picture
Posts: 74
Joined: Aug 2010

I can tell you, with time, you will be able to remember the joy, the fun, the silly things...the good memories, and smile more than you cry. I lost both my father in '99 and my daughter in 2000 to lung cancer, as well as my paternal grandmother to old age in '99 and my husband to amyloidosis in '05 (the day before my birthday I had to unplug him from life support). I was pretty sure I was never going to smile again in this lifetime. It just seemed to me that my world had come to a screeching halt, but the rest of the world didn't realize it, and I was so disconnected. I'd see people around me acting normally, and just want to shake them and scream at them "Don't you know my world has ended? How can you act so calm and sane!?!" But, of course, you don't. And pretty soon your friends get tired of hearing you obsessively talk about your grief, so you begin to stop mentioning it to them, or they start pulling away from you. But eventually, you find you start treating yourself more gently, perhaps giving yourself personal time to cry, or vent, and then putting on a bright face and getting out for a while. Journaling helped me some. Listening to music we loved helped me a lot. Walking the beach did too. Eventually, one day something - on the radio, on TV, somebody you see in the street, will make you spontaniously laugh and you realize you still can. Your first instinct will be "I want to tell him about that, it's funny"...and you'll choke up...but it's a sweet choke...and that's the beginning of the turning point. Cause you know now you can see a bright side, too.

Don't give up...he'll always be with you! Bless you!

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi K
May I send to you many sympathies on the recent loss of your husband. I lost my dad on March 9, 2010 to esophageal cancer. Your loss is so recent, give yourself a lot more time. It can take up to 18 months for the grieving to stop. You may even want to consider some support groups. You are never alone here on this discussion board. We can also be a support group. We all hate this cancer too! Come here often. Keep in touch. Peace be with you at this most difficult time.

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