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Holding on....letting go

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2011

I'm not exactly sure why I'm writing here....just wondering how so much has happened in such a short time. As I type I'm riddled in fear that my phone will ring and I'll learn my 58 year old husband (we've been married 37 years) has lost his battle with a cancer that was discovered less than a monrh ago. My husband, Dan has always been strong and healthy. He has never smoked. He started with some pain in his lower back (this was not unusual as he works in construction and had dealt with back pain off and on for years) He then developed a cough, visited our family doctor and was diagnosed with bronchitis. He was given an antibiotic and his symptoms did not improve. On his third visit a chest xray was given and a suspicious shadow was discovered on his lower lung. An MRI and biopsy were done and he was told he had stage 4 non small cell lung cancer which has spread to several small areas in his spine. At the time of his diagnosis he had been taking mild, OTC pain meds. He was hospitalized for a week and when he was released he was prescribed morphine and Diluadid (not at the same time)and he's been taking it as often as possible. He started out-patient radiation which he tolerated well. After several days home he became extremely confused and disoriented. He was readmitted to the hospital amd an MRI of his brain was done. It came back clear and it was determined the Ativan he had been given was causing the confusion. It was stopped, the confusion cleared up. A pulmonary embolism was discovered and he was started on a blood thinner and he was again released. He continued radiation and it lessened his pain considerably. He was feeling better, eating more and was able to start doing small things...watering the lawn, set off fireworks on the 4th...small things, but enough to give encouragement. Last week his breathing became more and more labored. He had been using O2 on and off prior to this but soon he couldn't walk from one room to the next without it. Back to the hospital. Several more pulmonary embolisms were found as well as a large embolism in his leg. The plan was to put a filter of sorts into his leg to preventit from traveling any futher. For reasons unclear to me he was transferred to ICU, intubated and is being kept sedated. He was to begin chemo this week but that has been postponed. While spending time with him earlier today I was told that his O2 stats were very low in spite of the intubation. I was basically told he might not survive the day. Last night we were talking and joking on the phone and now I sit here numb, unable to communicate with him and so very frightened. Every time the phone rings my heart stops. Perhaps I should be there with him, but he has no idea I'm there. Either way my heart is breaking. I truthfully have no idea what I'm doing....We have 2 wonderful, grown sons and 2 grandchildren who are the loves of our lives. I have wonderful, supportive friends and family yet I sit here alone and wondering how people are able to let go......I thank anyone who has taken the time to read this long, rambling story. May God bless each of you. Merrilee

sleepless in jersey
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2011

I am so sorry that you are going through this...
Dont feel alone were all here for you whenever you want to talk.
May God Bless you during this trying time.

Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

to hear you are going thru all this. Not understanding why your husband is in the state he is in, makes it even more difficult to handle. The Drs. should let you know about your mate's condition but I am not sure that would make it any easier for you either way, Merrilee. Being married for 37 years, you both are an extension of each other. When one hurts, the other feels it also. May I suggest counseling for family members who are dealing with a family members cancer? You can contact your local cancer society, lung association or mental health organization to find a qualified counselor in cancer. There are also support groups where you can meet others who are or have been down this road. Know that even though you have friends and family, we are here also. Sometimes it is comforting to just "ramble" and we understand. No explanations needed here. My heart goes out to you and praying that you find strength within. Praying for a miracle and never giving up. God bless Cheryl

Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2011

Thank-you for the kindness to those who took the time to respond. My husband passed on this morning at 7:20AM. For all you out there fighting....never give up. Dan never had much of a chance to fight but he would have, had it been possible. My prayers are with all of you. God bless. Merrilee

karenbeth's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Sep 2010

I'm so so sorry to hear about your husband. It is so terrible when things happen so fast and you just have the ground ripped out from under your feet over and over. Peace to you and your family.


Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for sharing your story.

Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2011

i am so sorrry. what a trying and diffficult time you have had. may god bless you.

Hope4Marge's picture
Posts: 74
Joined: Jul 2011

You are not alone with those fears. Watching my mom fight cancer I have those fears too. There are things we can't control but we can be supportive and hold on to hope and memories. May you have peace in your heart.

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