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I'm overwhelmed, worn out and have no one to tell.

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2011

We found out back in Nov. 2010 that my husband had esophageal cancer. Radiation and chemo treatments started in Jan. 2011. He had the surgery back in April, 2011. They removed the bad tissue along with most of his esophagus. They made an esophagus from his stomach tissue. He's so sick daily. He has lost nearly 100 lb. Do to his illness and the economy we are behind on everything. I'm just overwhelmed and worn out. I love him and happy I still have him. But the daily grind and wear and tear have got to me.


ddpekks's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 2011

You do have someone to tell. I am so sorry for all you are going through. I can totally sympathize with you, because I've just been hit with my 2nd big "C" dx for my husband. We get to do it all over again, so to speak.

I'm sorry you had to seek us out, but I'm glad you are here. We can't fix much, but we can sure listen. Without these people here to hear me scream, I'd be a basket case. It is so hard on us, the caregiver. There are so many emotions, physical requirements and isolationism issues, that we need someone to talk to. Say it out loud. Let it rip. We will do all we can to support you.


Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2011

I couldn't finish reading your reply at first. I was just overwhelmed with tears that someone answered. Thank you!

I'm sorry to hear of the 2nd dx of your husband. How are the two of you, really? I can't imagine having the mountain placed in front of us again.

I am a basket case right now. I've not really taken the time to cry. It's something I can't do around my husband who has a very morbid outlook on life. He is cancer free. They got all of it. He goes in every few months to have it all rechecked. He use to be my rock and now he's so difficult to be around cause of his negativity. I need some alone time or time to talk to someone, but like now because I'm not in the same room with him, he thinks I'm mad at him or that I don't want to be with him. I can't breathe. We are losing everything and the bills keep coming. I know it's just stuff and can deal with it as long as I have him. I've been swimming upstream to long. I can't fix this. I can't make him fill better. I just want to sleep, I'm so tired.

I do look forward to mornings because it is a new day. I always have hope that it won't always be this way. But for the most part, I don't see light at the end of the tunnel and feel lost!

Thank you.

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Cathy,

You are understandably tired. Is there any way you can get some time for yourself
on a regular basis? It's pretty much impossible to be a full time caregiver
and you have to take care of yourself too :).

Your husband is probably scared, angry and feels somewhat emasculated
- all normal in this process. Maybe your husband could get some help
on coping with all of this psychologically? You could probably contact the
social workers where he received treatment and see what's available also.
They may be able to refer you to many sources (financial, support, counseling, etc.).

It's okay to ask for help and no one can do all of this by themselves.

I truly hope things get better and you are warmly welcomed here.



ritawaite13's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Aug 2011

I don't come to the caregivers board often any more but I feel truly your pain. I'm a frequent visitor to the Esophageal cancer discussion board. My husband was dx with stage IV EC on July 11, 2011 and suffered a severe stroke just 9 days later. That horrible cancer took his life in just 15 weeks. He is at peace now and I am left to figure out things on my own. If you've not done so, I would encourage you to visit the EC discussion board. There are many on there who are walking or have walked the road you're on right now. I learned more from the wonderful people there than I learned from any book or doctor. They are so knowledgeable on EC and will tell you like it is without trying to sugar coat anything. Some are still fighting the disease while others have decided on a quality vs quantity of life approach. Some are caregivers like me, who's loved ones have passed on. Because you said your husband had surgery I assume he's at the very worst Stage III and at that stage, there's always hope. Please go to the board and ask all the questions you can think of. People like William, Sherry, Chantal, Eric & Michelle will chime in with more answers and support and love than you ever imagined possible from complete strangers.
Hugs to you,

Ginny_B's picture
Posts: 543
Joined: Sep 2011

I can relate to your feelings of wear and tear getting to you. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but guess what? We wake up each day and we keep on going. We get through minute-by-minute. Then another day has passed. Each morning brings lots of things; some good some not but at least we have a morning.

I'm figuring out that this forum is a good place to come when you feel you're at you're wits end. There's always more wits than you know!

Hugs and more hugs!

Posts: 160
Joined: Mar 2011

Cathy, so sorry to read of your husbands illness. I am a caregiver also, so I know how
overwhelming it all is. Through the advice of a friend, I started keeping a journal when my husband was first dx. It has helped me. When I feel at my lowest, I can express my
feelings. Later I can go back and read it, and see that we were able to get through those times. I know that there are still rough times ahead for us, but I also know that venting helps so much, so I have learned to reach out to those on this board. Everyone here is so caring, and you will know that you are not along. Prayers are with you, Brenda

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

I'm sorry y'all are going through this. I hope it is a comfort to know you are not alone.

Being a caregiver is an exhausting thing but I know you wouldn't be anywhere else but with your husband.

Come back often and let us know how things are going.


Daisylin's picture
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

I don't often visit the caregiver board, but today I came on and read your post. I am so very sorry for everything you are going through. My husband also had EC, stage ivb, and I lost him to this nasty disease 11 days ago. I hope that you never have to face that. Please come to the EC boards, as Rita mentioned, we are all so supportive and caring there. We would love to add you to the family. We often discuss things such as what you have mentioned, sickness, denial, anger, weight loss, anxiety and so much more. There are many of us who have been given a clean bill of health, like your husband. Perhaps their stories can give you some direction.

As for his weight loss and being sick still....... there are meds for that. There are many different kinds of antinausea meds, and he may have to try a few to get the right one for him. We can help you to know what to ask your doctor for.

Has your husband had a feeding tube? This is a key necessity for anyone with ec, especially if he's still losing weight. It may be a pain in the butt, and not very pretty, but please, if he does not have one, try to get one for him. My husband Lee and I had to fight our oncologist to have one, but oh, what a difference it made, both for weight maintenance and hydration. With 100 pounds weight loss, he must be severely malnourished! How could you possibly be happy and cheerful when you are starving????

As for your husband's morbid outlook, there are medications for depression as well, and many cancer patients take these. Of course he's depressed! And of course, you are too!!! Or would he consider counselling? would you? You never know, it could help!

I am posting from Canada, where we have free health care, so although I feel so sorry for your financial state, I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. Please know that I am not trying to be condescending, but if I could trade my house, car and everything I own to get Lee back, I would..... in a second. The bills can wait, your love for your husband and the relationship you have cannot wait. It must be difficult to walk in your shoes, I can't imagine the strain you are under. I am so sorry for your frustration, fears, anger and sadness.

Please be well, take time for yourself

chemosmoker's picture
Posts: 524
Joined: Aug 2011

It's SO SO SO overwhelming to me to read your post as a stage IVb terminal and I am waiting to leave Michelle this 'mess' behind at only 43 and SO many unfulfilled dreams together. It's SO cruel.

I lost Lee (not like Chantal (of COURSE) did above this post) but my "BEST" friend diagnosed close to me @ the sane time, is gone and the loneliness makes me wonder, really wonder would it better to still be here all patched together and 'alive' or move on, and have YOUR life back now, I don't mean this to sound so cruel as it does to me, who wouldn't chose life but we are given NO guidance on what to expect and how to deal with the pain and noon stop problems. MAKES ME MAD!!!

Different as she won't have the daily grind of what reads like never ending misery. How do you do it? What do the doctors tell you? "Be grateful" for this workload alone? I often think I really feel that I did do the right thing, going palliative only and NOT trying to live patched back together like a cabbage patch doll. I HATE that I sound SO harsh. I would of course rather BE HERE with her, alive, able to hold her dear Little hand, and smell her and feel her beside me here still now....what does someone offer you beyond just hang in thet with gratitude for their presence. I don't think I could do it to Michelle if they PROMISED time I would live and be here for years to come....at what cost though to HER?

I am so sorry. God bless your strength and I am here for you (for not long though also)...

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011


I know what you are going through. It is harder to watch someone you love suffer than to suffer yourself, in my opinion. If the nausea meds aren't working, ask doctor to prescribe a different one. The suppositories worked best for my husband and still do when he gets occational nausea.

We to are suffering financially. I had to leave my job to care for my husband and we are living on his Social Security. Do not be proud, apply for everything. Even though the food stamps are not much, they help. Call the cancer society, they will send you a list of assistance in your area. If it gets to the point they are going to take your home etc. call a lawyer and talk about bankruptcy. Your husbands health and both your sanities are more important than pride.

Try to go to lunch with a friend once in awhile and talk about something trivial (not cancer) Also, try a support group. There are none in my area but I have found a lot of comfort, support and prayers on the board specific to my husbands cancer. You will feel like family and they of all people know what you and your husband are going through. I learned more about my husbands cancer, side effects and how to treat side effects from that board tahn all the medical professionals.

Praying for you and your husband.


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