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Can't Believe I am Here - AGAIN

kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

I posted a few times here back in 2009 and 2010. This is our third go-round with throat cancer for my husband. He had chemo/rads in 2009, huge throat and flap resection surgery in 2010 for recurrence, and yesterday was diagnosed for the third recurrence. Ugh. We are waiting to find out course of treatment and for pet scan on Monday.

My husband is positive, although is taking xanax for his nerves. I, on the other hand, honestly, am a basket case. I have been a rock through all this, but when I heard this diagnosis I literally almost passed out. I am trying so hard to be positive but I am so scared his body is not going to be able to handle this horrible treatment again. Not confirmed yet but doc indicated he will likely need 30+ radiation treatments, possibly chemo and another surgery. I am just devastated. I am not afraid of him dying, I am afraid of the treatment and all the agony that it brings. We were just starting to get used to the "new normal" and then WHAM - this.

I have got to get myself together and I will by the time this gets started, but right now I am so hurt, mad, resentful, etc... WHY, WHY does this have to happen to us AGAIN. I hate this damn cancer so much. My husband is 59 and we have been married 29 years. Not to mention our son is in his first year of teaching and this is going to totally screw that up as he will insist on being here, and frankly, I need him.

OMG I can't believe I have ranted like this.... promise, I am not a lunatic, I just had to get this out I guess!! I have been reading the forum and it seems like everyone here is going through about the same thing. My family (parents, etc.) don't really understand - they think they do but they don't. Ugh... Thank you for listening, I'm sure I'll be back!

kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

The madness of going to see the chemo doc and going to see the radiation doc has started. He'll see both this afternoon. He says he doesn't want me to go... says he wants me to go with him to ENT Surgeon (who is our lead doc) next week when we all talk about and decide on treatment. I guess since we have been thru this twice before, with same doctors, he figures he is going to hear the same thing and if he doesn't he doesn't want me to hear it? I feel guilty for not going, but on the other hand.... oh I just don't know. I know when I tell our son I'm not going he is probably not gonna be happy. Argh.

I was hoping to hear from someone who has been through this several times? Anyone out there?

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

Not the same, but my wife has been undergoing continuous treatment since diagnosis in 2009. She has never been NED, and just underwent another embolization to kill tumors in her liver. This is exhausting, and I am taking sleeping pills for insomnia.
I accompany her on doctor's visits, as she will minimize her symptoms so she is not a 'bother' to the doctor, so my daughter and I have to go along to 'rat' her out so to speak -).

Just wanted you to know you're not alone.


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

Hi Kimmy
Happy to see you posting, even if it is for the darn cancer once again! I am so sorry you are having to go through this. You have been and still are a wonderful caregiver to your husband. Sometimes us caregivers just need to take a little break from time to time. My dad fought the battle for 16 mos. Started out with EC, chemo, radiation, stent in esophagus, stent in bile duct to liver, then the final chapter was liver cancer. It is a tough road. I feel it was a blessing that my dad passed peacefully. He no longer had a quality of life. He was miserable, he was in pain, he was suffering. Your husband, on the other hand, sounds quite good. He has a positive attitude and that is extremely important! Keep keeping on my friend. You know the drill. Just take a deep breath, count to ten, and do the thing you do best! As for your son, he will make his own decisions, just give him the peace to accept them. Keep in touch. We are here for you.
Tina in Va

LeeandShirley's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

Dear Kimmy,
I am so sorry to hear about you and your husband's situation.I can't imagine the disappointment you must be going through, thinking twice you may have beaten it and again cancer rears it's ugly head. One dx was enough for us, three must be unbearable.

Lee and I have been going through this cancer battle of ours since July 2010. He started out a fully functioning and seemingly healthy and strong adult man. After a surgery with many life threatening complications, six months of chemo and 20 shots of radiation to the bones, where his cancer has spread and give him much pain. He is now walking with the aid of a walker, confined to the house with a few visits to the doctor. We have had to move his bed to the first floor, because he can no longer climb stairs. We are presently waiting to find the results of a PET scan to see why he has become so weakened.

We have been through all the tests and the waiting for results and the word on what treatments follow, and more blood tests and more chemo and radiation. And more waiting to see if it has done any good and the waiting for it to return or spread. And tests; and waiting; unable to make plans for a future and waiting.....

Again all I can say is , I am so sorry. It's a horrible disease and it's very hard on survivors and caregivers. Bless you and your family and prayers go out to you both, to have the strength for the next battle in your war against this enemy.

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kimmy

Just wanted to say I am so sorry you are dealing with this again. My husband has been Stage IV since diagnosis and there is very little hope that he will ever get to NED, but I can imagine how hard, and disappointing it must be for you to have to deal with this again. Like I said in my post I HATE CANCER. Hate what it does to patients and their families, HATE what it does to us caregivers too. I was talking to another caregiver in the infusion room this week and we were saying how we don't fit anywhere -- we are not sick like the patients, but we are certainly not well either. We have "cancer" too, just without the physical part. SUCKS.

Sending prayers for you, your husband and son, and a big (((HUG))) to you too.


kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

Thank you all for the responses. Donna - you are right and I've never thought of it that way, but YES, although we don't have cancer, WE DO and some people don't really know how to deal with us.

Things are progressing along here. My husband will definitely be having surgery, we should find out date on Monday - likely 3/5 or 3/7. Then, decision will be made after surgery whether he will have chemo/rads. His last surgery was 10 hours long.... the tumor is smaller this time, but doc said expect another long surgery and hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised and it will be less complicated.

Bob (husband) is normally a very upbeat and positive person. He was in such shock at his re-diagnosis that he is very down right now. I am trying to be positive and - well, you know - but of course it's hard for me too. We'll make it... just anxious to get on with it I suppose.

Of course I am worrying about all kinds of stuff that really doesn't matter - who will care for dog on surgery day, how many days work will son have to miss, blah blah... like I said, none of that matters and is easily worked out. Maybe I am worrying about that stuff to avoid the major worry that always lingers - what if they don't get it all.

Thanks for listening.

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1313
Joined: Apr 2009

Frustrated is a very mild word to describe just one of the emotions we all feel when these stupid recurrences happen. I am normally on the Colon Board where I am the mother of a survivor. She has been fighting the beast since 2008. She had a NED period of about 18 months and then it reared its' ugly head again because, as we all know for some, Cancer is the gift that just keeps on giving from colon to liver to lungs, etc. I know it's not healthy and although I live very far from my daughter, it seems that my first thought each morning and last thought each night is Cancer. Many members here are able to overcome that feeling and not let Cancer take over their every waking moment and I applaud them for that. However, I have not mastered that technique and probably never will. After all, this is my child we are talking about. You are so right when you say, we have Cancer also. My heart goes out to each and every one of you, survivors and caregivers, in hoping that tomorrow will be a brighter day.



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