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How many ways can you lose someone

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2012

This is my first post. My husband of 27 years was diagnosed with stage 1 esophageal cancer in May of 2010. He went through chemo, radiation and surgery. In September of 2011 scans showed that the cancer had returned and gone into the bones making him stage 4B. He had 22 weeks of chemo and went on a break. In less than a month there are definite indications that the beast is back.

We faced this beast together and united for so long. Now I am a constant cause of anger to my husband. He is upset by the smallest things. I try not to react, but I don't always succeed. I feel guilty, frightened and very unloved.

Has anyone else experienced this? I am trying to be rational and understanding, but am not always successful.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

And he is not angry with you. He is facing some tough realities and it just is not easy.

I think most caregivers would say they faced anger from their loved ones at some point in the course of the illness and treatment.

Don't try not to react, SJ. Be yourself. If you are hurt, cry. If you are angry, say so. It will do no good for you to make yourself sick trying to consider your husband's feelings: you've always considered them and you won't be stopping if you let him know he's upsetting you. He doesn't get to abuse you just because he is upset.

Just take a deep breath. He will get on top of it as soon as he catches his breath.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you. I know you are right. This process seems to be a steady sequence of losses. Its hard to feel that you are losing your loving husband to someone so angry.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

Absolutely the worst.

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Absolutely the worst.
(((((Hugs))))) for you!

LeeandShirley's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

I am going through much the same process as you. Even though I have read the literature about what to expect, that Hospice gave me, it is still very difficult not to feel the stress of the situation. Just pray for the strenghth to weather this storm and don't worry over what you feel is not so nice. We can't be nice all the time with such a heavy load on our shoulders. I have at times this week felt that I was at the end of my rope. I have found that sharing my feelings with others, that I trust, helps me through. For now, at least. Try to get some away time. It will refresh you. It will help you to think over the situation, away from the angry feelings. I know it's hard. And there are no short cuts through this horrible journey. I never knew till now just how far reaching the devastation of cancer can be. Not just on the patients body, but their mind and yours too. It wears us out. At least we have this forum to express the thoughts and feelings we have and that is a great stress reliever. Hang in there and I will try to do the same. Hugs and prayers go out to you.

Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2011

I have been there SydneyJean and some days I am right back there. My husband has metastatic melanoma, he was diagnosed in 2011. What the doctors missed was a brain tumor,that hemorrhaged and luckily I found him ( he had a seizure that knocked him out) and got him to the hospital for emergency surgery that saved his life. He stayed in the hospital for about a month to recover and that was where I experienced the first bout of his lashing out at me. He is doing better now, but we have been told he may have to take the chemo (BRAF in pill form ) for the rest of his life, because without the tumors grow back or start growing again. The side effects are rashes,upset stomach, etc. I guess the usual for most chemo treatments. Thank goodness he is no longer on steroids, because he was much worse then. Today, its up and down, most days are good but some days, if I say the wrong thing or even if I don't it seems to set him off. I have asked him to get therapy, I told him I would go too, but he doesn't want to do that. I know he has a lot of anger about being sick, before this he was never sick; and I know his memory is not as good as it once was. I understand his lashing out, but it doesn't mean it hurts any less. I wish I had some great advice for you, but other then maybe seeing a therapist for yourself or channeling some of your own anger and frustration into projects. Like writing, even if your just venting your feelings in a journal, take a pottery class, or running or walking. Anything to get the negative energy your feeling out will help. He is not angry at you, he is mad at the cancer, I call it the beast too. I hate it, I hate how much my life has changed because of it, I hate how much my husband has changed because of it. I hate it when he sick, when he gets tired easily. That is not the man I knew, I still love him of course and in some ways we are closer then ever, but I can't really share his pain, fatigue and sickness. I have thought many times how I wish I could take the cancer for him, it just seems like so long ago that our lives were "normal" and we seemed headed down a good path in life. We have been married for 20 years ( our 19th anniversary happened the day after his surgery) we have 3 beautiful children all teens now. If you need a friend or someone to vent to you can email me anytime... angela_kadera@bellsouth.net We are all in this battle together.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2012

Wow! I am so glad I found this website and I can certainly relate.

My husband is so angry about really unimportant things. Not being able to find something in the cupboard, if the dog is in the way, if the phone is ringing more than normal.

I have to say that there are times that I wish he had passed from the cancer. How sick it that? He is so angry that I am thankful when he is at work since that is the only time I can relax

He had prostate surgery 6 years ago and since then this is not the man I married. As far as he knows he is fine but he lost 2 brothers to cancer and when he found out he had it he just gave up.

My children and our friendships have been affected by all this as well.

So I get where you are coming from SydneyJean. I am shocked that my husband of almost 30 years has changed so very much and now our marriage is suffering because I am now angry too. I supported him through everything and now I am having to deal with this anger and madness every day.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2012

This is also my first post. My husband of 38 years was diagnosed with testicular lymphoma in Jan 2009 that was treated with chemo and radiation but return as tumors in the brain in Nov 2010. He then went though 20 whole brain radiation treatments one year ago this month. Over the course of this past year his personality has changed so much that we wonder if the treatment was worth it. We know that without it he wouldn't be with us today.

He was always a very gentle, caring and loving man, now he yells whenever I want or need time to myself. He also is upset by the littlest things and I try not to react but he's such a different person that it's hard not to and just let things slide. He feels that I should be at his side 24/7 and for my own santiy I need time to myself but also feel guilty when I take that time. You would think that after dealing with this for a year now that I'd be getting better at it, but I'm not.

I'd love to hear from anyone that may have dealt with a loved one that's been through whole brain radiation and give me some suggestions on how to cope.

Posts: 79
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi Tillie2,
I am sorry you are in this situation. some days are good, some are not so good, some days are just too difficult to describe...

My husband had 25 days of whole brain radiation in March 09. He has developed all the side effects the docs warned us about. He's on a med for the incontinence and it has been a help for his self image and for my sleep! His memory loss is drastic. We have all sorts of tricks we have learned from a wonderful social worker who also helps teens with autism. Hub also goes to PT to help with his balance and walking issues and now he uses a walker. He isn't able to work or drive anymore. He was a hs teacher in NYC and worked at leat two p/t jobs on the side for as long as I have known him. He misses his students and that has been hard on him. He still says he is a teacher when people ask, although he hasn't been in the classroom since June, '08 when he was diagnosed.

I have had to stop working as he can't be left alone all day and I couldn't handle the stress of worrying about him and trying to do my job well.

I don't regret leaving work, because I am married to him, not my job, and I don't regret the WBRT because without it, he would not be here. But this is not what I was expecting for us. My husband is now more child than spouse and after 4 yrs of surviving brain cancer, we are trying to find our relationship again.

I find strength and comfort and support in Chat here. I get out to see my friends once a week after I set the tv for all his shows for that evening. Today I will have a therapy appointment to get a handle on the grief, anger, frustration I have about what our lives have become. I will let you know how it goes.

I pray for all the survivors here, and their caregivers. May we each have the endurance we need to get through this. And the love and peace to enjoy what we can.

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

Hello and welcome to our family on the caregivers discussion board! I was a caregiver for my dad. He passed in March 2010 from EC. I and my mom can totally relate to all of your situations. The caregivers job is one of the hardest in the world.Many ups and downs. The best idea I came up with was starting a journal with my parents throughout my dad's journey with cancer. This proved to be very successful. We shared our innermost thoughts and feelings. Mom and I treasure these journals and continue to write in one. I also had the idea to have my dad go to see a counselor. He appreciated this so much. It was very helpful. We were going to have both mom and dad go to the counselor when dad got worse, the cancer went to his liver, and he passed. Communication is key. Faith is key. Praying helps. Hoping my experience has helped you. Talk to people, like on here. Ask for help. Hugs to you. Keep in touch.
Tina in Va

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