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Sometimes, life is not only about cancer

Abbycat2's picture
Abbycat2
Posts: 641
Joined: Feb 2014

 

I can remember when Uterine cancer was all that I could attend to. After all, my gyn onc thought I would have a life-threatening recurrence. Well, by God’s grace, I never did and I am still alive and healthy after being diagnosed with stage 3a Serous Uterine carcinoma 5.5 years ago.

The last two months of my life have been difficult, however, and painful and not at all connected to cancer. After spending 2.5 weeks helping my oldest sister, 71-years-old, move in the the state of Georgia, I returned home physically and mentally exhausted and 10 lbs lighter. I was home two weeks, when I received a phone call that her husband of 47 years, Bob, was in a head-on collision. What a nightmare! All my siblings and Bob’s family traveled to Georgia, keeping vigil in the trauma hospital ICU. Bob passed away 8 days later. I knew him and loved him my entire adult life and am now just very depressed. 

I think having survived a deadly cancer has made me particularly vulnerable to loss. I also have a relative diagnosed with ALS. I feel as depressed as I felt when I was told I had an advanced, aggressive Uterine cancer. How on Earth can any of us cope with  this stress? How do you remarkable and brave women cope? 

Wannabeatit
Posts: 97
Joined: Dec 2017

I have been going through a lot of physical stress over the last 6 months due to complications of bi lateral knee surgery. The pain has been so bad that the doctors say I have been in survival mode where your whole body shuts down to deal with the problem at hand. There have been more than a few days where I was begging for the pain to go away. Somehow I have convinced myself that I have the strength and courage to keep going knowing that the future will and must be better. Because of my journey with cancer I have become a stubborn gal and refuse to give up on things. I hope you will “get your willpower back” soon. 

barnyardgal
Posts: 197
Joined: Oct 2017

Abbycat, I'm so sorry. Sometimes it just seems like everything hits at once. I've had that happen, and survival mode is a good way to put it. Hope you get thru this time quickly and feel better soon. 

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 214
Joined: Jan 2017

Dear Abbycat, two years ago when I got my UPSC diagnosis, yours was one of the first posts I read. You were so knowledgeable and upbeat. It made me read more posts and I found such strong women to add to my Mustangs.( My support group is called the Mustangs and what a glorious herd they are.)  When things fall apart, be it cancer or a sudden death, we are rocked to the core and our defense mode seems to have deserted us.  At 79, I have faced many moments when I was sure I would not be able to get up the next day. But, I had children who needed care. I had to help my mother face the death of my father while my heart was also breaking.  I saw my husband off to war. Fought cancer 3 times. How do we survive life?  We reach out, as you have done and we ask that in our low moments, others lift our spirits and see us through the dark period. You and your family are hurting and it will take time to absorb all that has happened. Hug your love ones close and let them know how you are hurting. We don't always have to be strong. Sometimes we need to cry or scream or ask why. And then comes the moment when you see an especially beautiful sunrise or the smile on a baby's face, and you know that day will be better. We all love you and our arms are around you though we are far away. Peace.

Kathy G.'s picture
Kathy G.
Posts: 201
Joined: Dec 2012

Abbycat, sorry to hear of the loss of your brother-in-law. It is difficult to deal with with a loved one's death, and when it is sudden and unexpected it can make things harder!

My first big health scare was my cancer in 2012. I have been blessed to be over 5 years out, and never having to deal with the treatments & side affects related to this disease. However, I was also diagnosed with permanent afib in 2012, and am always fatigued. Like needing to sleep up to 12 hours a day sometimes, and my endurance for even housework can be short-lived. I have had to make significant changes to my lifestyle. Gotta love how the TV commercials make afib look so easy!

In 2017 I got totally sideswiped with sepsis. I developed gangrene as a result, required emergency surgery and amputation. Had in home nursing care for 6 months. 

I guess my point is we all face adversity in many forms and as we get older it seems like we have more to deal with rather than less.

I get on my pitypot on bad days, but my faith, a supportive husband and family...and the will to LIVE despite the hard times keeps me going. 

Be easy on yourself. You are dealing with alot. You will get through it. Never OVER it. But through it!

Kathy

janaes
Posts: 736
Joined: May 2016

Abbycat this reminds me of a story. I had a relative that was killed in a pedestrian car accident years back. If you remember i had cancer over 20 years ago and of course survived. I was in a car accident and in the emergency room they took exrays of my chest and found my cancer. So my accident saved my life. And my relatives life ended because of an car crash. I couldnt help but think of that when he died. 

I am so sorry to here of your loss. May God be with you and your family.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2541
Joined: Mar 2013

Oh my friend, I am so sorry.  When cancer was sitting on my doorstep, I always told myself, "there is someone going through something worse."  My heart breaks for you.  We 'deal' with our issues, and want to protect the ones we love from pain, and yet, terrible things like this happen. 

I have tears in my eyes for you and your family.  I think we begin to heal ourselves by helping others, which is why there is such a support system here.  No doubt your sister may need your help, and I have no doubt there may be many tears for both of you, but you need each other.  

Something like this doesn't make sense.  Good people taken from us - doesn't make sense.  You and your family are in my prayers.  Hugs my friend.  

Donswife48
Posts: 289
Joined: Nov 2015

There have been times in my life, that being crazy brave and wicked strong (Suzy Toronto) is beyond me.  I just have to sit back and breathe, and remember the Serenity Prayer - God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.  I am best dealing with the troubles in my life by myself, because I put on a happy face around family, but I lean on my online friends for support.  Please post often and allow us to lift you up.  Hugs Nancy

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1502
Joined: Jun 2015

So sorry for your loss sweet Abbycat. I agree with our sisters above. Time helps us get through the hard things in life. It doesn't get us over them. We are here for you. Please come back and let us know how you and your sister are doing. 

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

MAbound
Posts: 826
Joined: Jun 2016

Oh, I am so sorry for what you are going through! When it comes at you from all directions like that it's got to be hard not to feel the way you are! Take the time you need to mourn your loss and the unfairness of the other issues you have to cope with.

It's doubtful any one of us gets through life unscathed by such devastation; we all have our own stories that we can and sometimes do share, but that doesn't make it any easier for you in the moment. Bob must have been a really lovely person for you to feel his loss so keenly. I hope someday soon you'll be able to feel those years you had him were worth the pain you are going through now. He's left you with good memories and that's really all any of us can leave to the ones we love.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1318
Joined: Oct 2015

I am so sorry! Heartbreak is a part of life but that sure doesn't make it any easier when it happens. Sometimes it just keeps coming and makes us question how much more we can take. We're all here for you and we all understand. (((Cathy)))

Love,

Eldri

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 263
Joined: Feb 2018

The two tangible things that work for me in times of grief and depression are these:  lean and serve.  Lean on the Lord and on your friends - most of us really want to help each other.  Most of us are delighted to sit with you in your sorrow, to bring a meal, to send flowers.  God is best of all at loving us and holding us through the trials.  Serving helps me - I find a young mom who needs a break and take her to a movie, a concert, or out to dinner.  Or I take a meal to her family and give her the night off from cooking.  Something to focus on and to get me out of my own head.  I know this comment isn't very focused or eloquent - I'm having an exhausted weekend - but just want to encourage you that though this is a hard season, it is a temporary season.  The sun will shine again.  Thank you for staying with us after all these years of being cancer free.  We need you!

 

Abbycat2's picture
Abbycat2
Posts: 641
Joined: Feb 2014

I admit that I cried reading all of your posts and am reminded that we all suffer at one time or another. It is, after all, the human condition. But, darn, it would be wonderful if we could just have a reprieve once in a while!  I am doing OK, putting one foot in front of the other as I know you are all doing, too. Thank you all for your support at a time when my heart and soul so needed it.

Hugs, Cathy

 

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 505
Joined: Oct 2009

I am so sorry to hear of the death of your brother-in-law. It does seem like sometimes it is just too much for one to handle. You will manage one day at a time no doubt. It is so hard to grieve. Sometimes don’t you just want to go back in time before the loses of life? I am glad you reached out to your “sisters“ on this board. You are a kind and thoughtful sister helping with the move and I’m sure your sister will need your help as you work through your grief. It’s just so heartbreaking ... 

((Hug))

Lori

cheerful
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Cathy:  I am sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's passing. I know this has been a difficult time for you - I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.  Also, I had a cousin that had ALS and passed away in 1991 and he was only 60. He had ALS for about a year and a half - he was so young to pass away back then. Sadly, there is not much that can be done for this very fatal disease as there are very few medications out in the market that can help it so I will keep your family in my prayers.

Cheerful

a/k/a Jane

MugsBugs
Posts: 103
Joined: Jan 2018

Life is just hard sometimes and it seems like when life becomes hard life just keeps piling it on.  I have been told all my life that things happen in threes and that has held true in my life.  You are due for a break now!

I have read your posts and they are always upbeat and positive - try to keep that positivity.  Sending a virtual hug!

Betty

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1928
Joined: Nov 2009

Cathy

so sorry to hear everything you have been going through lately.   I am so sorry for your loss.    Nothing I can say or do can take that pain away. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.   You are a strong person and you have always encouraged me on my posts.  

It does get overwhelming.   After going through my stuff and 2 recurrences, my husband having Stage 3 pancreatic cancer (he’s doing well But I worry) what more can there be?   Well I was getting out of bed and leaned on my nightstand and my arm broke. I needed surgery and the put in a plate and screws.   I can’t drive.  It was my right arm and I’m right handed.    I also had three UTIs recently.  

Hang in there Cathy.  (((((Hugs)))))

Kathy

barnyardgal
Posts: 197
Joined: Oct 2017

Maternal, I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time too. Hope you feel better.

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 550
Joined: Nov 2016

Oh my dear Abbycat2, my heart goes out to you in this painful time. I can relate to what you're saying: cancer was, in my mind, the trump card, they royal flush, the worst thing (relatively) that could happen to you. It seems incomprehensible that, having handled (if you're lucky and your cancer is not active) or handling (if your cancer is active) all that should preclude any other disasters happening in your life. Sadly that's not the case, as you and others here have discovered. Me, I'm in active treatment. A close friend - a cancer buddy - unexpectedly moved out of the country. Then a friend had a devastating stroke from which she will never fully recover. Then, 8 weeks ago, my best friend from college, the person who took me to treatments and helped me out in general, had a mild heart attack followed by a stroke. The whole cycle left me stunned and speechless. I'm glad you started this post because, sometimes, misery DOES love company and it helps to hear that we're all struggling with life beyond that road-hog, cancer, that takes up all available airspace. Bless you and know that you're in my prayers. B

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