Hi -- I am a regular MDC user but signed up with a new account b/c I know too many people IRL and need some anonymity just now. My DH (45) was diagnosed with cancer last week. I am trying to process all of this and be strong (for him) and carry on with regular life for our 3 kids. The 'prognosis' is good at this point. We have a treatment plan we are comfortable with right now and surgery will occur in 5 weeks. How do I get through this waiting period? I need help figuring out a way to manage stress in a way that is cheap (free), legal and actually works. The support threads on the cancer forums are just too much for me just now. I can't look beyond his treatment plan. It is a fine line between being well educated and realistic and totally overwhelmed. He is a very private person and does not want anyone to know yet. I am also private and respect that, but I need some support... Not sure where to turn. Our kids don't know yet.
We are focusing on healthy eating, boosting the immune system, moderate exercise, positive thoughts....but all of that goes out the window if my mind has a split second to drift from whatever that task at hand is. There are so many tests and results to wait for over the next few weeks. We are in this weird limbo period.
Anyone BTDT with a DH/SO? I know there are some threads for cancer survivor moms and also moms of kids with cancer...I can't even imagine how I could deal in those kind of situations when I feel so useless and overwhelmed now. Please think good thoughts my way.... Thanks for letting me vent.
I don't have any information for you but I couldn't read and not post. I will be thinking good thoughts for you and your family. Take care of yourself. Lots of hugs for you.
Me too. Hugs. Are there IRL support groups that you as a spouse could attend? I know that with a loss that I had, although COMPLETELY different than the turmoil you're going through, I found those who could really relate to be the most helpful.
Good good luck with your emotions, and with your husband's illness. I hope his surgery is a success.
Hi, My husband was diagnosed with Stage 2b colon cancer in October 2009.He had an operation followed by 6 months of chemo.He now has periodic checkups , bloodwork and cat scans.I like to read- I usually read informational nonfiction, but while he was going through treatment I read lots of easy to read mysteries and chick lit to distract myself.Magazines are good too because the articles are short, you don't have to remember and focus for too long at a time.There are a lot of good cookbooks for people with cancer -that could be a fun distraction, to try new recipes.There is a cookbook that had different recipes that might appeal to someone experiencing different treatment symptoms- I don't know the name . My library had it.We went to a cancer support center that had a group for kids with a family member with cancer.It helped my son ,who was 7at that time.The adults were in a separate room and just took turns reporting how things were going for them. It did help.If he will be having chemo, you will meet people receiving treatment there who understand what you are going through. If you want to ask me anything I will do my best to help.
Thank you--I'm so glad your husband is doing well! That is so reassuring. There are days when I wonder if it will ever not be so all consuming. Today was pretty good actually, but man oh man, yesterday sucked.
We have been focusing on super healthy eating to boost DH's immune system, so the cook books are a good suggestion. I am usually a non-stop knitter with 5 different projects going at once, but I have totally lost the ability to focus on that. I am going to make myself choose a few really portable projects to try and take the edge off of waiting around @ Dr's appointments. There are so many over the next few weeks...
I have pretty much sworn off any of the online cancer forums at this point. They are just more than I can take in right now. I don't know if an "IRL" group would be my style....then again, cancer is not my style either and here we are right smack in the middle of it.
Thank you for writing. It's good to know there are families that are dealing ok. Our kids are still blissfully unaware at the moment. Since there are still several weeks before surgery, we are trying to keep things business as usual until it gets a little bit closer.
When you are at the oncologists, ask what support groups they know about.Then you will have the info if you want to pursue it.I would think about how you intend to tell your kids. We brought our son to the oncologists to meet our doctor. He has small children and was very good with him. He also saw the chemo center so he could picture where his father was spending time. I don't know how old your children are, but they may start to question the multiple medical appointments- so I would be prepared to address this.I am glad he has a good prognosis- you will get through this - but it will be streessful. If you have a little extra money , stock up on your houshold's staples. If things get overwhelming at least you won't have the surprise of no shampoo or juice.Good thought for your family.
Thanks for the suggestions. We are in a very rural area and the oncologist is 4 + hours away.... Any support groups would be at least 1.5 hours, and at this point, the scheduling/travel/child care involved in attending would outweigh any benefit. I think we will get a better handle on what the long term needs for care will be over the upcoming weeks.
My husband works from home, but travels frequently, so the kids are not noticing much out of the ordinary at this point in terms of the appointments. Unfortunately, it means I have had to stay home and have had to Skype or conference call into the appointments. It's not ideal, but it has been the best option given the circumstances. For surgery, we will be staying (all of us) with family near to the medical center. So far, everyone in the surgeon's office has been wonderful. Good point about having the kids meet the doctor. I know the surgeon has school aged kids, and the RPA has 5 year old twins. We'll have to see when that kind of a visit might make sense...
I know many on MDC are Walmart haters, but it's the closest option for one-stop shopping for us (1 hour + away). I LOADED up this weekend.... we are set with all the incidental stuff for the next 6 months. Since we are used to life in the boonies, we are well versed on a full pantry and freezer. I usually have pretty decent garden and we usually do maple syrup to trade for other things (eggs mostly), but syrup is just not in the cards this year and the garden will likely be scaled back. The way it goes I guess!
There might be a support center with counselors that you could talk to on the phone.It must be even more difficult to have such long distances to travel for medical help.We went about an hour away for surgery and half an hour for chemo.Since knitting is your thing,an easy project will help you pass time.I know a lot of knitters have stashes of yarn, I hope you have something you can pull out to use. Good job with the stock up- it will make life easier.Another thing to do, to keep you busy and be prepared, check your kids clothes for what they will need for spring / summer.You seem like you are thinking things through and coping fairly well.Good thoughts to your family.
I posted on your other thread but wanted to respond here about what to do while waiting. Stock your freezer with quick meals. Stock it with food for you and the kids and stock it with food easy on the stomach for him. If he will be having chemo, buy him an extremely soft toothbrush (I used a baby toothbrush). Be prepared with the ingredients for "magic mouthwash" or have the doctor write a prescription for a pharmacist to make it for you. Buy a very soft hairbrush. I can't really think of anything else he will need right now, I still have chemo brain myself. Basically, if it helps you feel more in control, spend your time gathering the things he will need during treatment. At least you will feel like you are doing something. One other thing, I noticed you are working on building up his immune system, I would also concentrate on boosting the immune system of everyone in the house. You want everyone that will come in contact with him to be as healthy as possible.
Check out "The Gerson Miracle" on Netflix, which is a film about a cancer therapy with excellent results that is completely diet-based. I found it so encouraging and interesting, that I got the book for more in-depth information, and have begun changing my eating completely. I pray you have moments of peace in all the chaos and fear right now. May your husband be healed!!
I am sorry you are all going through this.
I have know some younger to mid-age adults who have had cancer and who have went into remission. I think getting it at a younger age (as opposed to older adults) can help with healing.
We just watched The Beautiful Truth! I don't know if you are looking for medical advice, but I would second it as an hour well spent. Also, have you heard of Dr. Schultz and the American Botanical Pharmacy? He has had great success healing people from everything. He uses the same basic principles as the Gerson Therapy in the documentary, but it seems like Dr. Schultz has better results because he 'turns up the intensity' in his program. The number one thing they both do is give your body optimal nutrition so you can heal yourself.