A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
TY Tara! There are those who try to tell me otherwise, but I know I did the right thing.
Very strange - my brother died from multiple-myeloma and in the course of his treatment also contracted c-diff. He had to have part of his colon removed. He had a colonostomy for a while. Months later they reversed it. He had two stem-cell transplants. They always worked for a while and then the cancer would come back. In the end, his kidneys failed.
My husband died from pancreatic cancer and he went so quickly - 3 1/2 weeks after diagnosis - that he didn't have time for any cancer treatment at all.
My husband also died from multiple myeloma and kidney failure. He suffered through 3 bouts of c-diff - a horrible, horrible infection that nearly killed him each time. He also had to have a colostomy which they hoped to be able to reverse, but he was never strong enough to have that surgery or to even consider a transplant. He endured dialysis 3 times a week in addition to weekly chemo the last 18 months. The torture of the treatments and related side effects is hard to justify now, but at the time we just kept fighting, knowing there was no cure, but always thinking we were going to be one of the lucky ones. We did get more time than they original thought, but I don't know whether his suffering was worth it in the end. I guess it's easier to say that on this side of the end.
My husband also died from pancreatic cancer, but he survived for two years and three months after his diagnosis in March 2006. We used a combination of alternative treatments and conventional treatments, starting with conventional radiation and chemotherapy via pills. That was enough to stop the tumor growth and relieve the pain, so we then switched to alternative treatment, which brought him back to feeling decent and he had some good months until pain returned about the first of 2007. He then did intravenous chemotherapy, which shrunk the tumor and again relieved the pain. By this time it was summer of 2007 and he opted for us to do some traveling instead of alternative treatment, and the pain was back by Christmas. He couldn't do the alternative treatment when he had pain, so he tried intravenous chemotherapy again, but his body couldn't handle it this time. He went on Hospice in February 2008 and we tried different alternative therapies, but this time none were successful and the cancer won. He died in June 2008. We, too, kept hoping we would be one of the lucky ones who could beat cancer, and we did push it back for several months, thanks to alternative treatments. I'll always wonder if he would have pushed it back even further if he had gone back to the successful alternative treatment in the summer of 2007, instead of doing the traveling. But, when I remember how much he enjoyed that traveling, I know it was the right thing to do.
Luvof my life:
The points-of-view for those of us whose spouses died after transplants vs. those who lived must be so incredibly different. I feel kind of cynical about my own attempts to get Ken the best treatment available...and then to have it be like a kind of torture that lead to death. But if he had lived, I'd be praising modern science. How I wish we could have been on that side and to now be feeling triumphant over illness.
Knowing much of what you and your husband probably went through, I am sorry for you loss and for all who knew and loved your husband.
You are so right, about how you would feel if it had succeeded. My husband had heart problems, and I see so many people recover from valve surgery, bypasses, etc., and you think why couldn't that have happened with Mike? It never seems to make any sense.
I just joined this site and read your post. My 39 yo daughter passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 2010, 6.5 yrs after valve replacement surgery, and I lost my husband 10 months later also having had valve replacement 7 yr before. At least my daughter had a good life for those yrs, my husband suffered from congestive heart failure, although he had a few good years after the surgery.
Hi, I'm Cindy and my husband Don died of advanced pancreatic cancer in September 2007. They gave him 3-6 months to live but he survived for 18 months. The caregiving was very traumatic in the final months as one function after another in his body deteriorated. We had hospice just for the last two weeks and he died in my arms in his own bed as he wished.
I have adult sons and one moved closer to me after I was hospitalized with pulmonary embolisms last year. The kids have been great. Don and I had moved down south a year before he died so all of our retirement dreams ended but he was happy to be here where we had spent so much time over the years.
I have some limitations but I have several new friends and I get out to dinner two or three times each week. I love to read, socialize and do my PT on a regular basis. The loneliness at home is the hardest part so I make sure I'm out part of every day. My kitty is a good companion and I still have many blessings to be grateful for. One is my three year old grandson and, though I can't travel to see him now, they do come down every three months and we make the most of it. Glad to be here! Communication is so important!
Hi I m Darcy, my husband Greg was diagnosed with Bile Duct cancer in March of 09 he had a Whipple procedure and then underwent chemo and radiation. During this time we shut down/lost our businesses and also our house. My husband was so strong he was determined to beat this cancer. He survived a brain tumor and that surgery while he was in the military! His goal was to live longer than his dad who passed away at age 54. We were fortunate to get almost a year with him being cancer free, but last October his cancer was back. Greg was still determined to beat it some how. He had to delay the treatments because of an abscess on his liver. Like cindy292 I was his caregiver at home. It was very traumatic and demoralizing for him as his body deteriorated. After months to get over the infection, he resumed the chemo therapy in January. In March we learned that while the tumor had not grown the chemo was not doing what it was supposed to. He was so sick of being sick we decided to take some time off. It was our anniversary so we went to Mexico, one last time. It was our favorite place to vacation. Greg was able to nap all day by the pool while I read my book. He was so glad to be warm since the Chemo drugs made him sensitive to the cold. Greg started getting sick on our return trip home. He wanted to start Radiation Therapy with Cyber Knife. After his first session he told me how good he felt on the way home. He said"Honey, I think we might be able to have company again soon" The next day we went in for fluids and to talk to his new oncologist (His oncologist had just retired) While talking to the doctor, Greg began experiencing pain and had to be rushed to the hospital where they determined that the abscess was back and had ruptured, he was septic. He was in ICU for 4 nights before I was able to get him home with the help of hospice. His wishes were to die at home. He came home on monday against all odds. I learned that night that the doctors and other medical staff did not think he would live through the 30 minute drive home. Greg lived until Friday afternoon and passed away April 22nd 2011.
I feel so angry that we did not know the abscess was still an issue. They never told us he had it again. I feel like he slipped through the cracks and I hate feeling that way!
I did not mean to get so detailed. Having a rough time these past few days....
I am so glad that I found this site, thank you!