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Hello my name is Beth,

Where does one start when their heart has been broken, when words of comfort do little to stop the tears or calm your rapid breathing.

Five months ago my husband of 21 years was diagnosed with kidney cancer. In July Kevin had his kidney removed and the plan was to begin chemo. The oncologist he was seeing didn't seem overly concerned with getting Kevin into chemo very quickly. At that point we decided to seek out another doctor, we found a wonderful oncologist 2 hours away. So a treatment plan was agreed upon and Kevin even had his first treatment. However, in the mean time he developed some pain in his shoulder. Given he was 61 we felt more than likely it was arthritis and didn't become overly concerned. 

So that afternoon Kevin had his first treatment and then was sent for a CT scan of his shoulder. When the results came back our world began to crash. Prior to this everyone felt sure that Kevin could fight the battle with the kidney and the small spots on his lungs. His lab work was perfect, he was in fairly good health (a bad heart but, treated), and the overall outlook was good. 

But, then the CT results. The cancer had spread from his kidney to his lungs and now his neck/shoulder, The pain was from the spine being compressed as the cancer had created a lesion that took over the entire c5 and was taking over c6. This was also the reason for the ever increasing pain that Kevin had been feeling in the last month. He was admitted that evening with the hope of surgical intervention. Still everyone seemed to think he had a fairly positive chance.

Next came a flurry of doctors...neurologist, oncologists, radiologist, cardiologist, and what felt like anyone else who wanted to look at Kevin. After this came news that Kevin's heart was not as strong as we thought. Be advised that any type of surgery would be certain death for him.

It was decided after a 21 day hospital stay that radiation would be the best idea to deal with the new found mass on his spine. The addition of the cervical collar would be permanent to protect his spine. With the hope of preventing any further damage or even paralysis. Once radiation was completed he could restart the immunotheraphy. 

While not a perfect life it was one we were willing to take, while in the hospital we were able to celebrate our 21 st anniversary of our first date.

Kevin then was transferred to a rehab physical therapy center to regain the physical strength he lost during the extended hospital stay. 

All the while I was driving back and forth from home and the hospital. Stopping to visit my mother who at the time was in her own rehab physical therapy center for a fall and lower back fracture. Prior to her fall we all lived together. She was fairly independent 76 year old lady. However, this fall has healed slowly causing her to lose ground creating frustration and anger on her part with her lack of mobility.

On the first of this month feeling my moms frustration and figuring Kevin would be fine in rehab allowing me to catch up on some rest at home, I agreed that my mom could return home with me and we would have a bit of time together. 

We spent the first day catching up and making plans for the weeks ahead. Then the next evening I received a phone call that began a tailspin that I still haven't returned from. Kevin was having radiation when he felt weakness all over. The weakness led to total paralysis and this meant all option were exhausted. The neurologist explained that this meant the end and most likely sooner than later. I called Kevin's family both sisters lived out of state. We were told to get to the hospital as soon as possible. 

Kevin was able to see his sisters and even came home with hospice. This was important to me after a leaving home on October 11th, I felt it was so important to let him return home. So on the 17th of November Kevin passed away. Feeling no pain or discomfort. Which in its self was blessing after feeling so much pain.

So in a nutshell its me and my mom navigating our way.

I however, feel lost, angry, and hurt.

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Replies to This Discussion

So sorry to hear of your loss. I wont go into details but I loss my dear husband of over 47 years approximately seven months ago. He too suffered with kidney disease. However, he had been on dialysis for about three years and we were optimistic that we would have more years together. However, that was not to be. He lost consciousness after his dialysis treatment and was rushed to the hospital. They revived him and we were expecting to being him home when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest and despite all efforts died. Right now what you are feeling is understandable. Add to that lonliness and despair. What has kept me going is my faith and my family. ….and this, I can vent without fear of being judged. I also found Griefshare to be a great help.(they have sessions all over the states and excellent reading material on grieving) Initially I was consumed with giving my husband a proper burial.(he was a veteran and a retired police officer) After that the reality of his being gone really set in and I admit I have had several meltdowns....but I try to find something to be thankful about each day. One day it is that he no longer has to suffer the agony of dialysis. Another day it is that he had a chance to talk to each of our three children and our adult granddaughter before he left us. Take solace in whatever you can until the fog starts to clear.

The meltdowns keep coming don’t they. Even though we know they no longer are suffering it istill doesn’t stop the longing to have them still here. My husband has been gone nearly 10 months and sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it feels like forever. I do not yearn for the man who was sick I yearn for him as he was when we were younger. Hopefully we will come through this heartbreaking time and learn to live again. All the best.

In this text I fully recognize what I feel myself. My husband died in April 2018, after a four-year battle against a brain tumor. He was 73, and wanted to live so badly. How fantastic was our time together. I still can not believe that he is gone forever. He was my everything. With him I was "complete". Now I only feel a measly particle of what once was.
Lots of hugs to you

Hi Beth, like you I am having great difficulty coming to terms with the death of my husband, He had prostate cancer for about 8 years and then it went to his bones. I was his sole carer until the last few months of his death and then he went into hospital for the last 3 weeks. Sometimes I think I am going crazy with grief. I cry for no reason and never know when it is coming, he was the love of my life and my soulmate and the fact that he was 85 and I am 79 makes no difference to the love we felt for each other. We were married for 26 years, second marriage for me but first for him. He has been gone nearly 10 months and it is not getting any easier. I am dreading the Christmas season. I am so sorry for your loss also. I miss people mentioning his name. It is as if he never existed. I hope it gets easier for us both soon.

Hi Beth. So sorry to hear about Kevin. It must be hard with it being so fresh in your mind with it happening only a few weeks ago. Watching the one you love die in front of you is an experience I will never forget and I hate to say that adage that "everything heals with time" may not necessarily be true. I think what happens is that over time the pain is still always there we just get better at handling it each year.

I too am angry and upset that I am left alone. I am dreading this Christmas already :(

I lost my husband to kidney cancer in September 2018. He was 62 years of age. I am only 31 years of age and we had been together for 13.5 years before he passed. We initially learned of his cancer in December last year, was told it was operable and he went in for surgery in March 2018. Halfway through the surgery the surgeon rang and said it could not be removed and that maybe chemo was an option. He was intubated in ICU for a week and then when he woke up a week later started dying so the doctors started palliative care and transferred him to a hospice to die. He ended up picking up in the hospice after 2 weeks and then spent another 2 months in hospital before we were told to take him home whilst we had him as there was nothing that could be done (that was end of May). I had him at home caring for him whilst also working fulltime til August before I couldn't manage and had to put him into a nursing home. He lasted 5 weeks before dying in the nursing home on 28th September this year. I am in so much of a shock as I genuinely thought he would still be here for Christmas. I feel very cheated that last week I had the 1 year anniversary of him being diagnosed and he is not here. In his last 6 months of life I watched my husband be on the brink of dying and then rally again 5 times before he actually went. It was an awful thing to watch.

The horrible thing about all this that no one tells you about is the guilt you feel when you look back and notice when they became sick but I had not done anything about it. I first noticed my husband was loosing weight and feeling unwell back in April 2017, yet we thought it was due to stress because I had just finished my radiation treatment for endometrial cancer then. So we missed all the signs until it was too late. And now I am here and he isn't. It just seems too unfair that life can go on whilst we are "stuck" in this horrible fog that we have no idea how to navigate our way through.


Beth, I so feel what you are feeling.  My husband passed Nov 16, 2018 of prostate cancer. age 62.

I am lost, some days angry, why us??  And my heart aches, seriously aches.

The only thing that keeps me going, is, he is no longer in pain. I hated the pain he had to

go through.  Some days I just want it all over, throw the towel in.

I just keep plugging away, thinking maybe this is all a bad dream and he will come

walking through the door again.  

message me-we can talk  {{HUGS}}

We all seem to be part of this awful “epidemic” of cancer. They say time heals, that is not true. You don’t ‘’’get over’ the death of your soulmate you get through it, the pain is always there. I am 10 months into my grieving and still never know when or where it is going to hit me. I can be walking through a shopping centre or driving in the car and the tears come from nowhere. I talk (or cry) to my husbands photo nearly every day and kiss his photo good morning and goodnight, it does not seem possible that he is gone and I am still here.that is not how it is supposed to be. I hope I can get through the Christmas season and wish you the best also. Gil was a yong 85 and I am a young 79. I will never love another man. I could not replace him or love anyone like I love him. Xxx


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