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Well today is the day after Christmas, this was my first Christmas without my husband.  I was fortunate to have family around however I feel like I am going backwards.  My husband passed May 2, 2017 after a short 5 month battle with Stage IV Kidney Cancer. I have really good days and I guess the down fall is the bad days that come up from time to time.  Tomorrow 12/28/2016 would have been 1 year ago ; he had the surgery to remove his right Kidney, piece of his bladder and ureter.  This was the most painful surgery he I have seen him have which included a 4 1/2 day stay in the hospital which included his birthday.  I regret our decision to have this surgery as I don't think it extended his life and just left him with a long road of recovery only to pass away 5 months later.  I truly wish we could have spent his last birthday in a happier place and him without pain.

I made it through Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day dinner with just a few tears.  Now the well has broken.  I couldn't cry around the grandkids not fair to them.  I can't write everything I feel on FB as my grandkids have FB as well.  I know people here will understand the pain. I was doing so well and now I feel like I am going backwards.  I miss him so much.  I will always love you Jack and miss you so much.

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Comment by Dianne in Nevada on December 30, 2017 at 2:00pm

Be kind to yourself when it comes to those 'bad' days. Feel what you feel and don't be afraid of those tears. Especially during your first year. I'm 7 years out and the holidays are still hard for me. I just give myself grace to do what I need to do to get through them. That often involves me spending time alone so I can just feel it all.

And please also give yourself some grace when it comes to regrets about treatment. I get it. Boy, do I get it. My husband had a horribly hard 4+ years of chemo, radiation, multiple surgeries, paralysis, wheelchairs, dialysis ... and I remember the guilt and regrets I felt. But just as Callie has said here, we made those decisions with our loves based upon the facts we were given. And as Nancy said, I do not think I would be as aggressive if I were to receive a cancer diagnosis because of all he went through and all that I saw. I do give myself credit for being a rather awesome caregiver and patient advocate for my love and I have no one to do that for me. 

Keep sharing here. We understand.

Comment by Betsy on December 30, 2017 at 1:26pm

Backward and not much forward. Forward to what? I lost my 57 year old husband May 22 2017,after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer on January 23 2016. Cancer of unknown origin we were told.He thought he had pulled a muscle near his hip in the early fall.He was treating it with ibuprofen and Tylenol  Ben gay,soaking in the tub,heating pad, and ice packs. He got to see a doctor on Jan16.We were sent to the local hospital for an ultrasound and to the pharmacy for a prescription pain killer{wished he never had} . I remember watching the images on the screen during the procedure and seeing some large black areas. I googled ultrasound images the next day and found out those black spots on scans are tumors.I never told him that. We went back to get the results on the 20th and the doctor said what I already suspected was true that he had tumors on his hip and that they had already eaten through his bone. He set him up with an oncologist for the following Monday Jan 23. from that appointment he was sent to the hospital again where he spent four days for tests. He left in a wheelchair.The final results were adenocarcinoma of unknown origin  he had three tumors on his hip one in each lung and one in his esophageal junction.No markers for lung cancer. he was offered palliative care. He had radiation to help shrink the tumor on his hip  and chemo for what ? I cant even remember, all his choice.How do you make decisions when you are told you have 6 months to live?I I remember now,she said 6 months maybe a little longer with chemo. He got to live for four months.  His birthday was Dec 15 ,then Christmas came.I decorated the house in side and out like I always do mostly to prove to myself that I can and to my neighbors and family that I am not a mess when really I kind of am.Thanks Adoption 1964 for writing your thoughts,I have been a member here since June but have never written anything your posts hit a cord with me thanks for sharing 

Comment by NancyD on December 29, 2017 at 10:44am

Adoption1964: I think it's perfectly normal in our grief to have regrets about medical treatment.  I do.  My husband's stomach surgery had to be aborted when they realized the extent of the cancer (did not show up on the scan before the operation).  Recovering from that huge incision, the trauma of the surgery, etc. all for nothing.  In fact, recovering from the surgery meant putting off further treatments for many weeks until his body healed.  I don't know to what extent all the treatments (chemo)  extended his life and to what extent, at least near the end, they made matters worse.  But I do take comfort in knowing that HE willingly made those decisions and he trusted his doctors.  I just wish it had gone differently.   (And I sometimes wonder if I myself receive this sort of diagnosis one day how I will choose to fight the disease.  I don't think I will be as aggressive as he was.  But who really knows?)

I had the same experience on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I kept it together, mostly.  I tried to enjoy the grandkids and other relatives, or at least not burden them with my grief.  Cried my heart out afterwards.   I think that's probably the best you and I and others on this site could all do this year, so I pat us on the back!  :)


Comment by Callie2 on December 28, 2017 at 8:08am

Sorry for your recent loss. I can understand how these holidays are hard for you, the first year will most likely be the toughest.

As far as the decision to move ahead with the surgery--all we can ever do is react to a situation using the facts that are presented to us. Obviously, there was some hope there. On this site, we understand these feelings. I remember beating up on myself--believing that somehow I should have foreseen the massive heart attack he was about to experience. If only I could have known, maybe, if-----this all would not had happened! Even though we have no way of knowing, I think it is helpful to forgive ourselves. You did all you could, some things are just not in our control. Hope you can at least let that part go.

This is an excellent site for widows/widowers. You can express your feelings, fears and experiences here, no judgement. We are all walking down the grief path or have walked it and want to offer support. Hopefully, it's a little less lonely when you have somewhere to go where you are totally understood.

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