Discussion in 'Grief in Common Updates, Questions & Answers' started by Judith Musumeci, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. My husband Joe died 5 months ago, on August 10th. It was one of those things you would never expect to happen to you.. He was a healthy, vibrant 52 year old with no medical problems. One day he complained he had a pain on his side... we never thought anything of it because he was an electrician and always had aches and pains... But it seemed to get worse and then he told me he always felt full and was having trouble eating at lunch. This is when we went to the doctors and they checked him. At first, all his blood work was coming out completely normal but then a Pet Scan revealed that he had a spot in this stomach lining. Because he was so healthy, it took them 3 weeks to figure out what was wrong with him... in the end they diagnosed him with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. We never heard of this before and we were pretty shocked... I can still hear him asking me "Did they just diagnose me with cancer?"... going through this awful cancer with him was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life....He was dead in 5 months start to finish... This cancer is rare and they don't know much about it... there is only one standard treatment for this. No matter what treatments he did he kept going down hill until he was accepted into a clinical trial. But by the time he started the clinical trial, it was too late.... the cancer had spread all over his body. The hardest part of this for me was watching him die every single day and not being able to do anything about it. We would have been married 20 years in January....He turned 53 two weeks before he died... it has been really hard to live with and I cry alot...At times I want to date again but other times I don't know if I'm even ready for that....it's a very hard thing to go through and a very awful thing to be part of. I know the pain that everybody has experienced here....this experience has really changed me.... I'll never be the same person again....
    ksteve likes this.
  2. griefic

    griefic Administrator Staff Member

    Judith, I'm so very sorry for your loss. A lot of times in the groups I run, people will make the distinction between a sudden loss and the loss of a love one to a long term illness. When I encounter a situation like yours, I always remind the person that in so many ways this was still a sudden loss. No, not as sudden as some losses, but sudden in the sense that you probably had no time at all to process what was happening. The moment a person gets a diagnosis we begin our race for the cure, doing everything and anything we can to save them. When caring for a person in this way there is no time to prepare ourselves for the loss, and no time to try and process the trauma of all that is happening. I say this not to make anything about this worse, but to help validate the challenges that accompany a loss like yours. If you're crying all the time, that's okay. It feels terrible, I know, and probably so different from who you were before. But it is very much to be expected and I hope by coming here you can find others to support you. Other grievers who have experienced a loss similar to yours and who can TRULY understand/
    We are here to help, and I'm glad you've found us. If we can be of any further support, please let me know~
  3. Sciguy

    Sciguy Well-Known Member

    Very sorry to hear about your husband.

  4. Thank you for your kind words, they really mean a lot to me. Yes, I do consider this a sudden loss. In the beginning when Joe was diagnosed, it was never in my mind that he was going to die. We were so busy being hopeful and trying everything we could to help him and his doctor said he would try and get Joe into remission so that he could go onto maintenance..., we never lost hope until they told him they could not do anything anymore and that it was too late and that the cancer had spread everywhere...but even at this point I don't really think I was still even thinking about Joe dying. For some reason I thought he would just keep holding on. At one point in his quick illness, he was put into a clinical trial at Sloan Kettering and we were really hopeful for that clinical trial and so was Joe. He only got through one week of the trial which was in Phase I when his kidneys started to fail At this point they sent him to the Sloan Kettering Hospital...when the doctor that was running the clinical trial came in and told him that it was too late and that he was not going to continue the clinical trial, Joe's decision was to be sent to Calvary... Even then, I did not process it.... I just thought he would keep living and he would keep holding on and fighting. He never lost himself, he was totally aware until the very end.....He didn't hullicinte and he didn't talk to himself... he was fully aware of what was around him......When the doctor told me he had days to weeks to live I had decided that I was going to spend the whole weekend there at Calvary and stay there day and night.... but Joe died on Thursday and never made it to the weekend.... when that phone rang at 4am in the morning I knew it wasn't good.... He had died before the weekend...I went to Calvary that night and held his lifeless body and he was still warm... and I told him how much I loved him... but I'm still not sure if it was still processing and then I had to go make the funeral arrangements, it was awful.....The things I regret are as follows: I regret that I wasn't there when he died, I regret that I forgot to put his shoes on him when he was in the coffin and I regret that I did not go with him when they transported him from Sloan Kettering to Calvary.... I regret that I never got to grow old with him and that he died 2 weeks after his 53rd birthday leaving me a widow.... He was braver then I would have ever been... when they told him it was too late, he cried but then he made peace with himself.... it was me that was in turmoil...I don't know how he could have accepted his fate??? Maybe because he didn't have a choice? I miss him more than words can say and tomorrow makes 5 months since he died... however there is a longing in me to go on and be happy again because that is what he wanted for me... he did not want me to be alone and be unhappy.... the choice has been really hard for me but I've been trying to pick up the pieces of my life and move on....I know it takes some people a long time but I want to be able to at least try and go on and be happy again.... Thank you for your kind words, they really meant the world to me and thank you for your website... I found it by accident but I am glad that I did.... Judy
    griefic likes this.
  5. Suzanne Banks

    Suzanne Banks New Member

    Dear Judy, I am very touched by your story. Unfortunately I can relate. My husband Ed passed away December 19th. In no way shape or form was I ready for it. Just like you I thought we would grow old together amongst other things. My husband got sick on August 31,2018. I came home from work and he was on the couch hardly coherent. I called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. He had gone into acute liver and kidney failure. He was in the hospital for 2 months and immediately put on the liver transplant list. He was in and out of the hospital(more in) until the last week of November. that was the last time he was home. for 3 weeks he fought until he couldn't fight anymore and on Dec 19 he was gone. Just like that. All the while he was sick it never entered my mind that he would not receive a liver. We had a plan of care for when he came home. how much time I would need to take off from work, how long he would be in the hospital post surgery and so on. We have 2 teenage girls, and he will not be able to see my oldest graduate in June. My heart is broken. I cry all the time and sometimes I get angry. I don't know where to turn from here. I feel like I am lost. I find my house at night dreadful. I am so lonely. I spend more time with the girls at night in hopes it will help, but in the end I feel empty. They say it gets easier with time. I hope that is true.
    You are in my prayers.

    ksteve likes this.
  6. Hi Suzanne, thank you for reaching out to me... it really meant a lot... I knew I wasn't in this boat alone, I just didn't know anybody that this happened to besides me.....I can definitely relate to you. I never had children so I spend a lot of time alone which is dreadful. My husband and I used to have the whole calendar booked up for the weekends... we always had somewhere to go, something to do..., couple friends to spend it with... our favorite thing was dinner or lunch and a little shopping... we did everything together... movies, casino, we were never apart.... so I know exactly how you are feeling... How can something like this happen so fast? How can a person be OK one minute, absolutely healthy and the next minute dead? For you, this is still really new... I am so sorry for your loss... December was only yesterday. My husband's 5 month anniversary was today... I cried most of the day at work and at home.... I, like you get so mad. My husband was the perfect picture of health... always went for his physicals and colonoscopy... never even had a polyp!!!! He never miss a doctors appointment, ever!!! I used to get jealous because I had my own health problems and he was always by my side..., but not him.. he was so healthy...... little did I know he would be dead in 5 months!!! I look at the pictures from last Christmas and he looked healthy, not a concern in the world. Like your husband it came out of nowhere!!! My husband died of liver bile duct cancer... His side was hurting him...given he was an electrician he always had aches and pains... we did not think anything of it....it took them 3-1/2 weeks to diagnose him because he was so healthy and that was only by process of elimination. I still can hear him saying "Did they say I have cancer?"...that same night we saw an oncologist and found out it was already stage 4 and spread to the lining of his stomach... from there it was just down hill every single day.....he fought, and fought and fought but nothing worked...the chemo did not work, the cancer spread to his spine and then into his bones...it was so painful... But then we had a glimmer of hope as he was put into a Clinical Trial at Sloan Kettering..... but after only one week of the Clinical Trial, his kidneys stopped working and he ended up at the hospital at Sloan Kettering where they told him, it was too late and that they could not continue the Clinical Trial continue because the cancer was too advanced. I'll never forget, he celebrated his 53rd birthday, the nurses got him a cake and he told me he wanted to go to Calvary.....He died in Calvary 11 days later. I don't think I ever expected him to die... I never admitted that to myself....just like you probably never thought that your husband would not get a liver..... It's so hard to believe.... so horrible to experience.... I'm trying to slowly go on with my life and it's been really hard...Because I'm by myself and I don't have any children, I just pretty much have myself.... One thing my husband told me before he died was that he didn't want me to be alone... so it's pretty soon but I'm thinking about going out on a date... I just hate being alone like you... there is this gapping emptiness that I am sure that you feel too.... I'm so sorry about your loss and I'm so sorry about your daughters losing their dad.....and I can definitely relate to you... Please keep intouch with me and let me know how you are doing... it would mean the world to me..... and if I can give you any good advice, I promise I will !!!!!
    ksteve likes this.
  7. ksteve

    ksteve Member

    Judy and Suzanne, I can certainly relate. As a caregiver for 18 months the thought of my wife dying never crossed my mind. The "battle" kept us both focused. When We had learned of her relapse, I finally came to the realization that this could be the end. Mayo gave her the green light for another stem cell transplant IF she could get in remission. Just like that, we both focused on beating cancer again. Immediately after the chemo, she started to retain water and it was a constant struggle to draw a balance between the high heart rate and water retention. She had this chemo before with minimal problems but now it was her worse enemy. They did a bone marrow biopsy early to see if the chemo was having any effect - some but not enough. Waited another week for the chemo to work but her condition deteriorated even more. We found out on Friday that the cancer remained. We made the decision to suspend any treatment and just keep her comfortable. How was I going to tell her that the treatment did not work? Once again she made my life easy. As I walked in to tell her she spoke first and said she wanted to be done. I told that we could be done. I talked to her about the wonderful things we accomplished together and she nodded. I held her hand and all the pain and suffering on her face seemed to vanish. Three days later she passed away. During those three days she told me how much she loved me. She had several visitors and she told them she loved them as well. The day she passed I did not think she would be awake - she was and I wish I would have known that (I slept in her room the last 5 days). She whispered to me that she loved me. The kids arrived and the three of us hugged and she had a smile on her face and whispered once more she loves us. That was her last words and she passed early in the evening November 12th. 28 days from relapsing and being healthy she was dead. Being a caregiver, and than having to prepare for a funeral along with all the financial stuff really never gave me enough time to grieve. Friends and relatives kept calling, stopping over, and wanting to go out lunch. The holidays were tough but I made it through. I'm getting use to this new life but I agree that being alone is is the most difficult. Eating and other daily tasks are out of necessity. There is no purpose in life. I previously wrote that we all need to find a new path in life and yet still hold the memories dear to our heart. I should listen to myself sometimes! I'm not ready to date but some level of companionship in the future can't be ruled out. The guilt I get for even thinking about is overwhelming. We all have valued life and seen what happens when that is taken away from us. I'm fairly confident that our spouses would be disappointed if we squander our life away. So somehow we need to find the courage and strength to move forward knowing that memories will live on forever - and we will all go at our own speed.
  8. I totally agree with you... I think we need to somehow find a way to restart our lives. My husband told me before he died that he did not want me to be alone so I'm trying to think of a way to restart my life. My calendar used to be full of fun activities and things to do with him, dinner, going out with friends, casino, on and on and on and now I look at my calendar and it's empty. I guess we all somehow find a way to continue on with our lives without our partners but are we mentally there? Will we ever really be ready???? Probably not... I think our minds wonder into our past every single day that we function. It's hard to find anything to do without relating it to that person... I know that anywhere I go and anything I do, Joe had a part of in my life. Other times it's hard to just believe that it happened. When they told Joe they could not continue the Clinical Trial... he cried... that was our last hope... we never lost hope... we thought somehow he would to into remission... somehow he would have more time.... he always cried once after bad news and then he seemed OK... I thought very strange... when he said he was making peace with himself, I said to him.."how can you accept this?" I cant!!!!! He told me he wanted to go to Calvary, he told me where he wanted his funeral, he told me what he wanted (a day of showing and then cremation).. he told me everything and then he followed up to ask me if I made the plans....) I just could not do it... My heart was broken into a million pieces and I could not accept that this just may really be the end........I did not want to lose my 50 year old husband... I could not even think about that... no way... and I can still hear him saying... Judy did you make the plans? Judy you have to go make the funeral plans.... I would say, no, no no.... but he would say you have to!!!! So I did...it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life....He was in Sloan Kettering for 11 days and then he was in Calvary for the next 11 days and then he died.....I was not there when he died... I regret that... He died at 3:10 am in the morning on August 8th. I will never forget that day or that time....and I remember the phone ringing at 4:00am... it's never good when a phone rings at 4:00am and I knew he had died....I did not expect him to die so quickly but he kept saying he was tired, he kept saying he had to go but I did not relate that to dying...He did say he loved me one more time before he died.....and then on a beautiful sunny day, me and some friends and family went out on my cousin's boat into the middle of the Ocean and put his ashes into the ocean with my two cats Patches and Cheddar who he loved so much.....My husband was a great guy.... he loved me and took really good care of me and I really miss him.... It's funny but he died on Thursday and I had planned to stay there the whole weekend all day and all night...it never really occurred to me he would die before the weekend. The doctor told me he had days to weeks to still live... but he had not eaten that day when I was visiting him... he was pretty much just sleeping....and his breathing was labored.. you can see him struggling for breath but I did not think for a moment he would die that night...He was really brave and I know it was because of me... I was falling apart, I was crying and I think he did not want to make it any worse for me then it was..... I have a lot of regrets... thing we still wanted to do, things we never got to do... that I wasn't there when he died and that I forgot to put his shoes on him when they put him in the coffin... crazy regrets... Thank you for sharing your story... it really meant a lot to me... I know we are all going through the same sadness and I pray that we are able to pick up our lives and somehow be happy again....
  9. Suzanne Banks

    Suzanne Banks New Member

    ksteve and Judy, It comforts me to read your stories. To know there are people who get it does help. all the time that Ed was sick I spent a lot of time with him, we did a lot of talking, a lot of laughing, holding hands and a lot of I LOVE YOU's. Never thinking those days would be our last. When he got really sick and was put in ICU he motioned for me to remove his oxygen mask. He whispered I love you so much. I told him I loved him too. He said to me I'm dying please promise me you won't let me suffer. I promised. He was put on a ventilator but was only lightly sedated. I asked him everyday, do you want to keep fighting? He always said yes. After about a week he came off the vent. When he opened his eyes and said to me YOUR HERE! I cried many many happy tears. It was so great to hear his voice! Everything was looking up and he was moving in the right direction. 24 hrs later they called in the middle of the night for permission to put the breathing tube back in. I called them at 6am that morning to see how he was doing, and they told me to get the kids and come in. About 12 hrs later he was gone, just like that.

    I try to remember that I am very lucky. I don't have any regrets and I don't feel guilty about any decisions I had to make. Judy my regrets are also about things he will miss, the time we won't get to spend together as empty nesters, but what I do know is Ed wants me to be happy, not spend my life alone. but for now all I can do is get through the day, stay positive and try to get my life back under control.
    So please know I pray that we all will be able to do these few things to begin to heal and move on.
  10. Hi Suzanne, that was a beautiful story and you really got to talk to your husband before he died.. you really got to say the things you wanted to say to him and him to you... I was not there when Joe died...it was in the middle of the night and he died at 3:10am in the morning and I was home sleeping. I still remember the phone ringing.....I regret not being there because I don't know if he would have had anything else to say to me.... I felt I let him down by not being there.. he died on his own....Of course I was there every day and night... I would leave work until 12:00pm and my boss would let me leave early and then I would go there until around 7pm or so and head back home because he was the Super of a building and I had to get home to take care of the building. One night I did sleep there... he was so restless tossing and turning and alls he wanted to do was get up and go to the bathroom... I got the nurses to try and get him to sit up but he couldn't walk anymore and it was very difficult so they could not get him on the toilet... it was so sad....I didn't sleep a wink that night so I said I wasn't going to sleep there anymore but I was just going to stay there as long as I could.... I still remember it was a Thursday night and the doctor told me I needed to tell him I would be OK without him and that I could handle everything without him.....It wasn't true but I did tell him this anyway....the doctor told me that he would still be alive for a couple of days to a week because his heart was very strong....(he was always a big strong healthy guy).... so my plans were to spend the whole weekend there day and night.... that Thursday I went home as usual and took care of the building and went to bed... the phone range at 4am in the morning... I knew it wasn't good... Joe had died....I was mad that I didn't have the weekend with him as I had planned.....that he died just like that....the nurses told me it was peaceful but I would have liked to be there for his last breath... I know he would have been there for me... I abided by all of his wishes.. he told me where he wanted his funeral and what he wanted to be done with his ashes and everything he told me I tried to do... but I was in such a state of shock for the first couple of months....When he was still in the hospital, before they moved him to Calvary (that was also his wish to go to Calvary to die).... we had that conversation that he did not want me to be alone for the rest of my life..... it was a hard conversation but I needed clarification so that I could go on with my life without him... He was so brave.. braver than I would ever be... When they gave him the bad news he just cried but he then accepted his fate. He told me he was making peace with himself.... He never withdrew from this world.. he was never in a comma and he never stopped talking to anybody until the very end.. the day he didn't eat anything and that night he died.... so many people came to see him and so many people loved him....he had so many visitors every single day.....I never thought I would lose my husband at 50 years old... I was hoping to spend the next 30 years or so with him..... there were so many things we still wanted to do... and I know he died with regrets... of things he never got to do.... It's been over 5 months now and I'm picking up the pieces of my life and moving on.... it's the hardest thing I ever had to do and I think going through is stuff has been very hard for me... I just made a beautiful box this weekend with all of his stuff like his wallet, his ipod... on and on.. everything that was important to him... I will also put his ring and his baby bracelet in there and that box will always hold beautiful memories of him.... he was a great guy, a great husband and a best friend... I will forever miss him....but when I'm home alone, I miss that love and that comfort and having somebody to do things with and that best friend I can confide in...it' so lonely.... I went into counseling right after he died and I'm doing much better... I still cry a lot but that is normal... I wish you all of the love and happiness in the world... we can get through this... and I'm always here if you want to talk..... Judy
  11. dcade

    dcade New Member

    Hello Judith, I am sorry for the loss of the love of your life, I lost mine November 27th, 2018. From diagnosis to dead in 3 months, with the exact rare cancer, orignating from bile duct, we were married 39 years with no children either. we retired to Florida 3 years ago, so I am alone... hard to get out of bed most days, doesn't seem real. God Bless You!
  12. OMG I'm so sorry... I never met anybody that had a husband that died from the same cancer... thank you so much for sharing with me and reaching out to me.......This awful deadly lethal cancer came out of nowhere!!! We never even heard of it before as I'm sure you never heard of it before either....no matter what we did, it didn't work....they only have one standard treatment for this horrible cancer and that treatment doesn't work either....After 2 months they did scans of Joe's progress and he said he felt kind of good and was handling the chemo really well but it turns out the tumors grew bigger and spread all over his body instead!!! It was a horrible moment... we did alot of crying and it was really hard.. so I know exactly what you experienced....

    It's still so raw and new for you... , November was just yesterday....the first couple of months were really horrible for me.... I was really numb and I was confused... I could not understand anything that happened..., I could not function....My best friend Maria started sleeping over 3 nights a week and I went into counseling right away... it really helped me...I first went into two groups.. one was with a Grief Center where I had individual counseling and the other was with Calvary where my husband died... that was a group setting... As the time went on, I only continued on with the individual counseling which to me was better than the group counseling because the group counseling was very depressing.... counseling has helped me a lot but I will never be the same....We never think that something this awful can happen to us.....and I do believe that it changes us forever. It's going on 6 months now and I'm functioning much better... I got to work and I socialize and I try booking up my calendar with friends and things to do.... and I'm hoping that someday I can meet somebody again and be happy again... It was what my husband wanted for me...I still cry a lot, especially when I'm home alone and my counselor said that is normal.... and I still get mad at times that my husband was robbed of his life at 50 years old.... but I continue on... and I try to take each day as it comes and I try to function as normally as I can... but it's hard... We will never be the same but we may find happiness again one day... this may be very hard for you to think about at this stage of your grief but life will continue to go on and the day will continue to pass and time continues to go on and we will too...and each day that passes, it will get just a little bit better for you..... I'm so sorry for your loss... When my husband was diagnosed with this deadly cancer he was so healthy... the doctor at Sloan Kettering told us that none of her patients make a year with this cancer... We were so mad at her to saying something like that we got up and left and never went back to her until the chemo didn't work... and that is when she put him into a clinical trial.....My husband swore he was going to beat this cancer but we did not know what we were up against.. I never saw such a horrible aggressive cancer take down a very healthy strong guy and kill him in 5 months... it almost seems unimaginable... So so horrible... I'm here if you ever want to talk or ask any questions.. anything I can help you with to get your feet back on the ground... My prayers are with you....Thursday would have made my 20 year anniversary... I felt like I was robbed of my happiness...
  13. JD630

    JD630 Member

    Judith Suzanne dcade ksteve
    I am so sorry for your losses. The one thing I gather from your posts is how much you loved your spouses. I lost my wife 18 months ago and we had a great marriage. In preparation for funeral the minister asked for personal side he could add, and I told him that many times my wife would say "I cant believe it, but I love you more today than yesterday" and she meant it. And I felt the same way and told her so frequently. One of the hardest things was when we were told her cancer was terminal and she had appx 6 months to live, our anniversary fell in that time period. I went to store to get her an anniversary card and I just stood at the card rack and looked thru the cards and I came to realization that they dont make anniversary cards for dying spouses. That was hard! I have been at this grieving process maybe longer than most of you, and I want to assure you that it does get better but probably not as fast as one would hope. Unless someone has been thru what we have been, they dont understand. I was one of them. When someone passes you get three days off work --and unless someone has been thru a loss like us they dont get it. They figure if you are back to work everything is fine. We know that isn't true. Another unfortunate thing that has happened to me is that I have lost friends since my wife passed. I dont think they can handle death and the easy way out is to just not deal with it or me. It must be common as I have talked to others and they said the same thing. In fact one lady I talked to (before my wife had cancer) told me that her husband had a best friend and they did everything together. Once her husband was diagnosed with cancer he never talked to him or her again, and he was the next door neighbor. My wife and I were both married before and we didn't make good choices with our first marriage. She remarried and in less than a month her husband suffered a major heart attack and was disabled from then on and passed away. Then she was seeing someone casually and he died of a heart attack. Then we met and dated for a while and it was getting serious and I asked her are you sure you want to get married after her previous losses? And I never forgot her answer. She said "I dont want to pass up the opportunity and time for enjoyment because I am afraid I may lose it" She was wonderful and we always told each other that our years together were the best years of our lives. As I said earlier it has been 18 months since her passing, but I got a real gut punch of grief today. And this is for you Judith. You mentioned that you had pets. Before my wife and I got married she got a puppy and it died about a week after she got it. We got married and we got another one, and that one died from the anesthetic getting neutered. She so loved dogs and I finally convinced her to get another one. And it was the cutest little thing that ever was and she loved it. We had the dog for years and it was fantastic companion for my wife and I. A couple of days ago the dog had a cough that lingered and I took her to the vet. She was diagnosed with heart failure and cancer. Vet said she could come home but that she would gradually start failing to the point where it would be hard for her to breath. That news took me right back to the grief and emotions I had with my wife passing. I guess it was because the dog was the last living thing (other than me) associated with my wife in the house. It seemed as if a bit of my wife lived on in our dog. I had the dog put down today--I couldn't stand the thought of it suffering in pain like my wife did. I dont know if a pet passing will affect others as it did me, but a heads up just in case. Wishing you all the best and sending an online hug to you all for having such compassion for your spouses.
  14. Hi there, I am so sorry for the loss of your dog... yes, they are like family members and they grow with us and love us unconditionally. I can understand why you feel it was the last part of your wife that you had and that your dog gave you comfort after she died. Like you, your wife loved that dog very much....but take comfort in knowing that your beautiful dog is now at Rainbow Bridge with your wife and they are running through fields together and playing, healthy and disease free....You will see them both one day again, I do believe that. When my husband died I had cats, each one of my cats now is between 8 and 11 years old... my husband and I used to work in rescue and help the Humane Society trap them and neuter them in my neighborhood and give them all of their shots. Some of the cats we just could not help but love and keep or find them homes....we also saved cats from Death row in New York and places like Georgia. We would pull them off of the kill list before they were killed. We loved our cats like our own family because we never had children. When Joe died his sister took one of the cats but left me to take care of our cats along with the cats we were feeding outside. It's been a huge chore for me these days.... without him to help me... they all depend on me now. My biggest fear is moving away and not being able to feed them because they will starve.... but I'm trying to make arrangements before I go......One of our wishes was to someday get a dog but we knew we would have to wait until we no longer had so many cats. So wait we did but Joe never got to have that chance to have his dog... and he was really great with animals and I pray that one day I am able to live up to his wishes and get that dog....

    I don't think that we ever think about our loved one passing....we live life, enjoy life, do what we have to but never think that something can happen to ourselves or our loved ones. Yesterday was my 20 year anniversary too. It was very hard on me. We would have been married 20 years and I'm so upset that my husband died so young..it was so unfair. My boss gave me flowers and I put them near his picture, brought him an anniversary card, like you I could not find the right one as they were all for people that are alive, and I lite a candle and said a prayer. It's hard to always talk to somebody that doesn't answer you and you just hope that they can hear you....It's just hard to believe sometimes.... Sometimes I have to ask him a question about something and for a second I forget he is dead....and no, nobody does fully understand what we have been through... they try to be there for you and they are great, but nothing can take away that pain at times....it doesn't matter how many people are around you.... When my husband first died, I had so many people around me....so many people calling me and so many people supporting me... but like you, many of them vanished... they went on with their own lives...their wives and kids and their lives in general... I have a handful of very good friends that stay by my side as I try to pick up the pieces of my life and move on...... I pray for all of us and I'm glad I found all of you.... to talk to because I know that you understand...I'm so sorry for our loss... whether your spouse died fast or over a long period of time, I feel that it's the same in the fact that you have lost that person forever... Good luck with your grief and with your future.. I hope you find strength to pick up and move ahead....I totally understand how hard it is.....
  15. JD630

    JD630 Member

    My wife lasted about eight months from time of first diagnosis. It took a while to get find the cancer as her symptoms were similar to other problems. The tumor was in her lung and it was next to her heart. They couldn't do surgery because of the position so close to heart. She had 6 weeks of radiation and 1 dose chemo each of those 6 weeks and 2 big doses 6 weeks after she finished radiation. She had a lot of pain and problems throughout treatments--including of all things having a gall stone and one nite getting ready for bed she said I cant feel my legs so off to emergency room. The doctor thought that maybe tumor was also pressing against her spine and affecting the nerves. Actually it was kind of a blessing in disguise as they gave her a muscle relaxant and that eased her pain more than anything. She continued on that till the end along with a couple strong pain meds. She was on pain meds for most of the duration, so she couldn't drive. I quit work so I could take care of her. The one medicine she was taking would sometimes get her off kilter mentally so I couldn't leave her alone. I had to watch her closely to make sure she took her meds every eight hours. Four weeks after her last big treatment she told me that she was sure that treatments didn't work, and she was right. After several scans the Dr said there was nothing more they could do. I will never forget her last appt with cancer Dr. She had us come on a Friday afternoon. We got to the waiting room and it was completely empty. Usually there were several people waiting. Evidently they don't schedule regular appts on Friday afternoon--maybe just reserve that time for people to get bad news so they don't upset people in waiting room. I don't know but it sure was an eerie feeling to have it that empty. I was able to take of her at home till she passed. It was terribly hard. Times at nite she would twitch or groan with pain and I would wake wondering if now was the time. The cruel thing about it all is that you never expected them to get cancer . In a way my love for her was now a focused 24 hour thing. Its not that I didn't love her all the time before, but it always under the thought that our lives would continue on normally, but now my love was caring compassionate focus with the knowledge that she was going to die. I spent all my time and energy doing everything I could to make her final time as best as it could be, and that is the cruel part in that when she died there was such a void. I don't know if the void is different from a sudden death or a prolonged death, but in way by being a caregiver for her and she died, there is a part of me that thinks I failed somehow. I was always the guy that fixed things. (a carpenter by trade) But with all my efforts I couldn't fix her. The hospice group that we had follows the surviving spouse for 13 weeks after a spousal passing. They offered a support group (once week for 6 weeks). I wasn't sure about it and thought I would go once to see if it would help. It really helped. But when I had to put our dog down, it was like all the emotions from when my wife passed, they all came back with full force---I wasn't expecting that to be so difficult. The healing does get better but there sure are some potholes every once in a while.