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Mon, Apr 20 9:29am · When the strong one isn't so strong in Caregivers

Thank you Melissa. You've had quite the journey and I really like seeing your perspective and finding the "happy" i your life. I know that my husband and I enjoy so many blessings and to focus on them will help with the journey.

Mon, Apr 20 9:27am · When the strong one isn't so strong in Caregivers

Thank you, Scott for your reply. It's helpful to hear how you (and others) have handled this journey and to know I'm not the only one….. as much as my practical side understands that, my emotions are not always as pragmatic. I like your quote….. I will continue to do my best even as it may change from day to day.

Fri, Apr 10 8:51am · When the strong one isn't so strong in Caregivers

Good Morning Everyone: I see so many challenging journeys that go on, and I'm not sure if I should even step into this, but here goes as I imagine many others have also felt that way. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer just shy of 2 years ago. It was unexpected in his otherwise healthy life, and we were told he likely had 6-12 months left. The experience of 4 missed diagnosis, travel from Florida to Houston for verification and initial treatment, referraly to Mayo's Jax office, relocating to be closer to treatment (still 3 hours away), maintaining and then modifying my work to be a remote contributor, losing my 14 year old dog, assisting my new college age son to relocate to Kansas City……. it's been a wild ride. He has reacted incredibly well from chemo that is now given orally every other week. I see the impact on him (dizzyness, less mental acuity, numbness, frequent urination, numbness in his feet, etc.) but he has an amazingly positive attitude and faith in God that has kept him going. I guess my faith isn't quite so intense and I find myself sometimes "fine" and sometimes with this increasing level of angst, frustration, anger that all this has happened. This is a second mariage for me after raising my son alone, and we were just starting to settle into a nice life. Clearly not everything is "fair" in life, but on some days I hae a hard time embracing that. His children are not with us and not terribly supportive anyway (one is a teen, so that's normal; the other should be an adult at 33 but really isnt). My son has been a positive support for me, but he's starting his own life as he should.

My husband is loving, kind, eager to please and until this pandemic did most of our food sohpping and cooking. How awesome is that when you work!! He'd even love to have sex (at age 73) with regularity, and yet between menopause issue (age 61), I have little to no interest. Plus, I have read that the chemo isn't good for the partner (not sure if that's true or not). We have so much to be thankful for – we are able to manage his treatments from home with just periodic scans since they say he cancer is greatly reduced; we have a comfortable home and lifestyle thanks to my job; our extended families are loving, although not near by. Yet somehow, I still feel like some days I can barely breath or lighten my heart. I know it's not his fault but I find myself resentful of how this has happened and feel terrible for it. Maybe I need a kick in the pants along with my morning walks, but it would be nice to hear how other caregivers move through these types of feelings. Thanks for letting me vent…..

Sep 28, 2018 · A new future? Husband diagnosed with Stage 4 anal cancer in Caregivers

Scott: Thank you for your note. You certainly speak from experience as do many here, and I can appreciate the journeys. THere are truly no easy answers but it's helpful sometimes even to put thoughts in writing, and that is helpful, too. Peace and blessings to all….

Sep 24, 2018 · A new future? Husband diagnosed with Stage 4 anal cancer in Caregivers

I am a caregiver to my 72 year old husband. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 anal cancer, metasticized to the liver. He has been fastidious about his health, diet and exercise for many years, so this diagnosis has been shocking. Although he had concerns about bleeding hemmoroids, multiple doctors missed it, and several belittled his concerns. Eventually, a colonoscopy, followed by a PET scan revealed the diagnosis about 7 weeks ago. Since then, we have been to a local cancer center, MD Anderson and Mayo. While MD Anderson said it is not “curable”, Mayo tells us that this is a marathon – not a sprint, and provides hope with a variety of strategies. I struggle between despair and anger. I feel like I stepped into somebody elses nightmare, only to learn that it’s mine. I’m sad for my husband, for the loss of our future plans and the life ahead of us. My husband has a great attitude – better than mine. His faith is growing stronger in God, and I’m trying to find that too. I just can’t help but struggle between wanting to be hopeful (as I know that will only help) – and recognizing the dire condition that he has. I work fulltime and have two 2 pets at home. I’m managing all of his appointments and trying to keep life “normal”. I’m exhausted. I know that I will likely get to a stronger place to manage, but right now — just not seeing it. I’m generally a very resillient woman (age 59), but this is a test I wish I didn’t have to take. I know there must be MANY of you out there who have – or are – struggling to maintain a positive attitude. Your suggestions are welcome.