Please help me cope

deniecyJanuary 3, 2009

My wonderful husband had cancer four years ago and was successfully treated for it. But now, because of the chemo given to him then, he has secondary MDS which will turn into acute leukemia, and we have basically been told there is nothing they can do. He can try various treatments, but they will be difficult to endure and we are told they won't help enough to be worth it. This is a very rare disease and especially at his age (48).

We have been married 20 years and have one daughter(teen).

He is my soulmate, the love of my life. And now I have to sit back and watch him die.

How am I supposed to cope? How am I supposed to be strong for he and our daughter. I can't eat or sleep, thank goodness for sleeping pills.

I can't stand for him to be out of my sight. I want to cling to him every second. I stare and stare at him, because I never want to forget his face or smile.

Right now he is feeling ok physically, but I know that will soon change and it will be downhill. It will be a matter of months, we are told.

How am I supposed to live every day, not knowing when his last day will be? I can't even imagine my life without him, we have been together since I was 17 yrs old.

Thank you for reading this. I am telling you in all honesty: I do not know how I'm going to survive this. I hate waking up every morning, because each day is one day closer to when I will lose my precious husband.

I'm so angry!! And so sad that I feel like my heart is crumbling into small pieces.

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I am so sorry, deniecy, that you are in the midst of such a heart wrenching situation. I am so sorry that your DH has been stricken with such a terrible illness.

I wish I knew the right words that could help you thru this most difficult time. I thought hard about what I could offer as helpful suggestions to help you to deal with all of the issues surrounding this situation.

I know, though, that it is very important for you to stay "strong". You need to do this firstly for yourself and secondly because the burden of care will most probably rest upon your shoulders. I would think that you should take care of you first. You will be no good to yourself and eventually if things worsen you will need as much strength as possible to deal with it. Also, you have a DD that needs you.

I don't know if you are sinking into depression. If so, a visit to the doctor might be in order. There are meetings you can attend (if you can find one in your area) for families of Loved Ones with terminal illnesses. They may be able to offer you support, hope and direct you to helpful resources.

Knowing that you were informed that your DH's illness is terminal takes away all your Hope for any possible recovery. That is so tough to live with as all you can do is wait. Wondering if you tried to pursue every other possible treatments that are available?

This is certainly not a situation that you can distance yourself from.

I think you are going to need Help to get through this.

I Hope you will reach out for it.

I Hope that tender Angels will come to your aid and surround you and your little family as you travel through this most difficult time.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:38AM
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tenderchichi, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply, it means a lot that someone who has never met us will pray for us and think of us.

I have never had problems with depression, but I do know I can hardly get through the day without having several breakdowns now. I'm trying so hard to be strong for my husband and daughter, but the tears are always right there, ready to fall. I cannot imagine a worse torture than this. I have to work tommorrow, with customers, and am wondering how in the heck I'll get through the day.

I had a dream last night that my husband and I were at a gun shop. He told me he wanted me to have protection for when he was gone. I said ok, but while he and the salesperson were looking at the guns, I was only thinking how I would use it on myself as soon as he was gone. It was an awful nightmare, but then so is this life right now.

Thank you again for taking the time to care, you're a very special person.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 6:35PM
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I'm so very sorry for the suffering you are going through. It's almost like you are grieving before your dear husband is gone. I had that experience when my mother was ill and getting ready to leave us.

If only I had some words to comfort you, some words to help easy your anguish. I hope you have some special, meaningful moments with your husband and your daughter in the months ahead. If he feels well, could you take a short trip somewhere which he would enjoy? The ocean or the mountains? Create as many good memories as you can.

May your love for him give you strength. God bless you.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:08PM
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I'm so very sorry for your suffering. In a sense, your grieving has already begun. This is the case when a loved one has terminal illness; the family begins the grief process at the time of the diagnosis or when it appears that nothing can be done. It is important to realize that your feelings are totally normal and reflect your love and devotion toward your husband. I know you must feel totally engulfed by them, as if they will swallow you up -- that's how I felt the week my dad was in the hospital as he was basically fading away (see my post "death from an accident"). I felt consumed with anguish and thought I would NEVER feel good again.

Best thing to know now is that your feelings are normal but try to not let them consume or destroy you. Force yourself to go about your daily activities no matter how you feel; tell yourself you can cry your eyes out later tonight when you are home alone, but just for now you need to get through the next minute, the next hour, whatever it takes. At one of the darkest times of my life, that's how I got through each day -- I postponed the grief until that night when I could be alone, and I reminded myself that I don't need to feel good to get up, take a shower, or be polite to others. I just had to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving, one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.

My heart truly goes out to you in your hour of anguish. Many have gone down that road and would share that they did survive.

May God enfold you in His comfort and give you some peace; that is my prayer for you.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:38PM
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I too am so sorry for the suffering that you and your DH are going through, I know exactly what you are going through. I suffered with my DH for 18 months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was helpless to "fix" him but I did everything I could to help him and I loved him, that was the inportant part, love him with all you might and show him your love. When the end came for my angel I still wasn't prepared because you keep that hope in your heart that it's not real. We had each other for 41 years and it was very hard to kiss him goodbye.
Two years have passed now and I can promise you that you will get through it and love him even more (and I still keep telling him that), you will keep living because he wants you to and you can't let him down. You can't be brave all the time but do your best to at least be brave in front of him, I cried more water than my shower was putting out. I too am praying for you.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:45PM
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Deni, I have a hard time believing any doctor that says there is no hope. There are people working on diseases and illness every minute of every day and one never knows when a break thru will occur. I didnt know what MDS was, so I did a little googling before I responded to your post. What I found out is that it is "extremely rare" to happen to someone under age 50. Most cases occur between 60 and 75 years of age. There is a place in NY that has been working on this disease and they seem to be on the cutting edge for treatments. Here is the link, start searching, there is always hope. Best of luck to you and your family. I will also be praying for you all.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 10:00PM
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deniecy, Linda117 has a good point. Have you gotten 2nd or 3rd opinions? Go to the link she shared and find out all you can. Lance Armstrong came back after his whole body (including his brain) was full of cancer, and others have done the same. I do not want to give you a false hope -- just to encourage you to do some research and see if there is something that could be done, while your husband is still feeling good. No matter how it turns out, you'll know you fought for him.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:21PM
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Sorry for the despair you're feeling from your husbands diagnosis, but like the other poster said, he is still with you and your daughter so try and make more good out of it and keep praying. Remember you have your daughter and still have your husband and family around you so as hard as it seems try and keep an open mind and don't giveup, Be as close as before and even closer.

I know how the sorrow feels like it can take you over, but just remember you're not alone.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 10:47PM
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Get a check up from the Dr for you, ask for a second opinion for DH. Start a journal/scrapbook remember the fun times, the hard times etc. Both write them down, does not have to be perfect: pictures are good, even pictures of where you have traveled, or even wish to travel. Don't dwell on the illness, encourage friends and relatives to give short visits. Yes, you will cry, but you will laugh too. You will survive, and depression only hurts both of you. No you do not have to be "happy" all the time. Is there cancer supports groups in your area? Encourage your husband to continue with his work/hobbies if possible. Even learn a new one. You will be surprised how a possative attitude helps the family. When my DH went thru treatments, the people at the Cancer center were so good and so upbeat it really made a difference. I would drop him off, due my errands etc. Good luck

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 5:58PM
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I wish I could help you feel better, what your are going through is unfair. I want you to know that you have my sympathy, and my compassion.

You are also fortunate that in your life you have know a great love. The joy of that will stay with you forever, while the pain you feel will eventually dull. For now live in the moment, enjoy the time you have left, make these days special for you, your husband, and your daughter.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:33PM
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