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My husband has cancer


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#1 ~lezah~

Posted 29 September 2007 - 09:33 PM

Many years ago, while pregnant and in the early years of my DS's (06/08/01) life,  EB was my greatest source of inspiration, support and friendship and I truly enjoyed giving back to the community by moderating 'Tips and Tricks for Mums and Mums-to-be' and passing on my own learnings of motherhood. When my husband and I went through some seriously rough times financially, then with DS's diagnosis of autism, I found myself hiding my problems from my online friends and gradually drifted away.

Now, I need help more than ever before.

Exactly one week ago, I dragged my extremely reluctant husband to the Emergency Room as I was sick of his whinging about his back and continual requests for me to get him various over-the-counter medications from the chemist. He's always been relucant to go to any doctor (in fact, he never held a Medicare card until I added him to mine when we married) and has a true fear of hospitals - the ancient archives may dig up my insults about him not visiting me enough when we had Charlie!

Once at Emergency, the Dr lectured him appropriately about not leaving serious pain left unattended for so long, backed me up about the danger of self-medicating and gave him a quick once over. He was prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories, then given a blood test as a precaution against any underlying infection.

An hour later, we heard the fax burring with his pathology results - then heard the attending Dr pick up the phone and verify the result, which he immediately passed on to us. CRP (C reactive protein) = 140. That's a bit high... can be a pointer to infection - and there is no way this Dr is letting him go home. So, for the first time in 42 years, my DH is admitted into a hospital.

At around 1:30pm, after 30 hours awake and a morning of running around washing and packing clothes for DH, DS and myself, getting DS from grandmother #1, visiting DH in hospital and taking DS to grandmother #2, I finally crashed.

I'd had my eyes closed for about 10 minutes when the phone rang ...
DH: "Honey, you need to come back to the hospital".
Me: I believe I told him to do something anatomically impossible, then "Why?"
DH: "Well, they've done another blood test and a urine test and I have to tell you something - It's kinda serious"
Me: "Uh - ok... can I sleep first, though?"
DH: "Yeah, you should do that - I don't want you to drive when you're so tired"
Me: "Ok honey, I'll be up as soon as I can. What do they think it is, anyway?"
DH: "Um, there's a chance its cancer".
(Silence from me)
DH: "Honey, are you awake?"
Me: "Yes, baby - I'm coming"

I have no idea how, but I must have immediately fallen asleep again.

At 3:30pm, I woke up with a start - What the ??? Did I dream that? The phone rang - it was my husband

Me: "Hi baby, I'm grabbing my keys right now and am getting in the car. Sorry I slept so long. By the way - did you call me earlier?"
DH: "Yes".

Oh God. That wasn't a dream. I started to cry.


The last 6 days have been pretty overwhelming for all three of us. DH has been through a skeletal survey (x-ray of his entire body) which has identified significant osteoperosis - 6 affected vertabrae, a broken rib and fractures showing in his hip and a bone marrow biopsy. These tests confirmed his diagnosis of multiple myeloma - a cancer of the blood plasma, which is treatable but not curable. He had an ECG to verify heart strength and began chemotherapy on Thursday morning.

I've told all of our family, work collegues and friends the news - except for DH's mum (we were going tell her in person with his brother and sister supporting me, but instead she called and asked DH what was going on so he told her over the phone).

My darling son has had his entire routine - which is critically important to a child with autism - absolutely turned on its head. He's very aware that something is wrong, but we're working hard to make his vists to Daddy as positive as we can. Despite our efforts, Charlie vomited in his sleep on Tuesday morning and is yet to do a bowel motion since DH was admitted (he's as regular as clockwork, normally). He's also had a few other issues - very bad behaviour at his carer's house on Wednesday, over-reacting to situations, latching himself onto me the second I walk in the door and becoming distressed at situations on television.

Tonight is our first night at home (an effort to return to routine - and hopefully avoid laxatives) and the real world suddenly seems very daunting to me.

I'd appreciate pretty much anything at the moment - advice, words of wisdom, hugs, whatever... and I really need an outlet for my grief.

Thanks for reading my ramble

#2 ~Sweetysmum~

Posted 29 September 2007 - 09:38 PM

Im sorry I dont know what to say  sad.gif  

I havnt been through what you are going through, but wull give you some hhugs.gif

Please take care of yourself and your family as best you can.

#3 flying

Posted 29 September 2007 - 09:39 PM

OMG I am so sorry you are going through this.  I've got no words to convey how sorry I am and can only say I will pray  hands.gif for your family.

#4 milasmum

Posted 29 September 2007 - 09:41 PM

What a scary and upsetting time for you all!

I have not been in a situation like yours but like the PP sending you lots of strength, hugs, and healing for your DH

No doubt your sons routine will be very unsettled for a while and there may be times where you may need extra help. I hope you have a good support network to help you all on this journey.

Take care

#5 JRA

Posted 29 September 2007 - 09:49 PM

I am sitting in tears. I don't know what to say.

I just cannot imagine how it is for you.

I have been through cancer, but it was treatable and curable, so it has no comparison. I also only had a 6mth old child, not the challenges you have.

I wish I could do something to help.

Please realise we are here to support you as much as we can.

#6 Heffalump

Posted 29 September 2007 - 10:03 PM

lezah, I don't usually come into this forum but I was thinking of the past and also of a close friend who has recently (1 week ago) been diagnosed with leukemia, and decided to come in for some enlightenment - and found your post.

I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this. sad.gif   I am glad that you and your family have what appears to be a good support network around you - that is going to be so important.

All I can really say is to please remember to take care of yourself in all this, and to be kind to yourself as well, so that you can stay strong for your family and help your husband work his way through this time.  Also don't hesitate in accepting any help that is offered to you.hhugs.gif

#7 myjbaby

Posted 29 September 2007 - 10:22 PM

Lezah
My heart is breaking for you, your Dh and your family. I understand how shocking the news must have been for you all and what it is like to have your entire world thrown into chaos.
Please take care of each other. Call on anyone you can to help, if they offer tell them exactly what you need. I thanked everyone in the beginning but continued to do everything myself, until I eventually burnt out. Your DH will need your strength.
I will think of you as I go to sleep tonight and send all the best wishes I can muster.

Delainie

#8 ~lezah~

Posted 29 September 2007 - 10:58 PM

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support - I'm truly blessed.

I remember being scared about saying the 'wrong thing' to people who have just had awful things happen - I can now honestly say that just saying anything helps.

I am being very concious of my own health - I didn't want to dwell on it earlier, but I've just come out of a year long battle of my own (dentigenous tumor with a suspect pathology/sinus reconstruction/surgical infection/tumor removal site repair/osteomyelitus aka bone infection) - DH and I had 22 days between my 'all clear' CT and his diagnosis - but I'm so glad we know about his cancer and are fighting it, not trying to medicate against something that would never get better.

I have sought help from both Autism Queensland and Queensland Cancer Council - they are working together re: materials to explain DH's condition to DS as it appears there is a distinct lack of materials in this space. Current thinking is that we'll prepare our own little 'story' book for DS which they might turn into a guide for others.

On the update front (yes - only an hour after OP), Mission Codename:"Avoid Laxatives" is a success! DS took the pull-up nappy I offered him (he isn't fully toilet trained), put it on and well... filled it! He then happily took himself off to bed and is fast asleep. Chalk up one success and celebrate it  original.gif

I'm trying very hard not to dwell on the whole 'what we were experiencing precisely one week ago' but failing. I don't know what I would have done differently, knowing what I know now... maybe write down questions as I thought of them - every time the Drs turn up, I have a mental blank....

Have finished doing the second wash of DH's cytotoxic clothing (I can see this getting quickly annoying >< washing clothes twice for the week after chemo) and the world seems eerily quiet.

I'm far calmer than I ever thought I would be - not that I thought it would be DH who recieved the diagnosis. I learned quickly that thinking about 'the future' is pointless - DH draws so much of his energy from me, so the best thing I can do for him is stay 'up' and deal with fighting the immediate problem.

Again, thank you all and please keep posting/asking questions - Its really helping right now

<3

#9 Sally ®

Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:16 PM

Hello there,

Firstly, I just want to say that I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through.   sad.gif You sound like such a lovely,  caring person.  I wish there was something I could do for you.  But I will read your posts and send your DH healing vibes.  

I think you write brilliantly, your posts were both so compelling.  original.gif

Take care and please know you are not alone.  hhugs.gif

#10 Lizz

Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:27 PM

OMG, If there was a jaw dropping smiley then now is the time to insert it!

I'm not sure if you remember me Lezah, but I remember you from your earlier days on EB, the pregnancy announcement and arrival of Charlie.  The financial woes, a move in with your MIL I think, the return to work/study then there was nothing.

I have every  now and then wondered what happened or what you were up to, but never ever envisioned anything like this.

I have no words of wisdom in your situation, only bbighug.gif to offer - and these days around here it's not fashionable to offer them or want them rolleyes.gif  but there you go, you've got them and deserve them!

Don't go into hiding again, please keep up updated - there are heaps and heaps of the oldies still here so you'll feel right back at home in no time and receieve the support you need at this time.

#11 babygirl03

Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:37 PM

Lezah

I don't normally pop into this forum but saw the header while browsing and now am sitting here in tears. I don't know what to say except to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at such a challenging time.

Take care :big hug:

#12 Benevolence

Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:42 PM

Hi Lezah,

Your right you seem so composed considering your situation.  So from an outsiders perspective you seem like your a very strong person.  Which I am guessing has developed throughout the challenges you and your family have faced these past years.  And now this, Bloody hell, its just not fair is it.  I am sending you and your family all of my positive energy.

Pls keep in touch and let us know how everything is going.  What kind of spirits is your DH in?  It must make all of this so much harder when you have to remain calm and positive for your son.  I bet you just feel like crumbling at times.  Thats where your amazing strength comes in.

Reading your post really puts things in perspective.  My so-called 'problems' really don't exist at all.  I think everyone reading this would agree.

Anyway wishing you lots of love and light.
Well done DS on doing a poo!

#13 Natbub0610

Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:53 PM

Hi Lezah

I can't add much more than pp. I'm stunned as I sit here with tears in my eyes.

I can only offer thoughts, empathy and prayers for you and your family. I hope you find comfort, support and strength here that you need.

This is the kind of moment you wish you could turn back time.

Edited by Natbub0610, 29 September 2007 - 11:54 PM.


#14 mama

Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:55 PM

Oh sweety. You are one brave and strong women to support your husband. But remember to let others support you. As the saying goes.. Do to others as you wish to be done to you. biggrin.gif

We are all here for you so please update us and let us know if there is anything we can do.

#15 ~*Amethyst*~

Posted 30 September 2007 - 12:30 AM

Hey Lezah,

What a truly crap thing to have happen to you & your family.

I agree with other posters your writing style is wonderful to read.

I truly hope that we on EB can assist in some small way in keeping your chin up & sanity intact during this trying time.

Nice to meet you.

xxx Amethyst

#16 ~lezah~

Posted 30 September 2007 - 01:33 AM

No, its not that I can't sleep - I haven't tried

But! I just found my EB diary (after all this time, its still there...wow)

I've just read it again - laughed alot, cried a fair bit.... I am definitely truly blessed with a wonderful husband who I am going to fight to keep here with me for as long as we have together.

This last week is finally catching up with me. I just want him to come home and tell me everything will be ok.

It hurts

#17 Heffalump

Posted 30 September 2007 - 01:52 AM

Lezah, I just popped back in to see if there were any updates but can't make myself go after seeing your name at the bottom of the screen.

You don't know me, but if you want to chat I'll be around for a while and will keep this screen open till you go.  If you don't want to chat that's fine too. hhugs.gif

QUOTE
I just want him to come home and tell me everything will be ok.


You have to maintain faith that this is exactly what will happen.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. wub.gif

Edited by cosmiclogos, 30 September 2007 - 01:52 AM.


#18 BlancheNeige

Posted 30 September 2007 - 01:59 AM

Lezah, I also remember you from waaayy back. I used to love reading your diary and have often thought about you and Charlie and wondered how you were doing.

I'm really sorry that you're going through such a terrible time at the moment. You sound incredibly composed and coherent for someone dealing with such a huge mountain of stress.

Wishing you and your family all the very, very best and sending loads of positive thoughts to you from Switzerland.

Jo

#19 ~lezah~

Posted 30 September 2007 - 02:02 AM

Again, thank you

I know that I have to clear my mind and get some rest, for Wayne and Charlie's sake, so I am heading to bed. I really appreciate everyone's words and prayers, both new friends and old.

<3

#20 AprilEthereal

Posted 30 September 2007 - 02:18 AM

Lezah,  I am so sorry this is happening sad.gif  
I wish you & your family all the best, sending you lots of positive thoughts.

If there's anything any of us can do, just ask (Not sure which state you live in)

Try to rest, if you can.

You are all in my thoughts.

#21 Dani

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:11 AM

Oh *)#* a duck L.  I remember you from the good old "EB teal days" (when everything was simple and all font was in teal tongue.gif) and was utterly gutted to see you in here.

What can I say?  What words would you want to hear other than "He's in remission.  Unlikely it will return...." so I'll shut-up and let the other girls say everything that'll have to do until you DO magically hear those beautiful words from your medical crew.


Great to hear Charlie has turned things around in the Number 2 department.  My youngest is 3 and just started having the same problems - never thought one could so be in knots about a kid doing a poo.  ph34r.gif

Don't feel too much pressure to keep updating this thread but do know that many of us here will be thinking of you and the religious crew will do the prayer thing and the non-religious crew will be doing the positive vibe thing.  I know you're not fussy, you'll take whatever you can get right now hey?  LOL


Please give our best to Wayne in hospital and let him know that your cyber chums will look out for you as best as we can and I'm sure your IRL crew will continue to be as supportive as ever.  Much Love to you and this hideously scary time - and to Number 1 son too.


Much Love,

Dani + Emily (7 now!) + Mackenzie (3) xxx

#22 gumby

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:38 AM

I'm so sorry Lezah sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif poor Wayne sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif

Please be kind to yourself as well right now bbighug.gif , you have so very many friends here who would be happy to help in a heartbeat, so, please just let us know if you need anything at all...

Its lovely to see you on EB again, but, sadly, not under the circumstances I now I would have liked sad.gif

#23 jules363

Posted 30 September 2007 - 08:34 AM

OH Lezah!  sad.gif  Another one who remembers you, and used to read your diary religiously, way back!  I remember the pregnancy announcement, and the birth of Charlie!  Gosh seeing your name took me back.... original.gif

How absolutely devastating for you - I don't know what to say..... sad.gif   I battled a bone infection, post op, a few years ago, while pregnant with #1, and I can only think of the trauma that causes, and what a relief the all clear would have been, but you would have still needed heaps of time to get over that trauma, and you have had this (much worse) heaped on top of your already fragile state of mind.

I'm just so sorry, and please do keep coming here, and definitely let me know if there is anything practical I can do.

#24 Ellie1982

Posted 30 September 2007 - 09:25 AM

i'm very very sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. All I can say is keep positive, and take time out for you when you can.

Ellie

#25 lezah

Posted 30 September 2007 - 12:08 PM

I managed to resurrect my old account, so I plan on faithfully keeping my diary.

To all my old friends - I'm so sorry I vanished without explaining why ~ please know that I thought of you often. And Kate - I'm so proud of you and congrats on the twins.

My saviours through all my rough times have been two ladies I met via EB 6 years ago (Jode/Bensmummy and Fionamac).

Its great to be home - in real life and online

<3


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