Topic: End of life

This weekend for me marks the anniversary  of the end of my life as I knew it.
  My husband,Joel was diagnosed on the 12th after a ct scan following some abnormal blood tests during a routine check.The ct showed cholangiocarcinoma,quite advanced.We left the emergency room at my insistence,not waiting around for the medical registrar.When I heard the word cholangiocarcinoma I felt we were doomed,being a registered nurse I knew it was one of the worst cancers you could get.
   We saw our own doctor on the monday and when I saw the results in black and white I knew this was really bad.I did not tell Joel though,I thought it was not my role to do this so that came to the oncologist two weeks later.It was the most unbelievably stressful time for me with that knowledge and also as a nurse of 30 years experience I knew exactly what would happen,the ascites,loss of weight etc.I was really heartbroken,I had looked after others but to imagine my precious husband going through it all was unbearable.
      It did all play out as I thought it would,he did not last long,despite having no symptoms at diagnosis.The family and local community were flabbergasted when he died but unfortunately I had seen it all from the minute of diagnosis.
                                                       Janet

Re: End of life

Janet,
   How terrible for us that , not only did this hideous cancer take our loved ones, but now we must relive it . It must have been so difficult for you, being a nurse and knowing what you did. I think I know a bit of how you felt, as I had to be quiet about my true feelings for quite a while, as I recognized what was going to happen far ahead od Butch - actually, right up until 3 weeks before he died, he was saying he was going to make it. He had had a dream - right after diagnosis -  that he was going to live until age 80 - and he believed that God had told him that he would. It was so very difficult and sad. Isn't it so hard to imagine that all this time has gone by? I like your description - "life as we knew it" did indeed stop last year. I have to give you a lot of credit - you are doing very, very well handling life now as it is handed to you. I hope it gets easier , for all of us, as time goes on. I think that these one-year memories are very difficult , but, I guess, part of the grieving process we must go through.


Love - Joyce

Re: End of life

Dear Janet,

Your phrase "the end of life as we knew it" so approriately describes what we all feel.  Our lives have changed drastically, forever.  I often thought that if I had known more about what was going on & what was going to happen it would have been easier to deal with.  At first we both thought everything would eventually be OK & our lives would become normal once more.   I think Jim realized how fast it was going at the end, but I still had some small amount of hope that we would atleast have a little more time together.  After what you and Joyce have said, I wonder if it was better not knowing, but it has made it a lot harder to accept. For you, being a nurse and knowing what was coming had to be equally as hard.

I am sorry you are having to relive all of this. We all have and are going through it with you, but it still doesn't make it any easier.

I am thinking of you & hoping things will easy up and you will be feeling a bit better soon.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: End of life

Dear Janet, Joyce and Darla...your losses are so profound, there are never any words to adequately comfort you.  They must have been such wonderful men to have been loved and adored by such amazing women.

The loss of my dad has been difficult, but I could never, ever imagine my life without my husband.  At times I think of this, and I can't even breathe.  How terrible it is for you.  It was my husband who suggested I bring dad home to live with us, it's my husband who at times stays the night with my disabled brother, it's my husband who will leave some flowers on the dining room table for no reason at all.  When he leaves a dirty coffee mug on the end table, or tracks mud on my newly vacuumed rug, or forgets to mow the grass...I try to remember to thank God for the gift of having him, because I  know it can be taken away from me at any time.  Then I just want to hold him and not let go. 

Dearest ones,  I thank you for your stories.  And the reminders of how precious life is.  I suggest that when we all reach our heavenly home, we set a time for a big reunion...so that we can meet each other face to face with our loved ones...how joyous this time will be!

Peace be with you all as you mark your one year anniversaries.  You have been so strong amidst your grief, and have so lovingly cared for the rest of us.  May the memories of your treasured men bring you some comfort today and always.

Always,
Jolene
Jolene

"Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain."     ~g. b. hinckley

Re: End of life

Dear Janet, I can only imagine, well its hard to even do that, what you go through. I wish there was something I could say to ease the pain for you but there are no words so instead I will send you a little verse:

You will grieve my loss, but I have not gone. My body is beyond your reach, but my soul is touching yours. I am the one who enters your dreams. Caresses your face Hugs you. Misses you. I have not left, my spirit is with yours. I am all around you when you call. I am the gentle breeze when there is no wind. I am in the photo on the wall when you blink in disbelief. I am the song that enters your head for no reason, yet it reminds you. Don't grieve that I am gone. I am with you, beside you, in you. I will be forever.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

6 (edited by Cyndi Sun, 13 Sep 2009 16:55:13)

Re: End of life

Dear Janet,

Just want to say how sorry I am that you lost your Joel to CC 1 year ago. It has been 5 months for me since Larry died & still seems like yesterday. The reminders are always there, everywhere. Hard to ignore. I feel my life has been changed forever. Others tell me how good I'm doing. Actually, I've just learned how to act normal & blend in with the crowd but the pain of losing him is always with me. So sorry you are re-living the nightmare of losing Joel but I just want you to know that you are not alone. I hope that in remembering, you also reflect on all the things you did for Joel during his illness & how much you supported & helped him in all the ways you possibly could. I think Joel was very fortunate to have such a loving wife who cared so deeply for him, stood by & encouraged him as you did.

I think our painful memories are a testiment to just how deeply we love our husbands then & now.

Cyndi