Topic: Should we move?

I'm not sure where to post this...I'm not new here but not a regular poster.  My husband originally was diagnosed cancer of unknown primary because of a tumor in his liver that apparently didn't start there according to the biopsy results.  Fast forward through  a long story, Tom had the liver tumor removed in Jan 2007, a grueling but successful surgery and his surgeon said by observing the pattern of tumor growth (or however he figured it out) he diagnosed it cholangio carcinoma which had moved to the liver and formed the tumor there.             Anyway, now it's been a year, and Tom's had two follow up scans that show no new tumor growth.  He still has prostate cancer and is on testosterone reduction therapy to reduce that tumor.  He sees a p.c. specialist in a couple of weeks for further advice.                                                              Sorry, but the "enter" key on my computer is broken, so I can't make a new paragraph..                                Should we move?  That question is about whether we should take a chance on moving while Tom's going through all this.  On the one hand he is alive and able to make decisions and do things around the house, and he's depressed and bored.  We have lived here since 1985, in a rural area.  We have neihbors, it's not totally isolated, but pretty close to it in my perspective.  I am tired of driving miles and miles and this winter has been very harsh with lots of ice and snow.  Tom loves this place because he and his brother built it;  I love it too and it will hurt a lot to say goodbye to the house and land, since we were the ones who bought the land and planned the house...and have been the only owners.             However, I keep feeling drawn to different houses in town, and I really think it is impractical to live in the country.  I have various activities would be more involved with if I could be close to them.   Tom just stays on the couch and reads or does ebay sales on the computer.  He doesn't drive to a job anymore.               Well, surprise surprise, but after we slid off the road in the truck a couple of weeks ago, he finally said "Maybe it would be a good idea to move back to town."  He goes back and forth about it.  He says, "if my health takes a turn for the worse, I want to be here in our familiar house."   But when we do go look at some homes for sale, his energy level perks up...he mentions where he might put his TV and the couch.  I have been keeping to myself the fear that if we did move and then he got sicker, I would blame myself for taking him away from "his" house and not letting him spend his last days there.  On the other hand, have told him I am not spending another winter here.  (If he was healthy that would definitely be the case...I would stay with a friend during the week and come home on weekends during the winter months--I know a couple of people who would rent out a room to me)     So we are going back and forth now that we are both interested in day, he just wants to make an offer on a house right away and get the process started, the next day he is back to "what if my next test is bad and we're right in the middle of closing a loan".  Our plan is to find a new house first, get an equity loan to close the deal and then sell our country house to pay off or pay down the new mortgage.  Our country house is paid for.                                      I like the experience of looking at houses, seeing which ones we both feel in harmony with.  That is a good signl.   I think we are both in the stages of grieving and letting go of the house we've been in for so long.                        Then part of me wants to tell him, if we move now, this is THE time to do it, because you are relatively in good shape (considering the cancer) and we would enjoy the next house and have some good times there...he talks a lot about "after he's gone" and I finally loosened up and said  "after you're gone" I would love knowing that the house in town where I will be living is one we picked out together.  I dread the thought of leaving our country house.  I dread the thought of him dying while we are out here and me coming back to this place alone.  Actually I had wanted to move back to town a few years ago, before cancer joined our lives.  He was very resistant, but said "Maybe when I'm older and we need to be closer to medical services."  Well that time is now.  But...what I wonder is can the moving be just part of life changes...lots of people downsize or relocate in their 50s.  Although moving itself is nerve wracking, we have a chance to have some new experiences together.   JeffG you said you moved several times since your diagnosis, that's what got me thinking about posting this question.  Thanks to any who respond.

Re: Should we move?

Hi Sarah, we actually had our house up for sale when Charlie was diagnosed in May/07.  It had been on the market just a couple of months and with the housing market the way it is, it looked like it was going to be a while before it sold.  Our case is different from yours in that we were just heading into the chemo, surgery, etc. and really couldn't deal with all that and a big move.  We decided to stay.  We're not quite where you and Tom are yet, but Charlie's getting there.  Surgery in 11/07 and praying IT stays away.  We've decided to wait a couple of years to give our kids a chance to be out on their own and hopefully houses will be selling better by then.  Hoping to downsize.  Everyone's situation is different.  I'm 49 now and Charlie's 53.  We still need to work, not sure what the future holds, but hanging on and doing great! It has been great to be in our familiar home through all the trials of CC.  My ramblings have probably just confused you more.  I'm sure you and Tom will make the best decision.

Best wishes,

Re: Should we move?

Thanks Carol for taking time to read my long post...sounds like you had valid reasons to stay put.  The uncertainty of waiting for a buyer plus all the medical things, plus the kids.  We have some differences in our wanting to downsize and move, him thinking "maybe" as opposed to "no" plus he is in a stable period now with his medical issues.  Will need more help eventually...the house I'm going to look at tonight is right by the grocery and pharmacy we use plus some close friends are in the neighborhood.  Maybe something about seeing it will help us think more in one direction or the other.  I appreciate your story because I hoped to hear from anyone who was dealing with real estate/moving at the time of medical treatments.  I hope things are going well for your husband.  Even when they stabilize the ground always feels a bit shaky.  We don't have kids, but if we did I'd be considering the impact for sure.  Thanks again.

Re: Should we move?

Hi Salascrat..... Move or not to move ?  I've been at our current home for just over 6 years.  We don't plan on moving anymore.  This last move was done pretty much for some of the reasons you mentioned in your post.  Down sizing and being closer to my immediate family and closer to medical assistance all played a role.  The housing market was booming right along when we moved here but right now depending on where you live I would in my opinion be very careful if you decide on moving.  I would evaluate the expense, and whatever stay away from Home equity loans if possible; especially any loan that is a variable rate or penalty for early payoff.  I guess I need to change track.  I'm trying to give financial advice.  Bottom line is before moving here we had a ranch style home out in the boondocks 50 minutes from closest hospital and I remember the long and repeated trips I made for scans and surgery and work.  So I had 2 years in my dream home of the wilderness.  For everyones sake (including me) we gave it up.  I look back and say it was the right thing for us to do.  Honestly, I would not be here today if we had not moved.   Right now I'm 10 minutes away from treatments,ER, scans, etc.  I guess you could say I adjusted to suburban living just fine.  I will say as much as I don't want to believe it,  I have needed help and have learned to accept it.  Thank the lord for giving me the time to make changes.  Just this past weekend I had to make a visit to the ER.  Pnuemonia (sp) hit me with no notice at all.  I"m fine now sitting at home taking my antibiotics and drinking plenty of water.  I guess I,m saying I love the security of being close by to someone, even if one day to come it is just to say my goodbyes.  I still plan on going  on vacation to Hawaii in March.  A lot could happen between now and then, but unless I get bed ridden I'm a -going.  It's a hard choice deciding to move, look at the financials and weigh the pro's and con's. You 'll have your answer come clearer each time you think about it .  Wish you and Tom the best.
God Bless,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Should we move?


I think that you've brought up a timely topic.  I've been in our current home almost 8 years.  When we first moved here,  I thought we would be here 5 years because that's when we'll downsize with 2 kids out of the house. But, then I got diagnosed around then and it seemed like too much trouble to go through a move while dealing with so much medical issues.  Our home is relatively close to ER (10 minutes) and the cancer center (about 30 to 45 minutes depending on traffic).  So, it's accessible in that way.

I understand your desire to put you both in a more supportive situation -- with people and medical support, while Tom's in a stable situation.   Perhaps with hindsight, it's easy to blame yourself for making the "wrong" decision. But,  keep in mind that the decision you will come to is the one that makes the most sense to you.



Re: Should we move?

I haven't been here in several months...but reading through my post in January and the follow ups people wrote is so uplifting.  Because, we did it, we are in our new house, have been here a month and my husband is comfortable, has his TV room, his collections set up, all the things that were "home" to him are here, and the location is 2 minutes from two grocery stores, a suburband office of the major clinic downtown, a pet clinic for our two cats, post office and car wash about three blocks away.  Best of all, the surrounding area near house has pine trees, a hilly bluff to the west, birds and squirrels in the yard, and plenty of room to add in plants from our old place.  We haven't solid it yet... DH took charge of hiring painters, cleaners, new carpet, so his depression lifted as he had a project to direct.  Next will be the estate/garage sale to sell off lots of items we aren't bringing.  We qualified for a regular homeloan (no "creative financing") and since the old house had been paid off for a few years, it was scary having a payment again, but when the old house sells, we can refi or pay off the loan.  There were some rough spots along the way...AFTER we signed the closing papers, my husband got anxious and non communicative and finally told me that I "forced him" to buy the house.  He was the one who said "let's make an offer."  I spent a lot of time talking with the counselor at cancer care who described to me a process of grieving for the old house, how people have to work through the relationship they had with the place they are leaving...that helped me to see that maybe Tom's reaction was not uncommon.  I went ahead and moved a few items to the new house and said he could take his time...if his next scans showed something bad, he could decide whether to stay in the old home or not...we could always put the new place back on the market.  Yeah we would have taken a loss, but this possibility seemed to work for both of us.  I felt kind of trapped too...and then after he got some good news on his scans, I started crying off and on for weeks over leaving the old place.  But we have made our peace with it.  Our new home is in a quiet neighborhood but with access to main roads that go right to downtown and hospital areas.  My husand has a "job" now which is going through all the boxes and bags that he moved by himself, little by little in his pickup on days he had some energy.  It's taken us four months to move, and we are not done yet.  He can go out to the attached garage and sort through things, and we keep finding items we'd forgotten about.  Now he's planning a yard sale at the new place.  Well this is kind of long, but I just wanted to update and say thanks for listening and to all who are considering a move, for us it was worth the upheaval to be in a location where we are connected to the community.  Whatever happens next with my husband's cancer, we do have a new chapter to our story---the adventure of the move---and that has made me feel more courageous.  Last winter when the snow was so bad, I was becoming addicted to looking for houses worried about myself.  But maybe it was just my intuition saying git while the gittin's good.  My anxiety level is down so much, and my husband's behavior says "i'm happy we did this."  Of course he hasn't SAID this, but I know the signs.

Re: Should we move?

Yay Salsacat.
It sounds like the move was just what was called for. Good luck in your new home.


Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope