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Anger, Fear and Sadness

Monday, March 25, 2013

The terror hit me again tonight, in big giant waves of panic and tears. I tried to hide my tears from hubby as he sat beside me in his recliner watching television. I don't want him to know how mad, afraid and sad I am. He is so brave and strong and upbeat. I certainly don't want to depress him. But now he's gone to bed, and I have the need to unload all my emotions here.

I am mad at cancer. And I don't understand why he didn't have it a year ago and today, a usually slow growing cancer, became a very aggressive cancer in him, and has already spread to his bones, and is at Stage Four. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN so quickly? WHY did it happen at all? If he had gone to the doctor when he should have, would they have caught it in time? Should the doctor have insisted on PSA tests every three months, as someone from the Cancer Center thought was protocol? It doesn't do one bit of good to be angry, and yet I am, and I'm full of regrets and wishing there was someway we could go back and stop it before it spread. But it's too late.

I am so afraid of him getting sick. I did not handle well, his discomfort and pain Thursday night in the ER when his catheter was plugged. I am not nurse-material. Never was. I hold those men and women in health care in such high esteem, because they have that caring, compassionate quality that I just never had. I simply fall apart, and I know I can't do that. I have to be strong. But I don't know if I can do it. And I worry about what will happen to me when he is gone. I will be all alone. I always hated being alone. And what about finances? Am I going to be able to make it on my own? Will he be able to work very long, because without his job, he has no health insurance. I don't either, but I'm not sick. The uncertainty is just awful, and yet I don't really want to know how long he has either. I want to be able to hope we have years left together, and yet every moment with him is so precious now. I look into his face and try to make sure I will always remember his look, his smell, his touch. I don't know that I can make it without him beside me. He is like the other half of me.

I feel so very sad for all the future we won't have now. He won't be there to dance with me at my granddaughter's wedding, which was a weight loss goal for me. She is only three, it will be many years before she marries, and the prognosis doesn't look good for hubby making it that long. We more than likely won't get to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in 8 years. Back when I was obese, I used to look in the Sunday newspaper and see the pictures of all the couples celebrating 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries. I always noticed they were not overweight. You don't usually live to see those anniversaries if you are obese, at least not as morbidly obese as I was. So I lost weight, and thought to myself, "Now, we will be able to celebrate those anniversaries." We were so young when we got married back in 1970, he was just 18, and I was 19, so to celebrate 50 years seemed like something we would get to do.

It just isn't fair and I'm mad and I'm scared and I'm so very very sad. It's so stupid to grieve now, I should enjoy this time we have left, especially while he's still feeling somewhat good. A week from tomorrow we will be heading to Washington D.C. for a trip we had put off for far too long. I want to be able to enjoy being with him and seeing so many wonderful sights in the Nation's Capital. But I know it won't be a carefree happy vacation like our time in NYC was last November. We both have such fond memories of that trip, and I think those memories are even sweeter today, when we realize how lucky we were, because we didn't know that even then, that damned cancer was growing inside of him. We could truly enjoy ourselves without that sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs. So I'm going to put on a happy face and maybe I will be able to fool even myself for a little while anyway.

But tonight, alone here in my kitchen, the tears just won't stop...

A self-portrait in the mirror in the hotel elevator in NYC. It's the only picture I have of us together from the whole trip.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Respect and much sympathy to you. Your story hits me with such shock and heartsickness. It tells me that if *you* had no guarantee that this life we have today can be put off-- that it's no dress rehearsal-- I certainly need to drop the illusion of "tomorrow" myself.

    Logically, I guess I knew this, but it is different seeing it happen to you, a hero of mine. I am 56, obese, and have procrastinated about committing to health. If my husband were struck with such news today, his last days would not be trips with me, but me unable to fit in an airline seat to have those last golden moments with him. He'd have to travel alone or sit at home with fat me and my self pity.

    Thank you for the generosity of sharing your heart's journey with us. When we hear that thinness does not make happiness, but it frees us to live each day, I will think of you and your journey now. With love, respect, and prayers for the strength you have built to not fail you now. emoticon
    1817 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/28/2013 2:22:16 PM
    1818 days ago
    Oh dear, I am so sorry you are going through this. I completely understand all of your emotions; I too have had all those same feelings. I know it's hard to believe you will be able to deal with all of this, but if you take things one day at a time, you will find a strength in yourself that you never knew you had. Cancer is so cruel and until someone has actually been through it or loved someone who has been through it, it's hard to understand the roller coaster of emotions that those affected face every day. As hard as I try to put it out of my mind, Tommy's cancer is always there. No matter where we go, what we're doing, who we're with, it's always there in the back of our minds. But as hard as cancer tries to rob us of our joy, we have to muster the strength to fight back and be determined to continue our lives and enjoy the time we have left with out loved ones. Time is precious and there are no guarantees for any of us.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your DH and all of your family.

    1818 days ago
    It's normal to feel all those go ahead.
    Maybe there is a support group for people in your situation around your place?
    Sparkpeople is great,but maybe talking it out to actual people would help even more.

    My heart goes out to you! emoticon
    1818 days ago
    And it is a great picture...cherish it...and, I pray you can, go to Washington DC and have a ball! Set it aside for just one week...give yourself and husband a worry free gift of putting off your worry, sadness and have the week! you can take it all on when you return! I know how things can change for the good or the bad in a second...we can not think of it or we could not function!
    Please know when you are grieving your SP friends are there around can do this, get through it and will be able to handle it!
    With Love and Hugs!

    1819 days ago
    I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Warm fuzzies and prayers coming your way. Vista emoticon
    1819 days ago
    1819 days ago
    Your husband might be strong and positive and upbeat when you're around, and he likely has his moments when he feels like you do. Can you share your feelings with each other?

    And your comment about the grief being stupid -- it is not stupid. The grief, the anger, the fear, the sadness, even depression...these things are all NORMAL. You'll have ups and downs with them over the coming days, weeks, months, and years, and it's all normal. I had cancer 13 years ago that was, thankfully and miraculously, caught early. And I went through the same things you're experiencing. I was mad at the cancer and the complications that happened during treatment, afraid because there was no guarantee we had caught it in time (there are no guarantees in life about anything except the moment we have), and sad because of the changes in my life and my body that happened because of the cancer. Some days were better than others. That's all normal.

    If you can't share your feelings with your hubby, you have us here, and you might also check with the Cancer Centers to see if they have any online support groups. While I had supportive friends and family during my little adventure, the best support I got was from a couple of online support groups of people dealing with the same cancer I had. They knew exactly what I was going through, and I could be totally real and knew they understood. Being honest and open with them was so refreshing. It was tough because we lost some members of the group to this nasty disease while I was participating, but I needed to face that as well. It's all part of the cancer game.

    You're going through a lot and both of you remain in my prayers. Hugs.

    1820 days ago
    Well this is all pretty new. You have to give yourself a little time to adjust ton the pain and the upset and the questions. You don't have to be strong all the time. You will find a balance and you will do what you have to do and no matter what happens it will be OK and you will find a way to deal with it all... thinking of you! (And you have a lot of wisdom and support on the site...use it!)
    1820 days ago
    I wish I could take some of the pain, anger hurt from you. All I can do is pray for you and your husband.
    We can look back and wonder what if, but that is something we just don't know.
    Think instead of the good that has happened in the last years. You ,Pam are in a better condition to handle the future than you were.
    Getting angry is a natural response. But you can't stay in that mode. You do have to be there for hubby, he will need you. And you want to use your strength and emotions for positive not negative engery..
    Crying is natural, it releases tensions and helps you go forth.
    I do hope you can enjoy every moment with your husband on this coming trip and all the days to come.
    You don't know what tomorrow will bring.Please live for today and cherish what you have now.
    Hugs Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1820 days ago
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    1820 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Pam, I love that photo of the two of you together - you both look so happy. Many years ago, I was told that my baby son was dying. As I collapsed from fatigue and grief (it had been a traumatic birth and I almost died as well) my mother-in-law came in the hospital room and chirped "now, now, you need to be strong". I told a nurse to make her leave. The nurse, bless her heart, escorted my m.i.l. out of the room. I cried my heart out and then I gradually grew stronger and so did my baby boy, who went on to thrive. My point is this: grief will have it's way with us. Grief is a sign of love, not weakness. If I were diagnosed with a fast growing cancer, I would consider it a sign of love if my husband were to tell me he was terrified of losing me, and I would consider it a sign of love if he let me be witness to his grief. I am not talking about continually collapsing and making no effort to deal - I am talking about giving grief its due. Grief is a force to be reckoned with, denying it doesn't work for long. You and your husband can take turns being the strong one, and being the comforting one. You have been through so much together - you are a true love story. None of us knows how your love story will end but your terror about how it could end is certainly understandable. My heart aches for you. I am so glad you are gifted with the ability to write so well because it is a useful tool for you, and will continue to give you the chance to reach out for the support you deserve. I am thinking of you and your husband and your family, Pam. I pray you find some peace of mind amidst all this turmoil and fear.
    1820 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/25/2013 11:04:08 PM
    1820 days ago
  • TERRYT55
    Oh Pam.......I can feel terror in the pit of my stomach just reading your words. I'm so sorry you and your husband are going through all of this. Life just isn't fair sometimes.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    1820 days ago
    One day at a time. We are all here for you. It's great that you blog as much as you do, good to get all those emotions out. I also think it would be good for you to find a support group...I'll bet that Cancer Care has a phone one you could join. emoticon
    1820 days ago
    Hi Hon...
    My heart goes out to you.....but you have to be strong. He's depending on you.
    Is there a support group (a local cancer organization, the hospital, Gilda's Club, etc.) -- to provide the outlet you need so much to air your fears and feelings. When I went through cancer treatment - I joined a Gilda's Club support group - and it saved my sanity.
    Please look into it. In the meantime-my thoughts are with you.

    1820 days ago
    You have been such an inspiration to me. Your common sense and determination have led you to make a miracle happen in your life.
    May God bless and keep you and your husband. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

    1820 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    Your feelings are very understandable. I especially share that fear of being alone and how I'll deal with it. Hang in there and enjoy every minute you do have him there at your side!
    1820 days ago
    I almost cried reading your blog. I'm glad you have a place to share your very legitimate feelings.

    What's wrong with our country that health insurance is one more stress for someone to worry about when a tragic illness strikes? I'm hoping you will get some help from the Affordable Care Act to get and keep the health insurance you both need.

    1820 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1820 days ago
    Many years ago when we almost lost our first son to
    menengitis and later found out he would likely be deaf
    and disabled, they told us we would grieve for the
    future we lost. The perfect child, the perfect life he
    would have was gone. You are going through the
    normal process of grief and I wish I could make it
    better. The "what-ifs" are always there.
    Enjoy the time you have with DH. I am praying
    that it will be many years before you must be alone.
    1820 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/25/2013 7:24:34 AM
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    1820 days ago
  • KAREN_01
    Oh, hun! I am feeling so sorry for you and your hubby. It must be terrible to go through all of it. My neighbour and friend has just been diagnosed with cancer and I feel scared for her too. This weekend I was thinking what to do for her and then it hit me, I am going to offer her and her hubby a "photo shoot" before the chemo begins. When I saw your blog just now, I want to encourage you to get someone - anyone- to spend a day with you and take some pictures of you and hubby together. You will need those pictures of good memories when times are going to get tough.
    Hang in there, you can be the strong one!
    1820 days ago
    I cant tell you that I understand what you're feeling, but I want you to know that my heart is very heavy for your pain. We (SPriends) are here for you. Even tho I dont even know you, I think about you guys often.
    1820 days ago
    I hope you can both eventually share your fears and have good cry together.
    1820 days ago
    1821 days ago
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