My husband has started treatment for lung cancer, he has never smoked its a form of cancer normally young Asian woman get. It's hard to watch a person who was always very active not be able to do much. People have generally been very good with their positive comment and wishes. And we are trying to stay positive and retain a sense of humour. I had someone ask me the other day what his life expectancy was, I didn't know how to answer, I thought it was the crappiest thing to ask. I don't even want to ask the doctor that. I would rather people ring and be positive. Was I wrong to feel like this.
13 Comments
Super Contributor
Amelia Jane As someone who has had cancer and had exactly the same question asked of me (in the guise of "being-oh-so-caring") I felt the same. It is a crappy thing to ask someone. That sort of information is shared not extracted!! Julie
0 Kudos
Frequent Contributor
"shared not extracted". nice.
0 Kudos
Occasional Contributor
Based on what you have said I have the same sort of cancer as your husband. People can sometimes be clumsy in the way they ask questions. I know until I had cancer I knew nothing about it, and was probably just as insensitive. Overall I try and respond to their interest in getting more information, rather than the stupid way they ask for it. Is he not able to do much because of the cancer or because of the treatment? Gail
0 Kudos
Not applicable
Hi Gail, my husband has not been able to do what he was doing before, we have a farm and he was also a leading hand on the shire. He does not have the energy that he did before he gets very tired, and a bit short of breath. He has had one treatment of chemo which was a double dose last week and another one tomorrow , then a week off and two weeks on again. He handled that rather well so far. His cancer has spread to his bones and thyroid so I'm not sure if that is what is giving him a lot les energy. When were you diagnosed, have you started treatment. We have been told there is no cure but with treatment they hope to shrink and control it. Amanda
0 Kudos
Occasional Contributor
I agree with you Julie, its not something that should be asked and its quite confronting for someone to answer. My dad has advanced cancer and when I get that question I just say we don't know how long he will be here for, only God knows the answer to that!
0 Kudos
New Contributor
Hi Amelia Jane, I also had people ask when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I guess they just don't realise what an emotional question that is. We push ourselves to deal with the present and give our loved ones all we can. We don't want to think about the future. I actually had people tell me that I was in denial because I refused to talk about the future. What will be will be, you can't change it so accept it and live each day to the fullest with your loved one. Make every day special. Some people don't like to ask the doctor how long and that's their choice. I don't like surprises so I asked and was then able to plan - wills, power of attorney etc. This enabled me to have some control of the future. Also knowing so that family can be told. My dad died in 1981 of cancer and my mum chose not to tell us how bad it was. I remember questioning this decision for years after that, because if I had known I would have spent so much more time with him. Decisions are complex. I wish you both luck on your journey. Laugh, share, love. Virginia xx
0 Kudos
New Contributor
Hi Amelia Jane Chemo will make your husband more tired than you thought possible. I know that I had days when I slept for 18 hours out of 24 and you wonder if it and the nausea will ever go away - I'm gad to say it does but not until weeks after treatment finishes. Treatment has come along away over the years and has been able to add years to our lives, so be supportive during treatment, just remember to love hard, laugh lots and cry with friends
0 Kudos
Contributor
Hi Amelia Many people asked those questions when I was first diagnosed with my lung cancer....i found it to be a way people thought they could help and connect. However I believe it was a way for them to find out the gossip. Its horrible in times of misery others seem to thrive.. Don't be consumed by the numbers. As sometimes the prognosis we are given is so far from the reality. They need to give u worst case scenarios. I am still here now even when initially prognosis was not good. April 20th marked 1yr since official cancer diagnosis and 20th may marks 1yr since my lobectomy. Depending on treatment options it varies the outcomes. I still stand by a positive attitude, humour and determination will go a long way in fighting cancer. I do like Julies comment - these matters should be out choice to share if we feel it is relevant and helpful. Don't lose hope - the people here will be ur ears and helping hands. Best wishes Rubes The most impossible things are achievable if we just believe.
0 Kudos
Contributor
Hi Amelia Jane, Yes, a crappy question but maybe one that people ask to show that they are listening to you and trying to hear what you're saying - I like to think that anyway. I guess I agree with Julie - "shared not extracted." What upset me were those who just said,"it will be ok - everything will turn fine" - I felt that they weren't listening and were a bit dismissive of my illness and what the treatment entailed. Maybe they were putting on a brave face but that was not the support I needed. CJF
0 Kudos
New Contributor
I think sometimes people find it really hard that their family member or friend is on this journey, they want to be supportive but don't understand that it is both a physical and mental journey - hopefully they never have to find out It's not like a broken leg - six weeks from now life returns to normal, that isn't go to happen in our situation. Talk with your friends and let them know what you want/need or don't want - most will be glad to have clear guidelines as they often feel that they are guessing and working in the dark.
0 Kudos
Not applicable
Thank you everybody that replied to my blog. It is good to hear other people's story's and their point of view. My husband starts his second round of chemo this week. He handled it well with the last one so hope he goes well with this one as well. We are staying positive and keeping a good sense of humour. Our children are handling it well to. Thank you again for all the good advise.
0 Kudos
Not applicable
Thank you everybody that replied to my blog. It is good to hear other people's story's and their point of view. My husband starts his second round of chemo this week. He handled it well with the last one so hope he goes well with this one as well. We are staying positive and keeping a good sense of humour. Our children are handling it well to. Thank you again for all the good advise.
0 Kudos
Contributor
My surgeon only gives length of life expectations when treatment is refused - it will be quite short in most cases. Beyond that, no-one knows. Good treatment response can put you in the 'non-cancer' life expectancy. But any of us could go under a bus tomorrow. I put my affairs in order prior to surgery/rads but am still pushing for 100 as I was prior. Best wishes for a long, healthy life for your husband, Amelia Jane - (((hugs))) Pamela 🙂
0 Kudos
Post new blog
Talk to a health professional
Cancer Council support and information 13 11 20Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Cancer Information and Support

Online resources and support

Access information about support services, online resources and a range of other materials.

Caring for someone with cancer?

Find out what resources and support services are available to assist you.