Dearest Steve... I also had no support during chemo and after. I've lost nearly all my friends. Not one has asked how I am and how I'm doing. Not only did my friends desert me my parents also did. Kicked me out of the apartment they had for me while going through chemo...they said I complained to much and shunned me even more for taking pain pills. I had become a junkie to them. Why can people not understand this horrible disease? I am 6 months out of chemo and still feel i haven't gotten a clear answer if is gone. every time i went to dr. It was everything looks great only to go into the hospital for SOB and be told there were three lymph nodes they were still looking at. My symptoms have started again. I feel abandoned from every corner. Dealing with cancer i thought would be the worst..no..now i have neuropathy and absolutley miserable. I'm scared and fed up that i may never get back to normal.
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Ahhhh Dex of the big red head as we refer to it in our house. Sorry but my husband is king of humour deals with everything!!!
My husband also had a lot of fatigue. He has just finished 12 out of 12 scheduled treatmeants. Nausea was never much of a problem, but I always tried to schedule a coffee date with friends on disconnect day (which was day 3 for us) so he never felt embarrassed about taking a little kip in the arvo. by the time I had picked up the kids from school and stopped for a phantom supermarket visit, he was refreshed and ready to face the girls. for some reason he felt embarassed about feeling tired. Thursday was day 4 and worse again but I would spend the day with all the paperwork so he could nap at will.
I bought him a model helicopter to build also so he could have some down time with a reason. My youngest would help him with that so it was also a good excuse for them to spend time together without being to active.
Isnt the section on here for family of people affected by cancer a wonderful support? It is the first place I have found for us to talk with others in the same predicament besides the oncology clinic and they are often to shell shocked or putting on the face to share much. And being able to hear from others who have had or have cancer themselves really really helped me to understand what my hubby was going through.
Keep reading Nikki as there is always something to help.
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Just wanted to give you a quick update. My brother has had 2 checks and they came well. One showed a small dark spot in the other testicle but it turned out to be a calcified mass so it was meant to be ok.
Other than that he and his partner froze some sperm just in case as they want to try to have a baby in the next year or so. The chemo went well too. Only one session.
Hope everyone is well.
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In relation to support from family and friends during cancer treatment,I found the emotional aftermath of cancer the most difficult experience of all. I could deal with surgery, chemo and radio but I was ill equiped to deal with the disappointment of what I thought were close relationships with some family and friends, relationships that proved to be not as strong as I believed.
I found that discovering the weaknesses not the strengths of some relationships, heartbreaking.
I believe I went through a mourning process for the loss of the relationship with my sister, a sister I had always believed would be there for me, but she wasn't. We still talk, not as often, I can't feel the same closeness, and this really cuts me to the bone. I taught my son, to love his family, family will be there to love and to help you when you need it, I believed that myself. Now I realise that I have to re-evaluate those ideals.
Some friends disappeared, maybe because most of my energy was concentrated on treatment and I had little left for socialising, or maybe because they didn't know what to say, I don't know for sure.
I lost my sense of humour for a time, not many understand what it feels like to loose the humour in life, but to me it was important.
I went on a search for "ME", I read books, I went to forums about "Living well after cancer" and to "A day with Petrea King", I joined a support group (which I highly recommend)and I joined this website.
I still have a way to go but I am feeling stronger and happier with each new day.
Cancer changes the direction of your life, it is a sudden change, most of us find change of any kind hard to cope with but I guess learning to adapt our behaviour and responses to others behaviour, ultimately will benefit our own mindset and health.
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omg! I thought it was just me! My mother had very little to do with me also, and my father (they are long time divorced) was going around telling everyone (including the mechanic I discovered when I was having my service) how sad it was for him. Yet, I think I saw him once when I was going through treatment and after. I see him less to this day. I don't speak with either of them really. It's a sad situation.
I think the trauma of the emotional isolation was more than the treatment. I saw a side to people that was so very raw, and so self absorbed. I was equally totally bemused by people who were "acting like they were all too fantastic to get it". Absolutely shocking for me. Too much, too early (I was 23)
I just want to say also, I found the comments above about the guy who wouldn't wear the dressing gown of his dad's quite disturbing. I feel that it would be highly inappropriate to do so. What are people thinking??
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It is not strange to read your post at all.
I do/have used my position in small ways to get where i need to be. Not totally altruistic here, however, if something needs to be changed then it does. For instance, i have offered in my chemo head state to talk to my local rotary club. I figure if i am bald and up there talking about my experiences then people will "listen and hear" in a different way than if i was outwardly appearing normal. Now in a personally altruistic way, i might get offered a job from one of the people in rotary. Well, bit way out but you never know.
At times i sit and think this is exciting and its a chance to change and do something that i really want to. At other times its scary as being ill costs a fortune despite pats etc...
Thanks for your reply, its helped to put my head back in the right place. :)
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I'm very new to all this so hope I'm doing this correctly:)
My husband of 33 years was diagnosed with stage IV bowel cancer in Feb 08. A bowel blockage was removed through surgery and the surgeon said he had just closed up because my husband was full of cancer!!
He had never had a sick day in his life. I understand how you are feeling. The shock is incredible, isn't it?
We were not given any positives at the time and our son, who lives overseas, was advised to come home asap by the oncologist.
I don't know what advice to give except to say that we just refused to take on the negativity (not easy)and got in touch with a good naturapath while my husband was still in hospital to begin a support program and to prepare for chemo which we were told may give him some more time.
We use meditation to control the terror and help the body to heal itself through visualisation and healthy self-talk eg I'm strong and healthy and I'm going to live to 100 (every day, all day).
I also find every survival story I can to give my husband the belief that he can be well again. (e.g. Ian Gawler , given 2 weeks to live with metastised cancer 20 odd years ago!!!)
We believe strongly in using right language to talk to ourselves about the cancer. ie. in our self-talk and when talking to others we don't "fight" the cancer we move strongly towards wellness.
My husband is still working at a very high pressure job and has come through two rounds of chemo with very limited side effects.
The oncologist is very surprised at my husbands great progress.He is now on Avastin and we are praying for good results from that.
Please don't misunderstand, I still suffer feelings of terrible dread at what may come but I remind myself that not one person on this planet knows when his hour will come ...even me! So we just don't keep setting goals for the future and just "know" we are going to reach them.
I think support groups are a great idea too. You will probably find that you need different kinds of support to your husband so take good care of yourself and remember the doctor's are only working on averages and your partner may just be one of those people who doesn't follow the norm!!
Big hugs to you and your husband
I'll send you golden light in my meditation!
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I just found an online cancer terminology dictionary: http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary
Its got a definition for just about everything. Here's the definition for survivor:
"One who remains alive and continues to function during and after overcoming a serious hardship or life-threatening disease. In cancer, a person is considered to be a survivor from the time of diagnosis until the end of life."
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.