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Old 11-04-2006, 09:04 PM   #1
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Question for Conan

Hi-
I read your posting you had written to someone else and tried to pull up your posts to see what type of lung cancer your wife has and her situation and for some reason cannot pull it up.
Anyway, I wanted you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you. My husband and I remark that it is tough enough raising kids and then throwing cancer into the equation really makes it tough! We see many elderly people at the doctor's office with cancer and they remark how young my husband is and are always so sweet and concerned.
You take care of yourself and hope you have a beautiful weekend.
Kim

 
Old 11-06-2006, 05:15 AM   #2
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Re: Question for Conan

Kim-

My wife never smoked, she was diagnosed stage IV NSCLC back in the first week of August. Her left lung collapsed due to an obstructive tumor. To the best of our knowledge she has 2 liver mest, a small tumor in her right lung and i in the bone (head).

We have 4 children from previous marriages, 20, 18, 16 (hers) 16 (mine). Then we have 3 of our own, 7, 5 and 2. My oldest step-daughter has stayed home from college to help us with the liitle ones. Nevertheless, everyday is a battle. I struggle with alot things personally. I am surrounded by alot of caring/well-meaning people, but no one understands really. It is a lonley difficult road -that is why I come here. However, I usually avoid posting on bad days.

I never imagined I could be in this situation -but like you said, raising children is enough a cahallenge in itself. I guess now I just have to work harder and wiser that before.

How about you? How are you and your husband handling it?

conan

 
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: Question for Conan

Conan,
Wow, you do have your hands full and you should come here on your bad days. I honestly come here when Stan sleeps, even though I know I have "stuff" to be done. The board has helped me tons, but know it won't solve any of my problems, but at least it is a place I can come to where sad as it is everyone is in the same boat and can relate. I have dear friends, but if they have not experienced what our family is going thru it is hard for them to understand. I don't have any relatives who live remotely close, except for a raging mother-in-law.
I am sorry you are going thru this and I know you probably go thru in your head what did your wife and you do to deserve this and how unfair for the children. You even have younger children than I do and how heartbreaking! I do it all at our house, Stan cannot deal with any of it, nor would I expect him to. I get frustrated at times. I think on Friday was tough because I needed to do some stuff here at home and then our business called and they needed me to come in for 5 hours. I then realized while at the office that Stan did not have any lunch at home, so then had to run home to feed him...gets challenging to say the least. The pressure gets to me and you must find some kind of release. (have you found one?) Mine is the gym, but lately it has been harder to go because of doctor appt.s and lack of sleep.
I never thought I would have my husband home with my 24/7 for the last 17 months. We have gotten closer spending so much time together. We can still laugh and do everyday, but then we also cry too. Our oldest will be graduating in June and have discussed with him to stay closer to home to go to College. We live in Irvine, CA so we are surrounded by colleges, but would hate to see him go away and not be around for dad. He understands, but what a huge sacrifice. (just like your step daughter staying home to help care for her mom)
I need to get ready as Stan has a doctor's appt. I do hope your wife has a good day and can enjoy the kids.
You take care of yourself and come vent and scream or share a special or sad moment. I think you are an awesome husband doing it all and maybe one day there will be some light shed on us why your wife was stricken with this terrible disease. I am not sure if you know but my husband has SCLC and never smoked either and it is in his lungs, liver, brain, bones, adrenal, lymph and kidney and abdominal area. (my aunt is in the medical field and read his scans and could not believe how widespread his cancer is and yet gets around on good days)
Hugs to you Conan and your wife,
Kim

 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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Re: Question for Conan

Kim-

While I appreciate this forum and the opportunity to learn and share with others like you, it is also heart wrenching to know that others are having to go through this. However, the strength I hear in you and others is the best source of encouragement I have found. I am so sorry that you, your husband and family are suffering. I am also sorry that you have a raging mother-in-law to contend with. About two months ago I was ready to send my MIL on a slow boat to China, …but it has gotten better. I don’t think anybody can
understand care giving like another caregiver.

Like you, I stay busy and worn out. I feel like a shadow of myself and really don’t have time for anything recreational (except for at night). The teens help some, but they have part time jobs and school. We all miss Patsy being able to cook, but I ‘m coming along okay (made a decent chicken parmesan over the weekend). What I’d really like to do is play a round of golf or take the kids camping on the beach, but it is so difficult to find slots of time for stuff like that. This Friday some of Patsy’s girlfriends are coming over for a slumber party (her birthday is next week), so I’m gonna take the little ones and probably go to my mother’s in Myrtle Beach for a night.

Patsy isn’t having a good day. I hate this disease because it robs us of so much. We were planning on going to Orlando thanksgiving week to get away from all this, but I had to cancel the reservation fearing Patsy might not be up for it. The best I can hope for now is my MIL will go out of town since my plans have failed. With that, I’ll rest from my venting and belly-aching for the night.

Since you have me talking, let me ask for your advice. As you know, this disease turns your life upside down. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I get in the mind-set of managing and fighting the problems associated with this wretched disease. Patsy on the other hand does not want to discuss anything critical, so naturally I shoulder pretty much everything. However there are some legal issues that we should address while things are fair, but when I bring it up she gets upset. I just want to take care of these things so they are behind us and I won’t have to think much about it. Do you have any suggestions how I might approach her in the future?

Anyway, thanks for sharing and being a friend. I hope Stan's appoint is encouraging. I do find it comforting to talk and share with others fighting this disease. I hope you have as great week.

conan

 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:43 PM   #5
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Re: Question for Conan

conan and kim~ i have been reading your post and i am so impressed with both of you(and all the other caregivers). i am the one with the lung cancer and i know someday my husband is going to be doing what both of you are now. i does seem so unfair. i do really good now but i know at some point that will change. i know he will take care of me because he loves me but i really hate for him to experience what i see everyone else going through.

i know i dont know either of you but would kike to thank you for what you do. it warms my heart to know god puts people like here to help people like me. i want to encourage my husband to come here when the times comes. i know he will be helped. take care and i pray for you both and your spouses. melissa

 
Old 11-06-2006, 07:59 PM   #6
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Re: Question for Conan

magegb-

Thanks for your sweet comments. While no one likes dealing with lung cancer, there is no place I would rather be than by my wife's side (I believe other caregivers feel the same). I don't know why God allows us to go through this, but I believe He gives the husband/wife/caregiver/friends we need to get through it. I am confident your husband will be everything you need and that this disease can bring you even closer.

God bless-

conan

 
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:02 PM   #7
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Re: Question for Conan

Hi Conan, I am probably one of the dreaded caregivers because I am so vocal about our journey. But I had to be to survive. When you brought up the "legal" issues that need attention, I can relate. We did too and it was just last week that we got his last will and testament executed. I especially stress this to you because like us, you are a blended family. There are some really complicated issues present and I hope you have an attorney that you can bounce some things off of. There are two things I HIGLY recommend doing...1) you getting durable power of attorney rights and 2) finalizing and executing her last will and testament. As for the rest, you are doing an awesome job. I made chicken parmesan last week and my hubby didn't eat a bite (which I knew he would not, but tried anyway) and so I sent it all home with always-hungry stepson and apparently thoroughly enjoyed it. For me cooking is a stress-buster although I usually cook too much because I remember Bud's former huge appetite. Now that he is gone, it's going to get really interesting. Take care Conan. Know that here you are always welcome and able to find support.

Peace and prayers,
Jan

 
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:33 AM   #8
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Re: Question for Conan

Jan-

Thank you for being so vocal. I have been following the thread about the passing of your husband with a heavy heart. That thread should not have been moved as it belongs here, where your firends are. I think it is as revevant to talk about as all these dreadful procedures and medications we must endure. You are experiencing what I fear most, so please share as much as you like. I only wish I could offer you someting of comfort in return. I believe when you see Bud again he will tell you just how proud and appreciative he was to have you by his side.

conan

 
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:23 PM   #9
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Re: Question for Conan

Conan,
I hope Patsy had a better day today. I was so happy to see your post and sometimes it is good to just let it pour out. (it won't solve anything, but at least it helps a bit)
Darn, we could have booked a boat for our MIL's to China together and they would have thought it was actually for fun!
That is awesome you are in the kitchen and I bet you are doing an awesome job! At least you are making the effort and making home cooked meals! I know Patsy must know how hard you work to keep things running as smooth as possible!
That is wonderful that her girlfriends are planning a slumber party for her birthday, what a fun idea! It will be good for you to get away a bit and for her to have some good laughs with the gals. (sounds like she has some wonderful friends)
Yes, understand how hard it must have been to cancel everything for the Holidays. We listen to our friends talk about going here and there and miss that more than anything. I think the hardest was when my dad was dying in Feb. of this year and Stan was able to go with me in Jan, but when I had to go back in Feb. to say my final goodbyes to my dad he could not go with me. I felt so torn, but I had to say goodbye to my dad for one last time. I do hope your MIL will give the family a break during the Thanksgiving weekend.
We had spoken for years and years of setting up a Trust for the boys, but Stan always dragged his feet and said nothing will ever happen, but I said you never know...an accident or anything could take both of us. Oddly enough we had been talking about it before he got sick. I do think since you have a blended family and you have such young children that something should be set up...honestly, if something happened to both of you tomorrow it would be a nightmare for the kids. I remember when Stan was diagnosed the doctor told him how severe his cancer was and to take care of all legal issues and forgot how he worded it, but he politely said to make sure all lose ends were taken care of and make sure the kids are protected. I think it hit home when the doctor told us that and we immediately made an appt...but we have changed the trust twice already and it just now needs to be signed! It was not fun, it was not easy, but felt we owed it to the kids. I don't know how you can exactly word it to your wife and I don't know her personality, but you can tell her since she is ill at the time and what if you got in a car accident, where would that leave the kids. I am sure words might be exchanged, but you must stand strong on setting up something and it can be very simple. We started out much too complex and changed it to simple.
Now let me ask you and I apoligize if you have mentioned it before, but did they ever tell her she is terminal, she is in palliative care? Did they mention any time frame? (not that time frames are anything to go by at all!)
Stan's appt. was a waste of time. He likes to lie and when I try to tell the truth for him he downplays everything....gggrrr! He is a stubborn man, but I think if he was not he would not be here today so look at it as a positive and love him for his determination. He has chemo on Monday and hope it does not knock him down too hard.
You hang in there Conan and try to take care of yourself.
Can your wife walk around or is she stuck in bed?
Hugs,
Kim

 
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Question for Conan

Mabegb,
Thanks for your posting which touched me deeply. I cannot imagine having cancer and what it does to you. You are very kind for your words, but honestly you are the one going thru treatment, the pain, the needles and we as caregivers/friends/spouses are just trying to let you enjoy life and make you happy. I pray you can beat this terrible disease and then your husband won't have to visit the board, how about that!
You take care of yourself and if you think it might help your husband to come to the board we welcome him. I do know at times we get very emotional and detailed in our feelings so I do know it is hard for some people to handle all the emotions.
Prayers for you and your husband,
Kim

 
Old 11-08-2006, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Question for Conan

Kim-

First, thanks for your reply and answering my question. I would like to get into the layers office by the end of the month and get things moving. Having talked about it, I feel much more motivated to get I done now. So thanks for sharing.

To answer your questions about Pasty, her condition is considered non-curable so she is receiving palliative care. She was diagnosed in the first week of August, and I am just now beginning to understand and accept that her condition is viewed as being terminal. Our oncs haven’t given us any time tables at this time, nor have they held out any hope for a reversal. I am hoping and fighting for the best and trying to prepare for the worst. I still can’t fathom what I would do with out her.

She actually had a good last couple of days. She has been getting around pretty good since the post obstructive pneumonia cleared (back in mid Sept.) However, if we go shopping or something I usually get her a wheel chair. The reason we cancelled our trip is because her treatment schedule got set back and I’m not sure how good she is going to feel thanksgiving week. We have an appt. Wed the 15th and will start a 4th cycle of chemo if the labs are good. Plus she does not do well when the temp drops below 65.

I think I am going to take your advice and find and outlet for stress. I find myself being too impatient with the kids lately and it makes me feel like a jerk. The only decent gym is about 25 minutes away, so I think I may start running again. But your right, it does help to vent a little. I’m so tempted to vent about my “menace-in-law” tonight, but I think I’ll take the high road in spite of everything.

Well I sure hope Stan’s treatment goes as well as it can. What have they told you to expect about his condition? Also if I may ask, how old are the boys and how are they handling it?

It has been nice talking you, I hope you doing well. It sounds like you have a good handle on keeping things balanced. I appreciate you taking an interest in Patsy’s condition and mine. Talking about it has been good therapy.

conan

Last edited by conan1017; 11-08-2006 at 07:21 PM.

 
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:11 PM   #12
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Re: Question for Conan

Conan,
How nice to hear Patsy has a couple of good days, amazing how uplifting that can be!
Oh yes, I agree with what you said about you can't fathom life without Patsy, I feel the same way about Stan. I try most of the time to enjoy the moment in time(and not think about tomorrow) whether it is a good day or bad, thankful he is here, but sometimes when he is very miserable I think how unfair and selfish of me to beg God to keep him with me a little longer.
Sorry to hear your gym is so fair away! I am lucky to have it about 10 minutes if even that from our house. I hope you can squeeze running into your schedule.
No problem asking about Stan. He has actually surprised the doctors and has outlived what they had thought. When he was diagnosed he had it throughout his entire body and brain. He was diagnosed in June 05 and is now on his 4th line of chemo. He was told there is no cure, but can help prolong his life. We had always agreed if he loses quality then to stop treatment and he is teetering with that a bit since he appears to be getting worse. He has severe back pain since the beginning but now has leg pain and very weak in his legs. (in his bones) I am getting more concerned as the days go by and not sure how many more chemos he can endure...but will support his decision all the way!
The boys- Andrew just turned 17 last month and will graduate in June. He is a very good kid, but know he hurts seeing his dad going downhill. The odd thing is that he has had a girlfriend for the last year and her mom was diagnosed in August with breast cancer so they have each other to talk to which is great. Her mom even goes to the same doctor as my husband. Anthony is my handful who is 10 and in the 5th grade. He has some learning issues (not 100%) sure what they all are but not severe, but enough to cause some problems...very bright kid but they say he has ADD. (he is also very stubborn it is his way or no way and does not work that way) I just spent 2 hours doing math with him tonight. He is a sweetheart, but has been acting out for about 4 months. He also has landed himself in the ER in August and many doctor appts.with an ucler/gastritis which they think is from the stress of his dad....how heartbreaking. He is still on medicine for his stomach. Andrew feels bad that Anthony is being shorted on his childhood with his dad. (could not believe Andrew shared that with me, but try to get them to open up) I use to have less patience when Stan was first diagnosed, but now if I get upset with the boys I don't raise my voice, but walk away to another room and cry and let it out or just put my head down and pray to God to get me thru this tough time.
I cannot say I have a good handle on it, but I try my hardest to make my kids happy and make my husband smile everyday. I honestly think this posting board is my therapy, getting it out, asking questions or whatever it may be.
Thanks for listening once again and pray that Patsy is improving and having more good days!
Kim

Last edited by Kimslos; 11-08-2006 at 10:14 PM.

 
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:20 PM   #13
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Re: Question for Conan

Kim-

I have no doubt you bring nothing but joy to your husband and children. Patsy being sick has definately created a void that I cannot fill. I'm not so sure we would not have faired better if I were the one who was sick. Patsy like you, is the heart of our home.

Thnaks for sharing about your boys. I'll share some about our kids as time goes on, but I really need to take care of some things before bed (tommorow is the big hen party). I'm still not sure where I'm going, but it won't be out of town because we are attending a funeral on Sat. Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and all the other "super-women' around here.

Jan-

I haven't talked much with you but I have been thinking about you. I wish I knew what to say. While I may not be able to comfort you, there is One who can. I will be praying for you.

conan

 
Old 11-12-2006, 02:01 PM   #14
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Re: Question for Conan

I hope you, Stan and the boys are having a pleasant weekend. I noticed you haven’t posted and hope everything is well.

As you said earlier, bringing up children is difficult enough ..we certainly don’t need cancer in the mix. Our teens (the blended part of our family) have really had shoulder a lot since Patsy has been sick. Patsy has three girls (Ashton 20, Shannon 18 & Emily 16) and I have one son (Shayne 16). Because we have the younger kids the teens have had to step-up and for the most part have. I don’t expect them to take care of the little ones as much as they have to take care of themselves more than before. However, I can ask anything of Ashton or Shayne and “its done” (the other two, not so). At any rate, I do try to stay tuned to how they handling Patsy’s sickness and try not to expect more of them than they are capable of. Overall I think they are all “growing” through this as we all try to cope with our circumstances.

Our younger children (Cathlin 7, Jason 5 & Jamie 2) are the ones that wear me out. Jason and Jamie (both boys) obviously can’t comprehend it all, but they certainly sense Patsy’s absence from what they have known. Jason is a “mama’s boy” and misses her constant attention. He’s such a good kid tho, lots of fun. I guess Jamie is “daddy’s boy” as he prefers me to anybody else. Cathlin however is “Cathlin’s girl” …so independent. She is probably more like me than the others, I must admitt. Hence we have a little battle of the wills from time to time. So you could say she is my “handful”.

In case I haven’t said it clearly, “thanks” for getting me talking. I think Jan was right when she said (I’m paraphrasing) that she had to talk about to survive it. About 60% of the time I feel strong, but the other 40% is a mixed bag of confusion, frustration, grief and exhaustion. So take care of yourself my friend and know that I truly am praying for you, Stan and your family.

conan

 
Old 11-14-2006, 06:08 PM   #15
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Re: Question for Conan

Hi Conan,
Okay, got a few minutes, dinner is in the oven, just took Anthony's temp again (yes, he got sick since he came home from school) and just checked on Stan who is sleeping. Sorry for the lapse in writing. It has been a tough, tough several days. We met with the doctor yesterday morning who said after yesterday's chemo he will only have Stan take one more if he can tolerate it based on his blood counts and platelets. So...his last chemo should be on Dec. 4th and scans at the end of December. The doctor said since it is his 4th line of chemo it is taking a big toll on his body and wants him to enjoy the Holidays with the family and let his body take a break. Before we even got home from chemo yesterday the chemo was already knocking him down good...the cumulative effect of the chemo is certainly kicking in! My heart breaks for him, but just try to be strong for him as he is fighting so hard.
Thanks for sharing with me about your kids. I smiled reading about them and how they are all so different. I think my boys are the light of my life, other than Stan. I think of my boys when I am down and snap out of it remembering I must be strong for them and keep pushing myself. (I am sure you do the same) I feel for you since you have such little ones and they can be so demanding and don't completely understand the severity of the situation in the house.
I hope your wife was able to enjoy her slumber party with the women and have a great birthday!
I too thank you for listening. This posting board has truly helped me get thru some tough times and sometimes just "sharing" can really help a person. Yes, what Jan said was so true about having to talk about it to survive. A gal at the doctor's office today told me she has had to walk away from a lot of her friends. Her husband has been battling prostate cancer on and off for the last 10 years.(ended up getting heart problems from chemo and diabetes from it too) She will have a friend ask her how her husband is doing and she will say, well, the cancer is back and he is not doing well and they respond...Isn't he ever going to get well, he is always sick. Wow, what a friend! I guess she said this has happened a lot to her over the years and she said unless someone is going thru the same thing, then they don't understand. (even though everyone's circumstances are different) I could completely relate to what she was saying.
I was so emotionally drained last night I fell asleep early and then woke up during the night on and off with my mind racing to the what ifs and I hate that! I will just continue to pray for all on the posting board and for my husband...I guess the best we can do.
Thanks for adding a smile to my face. I better run to check on Anthony. I am keeping him away from Stan since he has a fever. (Anthony rarely ever gets sick, darn!)
You take care of yourself and get some rest. (somehow)
Hugs and Prayers!
Kim

 
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