Cancer Support Group
Welcome to this online support group for caregivers, family, friends, and others with an interest in cancer care! Please introduce yourself - Ask for advice - Share your experiences caring for a loved one with cancer. Talk about symptoms, treatment options, side effects, daily life, your tips for others. Vent, laugh, and come back as often as you need to feel less alone.
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What's New Today
9 minutes ago
This past weekend my stepdaughter, 13, was diagnosed with DFSP. This is a rare type of skin cancer and her situation seems to be very unique. Thus far, we are not telling her the entire situation yet until we have more information. Right now I'm just trying to figure out how I can best support her dad. Any advice or words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.
3 days ago
Caring for my Aunt who has battled breast cancer, peritoneal cancer and now back mestatases in her lungs. Chemo has begun again. She is afraid of becoming addicted to heavy pain meds. How do we manage that to avoid it particularly when the heavy pain meds are needed?
Scott E said...
8 days ago
Back in March of this year my wife, of 19 years, discovered a lump on her breast that we later found out was Triple Negative Stage 2 breast cancer. She had a bilateral mastectomy to have it removed and we thought all was well. After a few more tests and biopsies it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her bones. She is now left with Triple Negative Stage 4 Breast Cancer with Bone Mets. It is incurable. The doctor tried to give us a time line of how much time she likely has left but we stopped him short. We didn't want to know. Unfortunately, we both have Dr. Google at our fingertips and have seen the statistics. She has been undergoing chemotherapy for the last few months and it seems to be working so far.
A little background on us. I am 39 and my wife is only 36. We have 3 children, 12, 15, &17. At the time of discovering the cancer my wife was a full time EMT basic with an ambulance service and a volunteer emt basic for the village we live in. She was also mid way through classes for her Advanced EMT certification. I am a bank manager as well as a volunteer firefighter and the treasurer for our department.
As you can imagine our lives were already extremely busy. Now this disease comes along and takes priority over our lives. My wife was unable to work after the first surgery as the bone mets really took over making it difficult for her to walk. That has gotten better since chemotherapy has started and she is moving very well. She has even been released back to restricted duty for our volunteer department. She may be able to finish her national registry for her Advanced EMT certifications. We have been making it work.
The problem I am having is that I have been shouldering as much burden as I can on my own. I have bottled up all of my emotions and thoughts for so long that the bottle is now full. We've had a wonderful support system from our families, our ems & fire brothers & sisters, my work family, and the village we live in. They have helped us with food and finances for these past few months. But I know that it will not last forever and will eventually the goodwill will run out. I don't want to burden my wife with these thoughts as she has enough to deal with.
I have also found myself getting extremely depressed. I have already been taking anxiety medicine since this has all started and have been on ambien to help me sleep for years. I don't want more medicine but I don't know what to do. I can't keep up this strong act for much longer and here lately I cry when I'm alone with my own thoughts. Sometimes I sit at work and can barely stop myself. I have no drive to perform at work anymore. I'm worried that my company will not always be as understanding as they have been. And they have been great.
I'm constantly terrified, depressed, and tired. I feel so stretched thin and feel like I have no one I can talk to. My wife is my world and my best friend. She is the one I've always been able to unburden my soul too. Now it just seems wrong to do that to her. And since I have no one else, the bottle continues to fill. I feel like my mind is not my own anymore.
11 days ago
Hello everyone. Can anyone on hear relate to a spouse who insists on keeping their cancer secret? I am 48 - with kids 11, 10 and 7. My husband is 57 (yes we are older but were previously, we thought, in great shape!!). We have zero support. I am tired from the three kids and work to begin with. Lying to the kids about his home chemo pack and why daddy is so worn out/why we aren't doing what we normally do/why mommy is sleeping on the couch and on and on and on just seems wrong to me. I feel honesty (age appropriate) is always the best policy. We live in the same house (obviously) never speak of it and the kids, of course, know something is wrong. Again, I have zero family support and our friends in the area do not know. Thank you for advice. I am worn out completely and not handling this well.
11 days ago
My mom was diagnosed with cancer and started chemo this week. Because of the bloating from the liquid build up, she is in pain and doesn't want to eat or drink much. Once they drain the liquid, it is manageable but seems like the chemo suppresses her hunger. She also has diabetes, so maintaining her blood sugar is very important, especially on days when she has treatments. Her drs and nurses also need her sodium intake to be low as the type of chemo meds can affect her kidneys.
Any ideas for foods that are high in calories, but low in sugar and sodium? It's only the first week of chemo so it would be great to get on top of this food-aversion now. Thanks in advance for help and support.
16 days ago
My husband was diagnosed with spinal cancer almost 7 yrs ago. Since then it's hit his liver kidneys and now his brain. He's done so many rounds of chemo and radiation treatment plus whatever experimental treatment they could get to work. I've always been his caretaker and love doing it. It seems the more treatments he has the more angry he becomes and treats those that love him like crap. I know he's mad at the world and has a right to be angry but I can't handle it being taken out on me and the kids. When I say take it out on us I mean just yelling and telling us we aren't listening to what's being said. We have two boys 9 and 2. I had a very bad day of depression the other day and he couldn't understand why I felt that way. Does anyone else feel this way or have any similar situations?
about 1 month ago
Hey, I was hoping to get some support and some feedback on a situation that is going on. My mom was recently diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma, an inoperable brain tumor. She is declining fast. I started with problems with speech, then problems reading/writing/understanding others, no she has right sided weakness and needs total assistance with care, she is also confused/hallucinating/combative and often refuses care from everyone. She has not yet accepted she is not capable of caring for herself and is pushing everyone away. My mom is in her early 50's and so is my step father. My step father is also in poor health, high blood pressure, smoker, neck/spine injury. I live 2 and a half hours away, I am a nurse in nursing school and will be finished completely with school in 5 months and I am already making plans for a big move to where my parents live. Since my moms health has declined went home June 30-July 3 to help care for her. My step dad is taking care of her only on friday-sunday, and then during the week her cousin is caring for her because she lives in the town where my mom is getting radiation and chemo. I also visited my mom the second week of july at her cousins house. Then I also stayed with my mom in the hospital for the past 3 days. My stepfather is constantly harassing me, telling me that i need to come home, that I can make up school, and that I have just forgotten I have a mother. I am trying my best to balance everything, but it is hard. Every time we go to my moms appointments he brings up his on health, every time he asks me to come home NOW he is complaining about his self, and never asks once about me. I am sleep deprived and there is no way I can drive 5 hours every day back and forth home to care for my mom and then still succeed in nursing school. He believes I am lying about school, but I told him I can not make it up. He believes I can just drop this class and pick it up again next semester, but that is not the case in a professional nursing program. I personally believe my mom needs 24/7 nursing care. I myself can not care for her alone. She has fallen and it takes 5 people to help her up. I know this is hard for my stepdad, but he is acting as if I do not care. He uses every excuse he can for me to come home and makes it all about him. I am mentally exhausted and I do not know what else to do. Does anyone have any suggestions, advice? Am I being selfish for wanting to finish school? I am practically helping every week, but there is absolutely no way I can be there every day. He is making me feel like I am a bad person for not being there everyday and he literally texts, messages, or calls me ALL DAY LONG telling me I need to come home. What should I do?
about 1 month ago
My partner of 12 years was diagnosed with stage 4 liver and stomach cancer. He is 41. I am 36. Our kids are 5 and 9. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I feel sick all the time. I feel like I'm In a nightmare I can't wake up from. How do people get through the terror of loosing thier person!? It's beyond belief to me. I don't know how to have hope right now. We thought he had ulcers. I can't fathom a life without him. I'm so scared.
G-Ma C said...
about 1 month ago
This is my first Post. My story is kind of long. I'm 66 and am taking care of my husband who has been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. The cancer is just a small part of our journey. My husband has had type 2 diabetes since 1996, He has lost 4 of his 10 toes. I have a hard time remembering all of the surgeries and treatments he has been through. He has heart disease, high blood pressure, COPD and of course kidney disease. He was getting along pretty good until Dec, of 2015. On 12/29/2015 he had his left knee replaced. The surgery went well, however on 12/31/2015 he was having a lot of pain and was very confused. He was combative with the nurses. His nurse called the Dr. on Call that day and they prescribed a sedative. He was already taking pain medication through the IV. He fell while trying to get out of bed by himself. I didn't leave the hospital till 10:15 PM as he was still confused and agitated through out the day and into the evening. Finally the Dr. ordered a nurse to sit with him around the clock to make sure he didn't get out of bed. He finally seemed to be resting comfortably so I went home to get some sleep. Remember it is New years eve. I went home set down for a while and started to watch TV. The phone rang at 11:04 PM it was the hospital telling me to come right away because they were doing CPR on my husband. It took me about 5 minutes to get back to the hospital. He had coded after they had given him another sedative. He was gone for around 8-10 minutes. They got his heart started and put him on a vent. He suffered brain damage from the lack of oxygen to the brain. Long story short. He has been through rehab and 2 toe amputations and then in November of 2016 he was diagnosed with the kidney cancer. They did surgery but couldn't remove the left Kidney, He already had kidney cancer in the Right kidney in 2012. Also the cancer has already spread to some of his lymph nodes in the abdominal area. At this time he is wheelchair bound, He is so weak. Right now I work from home because I have an awesome boss who lets me log on to my desk top and work my file from home. Otherwise my husband would be in a home. I'm so depressed. I try to be positive for my hubby but sometimes it is so hard. I'm exhausted most of the time. I have 2 children and 2 grandchildren who do help when they can. My son lives out of state and my daughter is a single mother who works full time too. So my support system is pretty slim. Right now my husband is giving up, he tried Chemo but the treatment was too hard on him. The options for kidney cancer treatment is a very short list. Traditional Chemo doesn't work for renal cancer. His biggest problem right now his chest pain, He has been to the hospital and they did a heart cath. nothing new since his last Cath. so now he just eat a lot of Nitro. Tonight he had a really bad spell and would not let me take him to the emergency room. God forbid if I would call 911. he is just over all of the poking prodding, blood transfusions and surgery. So now we wait. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Thanks so much for letting me vent.
about 1 month ago
My mother went to do her thing at H.E.B in her hometown and 5-10 minutes after entering store something happened that would change her life and ours forever. She was taken to San Antonio university hospital were Dr. Brunnel did ever test he could think of when she was admitted... 4 days later I get a call from him letting me know that my mum was in the hospital with extremely high calcium levels he has ever seen in the years he has been a M.D. His team tried to get info from mum about her family tree.. But she was given something to deal with next level full body pain and wasn't talking much, so I told him what I knew.
Father: Russian (non Jewish)
Born: 1/3/1895 Mother: Czechslovakian (non Jewish) Very little background on both parents prior to entering Canada/Ellis Island.
What I learned on 7/1-17 from Dr. Brunnel & team is that the cancer she has is only associated with "Females of Eastern European Ancestry" which would fit the bill since they were from Eastern Europe, but what I was told next stunned me & family. It's considered "Rare", the mutated gene has to come from both of parents but the gene is only passed to females not any male siblings. So the unknown family members in her family tree are the starting point, if I can get info & names of the females we can better understand. Cause it's looking like my mum and family members (females) were dealt a surprise card that would determine how long they would live. 12 female family members my cousin tatiyana said have died, chemo or full removal, in the last 10yrs. Mum understood her survival rate ( Stage 4 cancer, organs infected minus heart & brain) 10%. The chemo doctors in Houston & Port Lavaca spent half a day going back & forth who's gonna take her... Mum just told them since stage 1-3 are keepers and survival is excellent. Stage 4 patients are DOA & waste of time... So rather than sit here waiting for either of you to say "no" I do it for you.. DNR & take me home.. This is were Dr. Brunnel stepped in and honoured mum wishes. He set up hospice & mum keeps hanging up on both chemo doctors who try to call her now.. I got a long road ahead with sperm doner (dad) & sibling I didn't grow up with. Both have 39yrs of pure hatred towards each other (Jr. & Sr., lol) mum seen her share of PD visits. Very greatful she sent me away with only friend she had to live in Canada. She gave me a better life, I just wish this rate cancer was found earlier so I could spend more time with her rather than a short notice... But atleast I saw her alive & I we'll always cherish it for rest of my life. I am skyping with her when she can, very weak but Sr. Keeps to Routine RN gave him.
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