Husband's end of life

Hello. I am new here.
My beautiful husband retired last year. I have 2 years to go before retirement. We had so many wonderful plans. Suddenly, my lifelong non-smoker, cyclist, healthy husband has been diagonosed with stage 3A NSCA lung cancer. He has had one round of pretty brutal chemo and 5 days of radiation, the radiation is set to go on for 5 weeks, with 4 more rounds of the chemo drugs. But it’s killing him. He is weak and miserable and upset, he decribes it as a zombie life, and doesn’t want to continue the treatments, which he feels will only give him a 15% survival possibility anyway. Having been through a pretty nastyl cancer regimen myself 20 years ago, i know what it is like to feel those feelings and how crap one’s quality of life can be.
I also believe it is his body and his decision, despite how much i want him to do whatever he can to live longer, I need to respect his decision. So we are now talking end of life, possibly in a matter of months. It has all happened so quickly. My mind is running in a million directions. What will I do? Who will I be without him? All the plans we had…the bloody unfairness of it. My best friend, my beloved. I’m just feeling like I’m going through grief already and I really don’t know how to handle it.
Thank you for reading.
PS, I originally posted this under another category. Thank you to Abdullah who was so kind in his response and who suggested I might want to use this category instead.
My user name looks kind of weird but it is my husband’s pet name for me, because I can be a bit of a klutz sometimes.

Hi Bumppie,
I have just replied to your post in the end of life category,
Jo

My dear Bumppie, honestly, I have no idea what to say to you. I had a non-smoker, cyclist, healthy husband who was taken three years ago by a sudden heart attack. He didn’t suffer and for that I am grateful. I am sorry to my heart what is happening in your life right now. I can’t give you any advice as I have no experience of what you’re going through. My brother had terminal pancreatic cancer and our family tried to do lots of nice things with him; things and places he’d never done/been to before. I agree, it does seem unfair. My husband had just retired, two and a half months before he died. I’m still working and I can honestly say that it has been my saviour. I hope you can stay strong for your husband. Sending love to you both. xx

Dear Kate,

Thank you. Your note made me cry, but in a kind of good way. I am so sorry that you have lost your husband and your brother. Your words about work do strike a chord; I like my job a lot and it requires a lot of focus, which I am sort of counting on to help me. I’m not working presently, since I want to be with my husband during all of this.
One of the reasons he wants to stop treatments is to feel better for a least a little time so that we can be “normal” and enjoy some things, before we can’t.
I am not sure how one does that, with the knowledge just beneath the surface. But I guess you just do your best. My husband and I are so different. I can take physical pain but suck at emotional stuff. He’s the emotional rock, but not strong with the physical stuff. We really are each other’s halves in so many ways.
Thank you, from my heart.
Karen

1 Like

Physical pain v emotional stuff. I would say between you both you’ve got it sussed. I always used to say about me and my husband, that together we could conquer the world but apart…
You’re still together so together you can do this.
Chemo is beastly. I don’t know this from personal experience but I have seen friends and family suffer the consequences. I can understand your husband not wanting to go through it. The time he has left should be quality time and with you by his side I’m sure it will be. Take care. Sending love and strength. xx

Nothing I say seems adequate enough Bumppie. Words can come easy. But I do know about the after effects and grief, that I do know, so please stay with us for comfort and support. I promise you this forum can and will help. :kissing_heart:

Hi Bumppie
I really feel for you, such a hard road to go down, My husband became ill with jaundice in April if was quite frightning how ill he became, he passed 3 weeks latter. we knew things were bad and were able to disscuss his wishes. it was horible with him being in hospital, becouse of covid i was not allowed to visit , only on his last day was i and our sons allowed in. no one told us what it would be like to watch him die, and i would really recomend that you talk to someone about it, so you can be prepared.

I’m so sorry to hear your husband is having such a terrible time of it, what you are experiencing is anticipatory grief. It can be just as devastating as mourning. Unfortunately there is no way around it. My husband fought for 3 years with metastatic pancreatic and liver cancer. Docs were amazed he was still here with stage 4. But he didn’t want to leave me and fought so hard. I too suffered with anticipatory grief. He wanted to be at home when he was told the last lots of chemo was no longer working, if only covid 19 hadn’t reared its ugly head, he might still be here. They stopped all the trials etc. Within 2 weeks I watched him deteriorate to the point of no longer eating, no longer able to walk, it was awful. He had never been ill in all his life, never had a day off sick in at least 10 years, he passed away on 4 June. But I had promised him to keep him home because he wanted to die at home. Not in a hospice or hospital. Marie Curie nurses were wonderful, he was taken care of as if he was in hospital. He had his wish, our daughter and I were with him when he took his last breath. Its very hard but I thank heavens he is no longer in pain. Sorry this is long. Of course nothing prepares you for the devastation you feel. I wish you the best,

Hello Karen, though I think I prefer Bumppie, that says so much about your relationship with your lovely husband. I’m so sorry for for what you are going through together and sorry I can’t speak from experience as my husband died very suddenly , like Crazykate. But I just wanted to send you love and support and know that on this forum you will never feel alone. And also to say that, no matter how difficult, look after yourself as you will need all your strength in the weeks to come. Sending love and big hugs xxxx

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