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Looking for Hope

Looking for Hope

Posted by BellBaldwin on Feb 19, 2019 5:31 am

Hi, I’m having a lot of trouble beginning to cope with this and can’t even process what is happening to us. I know I need to slow it down because we don’t even have a diagnosis yet but I can’t take myself out of a constant panic. I don’t know what to do because I can’t do this. My husband is very sick, we know this but we only just realized on Thursday. On Friday he had an ultrasound and a cat scan so we have confirmed that he has ascites and spots on his liver. That is all we know but he looks so sick, he sounds so sick, he smells sick, we just kept blaming the symptoms on other things and he was hiding many from me because I am due with our third baby in 2 weeks. I can’t do this right now and I can’t lose my husband. I called the emergency mental health line because I just need to know how to begin to cope with this but there was no professional help over the weekend so it has been a very long weekend for me. I will be seeing my dr today, I just don’t know how to start this journey right now.

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by Brighty on Feb 19, 2019 7:23 am

BellBaldwin‍  hi and welcome .   You are looking for hope.. you got it.    I'm sorry you are in this mess now.    I know its hard but try not to jump ahead of yourself  before you know what you are dealing with.   Once you know what you are dealing with  its going to be one step at a time.. day by day.    I know it's scary  but you can do this.     Do you have family and friends  to support you? Anyone you can call that you can count on? What province  are you in? There are 24 hot lines you can call for emergencies.    As well you can always  go to your nearest  emergency  room and the phychiatrist on call will talk with you.    You are not alone.   You turned to the right place here.    Let us know what you find out.   In the meantime  try some distraction techniques.   Deep breathing. .. exercise. . Out with friends.. hot bath...  walk... whatever works for you.    Be in touch.   

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 19, 2019 7:30 am


I am tagging Lacey_adminCCS‍ and Lianne_adminCCS‍ into this post as well.

Seeking help is the right thing to do. I don't know where you are, and I am going to give you the help line for the Canadian Cancer Society 1-888-939-3333.

You need to look after you and the baby as well as your husband. I understand what you are saying - unable to process anything, and there is too much going on for you. That's OK because you are seeking assistance to get through this crisis..

See your doctor today. I am sure they will direct you to local resources. Try your local crisis line again or call the number I gave you. Please also reach out to family and friends now for support. None of this is your fault, and anyone in this situation would do the same thing in seeking immediate support.

We are here on the site to offer support and information now and in the future.

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Feb 19, 2019 10:11 am


I'm so glad you are reaching out for help. Recognizing that you are not coping and need help is a huge strength. I'm so glad you are seeing your Doctor today so they can help look after and support you and the baby. Calling a mental health/crisis line that is available 24/7 is also a very good idea I'm glad you thought of that and didn't hesitate to call.

No matter what the diagnosis is you have described your husband as being quite sick. Now is the time to reach out for as much support as possible. Do you have family near by? Are they aware?

The unknown is very difficult. I hope you get more information soon so you  know what you are dealing with. Do you know when you should expect the results from your husband's test?

Thinking of you,

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by BellBaldwin on Feb 26, 2019 6:53 am

I continue to need help. I don’t know how to move on or even cope one day at a time. I need a miracle and maybe someone here has one to share. I have spent the last 10 days finding small rays of hope in every little corner but they just keep being bombed with worse and worse news. I can’t carry on anymore, I feel completely defeated as the reality starts to set in and I can’t let this happen. I am only 33 years old, about to have 3 children 3 and under, we just bought a large house, I gave up my career and I can’t bear the difficult years ahead as a single mother or the lifetime of pain i will suffer. Please someone needs to tell me we can do something because this is just too young.

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by Brighty on Feb 26, 2019 7:16 am

BellBaldwin‍   I'm so sorry  you are going through  this..  have you found out any more information? 

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 26, 2019 7:30 am

Hi BellBaldwin‍ 

I'm wondering if your GP was able to suggest a mental health professional for you to speak with? I know first hand how this can help to lighten the load off from our shoulders. Counseling is not a one time thing, and usually occurs over a period of time - to discuss the issues and seek the best way to deal with them today and in the future.

We can't change what is in front of us, but we can find tools to help us deal with these issues. You are facing some very serious issues. No one is going to deal with them on their own.

Remember as well, the hospital your husband is being treated at have social workers available to you for counseling and finding resources for you and your family.

Cancer is devastating and multiplies the stress and fear with all the collateral damage it lays at our feet.

I am no miracle, but I am alive 2.5 years after the first oncologist said I had 3 to 6 months to live. So I can share with you there is hope out there for all of us, as cancer patients,  and family members. Many of us here have faced life threatening and very challenging diagnosis and treatments. We all have had hope, so please understand this is a group effort, not a one player situation. You aren't alone here.

You said previously you were expecting your third child. Has this happened? It's also possible the natural hormonal changes may be contributing to your mental state. I am not being judge mental, and I am only trying to pass on some other external factors to consider at this time, to understand and help you.

There is never a good time to be told you have cancer or other serious disease. Your plate is overflowing, and no one can expect everything to fall into place quickly. You need to express your fears, concerns and get out all that pent up emotional baggage. A very good social worker that helped my wife and I through a difficult time reminded both of us of the importance of emptying our emotional buckets. So don't let everything overflow, because that bucket will need multiple dumpings.

This site is a good place to share and seek information, however sometimes we need that extra 1 on 1 help with counseling and peers that can be right there or close by when needed.

Coping is a tough thing to do, and we all find what works for us to cope as best we can.

Keep well, and get some 1 on 1 help is the best advice I can offer you.

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by Elizabeth06 on Feb 26, 2019 9:38 am

Hello BellBaldwin‍ 
i am so sorry you are dealing with so many issues right now.  You must be exhausted.
has your husband received a diagnosis yet?  Have you connected with a support system?  Counselling, social worker, family?  Each step will help.
i am a breast cancer patient, stage four, I was diagnosed almost six years ago.  I have had ascites, and will confirm you are very ill when that fluid is accumulating in your abdomen.  It is something that is treatable, they can drain it or it will resolve with a working treatment.  I also have five lesions on my liver..  I am still functioning despite the metastatic nature of the disease.  The human body is a fascinating thing.  Don’t assume the worst.
Having that diagnosis was terrifying.  I had to find a way to calm my mind and use the energy I had left to focus on living.
you said you are seeing small rays of hope, that’s a start.  An indication you are moving forward.  No one is positive all the time.  You are in crisis with so many life events demanding attention and energy, but you have already survived all of those other bad days.  
Take advantage of any help offered, explore every option for counselling.  Be kind to yourself and know that we are all listening and holding you in our thoughts.


Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by Brighty on Feb 26, 2019 9:43 am

BellBaldwin‍ it can sometimes  take months to get in with a mental health professional.    When I was in distress I told my GP it was an emergency  and he fast tracked me into a day program.    Let him or her know that is an emergency  and you can't wait on a waiting list for months.     

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by BellBaldwin on Feb 26, 2019 9:49 am

Thank you for the responses. I have been trying very hard to get myself some help and I just keep being told that once my husband is diagnosed then the hospital will have an abundance of resources that are amazing. I’ve also already been referred for post partum help but that won’t come into effect until after this baby is born which should be this week sometime. We are currently waiting on an MRI which should happen this week as well. So far my husband has had an ultrasound and a CT scan and we were told he has ascites as well as a few small spots on his liver. He was referred to a liver transplant expert who we are still waiting for a call from. In the meantime we lined up an appointment with an internal medicine dr who specialises in the liver and he drained the fluid off of my husband’s abdomen and revealed that the lesion on my husbands liver is in fact 18cm long but was hesitant to say anything else until we have the MRI results. I have asked many questions that the drs weren’t prepared to answer. We know that he has cirrhosis of the liver, not caused by alcohol and he has likely had it for at least 5 years. We know he has lesions on his liver of considerable size that sound inoperable and that my husband also wouldn’t qualify for a liver transplant. I have also been told chemo will likely not be effective and that there is little hope and we will be looking at quality of life. I am searching for something to hope for, since we haven’t actually been told he has cancer, just maybe the mri will reveal a miracle or maybe because he is young they can be very aggressive and chemo can do something. I don’t know what to hope for but I need to find something, even if it’s just a 1% chance I want to fight for something. The information that I have and the knowledge that I have pieced together myself just sounds like a total catastrophe of epic proportions that makes entirely no sense for his age. I need this to not happen but I’ve exhausted myself trying to only be set back so far. The drs are even questioning if he has gigantism because they are so baffled. I need a miracle or a misdiagnosis so far. Something needs to make sense to me.

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by BellBaldwin on Feb 26, 2019 9:53 am

Elizabeth06‍  Thank you so much for your story. You have given me some positivity. My husband has very bad ascites that came on very quickly after a considerable loss of weight. This was our first sign of trouble and we are learning that it is very advanced but more details to come.

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by SpeedyStill on Feb 26, 2019 8:00 pm

My heart goes out to you. I won't give you any advise however you are not alone. Everyone in this community has been touched by  cancer so they can relate to what you are experiencing. 

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by Kims1961 on Feb 26, 2019 11:49 pm

BellBaldwin‍ Glad you posted and I see you have had some excellent responses so far.

As mentioned by ACH2015‍ , does your GP know of your situation?  Do you have an OB/GYN that you are meeting with due to the upcoming birth?  It will be helpful for your medical team to know what kinds of stress you are under.  Some communities have mental health walk in clinics that people can go to or in Ontario there is 211ontario.ca - that lists crisis lines in various communities where you can call and actually speak to someone.

As the others have mentioned the not knowing is so difficult and stressful.  Once all of the information is in , then options can be discussed with you and your husband.   Much easier to say than to "do" but are there some things that can help distract you as you wait for the outcome of the tests?  I'm sure you are on overload with 2 children at home and another very soon....do you have some family support?  friends?  People who can help you and the family out right now?  This is the time to accept any help that you feels will help you.   Does anyone else know that can help?

We are here for you.  Please let your medical team know how you're doing so they can help as well.  You are not alone .  Please keep us posted.  Kim

Re: Looking for Hope

Posted by SpeedyStill on Feb 27, 2019 7:33 pm

As you can see from my picture I am cuddling my grandson. He is now 6 years old. I also have a14 year old granddaughter. In December 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer and went through 6 aggressive does of Chemotherapy. Back then my inspiration was my granddaughter and when my grandson came along I now had two inspirations. I had the opportunity to enjoy both of them and I have developed a great relationship with both of them. A Port-A-Cath (a device put under the skin to administer the treatments) was left there for 6 years because the type of cancer I had could return.  Last July I was diagnosed with Kidney cancer.  Lately I have been experiencing a lot  of pain and therfore unable to spend much time with my grandchildren however my grandson was over for a couple of hours Sunday to play Lego 
I am 71 and  do not know when my time will be up however I do know what is important in life. My grandchildren got me from 2010 to today.
You are carrying a heavier load than me but every day with your husband and your children is a gift.  I hope that your family will get through this also.
One day at a time  SpeedyStill