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What A Long Hard Trip
Refuge33
20 Posts
I am moving here after introducing myself in the intro forum. Long story, isn’t it always, my wife had lung cancer, stage 3, discovered last August during COVID testing - of all things. She started intensive radiation treatments and chemo. The lung cancer’s growth has been halted but at the same time she has also developed soft tissue sarcoma - stage 4. Undergoing more chemo and she just had a CT scan this morning to see if any treatments are working. But it is very obvious that she is losing the batle. Geez. Our daughter and her 2 daughters visited yesterday and she is really wiped out today. BUT you would NEVER dare suggest the kids not visit. She knows the end is coming and she wants to stay alive until our grandson is born on July 21.
Man this is hard. Being here and trying to make her as comfortable as I can and trying to do stuff when she is feeling somewhat good.
BUT I am having a hard emotional day. I don’t want to upset my wife cause then she will try to care for me. She needs to concentrate on herself. But this is so very hard and emotions build up to a point where they are released and I am hopeless to deal with them. And I am fearing for my sobriety. Not before she passes but afterwards. Boy I am a real mess today. I don’t like the christian dependence of AA and am following Refuge Recovery. But because of covid there are no meditation meetings. I really did get a lot of emotional support from the RR meetings. Here in Ontario, I am hoping the meetings start up again soon. Otherwise, as I mentioned, I fear for my sobriety - 4 years now.
Peace - Brian
15 Replies
Brighty
6765 Posts
Refuge33‍ I'm so sorry for what you are going through..do you have a close friend or family member to reach out to? Your family doctor may be able to refer you to a support group....most are done by zoom now. ....the oncology social worker might also have some suggestions for a support group you can join by zoom. The cancer info line is open tomorrow too. 1888 939 3333. They are wonderful people and may have some options too. Do you have hobbies or outlets you can do to distract yourself for a bit? You aren't alone. Keep reaching out,we understand.
Boby1511
454 Posts
Refuge33
4 years that is impressive. I hope you find someone to connect to for this.
I too have a type of soft tissue sarcoma, stage 4 with mets.
Perhaps allow your wife to see some of your suffering. May actually help. She'll see how much you love and may distract her from herself. We need to get out of our own heads once in a while. Cancer never leaves us.
Getting a little more tired due to something you luv such as a visit from the kids, not a bad thing. You can't stop what is going to happen.
HALT - take care of you.
Runner Girl
1688 Posts
Hello Refuge33

I am sorry that you wife is having a rough time of it right now. Have you had a palliative care discussion with her doctors as yet?

Are you able to get away, even just take a walk to allow yourself some time to breathe? Brighty‍ has given you some good self care suggestions. My stress relief, when I was going thru treatment for breast cancer was to go for a run, within the parameters set by my oncologist because some of the treatment they were giving me affected my heart.

May I suggest you join us in the group Coping with Grief. There you will find others who find themselves in a similar place as you. And others whose spouses have passed and how they are dealing with the loss.

Runner Girl
Refuge33
20 Posts
Thank you. I am grateful for your email and support
Refuge33
20 Posts
Thank you so much. Means a lot to me.
Refuge33
20 Posts
Thank you. I haven’t tried the zoom thing yet. I guess its time.
Brighty
6765 Posts
Refuge33‍ some kind folx on the site introduced me to zoom.. its actually a fun way to connect with others!!!!! Although people's images can be distorted haha. . I am actually on a waiting list too to get into a zoom CBT group. My family doctor referred me....so you might like to try it when you are ready. Ask your family doctor and let him know your situation and how you have been feeling.
D1955
53 Posts
Refuge33
Welcome Brian,
I am glad you found this site. Congradulations on the soon to arrive grandchild. My mom when in ill health hung on for a great granddaughter 's arrival. I pray your wife gets the chance to hold the new arrival.
Look to this new life arriving to give you strength to continue your sobriety You will be glad you did. RR should be offering Zoom meetings to help you on your tough days. There are a lot of us here that can lend you an ear or shoulder. If you type @‍ followed by their tag name your message will reach someone directly.
I think there are other ways to private message and friend members.
Remember to take some time each day for just you.
sending prayers for your wife and you.
Others have given great suggestions.

D1955
Refuge33

Four years of sobriety is a lot to risk on a dislike of Christianity in AA. I'm not familiar with RR but I can tell you that there are atheist and agnostic AA meetings. They moved to zoom in the pandemic and should be easy to find. PM me if you want some links.

I've run into a few sarcoma patients in the lung cancer world. It is a hard row to hoe and it sounds like you are doing an excellent job as caregiver. One of the gifts that sobriety gives is the ability to be in touch with emotions without letting them ruin the garden. Have the hard conversations and then enjoy life one day at a time.

Angus
Refuge33

I don't have more to add than has already been said other than I am glad you have trusted us with your situation. Know that we carry both you and your wife in our hearts as you navigate this difficult time.
Congratulations on 4 years of sobriety. I hope you can find a place to keep on track with that. In the meantime, we will be here supporting you as best we can.

Take care
Lianne
Refuge33
20 Posts
Refuge Recovery tackles addiction from a buddhist perspective. Suffering and impermaneance. Simple concepts, but can be very hard in some circumstances. In my case, the suffering I understand. It comes from attachment, emotional and physical. Impermanance is more difficult for me, but I meditate on it. To release myself from the suffering I need to let go of feelings of attachment - thats the hard part. This August we will have been together/married for 46 years so the releasing of attachment is hard. Doesn’t matter the current state of the relationship. Separating from attachment and hence suffering is the challenge without actually stepping back from my caregiver role.
Refuge33

One of the amazing things about this journey is that having a concrete goal like July 21 has been shown to make more than an anecdotal difference in survival.

I'm doing a story right now about ephemeral nature of life using the metaphor of flowers to try and talk about the online relationships that many of us have with other cancer patients that are dying. That captures the issue of impermanence well. Enjoy the moment for it will pass. Find ways to celebrate and prepare for the loss.

I have a couple of Buddhist AA friends but had never heard of Refuge Recovery. Their voices are ringing in my ears "talk to your sponsor and get to a meeting." I don't know what the equivalent is for RR but isolation isn't a good thing. Google found that that there are online zoom meetings in Ontario. And I know the challenge of what we call the "ten pound telephone." My late wife had sixty days of sobriety when she died. And it started before her diagnosis.

Thinking of you and hope you find the peace you are looking for.

Angus
Trillium
1228 Posts
Refuge33‍ - I’m so so sorry you and your family are going through this very difficult time. Thank you for telling us about Refuge Recovery and how it has helped you with coping with all of this. This first link below is for virtual support groups and includes some meditation groups which you may find helpful. They also provide many other groups that you may like as well and many people here have used them.
https://wellspring.ca/edmonton/programs/virtual-programs/

You have been an excellent caregiver for a long time but this information guide from CCS has suggestions for how to take care of ourselves and even if there is one thing that you find helpful from this then it is worth the read.
https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/caregiving/taking-care-of-yourself/?region=on

I have been the caregiver for my son with testicular cancer and supported both my adult kids and step daughter through the cancer and death of their father while I lived at a distance from them all. They found the hospice to be so helpful for them and their dad. I included the virtual hospice link below which you also may find helpful to you and your family.
https://www.virtualhospice.ca/en_US/Main+Site+Navigation/Home.aspx

May you find peace among the sorrow in the days to come.
Refuge33
20 Posts
Thank you
Refuge33
20 Posts
Thanks ☮️
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