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Caring for my Husband
ClanSailor
1 Posts
Hi everyone!
Where to begin…I’ll start with happiness. I met my husband on my 19th birthday and he was 18. I fell for his dimples and cheeky grin! We began dating, and then here we are 46 & 47 with two fabulous kids on a path we never saw coming.

My husband is an ultra healthy fella. Works out regularly. Eats healthy. No smoking or drinking. In March of 2020 right when lockdown for Ontario occurred he was diagnosed with cancer in the head neck. He’s that 5% that baffles the doctors as the why with this kind of cancer. Specifically at the base of his tongue, tonsils, throat and in two lymph nodes in his neck. He had chemo and radiation…which oh my word he handled so well! In September 2020 he a clear PET Scan. He was feeling great!! We were excited to get to that one year clear.

At a routine CT SCAN in March 2021 they found lesions on his lungs. Almost exactly one year to the day of the initial diagnosis. While we were waiting for a biopsy (I’m not going to go into how long it took for appointments and treatment plans) he took a turn for the worse. I rushed him to emerg at the cancer hospital and they did an MRI where they found multiple cancer tumours in his brain. Unfortunately he lost his license due to the effects on his brain. Fast forward a bit….we had a second opinion at Princess Margaret and switched to having his medical oncology care there. He has Stage 4 Head Neck Cancer (although this cancer is gone on the CT Scan….go figure!). He joined a study at Sunnybrook for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and treatment finally began on May 13. 2 months after rediagnosis. On May 28 he wrapped up his brain treatment and is now waiting for a decrease in steroids before he starts chemo next week. After switching to Toronto, we have had fabulous care!!!

My husband is still pretty active! Does yoga and stretch class most days. He will also work out, lightly, go for a bike or walk. He generally has a good spirit for things and will do anything to be here longer with us. He is my inspiration every single day!

About us….we’ve been married 24 years and have a 17 & 21 year old. I will do anything for him and he will do anything to do what he can to be with us as long as possible. We love being outdoors, watching movies and going on adventures. Right now I am the driver and he’s handling it like a champ. Glad to meet everyone!
2 Replies
Brighty
6765 Posts
ClanSailor‍ wow you have been through a whirlwind. Thank you for sharing your love story with us. I'm so sorry for your husband's diagnosis . He is in excellent hands at Princess Margaret....I wish him the best with his next course of treatment. How is he coping? How are you and the kids coping? Do you have support or help to care for him? Are you able to take breaks for self care? I cared for my fiance who had stage 4 esophageal cancer. Not that it matters but I'm also 47...he was 42 at the time. If you need anything please feel free to contact me. If you need anyone to talk to we also have the cancer info line at 1888 939 3333. You may also want to check in with the oncology social worker at the cancer center. The hospital may also have a support group. Is there a guidance counselor at the school the kids can talk to? You aren't alone. We will help you with whatever you need to get through this. Welcome!!!
Cynthia Mac
3194 Posts
ClanSailor‍ , I’m glad you found this site And hope it helps you through some of this.

I’m not sure I’m reading your post correctly. As I read it, you’re saying that the cancer he had originally (head and neck) is gone now, and his gamma knife treatments on the brain were successful and now they’re going to do chemo. This can happen with stage 4 cancer. Stage 4 mainly means that the cancer has spread beyond the lymph system to another location in the body. With my Dad, his cancer spread to his liver, even though the lungs were clear, so that happens. After Dad’s initial surgery (for lung cancer), he went through a series of chemo to try and “clean up” any “stray cancer cells” that could be floating around in his body.

I still find that the health care system is responding to cancer patients as they would under normal, pre-pandemic situations: If they find a fast growing cancer, they MOVE on it, but if it’s a slower growing type, they take the time they need to be sure they’ve got their diagnosis and treatment plans right. I know a lady who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on March 1, and was in chemo by the first of May.

I know it’s hard to go through the waiting, but I encourage you to look for ways to dial you anxiety down. One of my tricks was trying to envision what could be happening behind the scenes, and how much time that could take (I was an office administrator, so I had some idea about that.)

Meanwhile, come here whenever you need to let us know how things are going.
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