MichellleC

New. Caregiver for spouse

6 posts in this topic

Starting a journey with my husband who has advanced stage 4 lung cancer.  Where or what should we be thinking of doing ? We have our Faith, he was given 2 experimental chemo treatments of Keytrada(?) which was stopped. They planned on giving him Tarceva , can't afford it.  Feeling hopeless. He isn't feeling that bad, tired and coughs a little so hard to even think that he might only have less than a year to live ! So overwhelmed on what we should be doing.  Financially too. We have a furnace man coming tomorrow, have a leak in our 21 year old furnace..do we spend the money to get it fixed ($8000.00) or don't fix it because of medical bills, medications, etc .........so confused !  As a couple do people split up bank accounts ??  ..I know each State is different. So many questions .....sorry !  I will be praying for all of you.  Many thanks !! Michelle

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Michelle,

A spouse's lung cancer diagnosis always leaves one feeling hopeless.  The only comfort I can offer is that on this forum, we all understand what you are feeling.  We are all lung cancer survivors or take care of those afflicted. 

I'll confine my remarks to cancer.  I can't begin to offer financial advice; I don't even take my own!  I am assuming the immunotherapy drug Keytruda did not have an effect. Your husband's cancer likely displays the biomarker EGFR because his suggested treatment of Tarceva is an EGFR inhibitor.  Tarceva can work.  Have you contacted Genentech and requested financial assistance in paying for the drug?  Here is the website for financial assistance application.

What should you be doing?  Don't do what I did by wasting valuable life fretting about when I was going to die.  If your husband isn't feeling that bad, do something enjoyable.  Here is an essay I wrote a while back that points to the importance of living.

Welcome here.  Look around at our profiles, and you'll see many of us were in dire straits.  Yet some, not all, found a way out.  I'm hoping you and your husband are among those that find the way out.

Stay the course.

Tom

VivianR, LaurenH and Susan Cornett like this

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Thank you Tom for your input !!   All info helps !!!   Will be looking into financial assistance !   When it rains, it pours..I'm starting to believe that.  Have to have a new furnace and A/C unit installed on Tuesday...it's 21 yrs old and has gone bad.  How do people deal with stress ??  I have anxiety and have taken medication for 35 yrs..but this is so overwhelming.  I know some of you have gone through worse than I am but I know we are just at the beginning of our journey at this moment.  I'm always thinking ahead, maybe I need to start taking one day at a time, I can't change everything I guess.  Can't make my hubby's cancer go away...damn !  Prayers to all of you, Michelle

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Michelle,

How do I deal with stress?  Well treatment mayhem taught me a lot, and in truth, I didn't learn overnight. 

The short version is reading about Dr. Phil Bearman and his treatment experience on line. He enjoyed every day possible because he decided that he wasn't going to let cancer take over his life. The long version is in my book. 

I just try to live in the day. The only future I think about is a planned vacation. I try and find something I enjoy every day and take time to appreciate the joy. Most days it is little things. I live simply and when something attempts to complicate, I just ignore it. I can't control the outcome of my whole life and I'd fall apart if I tried. I can control the next minute, several hours, and most days, a whole day. So that is where I live, in the day. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Michelle,
I spent too long in shock, gloom and doom. My husband is a 3 year survivor with stage 4 nsclc adenocarcinoma, diagnosed July 2014 while on vacation. Don't waste your and your husbands precious time being gloomy if at all possible, I finally figured out it doesn't help. It only hurts you. Sure, you need to cry some in order to process, just don't stay in a slump. Find someone who will be a good support for you. Find something healthy to keep your mind in a good place, reading, some craft project or exercise. Hang in there. Vivian


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