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Bill had an MRI on Friday and they found 5 new mets to the brain. He began whole brain radiation yesterday. I'm not sure I'm strong enough to get thru this anymore. If only he would break down and show me that he is afraid too...I want that, I don't want to cry myself to sleep at night all alone. But I know that he needs to be strong for himself and I know that he needs to be strong for me because I am so weak. I know it is selfish for me to be thinking this way in light of his positive outlook but I'm beside myself with fear. I hate crying myself to sleep everynight afraid of what my life might be like without him...only to turn around the next morning and wake up feeling like if I just love him enough, love will make his cancer go away...miracles happen everyday. We met with the doctors on Monday and all I could do was sit in the chair with my head down watching my tears hit my legs and trying to keep Bill from seeing them. I wanted to badly to ask the hard questions, but I can't ask, maybe I don't want the answers. What can we expect now? All 5 of the new lesions on the brain are so small that an MRI done at most hospitals would not have been sophisticated enough to detect them, but the advanced technology where he had his MRI did detect them. So now what happens? He was supposed to have his last chemo on Monday and then be going back to work (he is so bored) on Dec. 5th. Now he will have 2 weeks of wbr and 4 more months of chemo. Will he ever be able to go back to work? Will the wbr make him so sick, or be debilitating? I don't know if I want the answers, but I'm scared to not know. I never want to be blindsided again like we were on Memorial Day. I'm sorry, I know I am rambling and believe me when I tell you all that I KNOW the fact that Bill is so strong is a Godsend, but I'm not as strong and I never ever will be. I'm just angry that when this is finally over, he will have peace and my hell will just be beginning. Things will never be okay again...will they?

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Beth - this is hard, I KNOW, and all that you feel is very normal. I just read your husband's diagnoses and treatment history in your signature line and you know, even though he has Stage IV LC it sounds very manageable to me. Lots of people on this board have had brain mets and gotten rid of them. BethPlace comes to my mind immediately. There IS hope. And yes, your love for him and lots of praying DOES help!

I think you feel sort of alone. I know I do sometimes. Maybe you should find a good counselor to talk with? Also, you might want to go see your family doctor and talk about depression - you could have some depression, which is contributing to your feelings of helplessness - all normal things considering what you are going through.

It sounds like he is dealing with everything the way alot of men do - not showing emotion, trying to be strong. That's OK. It is probably a good defense mechanism for him and helps him keep a positive attitude.

I think every now and then about the future without my husband and it is totally mind boggling and I know how you feel. But take every day you can with him and appreciate it to its fullest - and you may have many many more years of that - so think how great that would be, with that upbeat attitude? (geez, does that make sense?).

PM me if you need to.

And hang in there and keep the FAITH - it's a fight, and we all have to be strong for it!

God Bless,

Karen C.

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Don't bury him yet. Someday can be a long way off, don't waste a precious moment of your time together with all the bad things that COULD go wrong...after all, you'd have to add beer trucks, car accidents, planes crashing through the roof, random acts of violence, etc., into those plans and before long, you'd be worrying about darn near everything and enjoying nothing!

Take the news in bite-size pieces, don't try to digest it all at once. Stop crying yourself to sleep at night, think about what Bill needs, too. Cuddle up, discuss your dreams, your future plans...ANYTHING to pull you both out of the dark corners.

You may think he's strong because you don't see his fears, but believe me, we're ALL scared. I'm the cancer patient and the strong one...and I get SOOOO scared at times...THAT'S when I need my husband to be the rock, I can't deal with his fears when mine are screaming from under the bed.

Seek counseling for an outlet, find something "constructive" to ease your mind up and allow you breathing room...maybe a hobby, maybe primal scream therapy (under-rated, but it DOES help, just warn the neighbors first).... Maybe anti-anxiety medication...anti-depressants...talk to your doctor and figure out a game plan for you...

Like it or not, you're in for the duration. Find a way to cope now so you'll have it in place later...IF you need it.

Hang in there, we're all in this together...


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Dear Beth,

HANG IN THERE!! Your story sounds almost identical to mine - including you being weak and him being strong. I've got lots to say to you, but my boss is hovering around my desk - imagine that! LOL!!! I posted to someone else about the brain met thing the other day. I will find it as soon as I can and be back here shortly (when it's safe!)

HANG ON GIRL!!!! I'll be back.



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Beth --

Aside from Becky's advice (she's too wise for her years that one)

I would just recommend -- take one day at a time.

IF that is too much, take one hour, one moment.

And pray alot if you pray. It may help center you.

Distractions are the other thing to get through the moments.

And don't let the fear stop you from coping.

I'll keep you in my prayers....



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I don't know what to tell you except that I'm here if I can do anything. If you want to talk send me your number and we'll have a good cry together. No sense crying alone.

I know its hard, I cried so much in the beginning. It will pass, it will get easier even though it doesn't seem like it now.


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Ok. I'm back. Here's what I said on the other post:

When my husband's NSCLC was found, it was quite advanced, including 8 brain mets. Currently, he has it in his brain, bones, liver, pericardium, and, of course, his lung. The good part is that he is doing great, and I mean he is really doing well. We've had a rough year, but since mid-summer, after recovering from chemo and radiation, and after starting Iressa, he has rebounded and is doing very well. He works every day, took a 3-day motorcyle trip, racking up 1400 miles, takes care of our yard (about an acre), prunes trees, waxes his truck, and just keeps on keeping on.

Beth, if you compare our husbands' profiles, you will see a lot of similarities (Stage IV, brain mets, stereotactic radiosurgery, etc.) My husband was not eligible for surgery, so he didn't have time off work for that, but the aggressive chemo/radiation treatments literally knocked him flat for 2 months. He was down 24/7 and I thought the treatments were going to kill him instead of the cancer. Reading my quote above, you can see that didn't happen (THANK GOD!!). By the way, we are more than one year out from diagnosis.

I also don't see anything in your profile that your husband had previous WBR. I thought that was a little odd since he's had two mets treated with radiosurgery.

The good news is that Bill's mets are tiny. WBR is very effective for small mets, so it will hopefully wipe them out, as well as any that can't be seen.

Now, about the emotional part of it. I am just like you as far as being weak and very emotional. Sometimes I am very ashamed of myself for worrying so much because my husband just doesn't seem to give it a thought and is strong as an ox with the whole thing. I've only broke down in front of him 2 or 3 times and that's a miracle. I feel just like you do in every respect.

The one thing you are saying in your post that I also have been guilty of is what to expect next? It's so hard to NOT think about that, and I just have to force myself to ONLY look at today and the days before today. Today he's good and I just try to shut it off when I start thinking about where this could be going and just think that "today he is good".

Sometimes it's hard when we read on here the bad news because I think most of us tend to vicariously put ourselves in that person's situation. Beth, we just can't do that! Yes, it's possible that our husband's could have the same future, but it's also possible that they will not!!!!!! If I let myself think about what COULD happen, then I am not happy, upbeat and positive around my husband. I can't let him think for ONE MINUTE that I am anything less than optimistic that he is going to continue to have a long life.

I feel like I'm rambling. I'm typing as fast as I can and I know this is already too long, and I have to get back to work. If I think of anything else, or you want to talk - PLEASE PLEASE send me a PM. We are on the same path here. OK? Chin up! Shoulders back! Take a deep breath!



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Beth, I can't really add to what others have said so well. Know that you have a lot of support here to get you through whatever comes. I can say that the role of a caregiver spouse is often a lonely one because we know our spouse like no one else can and we are often in pain for them, trying to walk that fine line of supporting them in a positve way yet knowing the time may not be as long as we like. But we do have the ongoing support of family, friends and cyberfriends. Hang in there. Don

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All the things you are feeling are a natural part of the journey with cancer. Try and take the advice given above - it is all GREAT!! Easier said than done alot of the time, I know, but the situation IS what it IS. You can't change it, you can only try and learn to live with it as best you can. Becky is right - you can't waste precious time now worrying about what might happen down the track.

I wish you both strength for the battle ahead.


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