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Anniversaries? A rant and a vent


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For me, having my dad be stage IIIb-IV NSCLC is doubly frightening because my husband's father died 6 years ago this week of Stage IV adeno with brain mets. This whole scene is unreal and too terribly familiar. However, i take much solace in the fact that the cases are so different. My dad is an optmistic person and willing to do what dr's say. Also in the years that have gone by there is so much more that they can do for our beloved ones than they could do 6 years ago. Also my family has a faith based belief system which even though I have grown away from I still adhere to in times of trouble. NOt to sound superior to my hub's family but too often i find the hand wringing and the fear is based on the fact that they do not have this to fall back on. I don't judge but i do struggle to understand this in our relationship. As much as i find they struggle to undestand me.

6 years ago they said all they could offer my FIL was palliative treatments and within 6 weeks he was gone. He was also a non-compliant patient. He hadn't had so much as a health check up ever! Shocking, i know but true. He would not any follow directions and my MIL never questioned his judgement. He had 8 brain mets. They made him paranoid. He took the decadron but when the pills ran out he wouldn't call the doc for more.This caused much suffering. Any advice I offered him was met with wise cracks/derision. I was amazed when my hubs talked him into going to Dana Farber in Boston for a clinical trial (Carbo/taxol) but they said if he was still around in two months they would see him. He took that poorly. Understandably so. He was too far gone.

anyway, long story short: Much of this energy about my dad is causing stress for my hubs and me. In this dynamic, six years ago, I was a pressuring know-it-all and critical of FIL and MIL. I recognized the decline and was quite vocal about it. My urging to see a doctor were met with negativity for months before FIL was diagnosed. In my husband's grieving i have been portrayed as a jerk for fighting with him about seeking treatment and verbalizing my thoughts about his condition. I have learned a lot about keeping my mouth shut in my hubs family concerning health issues. I try to silence the amount of culture shock I feel. (Not easy...BIL has Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and so did my aunt but I have never had a conversation about this with my sister in law. She has Chrohn;s Disease and so do I but we never talk about it--she's treating it "holistically" and I see a Gastro guy)

The fact that my dad is sick of the same disease that killed his dad has him spiraling into that pain of loss...not just for Hubs but for other members of his family. I realize I can't do much about the past. I am just weary of handling his burden along with shouldering my own fears about my dad.

On top of this all I should mention that my FIL only living brother is in the hospital with broken ribs froma fall in the nursing home. (did I mention the pessimistic mindset pervasive in my hubs family?) Well, hubs is frightened that uncle is on death's door and accuses me of pollyanna-ing Uncle's situation. IMHO Uncle could pull through. He is frail but in stable condition and from what i understand doing as well as a 73 year old guy can do. He doesn't have an infection. I feel pressure from him to predict this outcome and I refuse too.

The stress I feel from my husband is very mental and demanding. The wrestling about what if this and what if that are more than I am able to committ to. He views my position as resistant and non-compliant. i wish he had been raised within a religious world view that such things are taken on faith. You can't plan out a death or a life. Tonight when I said he was violating a personal tenet of believe for me he became very offended. "YOu claim you're agnostic!" Exactly. I am brave enough to say I don't know.

On the plus side hubs has been very good about allowing me to go to Houston to be with my family. He is bending over backwards.

Early Nov. has had me on tenderhooks every since FIL's passing. I should be used to this by now but I am not.

No response is needed to this post. I just needed to get this out of my system so it can be done. My hubs relies on my input regarding his uncle. I love the old man and have been his caregiver for over 6 years.

It was pointless for us to fight about Uncle tonight. I know my hubs doesn't problem solve in analyical terms but in emotional ones. i should have been smarter and just looked at the calendar to know that when this anniversary comes along I will have to pay my dues to be in this family.

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Amen, sister!

Everyone needs a good vent now and then, and you had a good one there!

The stress of all of this creeps out in many ways for all of us. I get petulant and crabby. It stinks that we have so much emotional tied up in the physical side of this beast.

Hope you are feeling better soon!

:) Kelly

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Today I had to ask uncle if he wanted a priest or a feeding tube. He chose a feeding tube. He was cognizant and told me he had some fight left in him. It was very hard to do but I am glad I did it. My hubs and his mom were glad I did. they were scared of the implications of his choice.

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I know this is a heavy burden on your shoulders Eppie. But you just keep doing what you are doing because apparently it is working.

You can vent away all you want. You are such a strong young lady.


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