Cancer Disease, a Diagnosis to Horrify any Human Being! (My Wife is Suffering With Stage 4 Brain Cancer!)
Cancer Disease…The Most terrible Disease on the Planet…
The Cancer Disease Can be Beaten? For Some, But For How Long?
When anyone is diagnosed with cancer it immediately makes them feel like they have been given a death sentence.
Shock, horror, fear, dread, tears, denial, and feelings of loss wash over you, while with all that comes the questioning why, why, why…?
There are many other terrible illnesses out there, but cancer is an evil devouring you from within, and with 100’s of types of cancer diseases it seems to be a losing battle for science and medicine to stop this increasing scourge that millions of people are suffering from and dying from all over the world…
Cancer doesn’t care how young or old you are, what race you are, how rich or poor you are, nor how healthy you have lived your life…In the past weeks, I have read hundreds of sad stories about how this disease has claimed lives… Now I am living in my own horror story!
I would describe that cancer disease is an evil monster that will start attacking your body, sometimes silently and without pain, until it has become a force that your body cannot cope with, while cancer gleefully starts eating away at your organs rapidly destroying you, with no other mission but to kill you!
My dear wife has struggled with cancer 3 times now, for the third time was just recently diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. ( Read About)
Imagine the shock and horror experienced by all of us in the family, never mind what was going through my wife’s mind when she was given this diagnosis.
So many questions go through everyone’s mind:
- Why her she is such a kind woman, mother, grandmother, and wife?
- What is Gods plan in all this?
- How Long has she got left to live?
- How will we cope?
When a family member or someone you care about is diagnosed with cancer, it is a huge shock and life as you know it will change completely. During this time while your loved one is suffering from cancer it can be emotional, spiritually, and even physically draining but there is a bright side if the person beats this dreadful disease and yes cancer can be cured!
Few people lucky enough to be cured are ever counselled on how to live their lives afterwards because life does change after cancer whatever happens!
For wives, husbands and children that are old enough to help, a lot of responsibilities must be shouldered to care for their loved one and some are less than pleasant, while others very demanding when you take on this supportive role.
Almost one in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide, and even with such wide media coverage about cancer, and ongoing warnings to women to have themselves tested, and checked, these warnings are largely ignored. Perhaps this is because people are fearful or finding out this dreaded disease is growing in their breasts or body.
Losing a breast or even both through a double mastectomy for a woman is a deeply traumatic experience making them feel they have lost their femininity, attractiveness, a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Then there is the fear of what does the future hold because there is little information on coping AFTER cancer…
For husbands, partners or family members of someone with cancer, they are thrust into a role of caregiver, counsellor, and a very pillar of strength to provide the necessary support for your partner or loved one.
Without this love, support and care the circumstances and recovery from cancer can be longer, deeply traumatic, and in some cases cause the patient to resign to not recovering at all. The stress from doubts and fears will hinder the healing of any disease, and positive thinking must be drummed into the patient because the mind is a very powerful thing!
When wives and mothers are found to have breast cancer with no option but to remove breast/s men react differently, and unfortunately some badly.
Some men will cope and care for their wives unfailingly, while others will even run away leaving their wives alone. When this happens for the wife it is devastating because a lifelong companion has fled leaving her feeling abandoned, rejected, deeply unhappy and depressed all negative thoughts which will interfere in the process of healing.
Physical and mental adjustment during healing is accelerated if there are large doses of love, understanding, and empathy provided by husbands and loved ones. For women is difficult to adjust to the changes in her body after a mastectomy, especially with feelings that her femininity has been compromised.
The advice I can give men is to accept her that she is the same person she was before discovering she had breast cancer, love her support her. If you have children and family garner their support and understanding by explaining to them that Mum is still mum.
(I wrote a book I published on Kindle about my wife’s journey through Breast cancer as a husband that you can find here: Cancer to Mastectomy
The experience of serious illness like cancer can bring the family closer together….or end up tearing it apart. Being open and candid and discussing issues with the whole family is paramount to the healing process!
This is my journey and experience through a mastectomy my wife suffered through, and the difficult time I had when cancer struck a second time, and then yet a third… a horrendous stage 4 brain cancer which is the most horrific time of my life.
Stage 4 Brain Cancer Diagnosis.
Recently we took a trip to the UK to visit our sons and grandchildren living there and it was a happy time together though shortlived…
Early August my wife began complaining of pain in her left ear and that of being a little dizzy so off we went to the doctor to see what the matter was. The doctor diagnosed her having an ear virus which was causing Labyrinthitis and prescribed her with pills to help the dizziness which he claimed would clear up within 2 weeks.
The dizziness started progressively getting worse so once again we visited the doctor who once again claimed it to be Labyrinthitis which would go away on its own. Naturally, we trusted this diagnosis and tried alleviating the dizziness with some natural remedies and exercises we discovered online all in vain.
Early September my wife began feeling rather poorly with the dizziness no becoming extreme and alarming so again I attempted making a new appointment with the doctor. Believing that it could be the different environment affecting her I changed the tickets to fly home earlier. Initially, we were to leave early December but I now managed to get flights booked late October.
The Sunday precisely a week before we were to fly home disaster struck and my wife told me she was extremely ill and weak, unable to stand with her sight being blurred.
That evening we rushed her to emergency and after an extensive wait, she was able to see a doctor that claimed she needed a cat scan to investigate what the problem was.
My sons and I were anxious when they told us they needed to see us all together as a family to let us know the results.
We were horrified to be told that my wife had a number of brain lesions and dark spots which they believed could be causing the dizziness and symptoms.
They needed to admit her into the hospital for more tests and after contacting our oncologist in South Africa, and evaluating her past history of cancer disease we were told that it was stage 4 brain cancer which could start causing seizures, blindness and all manner of other terrible side effects.
With our flight being that weekend I was anxious to find out whether she could fly home and was told further tests would need to be done as the brain swelling while flying at such high pressure could cause an embolism and even death. done evaluation we were told she could fly home, but it would be at a high risk.
At this stage, my wife could no longer walk, was extremely dizzy, suffered from some hearing loss, and was half blind in the one eye.
My sons were terribly shocked at everything happening to their mum and helped arrange wheelchair disabled assistance from the airline and we all prayed that she would get back safely.
Fortunately, by the grace of God and prayers, we arrived back without incident though my wife was feeling now very ill and weak after such a long flight.
Taking care of my wife during this terrible time is stressful, and difficult and without family support would have been impossible. Often she would lapse into bouts of depression with her asking me whether God was punishing, her so I had to also act as counsellor and therapist.
Hours and hours have been spent by me feverishly searching information about cancer diseases looking for a glimmer of hope or a miracle, reading questions on why God allows this horrific disease to be unleashed on the world, and why he heals some and nor others…
For the last weeks bathing her, dressing her, giving medications, helping her move, and applying creams are all the order of the day, and watching how this terrible disease destroys her day by day is heartbreaking and shocking to me making me feel helpless, sad, angry and scared!
Instead of hearing about others suffering from cancer, it has now become my own reality as I watch how this horrible disease slowly devours her, changes her personality, makes what once was a strong independent woman become a shell of her former self.
Currently, she is being treated with radiation and steroids for the brain swelling and later the oncologist will attempt chemotherapy, all as palliative care.
Week 3 with brain cancer, she is now a shadow of herself, already almost completely blind, 90% paralysed, and after suffering a stroke recently to add to the horror, she is now in hospital under special care. Many believe it is best to put someone into a hospice, but no matter how hard it will be caring for her, I refuse to do so, and once she comes home will continue to help her fight this every step of the way with family and people that love her around her.
She is still fighting for her life and our family and friends have been absolute pillars of support, as are the prayers from many others which we are all thankful for… Will a miracle happen?
Thanks for reading. I will update the progress on my wife soon…
Some Medical Cancer Terms Explained
When you hear medical medial terms used by the doctor they can sound pretty scary at the time. With some research I did I found simple explanations of what some of these terms mean. Keep them for future reference.
1) Abnormal cells: These are cells that are not healthy and do not belong in your body.
2) Benign Tumor: this is a growth made up of normal cells and is not cancerous or malignant.
3) BRCA1: This is a normal gene for body cell growth. This gene can also become abnormal and when it does, it can cause onsets of cancer Women that have a hereditary of high levels of this gene are more susceptible to getting cancer.
4) Breast-Conserving Surgical Operation: This can be done for certain breast cancers where much of the breast is conserved as possible while removing the cancerous tumour. Some examples include lumpectomy, quadrant-ectomy, and segmental mastectomy.
5) Breast Sarcoma: This is a very rare type of breast cancer, less than 1% and growths appear in milk ducts and lobules of the breasts. The tumours can also be primary and secondary in nature.
6) Calcification: when too many salts accumulate in the body this is called calcification. The deposits can cause soft tissue to harden. Too many salts and calcium in the blood can also lead to kidney stone problems.
7) Cyst: this is a closed or capsule-like structure filled with liquid or a semi-solid mass. Sometimes it can consist of gaseous build up found anywhere in the body.
8) Doxorubicin: Chemotherapy drug in the generic form of Adriamycin. This drug is also known as ‘The Red Devil’ killer of cancer cells stopping growth and preventing them from repairing the damage. This is a common drug used in chemotherapy.
9) Fibrocystic Breast Tissue: a buildup of breast tissue or glands causing cysts as well. This is not a cancerous growth but can swell causing pain in the breast. Good to get a checkup done because cancer can develop in future from this condition.
10) Gland: This has many different meanings in medical terms according to where it is situated in the body. The body has sweat glands, mucous glands, growth glands and milk glands. Sometimes doctors will use the word lymph instead of gland too.
11) Human Papillomavirus (HPV): This is a virus causing diseases which can cause many illnesses including cervical cancer and testes cancer.
12) Oncology and Radiation: Treatments used to cure and reduce or remove cancer in the body. These may come in the form of pills, drinks or fluids while radiation is photons, electrons, proton beams used to target specific areas where cancer is present.
13) Risk Lesion: This is referred to as any body tissue or organ that has suffered from a serious injury such as a wound, tumor, or abscess. Risk lesions carry the increased risk of cancer due to the trauma the body has suffered from the injury.
14) Specimen: this is a sample of blood, or tissue sent to the laboratory for examination.
15 Susceptibility Genes: genes that you have which make likely or unlikely you will be susceptible to certain diseases or disorders