Your Stories

Lost and lonely
 



My wife of 38 years passed away in November. She was 60 for only 10 days. Her illness started quite a while back as breast cancer stage 4. It was hard to detect because the location was up under the breast in the chest wall extending between the ribs. A mastectomy did not achieve clear margins so extensive chemo and radiation followed as well as removal of lymph nodes on the right side. She healed and adjusted, we both did. About 8 years later she began complaining of pain around her hip and thigh on one side. After a few trips to the doctor she demanded a bone scan be done. The technician said we'll send the results to your doctor but when my wife returned from the test room she had read the techs face and knew. Cancer had spread to numerous skeletal areas. She was given a very bad prognosis and palliative care teams began coming to the house weekly and nurses twice a week. I stopped working to take care of her at this point. She became very sick and was taking massive amounts of painkillers. Her arms and legs were swelling. I called the paramedics because the medication was not touching the pain. They looked for blood clots in emergency when I pointed out her foot seemed on a strange angle. They quickly x rayed and found her hip was broken. It was likely fractured for a long time since she had a normal recovery and was able to get around with a walker and on much reduced pain medication. We had almost 10 months of a fairly normal life after her recovery. Around December 2016 she began to feel very anxious and said one of her ribs was hurting. She went to the doctor and got an increase to her anti anxiety medication. It did nothing. Soon after I heard her calling from the bottom of the stairs. Her legs had given out.I called the paramedics. One thought she had taken too much morphine but they took her into emergency where 24 hours later they diagnosed a heart attack and stroke that left her unable to walk and caused some neurological damage called foot drop. They did not treat her for a heart attack on admission. I should have given her some aspirin after I called. They treated her for a year but couldn't make any progress. They even tried ECT which helped but did not last. They pushed to transfer her to a nursing home but her appetite was gone and she just wanted to sleep all the time. They said she was stable. I tried to bring her home. She was back in hospital in two weeks and transferred to a palliative care hospital within two weeks of that. She died about a month after that. It took them by surprise. She was by herself and had some kind of bleed.She had blood around her nose and mouth. She was so brave and it was so unfair.Small incidents that I remember torture me. Now I'm alone and every day seems like a week, and I know anxiety and panic. It's only been two months but I'm getting worse, not better. I struggle with alcohol and feel guilty when I succumb. It makes the pain and loneliness stop for a while. I had the worst Christmas of my life. My siblings don't support me so I end up getting angry at them. They don't understand. They're all divorced. I met my wife at 18 years old. I'm 60 now.I miss her so much I'm angry at her for leaving me. I know that makes no sense. I know why my wife wanted to sleep at the end. It's because the nightmare is being awake. I just want the pain to stop. It happens every day and can be triggered by almost anything. If time heals it needs to hurry up.