Reduced to a Dollar Sign

The fatal illness and death of my husband is one of the most difficult times in my life and I would not wish his experience on my worst enemy. He had not been feeling normal for few months, started seeing an internist and all the tests came back normal. Couple months went by and he came inside the house saying he just felt funny not himself. I thought he might be having a stroke so we take him to local hospital where he is immediately put into an exam room being placed on bed. He immediately has a grand mal seizure, never having one before. X-rays are doing done, bloodwork and CT scan. ER doctor informs us, his family, he had at least 3 brain tumors and what hospital did we want to be transferred to. I told him the one his internist was affiliated with. He called that hospital and that internist happened to be there. By time we arrived at that hospital’s ER, his internist had a neurologist, radiation oncologist, chemo oncologist ready to examine him. He had stage 4 non-small-cell cancer that had spread through his body. He opted to do chemo and radiation. He was given at the most 3 months. We just been told this awful news and his family inquires about his will, life insurance and their inheritance. Not only are both of us trying to process his diagnosis but now this!!! Our marriage was the second for each of us. Not a day went by that someone didn’t mention him getting his affairs in order. The last 3 months of his life were miserable. He told me he had been reduced to a dollar sign. My heart was breaking for him and myself. I knew more hell would come after his death for me but he would be out of it. Hospice was called in the day before he died. I wish someone had prepared me for the dying process. My husband literally hemorrhages to death. He would sit up in the bed vomiting blood everywhere and lay back down. We clean him then he would do it again raising his arms reaching for something or someone with a look of horror on his face, which will never leave my mind. That last day and half he didn’t want anyone touching him. Can you explain that to me? This man had never verbally said “I love you” to me until a few hours before he died. His actions spoke for him. And I was right, things worsened for me immediately. Most of his family didn’t even acknowledge I had suffered a great loss - my husband, lover, protector, best friend and my rock!! Could write so much more but it wouldn’t change anything. Going through that traumatic experience broke me and I will never be the same. All this happened over ten years ago and I love and miss him just as much as the day he left this earth.


Joan comments: It is hard to even begin to imagine how dreadful this must have been for your husband and for you. Anyone who reads your story must be filled with compassion for what you both experienced. Is there a grief support group in your area? Or a caring therapist you can locate? The hospice which was called in the day before he died might be able to help you identify appropriate resources. Or, your internist could help you find the right group and/or person. Talking with another or others about your trauma might help you better metabolize what you went through. Sometimes, over time, suffering can prove to be a source of deep inner wisdom and strength if you are able to access the right assistance. Please consider seeing what help you can find.