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A Choice Made By My Husband’s Heart

Forums Caregiver Community A Choice Made By My Husband’s Heart

  • Post
    lovingwifedeb
    Participant

      September 19, 2010

         

      My husband and I took to heart the recommendation to find an oncologist in our area who specialized in melanoma and was willing to “jump into the boat with him” so to speak. Well, it ended up being the very same doctor that wanted my husband to join his melanoma cancer vaccine trial and broke to him the news about percentages and so on… Portland is not that big.

       

      September 19, 2010

         

      My husband and I took to heart the recommendation to find an oncologist in our area who specialized in melanoma and was willing to “jump into the boat with him” so to speak. Well, it ended up being the very same doctor that wanted my husband to join his melanoma cancer vaccine trial and broke to him the news about percentages and so on… Portland is not that big.

       

      My husband had to admit to this doctor that he had him on the floor by the time he left his office on that first visit but admitted he has learned a lot since then and that he had lots of questions to ask him now that the shock was over. This doctor was very willing to work with my husband and answered all his questions.

       

      My husband, Bob is stage 3c, if you remember and had only 3 choices of treatment after his surgery. The metastatic tumor that was located in his leg/groin was rather large, almost 3 inches in length. Although the primary melanoma was never found, one theory of the doctor’s is that my husband’s immune system destroyed it, another theory is that the primary was located in the tumor itself. No proof, no one knows for sure. So, for now some of the cancer cells “could” have escaped from the metastatic tumor in his leg/groin (or not) and until those cells get large enough to be picked up on a scan we will not know if he ever moves into stage 4, which I hope never happens. But if it does… then other therapies would then apply. For now his treatment choices are

      1.     Interferon

      2.     Cancer Vaccine Trial / 2 people get the drug – 1 person gets a placebo

      3.     Do Nothing, Watch and Wait

       

      I know my husband well enough to know that his decision was not made lightly. Most important decisions we have made together take great discussion or angst over. Both of us are alike in this so I know the process was difficult for him but I also know it was about quality. It was a difficult choice and a personal choice and it was strictly his choice. My husband has decided to watch and wait. He feels that this choice was necessary to protect his immune system as it stands today. He thinks if his body’s immune system destroyed the primary and the doctors couldn’t find it then this decision has to work in his favor for now. He does not believe in destroying his own immune system to the point that it has to be built back up again. This oncologist will keep a close eye on my husband with regular scans, exams and blood work, every 3 months, then every 6 months then once a year. I have also asked my husband to find a doctor/naturopath to guide him into stronger nutrient care. Anything that would help build up his immune system even more and bring greater strength and better health. Maybe between the two doctors and Bob’s determination we can turn this around for a longer period of time. I am here as his caretaker, his wife, the protector of his heart, and in whatever way I can support him.

      This will be my last post in this group for now unless our situation changes (which I hope it doesn’t). Thank you for your support and your suggestions along the way. I have learned a great deal from those of you who have responded to me personally and to my postings. I have joined another group that might better fit my needs as caretaker and writer. As I believe I will be always living with the “Monster Under the Bed” I will be continuing to write about my fears and emotions. If you would still like to follow me please use the links below.

       

      I have encouraged my husband to write about his own fears and to begin to post them to the MRF site and ask his own questions directly to you as I’m sure he would like to know if anyone out there has suggestions other than chemical. Look for him soon he will post under the name "The Gambler".

       

      If you would like to leave Bob a message please send one here:

      [email protected]

       

       

      If you would like to follow our family blog page please go here:

      http://redesign08.blogspot.com/

       

       

      If you would like to follow me in the  “Caregivers” section, the Cancer Survivors Network / the American Cancer Society website please follow this link:

      http://csn.cancer.org/forum/138

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    • Replies
        washoegal
        Participant

          Good luck!  I too took the wait and watch course as I did not like any of my other options as a stage 3. 

          Mary

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          washoegal
          Participant

            Good luck!  I too took the wait and watch course as I did not like any of my other options as a stage 3. 

            Mary

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            DebbieH
            Participant

              Good  luck to your husband and you.   I hope you find what you're looking for out there.

              DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 9+ years

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              DebbieH
              Participant

                Good  luck to your husband and you.   I hope you find what you're looking for out there.

                DebbieH, stage IIIC, NED 9+ years

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                Jim in Denver
                Participant

                  Hi Deb,

                  Thank you for posting.  It has been a very diffficult time for you and Bob, and you have been eloquent regarding your personal thoughts and feelings.  It has taken me time to understand what you have been saying, and you have helped me better understand thoughts that my own wife must have had over thes last months.  I am trying to become more sensitive to her feelings becuase they are very important to me.  Those of us who are the patients need to be more aware of those around us who are trying to help us, especially our devoted spouses.  So thank you for helping me on my journey, and I wish you the best on yours….and, of course, Bob.  I hope you get the support you need, and there are many good people here who are patients who Bob can access if he wants.  My sincere best wishes to both of you.

                  Regards,

                  Jim

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                    lovingwifedeb
                    Participant

                      Dear Jim,

                      I must say I was very humbled by your response since we didn't hit it off in the beginning. I didn't think you would waste your time reading my emotional messes so I am honored, believe me. And I think not only your wife but your friends benefit from reading my posts. I do think people come into our lives for a reason, teaching us life's lessons along the way.

                      And me? Well, I got my husband to make his first post last night and that was quite an accomplishment. I told him that if he wanted to stay connected with this site he better step up to the plate… he could finger peck his way and tell his own story (just like me… sort of, ha!).

                      Peace in your heart, Jim In Denver,

                      Deb

                      lovingwife to Bob, stage 3c

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                      lovingwifedeb
                      Participant

                        Dear Jim,

                        I must say I was very humbled by your response since we didn't hit it off in the beginning. I didn't think you would waste your time reading my emotional messes so I am honored, believe me. And I think not only your wife but your friends benefit from reading my posts. I do think people come into our lives for a reason, teaching us life's lessons along the way.

                        And me? Well, I got my husband to make his first post last night and that was quite an accomplishment. I told him that if he wanted to stay connected with this site he better step up to the plate… he could finger peck his way and tell his own story (just like me… sort of, ha!).

                        Peace in your heart, Jim In Denver,

                        Deb

                        lovingwife to Bob, stage 3c

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                      Jim in Denver
                      Participant

                        Hi Deb,

                        Thank you for posting.  It has been a very diffficult time for you and Bob, and you have been eloquent regarding your personal thoughts and feelings.  It has taken me time to understand what you have been saying, and you have helped me better understand thoughts that my own wife must have had over thes last months.  I am trying to become more sensitive to her feelings becuase they are very important to me.  Those of us who are the patients need to be more aware of those around us who are trying to help us, especially our devoted spouses.  So thank you for helping me on my journey, and I wish you the best on yours….and, of course, Bob.  I hope you get the support you need, and there are many good people here who are patients who Bob can access if he wants.  My sincere best wishes to both of you.

                        Regards,

                        Jim

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                        bill58
                        Participant

                          Bob,

                          Good luck with your decision.  I am sure it was a tough one given the circumstances.

                          I was diagnosed IIIC back in March. and had the same options in front of me, as well as an Ipi trial with the option of getting the placebo which did not look good at the time.  I ended up getting radiation after the second surgery.

                          I had my second set of scans a few weeks ago.  I would have loved to have left the doctors office with the option of a wait and see.  If they did not find anything evident, the quality of life option is one I would have chosen at the time.  Alas, I was not so lucky since they found mets in my spine.

                          I hope and pray that you are able to take the natural path and just wait and see for a very long time.

                          Bill

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                          bill58
                          Participant

                            Bob,

                            Good luck with your decision.  I am sure it was a tough one given the circumstances.

                            I was diagnosed IIIC back in March. and had the same options in front of me, as well as an Ipi trial with the option of getting the placebo which did not look good at the time.  I ended up getting radiation after the second surgery.

                            I had my second set of scans a few weeks ago.  I would have loved to have left the doctors office with the option of a wait and see.  If they did not find anything evident, the quality of life option is one I would have chosen at the time.  Alas, I was not so lucky since they found mets in my spine.

                            I hope and pray that you are able to take the natural path and just wait and see for a very long time.

                            Bill

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                            dian in spokane
                            Participant

                              Good Luck to you and especially to your Bob.

                              You're welcome back here any time, even if you are not actively involved in some kind of melanoma emergency.

                              The observation choice is perfectly sensible for those who are able to handle it.

                              Our friend Carver is a great example of someone who went that way and is still doing great many years later.

                              You can review her profile here: https://www.melanoma.org/community/profiles/carver

                              My oncological surgeons have been my most effective tool in my years long association with melanoma. Right now, I'm in the hands of the bioengineers, but they are not impacting on my quality fo life very much!

                              Best wishes. May melanoma never darken your door again.

                               

                              dian

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                              dian in spokane
                              Participant

                                Good Luck to you and especially to your Bob.

                                You're welcome back here any time, even if you are not actively involved in some kind of melanoma emergency.

                                The observation choice is perfectly sensible for those who are able to handle it.

                                Our friend Carver is a great example of someone who went that way and is still doing great many years later.

                                You can review her profile here: https://www.melanoma.org/community/profiles/carver

                                My oncological surgeons have been my most effective tool in my years long association with melanoma. Right now, I'm in the hands of the bioengineers, but they are not impacting on my quality fo life very much!

                                Best wishes. May melanoma never darken your door again.

                                 

                                dian

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