Help for my Kids

My husband was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. It was found somewhat by accident. He has never been "sick" before this. He was one semester away from having his criminal justice degree and after a workout he fell and started slurring and complaining of left side weakness. After much protest I convinced him to go to the local hospital. They said he was just dehydrated and gave him a Morphine injection after multiple complaints of a severe headache. After the third injection of Morphine the PA (who was 2 months out of school) ordered a CT that found the tumor. He was transferred to a larger hospital and a cranial resection was performed to remove 92 % of a 7.5 cm encased tumor from his right parietal lobe the next morning. He did Temodar and focused radiation. He got periodic MRI's and everything was okay until January 2013. It was almost as if overnight the man that I married 10 years ago disappeared. He started yelling and cussing, which he NEVER did. It got so bad that I had to call the sheriff's office for fear for my children and myself. I went to stay at my mom's for 3 days then I came back home. I took him to the ER while I was staying with my mom because he called and said he felt like he was having a heart attack. Since the tumor he has developed high blood pressure among other things. That's when they said it was back but this time it had progressed to a Grade 4 GBM. Now he does Avastin every two weeks. He has started Seroquel and Klonopin. They seem to take the edge off but in other ways they add to the problem. He only gets up to use the restroom and get something to eat. He was on Decadron and Keppra which, I think, has caused him to gain over 100 lbs. His Dr.s have given him around 6 months to live. He is on palliative treatment as of now.

My problems: I feel like there has been a train wreck right in the middle of our life. The man that lives with me is NOT my husband. I have not seen my husband since January. It's like I'm devoting my life to a stranger. There is NO affection from a man that would, on a daily basis, tell me that I was his world and that he was the luckiest man in the world. I mean he loved me so deeply that it made other people sick. It really sucks because he was my best friend besides my husband. Before January he didn't care who I talked to. Not like we had an open relationship but we trusted each other completely. I still don't care who he talks to but if he even sees a guy "like" something on my FB he gets irritated. This is not ok with me. I encourage him to talk to anyone and everyone, even old girlfriends. We have 2 boys that are both under the age of 8. I work full time and am an RN student. I can't quite school because I need to be able to support my boys after the inevitable happens. His mother and one of his brothers lives next door and rarely call or come over to check on him. If it were not for my dad we would have lost everything. It infuriates me how uninvolved they are. I mean he is your son/brother! His brother told him that he was just lazy and wanted to live off the government and that he hoped he died! This same brother has been telling people (we live in a SMALL town) that I have a boyfriend. At first I was like whatever but now it's just eating away at me. I am the sole caregiver to their family member and this is how they treat me?! I have had to give up everything (which is not the point.) My horses (a huge part of our life), my friends, and my independence are gone. They have given up nothing! I am a VERY strong woman but the last month or two I feel like if someone flicked me I would fall into a million pieces.

Children problems: Over the last couple of months he has become increasingly abusive toward our children. This is totally out of character for him. This is the man that would get mad at his brother for cussing while disciplining his nieces. It started out with yelling and now has progressed to calling them names (pussy, loser, etc.) and slapping the in the face/head. I do not know what to do. I feel like if I take my children and leave that I am abandoning him but if I stay then I am neglecting my children. I have tried to talk to his mother about this and she says in not so many words that it is just part of his sickness and he can't help it. Okay that works for my but not young children. I am afraid they are being emotionally scarred. I don't want them to remember their dad this way but it's to late for that. I wait until everyone is asleep and go sit on the porch and cry almost every night.

There is no one around me that I can talk to because no one even close to our age has experienced what we are going through. Most people I come in contact with are older couples with their kids grown and moved out and have had their careers. I do not know what to do!


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  • Hi Inked! I'm really sorry that you're going through all of this.

    Brain cancer is seems to me t be one of the cruelest cancers, if not the cruelest. We all know that cancer harms not only the patient, but their caregiver, but brain cancer does one step worse-- it doesn't just attack the body physically, but also the personality of the patient. I can't imagine what it feels like to see the man you love becoming another person.

    I know it's hard to hear this, but... I think you may need to consider getting out of the relationship. If it was just the two of you, it would be a different story, but looking at his behaviour with the kids, I don't think it's a good environment for them. Add to that the apathy of his on family! It's appalling.

    It seems cruel to even type it, I know. He didn't ask for this disease. He was a kind and loving man. But the fact is, brain cancer alters the personality, and he isn't going to wake up one day and be his old self. It's a progressive illness. As the partner of someone with cancer myself, I know it's hard to "give up" on someone you love. But it isn't just your marriage, it's your kids, and they deserve a stable home.

    Do you have family you can reach out to? Now may be the time to, QUIETLY, start to separate your finances from him and his family, and planning a break. If you don't have a support network, women's shelters are for anyone experiencing abuse, regardless of the cause. Your husband has family that are more than able to care for him, so don't let guilt tie you down.

    I'm sorry that I even need to type any of this. :( It's a horrible situation and I hope you can find a peaceful solution. If you need anyone to talk to, you can PM me anytime.