About Christine V
I dedicate this story to my husband who was a good man, who handled his illnesses with grace and dignity. He passed away one month short of his 70th birthday.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer, with PSA tests and then a biopsy. He had prostatectomy, prostate removed. They felt it went well and even though it had spread thru the ‘walls’, felt they had it all. It was a grueling time of recovery, from kidney stones, then biopsy, then the surgery, followed by an infection and more hospitalization. We stuck together and went to appt after appt. It was exhausting, but we didn’t give up.
A few months after his prostate surgery, my husband went for a cardio stress test, as he also dealt with many heart problems every day. As he was wheeled in for his stress test, never did I think our lives would change forever and nothing would be the same again. Never did I suspect that when I told him I love you and gave him a kiss, before he was wheeled away, that would be the last time he really knew what was going on. After a matter of a few short minutes, the nurse came for me. My husband had suffered a massive brain bleed… stroke. Things went fast and crazy from there. Transfer to another, bigger hospital, hours away from home, equipped to handle such things.
Long hours turned to weeks, in a hospital Neuro ICU, many hours from home, with very little improvements and not really any chances for any.
As I sat in his room, I received a call from the prostate surgeon, another hospital, hours away. It was a call to let us know that his prostate cancer had spread and we needed to come back for more follow-up and treatment. More shocking news. I told her where we were in a Neuro ICU and what had happened. She was shocked and of course there’d be no follow-up for the prostate.
We spent several weeks in ICU and he was then transferred to a care facility for ‘therapy’, closer to home, but still a couple hours away. It was the only facility that would take on his care, since his brain damage had made him somewhat combative. So he started daily physical, speech therapies, etc. He was so confused. After several weeks of no improvements, but definite decline in his condition, I chose to take him home against their advice. They said no way could we do 24/7 care. I could not stand another day in the facility and seeing my beloved husband having to be neglected and not cared for properly. I took him home that day.
His stay at home was a little over two months of constant care, 24/7 care; cleaning, bathing, changing, feeding. It was a difficult time, but I would not change it for the world. I felt so privileged to care for him. He was the most giving, loving man who would do anything for anyone. It was hard for him, not being himself, not understanding what was happening, not able to communicate. It took an incredible amount of patience and love to be able to do 24/7 care without seeing any improvements and even knowing there weren’t going to be any. I, with some family help managed this with many struggles, tears and a broken heart seeing my husband deteriorate day by day.
He lived with me at home for about 2 months; the last two weeks he was on hospice. He passed away at home, after round the clock care. I am so glad I was able to have the strength to care for him. It took patience beyond measure, I also have health issues with rheumatoid arthritis, major back issues and heart problems. I only know I took care of my husband, because I was supposed to, I wanted to. We had been married 51 years, took vows to be with each other in sickness and in health and I just couldn’t leave him in the hands of someone else who didn’t love him and wouldn’t care for him like me. He had given endless love and care for me, I could do no less for him.
I have no regrets, taking him out of the facility and was so privileged to care for him.
We never found out where the prostate cancer had spread to; as it didn’t really matter any more. Maybe his brain or somewhere else that contributed to the brain bleed. It was a very difficult year and a half of endless travel to doctor appts, blood draws, xrays, mri’s, ct scans, biopsies, stents, infections, hospital stays, much pain… My husband was a warrior, he never gave up , he didn’t ever complain, he was amazing. I was with him every awful step of the way, as I wanted to be.
I want to say that he never ever regretted having the prostate surgery, he felt he was better off with it gone and thought he was cured. He never knew it had spread.
Thank you for letting me share this.