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husband has lung cancer, secondary bone cancer, and just been told pallative care only

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by picturesofu, May 21, 2011.

  1. Apologise in advance for the length of this post!
    My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November 2010 a total shock which shattered our world. A series of scans tests followed, an operation to remove the tumour was not an option as the cancer was in both lungs and the lymph nodes in the centre of the chest. This left the option of Chemo which was given over 4 cycles.
    We were told there had been some shrinkage and they were pleased with this progress. A MDT (multi discipline team) meeting was held to discuss the next steps of treatment. Following this meeting my husband had to have a PET scan which revealed the cancer has now spread into the bones (spine). This lead to the team retracting the option of radical radiotherapy on the lungs as the disease has spread the only option is now pallative care, a low dose radiotherapy followed by chemo drugs to slow down the growth. Since this diagnosis my husband has got significantly worse and has lost the use of his left side - can't remember things, finds concentration very difficult and sleeps at every given moment.
    This new development means we are waiting for a MRI scan on his brain to see if the cancer is now there also.
    The school I work at has been fantastically supportive, after the initial diagnosis my GP signed me off work through nervous disability as I was finding it very difficult to cope. I returned to work at the end of March on a phased return working mornings, which occupational health agree that this is a good plan and I am hoping to increase my hours gradually over the coming half term with the continued support of the school and occupational health. Thankfully I am able to attend hospital appointments with my husband, this is now an essential part of his care as he struggles to listen, remember and understand what is happening and being said.
    However with my husbands rapidly deteriorating health I am concerned I don't know what each day will bring so I may well have to rush him into hopsital or there could be an emergency at home as he has requested to 'die at home' What will the implications be on my phased return? Will my pay be cut as my wage is our main income and if this is cut we will be finacially stretched and I don't think I could cope with another stressfull situation? What will happen about this years performance management review will I fail this and go into capabilities? The questions all the new problems throw up seem endless so I'm sorry for the long post.
  2. I can't offer any advice really but wanted to say that I'm sorry for the position you are in. I would hope your school would be very understanding in times such as this. I can't imagine you going into capabilities due to this. Sorry I'm not much help[​IMG]
  3. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry to hear this too. On a practical level to you claim all the benefits that you may be entitled to e.g. DLA, carer's allowance as maybe that could help cover you so that you could go part time? I'm glad that your school are being supportive.
  4. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Time off for caring for dependants will vary according to local agreement. A certain amount of compassionate leave is paid, then you may have to take some unpaid leave if the time off is a long time. There will be other benefits and allowances you can claim - indeed you should find out now, as you may be entitled to some straight away.
    Get in touch with your union and check what the financial situation is for your area. Also Teacher Support Line are very practical with advice as well as providing emotional support when you need it.
    Cancer charities are another potential source of help - practical, financial and emotional.
    Hope you don't have to worry too much about money at this difficult time. You have all your energies taken up in dealing with this illness.
    All the very best to you for the difficult times ahead.
  5. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support.
    The week before half term saw me take my husband into hospital as he has been losing the use of his left hand, then on Sunday he had what looked like a stroke. After a night in hospital and various scans and tests we have now had confirmation that he has 2 tumours in the brain, and there was us thinking things couldn't get any worse.
    Again school have been very supportive as I had to take the week off due to the need to take my husband to hospital every day for tests and consultations to review what is to happen next. He is now at the end of pallative radiotherapy for his lungs and is about to start the radiotherapy to his brain. After this we are not sure what is happening as it depends upon his health after the radiotherapy. We are taking each day at a time but know that this time is very limited now. We don't want to ask about time scales as we feel this would cloud our precious time together.
    Again thank you everyone for all your support and advice.
  6. I am sure everyone here wishes you strength and courage. I would really discount school altogether for a while. I had to get myself signed off recently and I found it difficult but I was not fit to work. I don't think you can be either. See the GP, get signed off for a month if you can - two weeks at least - and that way at least remove one issue from your life.
    So sorry.
  7. I just wanted to add that my thoughts are with you both, and your family.

    Spend as much time together as you can.

  8. Just to say thinking of you x

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