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Cancer I Hate You!

Sometimes when you think life can't throw anymore tough things at you, it throws the biggest gut shot of all. Our family motto is that we don't break. The winds of life may bend us at times, but we DO NOT break. Nobody ever promised life would be easy, or fair. Yes, we can strive for such in our individual lives, but it is far from such.

The question I often ask myself is when is it alright to let others into my life? I question their angle, their desire, everything. My wife, Bobbi, my shooting star, first met when she interrupted a game of pool I was having with a quick wave of her hand just before I took my shot, and naturally missed. Telling me not to take life so seriously. The missed shot cost me $100 needless to say. But from that moment on she has been my rock and shining star. Through good time and bad, always there putting a smile on my face.

To make a long story short, about five years ago I ended up having quadruple bypass open heart surgery. It failed. Stents needed to be placed in to keep flow. A total of 19 over the next few years. Last year my doctor put me on what's called palliative care. Knowing nothing more could be done medically, but helping me with quality of life while the battle progresses.

The doctor who lives on an island that we have to take a ferry to get to, is a godsend. Very kind and smart. Very compassionate. We moved to the area here, along the Canadian border, to get away from surgeons and appointments and live whatever time I have left in peace and serenity. Bobbi grew up here, a small town where people wave to each other as their cars pass. I grew up in the Chicago slums. Completely opposite.

There is nothing we wouldn't do for the other. We've laughed, cried, and have shared every life milestone together the last 25 years. We love each other's children as our own. Life hasn't been easy and have always lived paycheck to paycheck like millions of others. Material things have meant little. When I became sick she's been by my side unconditionally. My having Aspergers made hospital stays unbearable. All the loud beeping of machines and people touching and sticking needles in you. She understand the importance of keeping my room light low and the doors closed blocking out hallway noise. She was also a nurse so helped the staff out in ways that made their jobs easier. Writing down fluid amounts, changing bedding, dealing while pharmaceutical concerns. She is NT but yet we were on the same channel mentally and emotionally.

Last week I needed to be by her side. She has been fighting diabetes 2 for years. Blood sugars constantly whacked. The last two years losing more and more weight. Our island doctor helped her the best he could but there were no easy answers. Patience was needed. In the mean time her beautiful skin, which has always been olive toned, started to turn more yellow. Thought it might be the summer sun. But the weight loss continued. Caretaker she was and put herself second. Many nights she struggled in silent pain. Her family cared, though one was too caught up in their life problems to notice her sunken eyes and weight loss, saying 'she looked alright' to them, and anothers FIRST concern thought we were trying to make a move on their mothers property (no judgement, just amazed). Before we moved here we lost everything to medical bills and expenses. $30,000 in savings quickly evaporating. We became homeless and lived in the garage of her sisters for a period of time (had add on living unit). Her mother allowed us to live in her summer cabin during the winter months. Throughout it all we just kept on battling. We bent but didn't break.

Last week, after watching Bobbi's eyes turn yellow, enough was enough. Something had to be wrong in a serious way. When I said we were going to go to the emergency room she asked if we could spend one more evening in our own bed. I hesitated but knew how important this was.

The next day we went to the hospital. Just last week. It seems like a million years ago. She was transported by ambulance to a bigger city that could provide the needed tests. Things were not going well with enzymes and blood sugar numbers. The next day, after ultrasound and MRI the doctor came into our room and told us the news. She has pancreatic cancer. The worse possible outcome became our new reality. We will soon learn what stage, it's the size of a large walnut, next to her spine. It had completely shut off her gallbladder resulting in the jaundice.

She is the strongest woman I've ever met, and to see her hurting was a so helpless feeling. I don't know what our tomorrows will hold, but I do know I have to be strong for her and to be there as her warrior as she has been there for me. I know I have a hard time communicating with people, but must keep my triggers aware of what leads to outbursts and meltdowns. They have grief support groups but I don't do well in crowds. I just want to be by her side and lightly run my fingers through her hair as she sleeps. Put cold washcloths on her forehead and hold her. I have to put up an iron wall around her and keep all toxic and negative people and things away. Only a few will have the keys.

Walking alone into the cold dark hotel room, in the strange town we were in was a feeling I would never wish upon anyone. I have no time for grief, but it will be a day I'll never forget. I need the support of many, but have no idea how to let others in. They say people on the spectrum have no empathy, for me this is far from the case. I come to tears easy at weddings of people I don't even know. I feel too much. I want to turn all of it off and just be there for her. This website has helped me in some unexplainable ways. I turn to you, my friends, because we are one in so many ways. I thank you in advance for your prayers and thoughts. I don't share this lightly and want to stay in dark rooms, pretend it's all but a bad dream. I know the sun will rise soon, and another day awaits us. I must remain strong for my shooting star. People in our lives are gifts, never take them for granted.

This was featured at Cancer I Hate You for comments and responses. Thank you.


Mike, I can assure you that the people I know with Asperger's are among the kindest and most compassionate people I know. It is more often than not, the shyness and anxiety that keep them from showing it and the autistic issues that sometimes keep them from understanding that others are hurting. I am so sorry for what you are going through. My obsession is natural health and I've been reading lately that the Japanese are using the extract of mushrooms such as Turkey Tail to knock the molecules off cancer cells that allow them to hide from the bodies killer cells which would otherwise wipe them out. Some clinics in the US are starting to use them as well, on patients who have not responded to "conventional" treatments, with amazing results, according to the first, albeit, limited results. There is another mushroom from Brazil which also keeps popping up in my research. Esiac Tea is another tried and true adjunct therapy that many people swear by, and of course, hemp oil or phoenix tears. You and your wife will be in my thoughts and I wish you the very best.
This was very nice of you to share and will. Certainly look into it. They are discovering that many nontraditional things are working better than pharmaceutical things. It was recently discovered that some people do not respond to nitroglycerin cardiac wise, which I'm on massive amounts of. But that a certain set of vitamins and a long name I can't remember enlarge and expand arteries better. I thank you for taking the time to comment and share this. My wife is a battler and will kick this cancers butt! Thank you.

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Mike Stouffer
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