DH has been diagnosed with stage 4 prostatic bone cancer. We had so often talked about taking a cruise, or taking trips but we let "life" get in the way. How do you handle the regrets and sadness over lost opportunities?

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Often, there are other things that seem “more important”.
Or, like JoAnn said, there’s always “tomorrow”.
It’s hard to justify pampering yourself with trips or memory making events that often involve a large monetary output.
Or, you save (instead of spend) for a rainy day or “what if’s”.

Please don't dwell on the “lost” opportunities. Instead, remember the snuggles with your hubby in your warm bed when it was freezing outside. Or, how happy you both were when your first child or grandchild was born. Or, the great night you had with friends and family celebrating a milestone anniversary.

The cruises and expensive trips are great but it’s the EVERYDAY memories that usually mean the most. Please dig them out of the depths of your mind to help you through this difficult time.

God bless you both.
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Reply to SueC1957
humkat May 14, 2019
Thank you for the perspective, you are right, I have to remember all the funny, good days, laughter and joys - we've had so many! The shock of all this has taken its toll on us both but we really need to pull ourselves up and go on. I want to enjoy every day. The fear and sorrow can't be stopped but they can be diminished by our choice to move forward, valuing the hours, and the days we have been given.
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Go do as many things as you both can now. My brother was forced into early retirement at 59 because of early onset Alzheimer s. He and his wife never got to enjoy retirement at all. He died at 67.
MY husband and I were very active, traveled and hunted, fished, etc constantly. He was killed in an accident at 42 years old. Devastated, I was still so glad we both had lived our lives to the fullest. Since then, I have lived another completely different life as a rancher. Raising animals is very fulfilling in its own way. I haven't traveled in ten years or more!
People have to realize they only live once, and it is what you make of it. Even as a child from a pretty poor family, we still got out and went to state and national parks, went fishing and camping, etc, all within a few hours driving distance of home.
Its never too late to go to do some local things you have been putting off.
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Reply to Doublewhammy
TekkieChikk May 16, 2019
Spot on.
Please don’t get trapped by the “what-ifs.” Even if you HAD traveled, I think you would have had other regrets. “We should have had another child.” Or “Why didn’t we ever put in that pool?” Or, “I wish I’d gone back to school.” You will ALWAYS feel like there was never enough time, because a lifetime with the ones you love is never enough. Your husband’s devastating diagnosis has you feeling short changed by life. Your dreams of growing old together have been shattered. You are likely grieving the loss of the future you had planned together — and that is totally OK! Your deep grief about this is proof of your deep love for your husband. The satisfying life you made together has you wanting more, what a blessing! And also what pain. I am so sorry. If you can travel now, do it! If you can’t, don’t spend your remaining days wishing for what cannot be. Instead, pull out the old photos and remind each other of the beautiful, hard, love-filled life you created together. Thank each other and love each other. THAT is what you would regret missing the most, I’d bet.
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Reply to FarmJelly
cherokeegrrl54 May 16, 2019 DH was diagnosed wth pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to several places....we had only been married 4 yrs(2nd marriage for us both)
during that 4 yrs, we were always gone fishing,camping, diving etc...guess what im saying is thankful for each other, dont get a case of the “what ifs”, live each day in the here and to one another and lift each other up....this is never an easy and blessings to you 💖
I hear you loud and clear because I feel the same way. I am an adventuresome, extremely active super-achiever and always seek out something new and exciting - and I will be 86. But 11 years ago I lost the ability to walk so my travel days ended. I am heartbroken for that and because I can't sightsee and do what I did. The hurt and anger will never leave me and nothing can be done. But I force myself on a daily basis to live life to the very fullest always looking for ways to accomplish something really special, learn new challenges, working two jobs (50 years and l4 years), just finished 30 college courses on line in six years, taking care of all my affairs, go in my car and go out to eat by myself because I have no one left, etc. We can't do what we didn't do but wanted to do and we can't change that but we can find NOW, NEW THINGS to get involved in that really stimulate us and make us happy. Now go find those things. It helps.
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Reply to Riley2166
NeedHelpWithMom May 18, 2019

You are an inspiration!
I feel this way too. After caring for mom for many years, 2 of them bedridden in my home, and her passing, I was hoping to do more again. Then my husband's heart problems are getting to be much more of a concern. Then my SIL passed away, leaving us the only caregivers to MIL, 88 yrs old. SIL was living with MIL and supposed to care for her. Other people I know seem to be kicking sand in my face and bragging hard and rubbing it in how they are doing all kinds of things, traveling, buying fancy homes etc. I have found myself avoiding these people. They seem to have ramped up the bragging after my mom died.
There is excellent advice on here to take all the good memories and cherish them. I try to take one day at at time and be glad for little things. We took a walk in a lovely park the other day and I am just grateful that we can do that and be together. These nature trail walks make my day so much better. Day at a time and look for the little moments and things. The important thing is the time you spend together, not so much what you do. {{hugs}}, Katie
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Reply to Katie22

Can he take a cruise now? If so book one today!
There are always reasons not to do something and always something "more important" that needs to be done.
You can't have regrets, you can't look backwards cuz you will miss what it in front of you now.
I always thought when I retired that my Husband and I would travel. We drove though almost all 50 states. Wanted to do every one. (Missed North Dakota and Alaska) But "Stuff" happens. In our case Alzheimer's and possibly Vascular Dementia.
There will always be lost opportunities because if you do one thing you can't do something else. It's called...choices...
There is an essay that I have printed here a few times and you can rad it on line as well it is "THE STATION" by Robert J. Hastings and it pretty much sums up what we do in life.
The other one I like is an essay written about raising a child with a disability. But you can read it and put in other "problems" I read it and thought about what it would have been like if my Husband did not have dementia. The essay is 'WELCOME TO HOLLAND' by Emily Pearl Kingsley it was written in 1987.
The last bit that I think about is Tim McGraw and the song Live Like you Were Dying..
....I loved deeper
I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying
Like tomorrow was a gift and you've got eternity to think about what you'd do with it.....

So Don't look back...don't have regrets because neither will do anything to change what was. And they will eat you up.
Go forward, learn from what was and...go do.
Book the cruise. Take a weekend vacation if you can't get away for a longer time.
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Reply to Grandma1954
cetude May 16, 2019
Sure if you got the money...most people don't
Dear humkat, and all Readers,
I always write from the patients perspective. I was diagnosed 3 yrs ago at age 57 with Early Onset AlZ. When I was 25 my mother died the victim of Medical Malpractice. Professionally, she was Director of Nursing of an Extended Rehab Facility for about 20 years of her career. We were all taught about planning young an early for our future care.
From the day my mother died I vowed that I would take advantage of every opportunity that I came upon, career wise, family wise, travel opportunities. I was a Certified Travel Counselor with a 38 yr career before I was diagnosed. I've realized three childhood travel dreams, I will be sailing to Alaska this summer and finally getting to visit Glacier Bay another of my dreams, on this my 21st cruise. I've been able to share many of these dreams with my DW and all four of my children, who range in age from 38-12. Life has been full of opportunities, and I will die a happy guy with no regrets, Fifty of the sixty years I've been alive, because I've put myself in the service of my God and church first in our life. My DW and I have been practicing our faith together since we began dating. and God has been good to us.
My comments are intended for all who read on Aging Care, and I encourage all young and old. Plan for the future, save your money for things you may want to do, or have, that is all OK. Dont' forget to give to any charities of your choice and volunteer to help where you can in your community. I promise your life will be blessed and fulfilled no matter whether you be young or old. Humkat, our prayers will be offered for you and your family. Live life, all you can and share memories that you and your DH can enjoy.
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Reply to jfbctc
cherokeegrrl54 May 16, 2019
Very wise words spoken...
Regrets and 'If-only-we-had' are normal.  We grieve for an end to what we've had and what we could do in the future.  Future planning is important, but there is always an end at some point.  I am sorry that you are going through this now. Sharing your story with us and others is helpful.  Knowing it is normal and you can get through it also helps.  At the same time, remember the good times and think of how your time left can have great loving moments.

Thanks for asking this.  I need to do this also.  I've been grieving my aunt's death, settling her estate, and some regrets of not doing things with husband when we had the opportunity. Even though we have traveled and experienced a lot, there are still things on our wish list.  My husband can no longer travel, and we can easily regret the things  we missed because we made other choices.  He can no longer drive or do his favorite activities. A ride to the cancer doctor is exhausting, but he loves to eat out on the way home, so we do.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
Psalms23 May 17, 2019
Good for you. Everything counts.🤗
thank you everyone. I am booking a short weekend away to see how we do. Yours answers have helped so much. Chuck Swindoll said, "attitude is everything, pick a good one".
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Reply to humkat
Psalms23 May 17, 2019
Attitude. Lord help me. Thanks for your response....😁
You always think there is a tomorrow. My GFs DH has/had stage 4 lung cancer. They started traveling between chemo. They have been doing cruises. Some tumors are gone one shrunk pretty well.
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Reply to JoAnn29

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