Brian Moriarty

by Angela
(Perth Western Australia)

On 9th November 2009, my husband of 29 years was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, also in the liver and intestines. The prognosis was 6 months with no treatment and 12 months with treatment. The Oncologist suggested chemotherapy, which commenced the following week. I should point out that prior to 9th November, Brian had only once complained of a sore stomach and thought that it could possibly just be an ulcer or some such thing.

We have 2 children, Leanne 26 and Grant 18. The news was devastating to us all. We had moved to Australia to start a new life 3 years ago and had just bought our first home in Perth.
The chemotherapy commenced the following week. The day after the Chemo Brian became ill. We had to rush him to an emergency room for assistance one Friday evening. After certain tests were performed I was advised by the Oncologist that the Chemotherapy had not worked and that I should just take Brian home and pain manage him myself. Suddenly the 6 months became a matter of weeks.

I was then forced to enlist the services of Silver Chain, an organisation specialising in palliative care in the home. Our home became like a hospital ward, with oxygen and hospital bed, comode etc. I became the nurse and had to stop work. Brian was on very high dosages of Morphine and by that stage was not able to communicate with us very well. He had all but stopped eating.
We got his brother to come over from South Africa to be with him for a short time. My own brother came from America to help me, as we had no family in Australia. Finally, Brian's deterioration was very rapid and he was moved to Palliative care in a hospital, where he finally died after all his organs failed. It was 4 weeks after diagnosis on 7th December.

The children and I have been left with this enormous hole in our lives, had to try to get through Christmas and New Year and it was all very hard. Thank goodness for the support of good friends and colleagues who have helped us through. I feel extremely alone in all of this, as everyone has now gone back to their lives and don't contact us anymore, we are still dealing with all the legal issues which are ongoing.

It's a daily struggle knowing how to cope with this new life. I cry every day. I have gone back to work, as I feel that when I am busy I don't think too much, although I speak very openly all day long to my colleagues who ask how I am doing.

This is by far the hardest road I have had to travel and I find life unbearable without Brian. I miss him so. We travelled the world together and did everything together for 29 years, he was my everything and now he has gone. I miss him more than words can say.

Comments for Brian Moriarty

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May 04, 2011
How are you now?
by: Anonymous

I know how you must feel losing someone you truly love. How have you been managing now? I cant quite find the peace and relief I need to feel and seem to be stuck in a hole after loosing the man I love. Your words are so clear and open as to how you feel, I cant find the words to explain how it has left me emotionally and financially for that matter. Did you manage to find the light and come out of the dark space the loss puts you in? I truly hope you have found closure in his passing, and that only the happy memories are what pass through your mind with as little pain as possible. I cant even think of our memories together as it hurts too much, and I often think Im forgetting him how he was how he laughed and spoke. I suppose im looking for any kind of relief where ever I can find it. It has been 6 months since he went and I cant take this pain anymore, this loneliness I feel all day every day. There just seems to be no escape. I hope that you have found some sort of happiness, it will give me hope for my future.

Feb 25, 2010
Another Pancreatic Cancer Victim
by: Anonymous

Hi Angela

My husband died in 2009 from pancreatic cancer just 13 weeks after diagnosis. Previous to the onset of this lethal cancer, he had never been sick in his life and was looking forward to retiring so he could travel, spend time pursuing his hobbies and enjoy more time with family and friends. This was all taken away from him with the death sentence "You are terminally ill - at best you will have 18-24 months". Chemotherapy was unsuccessful and it was a very fast journey to the end.

Unfortunately, very little funding is given to pancreatic cancer research and it has a low media profile. You might like to encourage others to donate to the Avner Nahmani Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund here in Australia in memory of your husband.

All the best to you. It is a hard road we are traveling.

Feb 14, 2010
I, too, emphasize with you
by: Anonymous

I lost my husband of 26 years to pancreatic cancer on 21 Jan 2010. My husband was diagnosed on 18 May 2009. In June 2009 he had a whipple and began a radiation/chemotherapy cocktail treatment for 8 weeks. Following this he had 3 months of traditional chemotherapy.

On 18 December we found out that the pancreatic cancer had spread to his internal organs, his lungs and his brain stem. By 17 January he was totally bed ridden and had had a mini stroke. He had another stroke on the 19th and finally passed away on the 21st. We were told he had about 18 months-2 years to live and he lived 8 months, 3 days.

I, too, went back to work as it keeps me busy. The weekends are the worst for me. Too much time....

I've tried breaking my days into segments hoping that this will ease the pain....sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.

I am hoping that I will begin to find a new normal....

Feb 06, 2010
Empathy with you
by: Pat - Wiltshire

Angela, I feel for you so much. Our stories are so similar. My husband of 37 years, and best friend in all the world, died on 22nd December 2009, from stomach cancer, which had spread to liver.

He was told he had 8 months to live, and chemo the only option to prolong his life a little. He tried it, but it made him so ill, he stopped. He died almost 8 months after the prognosis. We had been together since I was 15.

Like you, I have returned to work, which gives me something to focus on, but I find it hard to sleep, and cry at night. I discovered this site by accident, so I've no idea if you'll get my message, but I find comfort that I am not alone. Hope that you will too. Keep strong.

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