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Caring for husband with cancer and so torn. 
Started by Linds21
26 Mar 2016, 5:28 AM

Hello all,

I suppose I'm writing here because I feel like I have nowhere else to truly express my feelings. I've been a caregiver for my husband for the last three years.
I knew he has issues with cancer prenviously when we first began dating but I said screw it, no disease is going to keepend from being with a person I love. Fast forward a year later and we were married 3 weeks out of an eight six month chemo treatment . Since then it's been myriad of surgeries, two seperate lung surgeries and now a tumour removal in his spine. 

I love my husband, I truly do. But since the surgeries he's decided he doesn't want children, he's often very moody about me working because of the fact that he can't now, and I'm struggling at work because of the care that he needs. I feel like I have to give up my dreams because we don't know if he'll be able to fulfill all of his and maybe this sounds selfish but I don't want to give up my dreams.  I want a family, I want a career, I get so tired of watching my friends and family live their normal lives. I just turned 30 this year and and I'm worried I'm going to lose my husband in five or ten years and have nothing when he's gone. And then I feel like a monster because he is the love of my life and I agreed to marry him knowing his medical history. 
Has anyone else had to cope with long-term cancer diagnosis and how did you make your decisions? I'm just so torn.

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Reply by Linds21
26 Mar 2016, 5:32 AM

Please excuse all of my typos. I was on talk to text.
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Reply by KathCull_admin
27 Mar 2016, 6:03 AM

Linds21 welcome to the community. Don't worry about the typos:)

I am so glad you decided to put your thoughts down here. You will find this is a warm, supportive community where you can say what you need to say - no judgement, just understanding and caring.

I think you sound very normal Linds21 in a very difficult place - for both of you. There is an article written by Glen Horst Finding Meaning and Purpose during a Health Crisis – I wondered if you might find it helpful.

Are you able to talk with each other about the way you feel? Are there community supports available to help you find your way?

Take care


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Reply by Anngee
27 Mar 2016, 7:21 PM

Hi Lins21

Wow You are a very loving person and I can't imagine going through at your age all this with and for your husband.  Is the reason your husband may not want children now because of the cancer and the treatments he is recieving.  It can make you very depressed and screws up hormones.   My husband is going through long term cancer also but he is much older.  Some of the books they gave us from the cancer society do talk about not getting pregnant during this time. This is because the drugs are cytotoxic.  Do you have an cancer specialist or healtcare worker that can talk to you about the options.  Some men put their sperm on (ice) so to speak before any treatments.  You may not of known about any options.  He may just be sparing you of health issues with a baby.  Your GP could give you other options that would fullfill having a child.  Maybe something for both of you to go to an appointment together to discuss.   Some cancer drugs too can make a man hormone deprived and some even sterile.   But you could talk to your Dr and weight all the information. Hope this helps.  Please know there are so many going through this as you are not alone.   A young man that goes to treatment at the same time of my husband  just had his first child and it is really tiring for him but really gives him hope for the future too.  Take Care

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Reply by Loving Wife
28 Mar 2016, 12:30 AM

Hello Linds21,

 What a lot for you both to be dealing with. Fighting cancer is very wearying to even the bravest souls, and it sounds like you and your husband have been at this a long while. You have to be tired!

Do you have a good social worker in your life? Or a pastor or therapist that you feel like you can talk to together? Some of the cancer support organizations have these resources. My husband and I are in our sixties, so we don't have to deal with the issue of having children while fighting cancer. But we have other issues, and it is sometimes hard to communicate with each other even though we love each other very much. The pain, sadness and fear of the future make productive discussions almost impossible. But my husband will open up to our social worker in my presence and I can learn more about his feelings. I think husbands sometimes want to take care of their wives so much and they can become unreasonable when things have to work the other way around.

i do know how you feel about your dreams being on hold. This disease seems to pull the rug right out from under you. It is hard to plan for anything when you don't know when the next surgery or hospitalization will be. And then time passes and you feel all you have to show for it is more "cancer stories."

 But sometimes real life is what happens to you when you are making plans to do something else. Your story is remarkable already and so are you. Your life is Not what you planned, and definitely not what you want, but it is preparing you for something good and rich and satisfying. I have to tell myself that frequently, but I do really believe it. And you have many more years ahead of you than I do. 

I don't know anything about your husband's cancer, but it does add one more big thing to consider when deciding if or when to have children. This may be a decision that could benefit from having some compassionate (and neutral) professional who understands your husband's prognosis help you to navigate.

In the meantime, I wish you moments of rest, humor and real communication. and also friendship with at least one person you can really talk with who has your best interests at heart. 

Prayers for you,

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Reply by BusyBee
29 Mar 2016, 11:56 PM

you are so young to be going through this agony. as a care giver i felt that no matter what i did i could not stop the cancer. i kept beating myself up about the condition my husband was in. at 68 i wished it was me instead of him. i often wish that i had a career to turn to since he passed away, however with my age and health that is out of the question. i have had a year to heal somewhat and decided that i am moving to a small town where i know a few people. i intend to get involved in helping at the library and any other way that i can. in the end our hearts break for our loved ones but we know that they would not want the hurt to continue. at such a young age it is hard to visualize yourself 40 years into the future. those years are your gift of life. do as much as you can but realize no one is a super man and it is easy to burn out take all the help you can get and thank God for all your gifts in the present and in the future. i wish you well.
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Reply by Wingman
30 Mar 2016, 12:12 AM

Hi Linds21.
Am reading your story. There is much heartbreak here, something we share, and I want you to know that feelings involved in a relationship such as yours are at best, difficult, at times impossible. Feeling isolated and alone with such foreign thoughts is overwhelming. I hope you can find some solidarity here. The cancer path is twisted. I know. I am trying to find ways to cope with a best friend on a long journey. I am thankful that she has outlived the "statistic" and yet daily strains and stresses continue. She is a friend, a best friend and has no family. I can't seem to cope with her going to appts alone, I feel that being involved helps me cope. A selfish reason? No, a complicated thought.
Just know that while all of the stories are different, there is an inherent understanding of struggling with losing those we love.
Stand tall, trust instinct.
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