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new. how the hell do i cope with this?

17 REPLIES 17
Guest user
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Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi CM

What you said makes perfect sense, no ramble at all 🙂 My Wife knows I/we have amazing support from friends etc, but unfortunately this doesn't prevent her from still bottling up all that is going on in her head. A chat with her family and friends confirmed that she has always been like that and even her friends haven't really figured her out, even when things were 'normal'. I knew she had that guarded response to things that worry her after 5 years of relationship. I wish she could relax a bit and release some of the pressure by communicating more and seeking out those limitless hugs and cuddles I am eager to give,instead of leaving it too late andletting it out in the form of a sharp tongue and angry outbursts. However, I have skin like rhino hide and so I don't mind being a punch bag too much, well not whilst all this is going on.

I am just worried that one day she'll completely break, especially when she needs to be mentally strong for getting through the really tough bits of chemo.

Keep on trucking

Rich

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Just had another thought, prompted by Rich's post.

One of the biggest worries for those of us who have cancer is what it does to our families. So when we see our families struggling, that makes it harder for us. By that I don't mean that you should feel guilty if it goes a bit pear-shaped, just that we love you and it makes US feel guilty to watch you suffer.

The VERY best thing you can do for us, to help ease our worries, with that worry for us, is to make sure you get some good solid support FOR YOU in place, and let us know that you have. It doesn't have to be a massive long conversation, just something like "I hope you don't mind, I've told my mate Dave and his wife. They're being really brilliant with me."

My own biggest worry is for my kids (12 - 24), as well as my darling rock, and I feel so much better knowing that they have someone whose shoulder they can cry on and who they can really vent with if they need to. If we know you have the support there when things get tough, it "gives us permission" to lean on you, the people we want to be able to lean on, without feeling guilty for putting too much pressure on you.

Sorry for the rambling reply, but I hope you get the idea.

Hugs to all,

CM
x

Guest user
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Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

My wife has just had her 46th Birthday and we have two children aged 14 and 11. She was diagnosed with BC late November last year, has had a lumpectomy and positive nodes removed. the Tumour was a grade 3 triple negative and she has had her first course of chemo.
We have experienced all the emotions mentioned and some. We have great swings of emotions but I am finding my biggest challenge is how to be and stay positive for my wife, the kids and myself.

Guest user
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Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi mph

This whole thing is really hard and I can completely understand the shock and awe of it all. My wife was diagnosed 4 weeks before our wedding, (a month after we moved house and 4 months after we upped sticks to begin new careers and looking forward to a new life and starting a family). She put off surgery until after the wedding (Nov 27th 2010) and had surgery 5 days later. The news from the lymph nodes taken during the first op was not great and she was back in after new year having all the lymph nodes removed. On top of all that she had a serious allergic reaction to antibiotics which is threatening the fertility treatment just before she begins chemotherapy.

Our lives were already chaotic before the diagnosis, but we are fortunate that we have an excellent surgeon, fantastic breast care nurses and a switched on fertility clinic (all NHS I hasten to add). This, however, only goes part way into helping you deal with the issues. I can only pass on my experience as we continue the journey ourselves.

My wife is dealing with it in her own way and doesn't let her worries out to pasture very easily at the best of times, but our families and friends have been awesome in their support and lending an ear. It has been horrendous for them as well. I have friends who have been through cancer themselves and I talk alot to their other halves as they have lent me their support.

If you are like me, you need to vent spleen/have a cry, have a hug every now and again. It is virtually impossible to cope without doing that. I find it necessary to show as much strength to my wife as she has lots to cope with without a wobbly hubby. Our groups of friends have become closer to each other and to us and I am in more regular contact with our families, so there are some upsides to all this.

The "why us, why me, why her?" stage came and went, I took information found on the internet with a pinch of salt but researched everything fact based (statistics will leave you in knots so stay away from them)and prepared lots of questions. The only stupid question you'll ask is the one you don't. The doctors get silly Q's all the time, but it will sooth you know that at least you have looked at all options and saves you lying awake wishing you knew the answer to something no matter how trivial.

You must remember that you are not alone in this and the consensus is that whilst the person with BC has to deal with this on a very personal level, the other half will also find it incredibly tough to deal with, as being men we like to get physically involved beacuse we are practical and hate to see our wives suffer. We get frustrated because there is nothing we can do to physically take away the mental/physical burden from the Mrs. All we can do is be there.

There will be days where you are the punch bag for her frustrations and it is difficult to soak up the hits, but unfortunately it is part of our jobs and this has taught me a lot about how strong our relationship is. This is the ultimate test for newly weds believe me!!

Having a forces/engineering background I make plans by looking at the end state and working back from there to the present. This is a mistake and the way ahead is to loosely look ahead but focus closer to home and literally take each bridge as it comes, cross it, don't look back and carry on forging ahead. Plan nice things to do just before bridges are reached and also immediatley after they are crossed. This will give you achievable targets and fill time so that frustration doesn't come so easily.

The biggest one though is agree with her that if ever she needs to vent spleen or demand a hug, she should not bottle it up. Equally though maintian a fighting spirit and if physically possible make sure she is involved in the day to day running of the house as it is easy to try and take over everything so you feel better about yourself. The danger is alienating her and making her feel like a spare part.

I hope that the tests etc and treatment plan works and the issues at the hospital are now ironed smooth. Just remember every one's cancer is different and so do not try and measure your wife's diagnosis with similar ones as this can lead to sleepness nights or burst bubbles. That's from my own experience.

Chin up and stand your ground. If you need a chat please feel free to PM me.

Kindest regards to you and yours

Rich

Annie22
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Big help for me is that my OH has got himself a counsellor. This means I know he has got support and I can relax. Without it, I would be constantly keeping as best a face on things as I could, just to try to stop too much pressure on him - not that he would want that, as he would expect me to lean on him. But this way, I really can lean and know he is supported. He's told all his mates and gets support from them, but he doesn't go into too much detail about his own emotional feelings; it just gets too much.

I'm sure that BCC can advise, but places like The Mulberry Centre, or Maggies really help - offering counselling, exercise, support in a calm and private atmosphere to us BC girls; you'll find them online, and most of them provide free services to partners and family.

emmy
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Good luck for today, my thoughts are with you both. My husband like the other ladies here has been my tower of strength! No matter what mood I get into bless him he is there for me even fighting the dragons at work to take time off when I was ill before chemo to ensure I would be well enough to get through it!.A friend whose mother has just been diagnosed asked us how can he help as he felt so helpless and the answer exactly what you are doing, be there it means so much to have that. I hope you have a better day today and at least find out what you are dealing with.

elaine_r
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Well mph what a day you and your wife have had hopefully all will go accordind to plan tommorow gud look to you both

alimbutt
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi MPH
I was diagnosed 9th November at Seacroft after tests at St James. I have had lumpectomy and start chemo This Friday 7th Jan. I am so sorry you have both had to go through this, waiting is the worse part. I suppose I have been lucky that everything seems to have gone through so smoothly it must make it so much harder when mistakes are made. I am sure that future treatment will be good. The breast cancer nurses and ward nurses are wonderful and so helpful and I cannot fault the treatment ive had. It is such a shock I know and my partner has been wonderful, so keep up the support, the hugs and cuddles and do what we all do...kick this bas@@ard breast cancer into touch. Alison x

Mezzomamma
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

No, you don't need this. You could write down what happened with a view to making a complaint later on. I'm glad your wife had you with her, because it's VERY rough being on your own when you have to wait or when appointments and records get fouled up.

Guest user
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Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

thank you everybody. the past two days have been really tough. we went to the hospital today, it was changed from the lgi to st james's at the last minute. we sat ther efor 2 hours not really knowing why we were there. i spoke to 3 nurses before we got anywhere and it seems they were expecting the results of kim's tests. well that would be fine IF SHE'D HAD ANY!! christ almighty. they've sorted 2 for tomorrow, 1 for friday and then the chemo course starts next tuesday and wednesday. they said that they'd left a message about tomorrows bone scan. rubbish. we really don't need this at all.

Guest user
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Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi mph,

It's only natural to feel scared and worried, but once your wife has a treatment plan, things will be clearer.

Share your worries and thoughts with us here - we are all in this together.

Thinking of you both

Dotty 2 x

finty
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi mph

Like Elaine my husband was also my rock when I was first diagnosed, and did lots of things that I couldn't face doing - telling my parents for one thing, and asking questions in the consultations when I was too weepy to get the words out (he still needs to do this occasionally!). I even sent him to the park to tell my dog walking mates why I wasn't there. He also immersed himself into research, arranged second opinions, and found out about treatments that I didn't know existed. At the time I was too scared to do much reading myself - it took me several months before I could face it, but I am eternally grateful that he was well informed at important junctures in deciding treatment. Maybe this is something you can do for your wife? Posting here is an excellent start. Please let us know what we can do to help.

finty xx

elaine_r
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi mph my husband has been my rock i dont no how i wud have got through it without him and im sure you will be the same he listened to how i was feeling was there when i cryed he did all family chores and worked as well how he did it lord only knows i cud never find a happy mediam i was either happy or sad so to be surprised if your wife want some me time just be patience with her and give her the hugs she will need she will come through this stay strong for her

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi mph,

I know the feeling all too well unfortunately. My advice is to find someone you can talk to/rant at; whether that be a family member/friend/ counsellor or on here but don't bottle it up.

Feel free to pm me if I can help,
Stuart

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

MPH I'm sorry you have reason to come to the BCC forums, but you will find support here from people who have BC and family members like yourself.

I can't offer any practical suggestions as I'm very new to it too, and the waiting for treatment and waiting for results is hell for everyone. Feel free to log in and moan and rage as much as you want to on the forums, you may find it helps when people around you simply don't understand what you're going through and when you don't want to burden your wife with your problems when she has her own. People on here will understand what you're going through like no-one else can.

Good luck to you both.

CM

Midge
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Hi

Am sorry that you and your wife are in this situation, you are right it is hard. Everyone is different so it is hard to say what will help her emotionally. She may want more cuddles, you just being their and listening, or she may want to to give her a little space to get her head aroun d it. The best thing is to ask her and be prepared for her to change her mind too. But you have made a great start asking for advice.
If you let us know what her treatment plan is we can offer all sorts of tips to help her and you get through it. There is so much experience here. What evidence do they have that it has spread? Spreading to the nodes under the arm is quite common and not considered secondary cancer, but of course if it has gone further then it is. It is such a worrying time please phone the helpline they are very good at talking you through your situation. But also please post again.

Good luck and best wishes to your wife. She is lucky to have such a thoughtful partner.

Dx

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: new. how the hell do i cope with this?

Dear mph, welcome to the BCC forums

I am sorry to read about your wife's recent diagnosis, I am sure you will receive lots of support from your fellow users here.

In addition, you are both welcome to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 where you can talk your concerns through with someone in confidence. the line is open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2.

BCC have published a booklet called 'In it together' which you may find helpful as it's been written for partners of those diagnosed, you can read or order a copy here:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/quick-order-list/*/changeTe...

Take care
Lucy

Guest user
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new. how the hell do i cope with this?

hi everybody. my wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer on the 14th of december. they missed it for a year. she starts her treatment next week. they think that it's spread too. how do we get through this? friends want to help, now the hospital know, they've been great but this is like a living nightmare.

she's developed a cough which is making me paranoid and i can't bear to see her like this. i know i've got to be strong for her but god, this is so hard.