Jun 23, 2008 - 2:31 pm
It seems that the popular idea is that men just can't seem to give the "emotional" support that is necessary when their partners are diagnosed with cancer....and from recent personal experience, this tends to be true. My daughter was diagnosed with leukemia in December 2007, went through initial Induction treatment in an isolation room for 44 days, had a 3wk break and then attended the Day Centre on a daily basis for chemo transfusions, etc. for a month, another break and then went to the Day Centre again for a solid month for more chem transfusions - went into remission - and has now started her 2 year programme of cancer tablets as a final consolidation.
While her husband was crushed and "said all the right things" .....he simply couldn't - or "wouldn't" (the jury is still out on that one)...follow through. During the height of the initial intense induction treatments that were given in hospital - his visits were for a few hours in the afternoon, where he either read the paper or played a Mario Brothers game (he's in his 40's)...never chatted with her...or gave her his "attention"....refused to "stay over night" when she became anxious in the midst of all the pain and drugs...."he doesn't like hospitals".
Basically, he's a wonderful, loving man and has stated quite firmly that he'd "die for his family".....which I assume he really means, as long as he doesn't have to go near a hospital to do it.
I'm tired of hearing..."everyone handles things in their own way"......"men can't seem to relate and show their emotions"...."he's doing the best he can"......
I wonder who started all these sayings????
You know, I've come to the conclusion that it's an easy copout.....I think that men have heard it so much, that they've actually relinquished any responsibility in actually "DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT".
In our case, it was his mother and motherinlaw who stepped up to the plate - she made excuses for him and I nursed my daughter through 35 of those drug ridden, fever glazed, anxiety soaring nights....coaxed her through the rigors, helped her to the bathroom, kept an eye on her drug dosages and actually TALKED TO THE NURSES AND DOCTORS gleaning any information I could to pass on for future reference.
Even the NURSES, who are used to "dealing with husbands" became distressed by his actions - or inaction - the social worker was amazed at my daughter's resilience and fortitude throughout it all.
My point is.....he really does love her.
No emotional support, some practical with laundry and bathing the 3 little ones....but he used to do that at times anyway, on days when it suited him - no medals should be handed out here - so if he KNOWS - how do we jump start him into actually DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT???
Personally I'd like to strangle him and move on...however....I love him very much.
I've suggested counselling, which my daughter is in the process of arranging today - for both of them - together - dealing specifically with the "leukemia" and how it has affected both of them.....she's revealed to me that she has hit a plateau....that the "resentment" has finally surfaced and she can barely look at him.
Today is her birthday - he forgot.
Poor MEN....the poor things, to be burdened to go through life having to LIVE UP TO THE STANDARD OF INEPTNESS IN THE EMOTIONAL DEPARTMENT that has so "funnily and cutely" been laid out for them over the years.
Too handy...too convenient...too pathetic.....
Time to grow up, take responsibility for their lives and actions and get on with it.
Whew! I feel better now :O)