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In remission and upset. Need some guidance/thoughts.

Soliel's picture
Soliel
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2010

I have been in remission from endometrial cancer for just 3 weeks now. I have been dealing with it for a few years, and I opted NOT to get a hysterectomy since I am only 32 years old, and wanted to be able to have children (however slim the chance may be at this point). You would think that with news of remission that I would be on top of the world.

The problem that I am having is that over the past couple of weeks my husband has continually laid out all these reasons why I am disappointing him at the moment. For instance, I don't have sex with him enough/am not affectionate enough, I don't get things done in a timely fashion, I am too tired to do things too often, I don't keep up the house like I did before I got sick, I forget to do things that he asks me to do, and I just forget things in general.

Am I the only person who thinks this is ridiculous? I am just coming off chemo a brief time ago. He knows the affects of chemotherapy. I think it is crazy for someone to think that just because their loved one is in remission that the effects of cancer/chemo suddenly disappear.

I should be elated, but instead I am frustrated and kind of p'd off.

Do you think it's possible that his roll as caregiver has just taken a hard toll on him? Do I need to try and be more understanding with him?

I really don't know how to feel.

(I'm new to this board, sorry to make my first post such a downer, I do realize that everyone wants to be in remission, and so I shouldn't be feeling sorry for myself.)

Thanks,
Sara

thank you
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2009

Dear Sara,
I am a caregiver for my mom. She will hopefully be a 2 year survival in this coming June. My experience is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we love each other, we cannot totally understand what our loved person is going through. The person who had the disease should always be the priority - NO DOUBT!! But the family also is in deep pain. And fear. And we are trying to hide that. Trying to hide my feelings, my concerns, my depression all this time has been the worse part.
I get mad when my mom states that she does not want to have any more follow ups. I think it is not mature and that she should not give us hard time with that.
However, I myself hate her follow ups. I get so stressed each time. My husband has been the person who has to hear all my complains. He has been so good all this years, yet I always blame him that he does not understand my feelings.
Same with my brother, we have a different way of dealing with mom's disease
We love each other a lot in my family. But we all have critisized each other for our behavior the last two years.
What I am trying to say is that you are right, it is too early for you to be your self. But maybe your husband is trying to help you become again your self and have a normal pre-cancer life. He probably needs this and he thinks that you also need this.
We are going to Greece for 4 week vacation in 3 months. My husband is excited, that we will finally have the time we need together. I am scared that if the next follow up shows recurrence, I will have to be with mom and not to enjoy my vacation in a nice Greek island. He says to think positive. I get mad at him, because I feel he does not understand me.

Now, when I discuss with my mom about the summer and how much fun we will all have in Greece, she says: let's see first how my health will be. I get mad at her, that she denies to think positive.
Isn't my behavior crazy?
There are women in this site that have been able to deal with their disease with an exceptional positive attitude. I think their input will help you.

Take care,
Chrysoula

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

Sorry you have had to join our site. I am glad you are in remission. You say you just finished chemo. That is the reason for low energy level, and not remembering things ("chemo brain"). It took me several months before my energy level returned back to normal. Does your husband go to your doctor's appointments with you. Maybe the doctor could explain that it will take time to return to your pre-cancer energy...... and then again you may always be different from what you were. I think we all change as we go through treatments. Our priorities change, and our thoughts change.

Your feelings are YOUR feelings, and there is nothing wrong with them. Take one day at time and take care of yourself.

I know our diagnosis is very hard on our caregivers, and they need to go through the stages of grieving the same as we do. We all go through these stages differently. Is there a support group in your area. It may help both you and your husband. There are books available from the American Cancer Society that may help both of you too. Good luck with everything. In Peace and Caring.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Sara....

My goodness...you just completed your treatment 3 weeks ago...Such a short time ago! My oncologist told me that it would take a "good year" to get my energy and strength back...and he was ight. I essentially did very little for 2-3 months after chemo. Then I enrolled in some low level balance and movement classes, started yoga, walking, etc. and I just want you to know that you CAN get there!

As Ro said....your feelings are YOUR feelings and they are valid. Many of us find that we have a "new normal" once treatment is over. Give yourself time for your body to recover, look at the positive things in your life and set small goals. I suspect your husband has had a difficult time throughout this journey too and he may be feeling afraid but also, maybe a bit neglected!

There are lots of good resources on recovering from your experience....ask your oncology nurse or check out the American Cancer Society. Even on this site, they have some good educational material you can read on line.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. We are here to support you!

Big HUGS!!!

Karen

deanna14
Posts: 733
Joined: Oct 2008

I finished treatment in June last year, had 2 enlarged lymph nodes in July that resolved themselves by CT in December. I am experiences the same sort of frustrations with my husband. I am gradually regaining my stamina, but certainly am not 100% back to my pre chemo condition... physically, emotionally, mentally or any other way. I too am very forgetful which is a frustration for my husband. I don't multitask as well as I used to and it seems to take me all day to clean our house. I used to be able to clean it top to bottom in a couple hours. We do a lot of outside activities and I used to spend lots of time with him in his workshop. He does alot of motor rebuilds and woodworking and I used to love to "hang out" with him in his shop. I just can't make myself stay out there for hours... I want to spend the time with him. I just get uncomfortable and tired and want to be able to sit in a comfortable chair or something less physical.
Don't ever be sorry for coming here to vent... you can say what you need to here. It is the best part of this group. You can get things off your chest to people who understand and then maybe not say something you will regret to your family.
I don't have any answers really, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I am working on ways to improve my memory. I make use of the notepad function on my phone and I am trying to finish one project before starting another. If anyone else has any other ideas I would appreciate hearing them.

Good luck Sara!

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

Talk to your hubby about post chemo fatigue. It is very real. He wants his life back; it will come back slowly. Now about the house cleaning, after I had breast cancer 10 years ago I never really liked doing alot of the dirty cleaning. I would rather take a walk on a beautiful day. I hired a monthly cleaning service.

You will change and your life will pick up slowly. Try doing one normal thing. Sometimes I do that. I had friends for dinner last weekend. We just did normal laughing, eating, and being friends. You are not up for that at only three weeks but you could think of something else, you know you could. If he sees just a few things returning to normal he will be happy. And don't forget to do something special for yourself.

Diane

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 201
Joined: Oct 2009

In remission means there is no evidence of disease based on the technology available to make a determination. It DOES NOT mean you are physically or emotionally at your pre-cancer diagnosis level! I would be pissed off if someone had any expectation about what I should be doing. My goodness! My oncologist told me I would start to feel better 3 months after treatment and that it would take a good year to really feel better and may never have the stamina I once had. I am 7 weeks post chemo. I have neuropathy in my feet and today I went to the park with my dog and fell backwards..right on my butt as I was opening the hatchback on my SUV to get my dog out of the truck. There was no ice on the ground. A man asked me if I was OK? Sure I said, I don't have problems slipping on the ice in the park only with the iceless parking lot! (LOL) I know that the reason I lost my balance was because of my neuropathy...I just have to move a bit more carefully than I use to. Also before cancer I was a meticulous housekeeper...now I look at my home and do a task or two every day and have to sit down between tasks for a rest. Before cancer I had a fast paced corporate job and since my cancer diagnosis I haven't work... and the only thing I miss is the money....not the stress and politics! So don't let anyone set expectations on you about what your level of physical or cognitive functioning should be. Only you know what you are able and ready to handle. Time heals.....
Hang in there!
Lori

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