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QuisoNeo's picture
QuisoNeo
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

I'm sure this isn't really a new topic, but I need to know if anyone else has had this experience once the cancer patient is doing well. My fiancee had a total laryngectomy in mid August. He went through radiation and chemo last winter, after being diagnosed with throat cancer a year ago October. I have been his caregiver, his rock, the person who managed to get him signed up for disability, lower his housepayments, pay his bills all winter, take care of him when he wanted to die because he felt so bad, stayed with him every night in the hospital, dealt with his adult children, and on and on. (You know the drill.)

He is doing well and they got all the cancer with the surgery. He can no longer speak, without the aid of an electrolarynx, but he is almost off his peg tube feedings after a year, and has lots of energy. When he was sick, I was the most important person in the world. I was trustworthy, smart, and appreciated by him.

Now that he's feeling human again, he seems to critcize everything I do, act like every idea I have is not worth considering, and he holds onto all the money and doles it out to me when I need some (but I have to justify the expense to him.) I don't have a job right now because I have been a full time caregiver for him! He makes all the decisions about the house, about everything pretty much. It's like he's turned into a complete control freak. And he has forgotten how to be nurturing. I mean he comes in and kisses the dog, and not me!

He acts like he's about 8 years old and I am working very hard on trying to put myself first for the first time in over a year. As you can imagine, it doesn't mesh well with a 59 year old who thinks he's 8! He has remained very upbeat through the surgery and losing his voice and all that, and I think in some ways it has been a lot harder for me to deal with. He is just happy to be alive and to be feeling so much better. I am happy for him too, but I have been really stressed, having panic attacks in the middle of the night and was really depressed for a while too.

I have started going to the Y, riding my bike, and even swimming some. My doctor has upped my antidepressants and given me xanax to use if I have a panic attack again. I am thinking of breaking off our engagement (we are supposed to be married in June next year) and moving into the spare bedroom and just be a roomate for a few months until I can afford to move out.

Wondering if this might be some strange but "normal" reaction to a cancer patient getting better? Anyone else have a similar experience?
Quiso

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

I can't say I have experienced what you are going through. Sure, my husband had days when he was difficult, but those usually happened when he was sick and tired of being sick and tired. All relationships have their ups and downs. It sounds like he is kicking up his heels because he is so happy to feel good. Sadly,, he's kicking you, too, not physically but verbally. You certainly don't have to take the abuse. Couples counseling might be called for. If he won't go with you, get your own counseling. June is a ways off, so you don't need to make a decision right now, but you do need to take care of yourself. Only you knows what is best for you. You deserve that best after all you have done. Have you tried talking to him about your feelings? Look for a time when he seems a little mellow, not in the heat of an argument. Maybe you will need to put some distance between the two of you for awhile. Best of luck to you. Fay

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