How do I keep strong?

sallyjane Member Posts: 1
I am in my late 60's and my husband is in his 70's. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September of 2010. Ben has Hospice but they only come 3 times a week. We have a large family but they are busy and some live away. I am "completely" in charge of Ben. He is also blind so that makes him even more dependant on me. I am at my wits end. I am not able to nap when he is sleeping in the daytime and at night he calls for help several times to get up to go to the bathroom and for pain pills. It is so sad because I find myself getting MAD at this poor "sick" probably over medicated man. I pray for strength all the time. Maybe I need to hear of other wives going through similar circumstances. Thanks, SJ


  • Barbara53
    Barbara53 Member Posts: 652
    let people help
    SJ, welcome and I hope just asking for support made you feel a little better. You have a terrible job and a broken heart, and you must be able to get some rest. This is what family and friends are for. They are not too busy. Perhaps they don't understand how far Ben has slipped, and how difficult it has become for you. It's time to go public.

    People want and need to help you, and you must let them. When my dad was dying of pancreatic cancer, my sibs and I took turns spending the night with Mom and Dad when it got to the point where you are now. We did not want Mom having to be up handling a disoriented husband who needed help getting to the bathroom safely, and pain meds to get him resettled. Two of my brothers who had not yet experienced the nitty gritty of nighttime on planet cancer had their opportunity to do so, and they later told me how grateful they were for such a rare way to care for our father.

    On nights when I was there, Mom often slept in the spare bedroom, at the far end of the house, and I slept on the sofa so I could hear Dad if he stirred. This is the only way Mom got good sleep in the last weeks. Perhaps someone can help you like this, too.
  • grandmafay
    grandmafay Member Posts: 1,633 Member
    My husband battled colon cancer for 6 years before his death in 2010. Being the caregiver for him was the hardest job I have ever had. Hospice is wonderful and helped us a lot during Doug's last month. Just having a number I could call to ask questions was really helpful. If you need more help, ask them. Sometimes they are able to offer additional services. Don't feel bad about the anger. We all have experienced that at times. You aren't really angry at him, you're angry at the circumstances and the cancer. You have already started your grieving process and anger is a part of that. You are grieving the future you planned and the so called normal life you once had. Of course, you are angry. I've been there. You also probably feel so helpless. You'd like to fix him and you can't. You can help make him more comfortable, but you can't make this go away. You do need to try to take care of yourself. I know that's not easy, but ask for help. Hospice often has volunteers who will sit with the patient while the caregiver gets some much needed me time. Grocery shopping even felt good to me when I was able to get away.

    I don't know if any of this helps. I can assure that you are not alone or unique in you feelings. This is a very hard road to travel. It gets really lonely at times, too, but many of us here have experienced what you are going through. Write us when you need support. I also leaned heavily on my faith. Prayers from my friends, family, my church family, and members of this board helped me cope. Let us know if you would like prays as well. For now, I will just send hugs. Take care, Fay