Anticipatory Grief


Hi everyone- sorry, this is where I should have posted this topic. Instead, I posted it in Caregivers. I should have scrolled down the forum page a bit more- sorry for the duplicate postings.  OOps


I'm a newbie here, and I will start the caregiving 'journey' tomorrow. I always  thought that journey was  something to look forward to...not anymore. I think a new word needs to be used, since journey sounds too  nice for what's coming. I don't mean to sound pessimistic- it's just that I'm so scared. Scared of everything to come.........I guess that's why it's called 'anticipatory'. I can't remember a day I haven't cried  since we got the diagnosis 8/22/17 that my  husband of 16 years has stage IV lung cancer. We are blessed that he's going to be on a chemo cocktail of 2 drugs, with the addition of Keytruda. 

However, I would be ever so grateful if anyone out there who has or is going through this hell- how do you cope with the overwhelming grief of knowing what will be coming? I know that sound horrid to say, even before the treatments start, and of course I pray that this treatment will give us more time. I asked my   husband how he's coping right now, and he says he is dealing with his own grief on how hard this is, now and in the future, for me and his daughter. I just reminded him that no one asked for this trainwreck, but that we just have to get through it, no matter what, and to try not to feel guilty. Poeple keep  saying "well, enjoy every minute you can with him'. That's the rub. The more time I claw back from other chores, or work or just daily  living to be with him makes me hurt worse. Am I wrong in feeling this way?

Most days at work, I don't let too much in, but on my way home, (and most nights when I'm wide awake) I weep at the drop of a hat,   all I can think of are how am I going to get on with....everything that has to be done now or that will need to be done one day when he's gone.


I honestly believe I  am starting to withdraw a  bit as the pain is just too  intense, and in my mind, I know that it SO wrong, but I can't help myself.


Any suggestions?  

Thanks for just reading.



  • JosephK
    JosephK Member Posts: 64
    There is Hope

    There is hope with Keytruda. Stage IV also is not a death sentence. Change of life style, exercise and eating habits should now be a focus along with his treatment. He can still live a long life.

    He is still with you and love him as much as you can. Also be your own advocate. If keytruda doesn't work try Ibrance or find a Car-T trial. There is much out there to help fight this dreaded desease. There still is hope.

  • scmomof3
    scmomof3 Member Posts: 14
    I think that what you describe is normal . . .

    Shoo2, I think that you are already in grief, for lots of things.  That sounds pretty normal to me.  Grief is a new part of yourself, in a way.  Life sends us on journeys that we do not want to take.  I hope that you are doing okay.

  • TheTerry
    TheTerry Member Posts: 27
    edited November 2017 #4
    I wish...

    I wish I had some comfort or reassurance to offer. All I can say is that in time, the grief lessens. That doesn't help you now though.

    My kid sister is in palliative care and I'm her sole caregiver. There are days when I'm sure my heart will break. She's very philosophical and I'm not. We both saw our mother through three years after a stroke - not as caregivers (our mother was always in a hospital, rehab centre, or nursing home)  but visiting and looking after her finances, apartment,etc. Her death 25 years ago was a big loss and it took me a while to feel it less acutely, but her absence became less pronounced in time.. (That said, I still think of her every day.)

    Good luck, and try to enjoy the time you have with him now. I think it's the only way.