Dealing with myself

edicks31 Member Posts: 1
edited February 2015 in Caregivers #1

Hello all, 

This is my first round of being a care givBack in August, two weeks after my wife and I weremarried, she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in her life. At 29, just after getting married, a second diagnosis shattered our happy new world. I didn't know her when she had her first bout of cancer, but had went through dialysis and a kidney treatment myself at the age of 28. So, I thought my understanding and coping skills were superior to that of those who haven't experienced a life-threatening disease. In some ways I was correct.


I was more understanding and careful about what I said, I participated in every appointment and treatment, and I always listened. The problem was that I wasn't doing a great job of taking care of myself. I thought I had done an amazing job. Three weeks ago we received the amazing news that the treatments had eradicated the cancer and legions in her bones. As this is metastatic cancer, we will need to continuethe treatments to prevent any future reoccurrences. We were elated.

At this point I need to take a step back and explain about the difference in my wife and my coping mechanisms. She sinks into a dark place and often stares off into space brooding over her diagnosis. This isI understandable since she was douled out such a crummy scoope of luck. However, this has been a behavior that is engrained within her ever since we first met. The cancer, and some of the medications which have unfairly thrown her potto early menopause atthe age of 29 has enhanced these behaviors. With that said, it's important that you understand that I am verydifferent. I believe that thinking positive, in a realistic way is the key to freedom from the chains of the mind, and can be somewhat beneficial in combatting disease. I'm not here to prove that my approach is better, but  to ask for help in correcting a grievous error on my part.

I didn't cope with my feelings enough. My and I got into a huge fight 5 days ago that culminated in me putting a hole in the door behind where I was standing when I swung backwards. I also listed some personality traits I didn't like about her in a loud threatening voice. Needless to say, she was frightened by my actions and words. Never in my life have I thought I there'd have the ability to make someone feel threatened. Especially the woman I hold so dear. Although my wife can be stubborn with pride, I never should have acted the way I did. I'm ashamed of the man I was that night. I've sincerely apologized for my behavior several times over the past five days. She's asked for space I've given it. I sleep on the couch, I'm not invited to events with her friends, and now she made plans to go to treatment with her sister sitting next to her instead of me in five days. This is the first time she's never wanted me there with her.

I realize after conversations with my mother and my wife that the anger had been residual from the last five months, and was unfairly thrust upon her when we fought. We used to compromise and had found a comfortable and understanding way to disagree. But the cancer diagnosis changed all of that. She doesn't trust me now, and I feel like everything I've done up to this point has become irrelevant, and at this point I feel like she is punishing me. Because she keeps asking for space, it's hard to demonstrate or show her that I'm still the man she married.

Ive set up time to meet with a counselor to figure out how to deal with my feelings of anger towards the world for my wife's sufferings. I'm a good man and I love my wife with all that I am. I feel as though she is letting one event define her perception of me. Has anyone else experienced something like this?


  • Farmer74
    Farmer74 Member Posts: 9
    Anger is part of grieving proccess of a cancer diagnosis

    You are a good human man that makes mistakes like other people put in hard situations.

    Yes, as a wife of a stage 4 cancer patient who has gone through surgery, 6 seperate week long hospital stays of some fierce IL-2 treatment, I too lost it!

    At a family wedding dance, I flew around in my pink dress & high heeled shoes & told several of his family members off! And no more partying with family who can't be a support for me as his wife.

    Yep, it wasn't pretty! I have seen the worst side of myself since entering the cancer world.

    I wish I had it on tape for you to show your wife how BAD I acted.  She would probably laugh at me and understand what you are going through more.

    Lucky for me, my husband accepted my apology.  And next time, I stay home and out of trouble.

    Tell your wife, woman loose it too on this end and tell her my story.  Don't give up.



  • Ladylacy
    Ladylacy Member Posts: 773 Member
    Wife of Dying Cancer Patient

    As the wife and caregiver to my husband who is dying from cancer, I, at times become very angry and lose my temper.  I get mad at my husband, and our grown sons.  This is just part of it all, my opinion.  

    After getting mad at my husband I feel guilty but as far as our grown sons I stay mad at them because they offer no help at all and some rarely even call to check and see how he is doing.  They talk among themselves and say I don't know what I'm talking about.  Well I'm the one with their father 24/7 so I do know what I'm talking about.

    My husband also gets mad at me for nothing or for little things that don't matter.  He hides his true feelings and generally won't even tell me how he feels.  He has been on hospice since September 2013 and the nurses all see the changes in him, but again he denies it.  He does take medication for anxiety but it doesn't really help him other than to make him sleepy.  

    Cancer does change a person as well as their loved ones.  And as far as other family members or friends unless they see it or are around they don't know or understand.  In fact many distance themselves and it is left to the spouse to do it all and that takes a toll.  You have to remember to take care of yourself because you are important too.  Counseling will help but only if both parties are willing to accept the help.  Anger is natural for all caregivers and cancer patients, regardless of whether they are stage 1 or at the end of their life.  Stress is natural too and it is hard to keep your feelings in and not express them.

    Wishing you peace and comfort  --  Sharon