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How to cope when no emotional support at home?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

I am pretty sure I have some form of cancer but there has been no diagnosis yet. Elevated AMAS, weight loss, no appetite and ever present right side, mid-back pain which all point to something funky in the pancreas area.

The problem is that I really don't know if I have the stamina or even the desire to face the road ahead. I don't even know precisely what I am facing.

I'm in my 50s and married but there has been no warmth between us for years. (Don't ask why we stayed together... don't know... probably afraid of change.)

I have always been the person who "took care of things", and I don't know that people will be able to accept me in any other role.

How do people cope with this when there is little or no emotional support at home?

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Fear of change is also a big reason for fear of cancer, I would suppose, especially a fear of the biggest 'change', from life to death, but, as you accidentally (I think) provide in the background of your post, the fear of change in important areas of our lives as well.

That 'loss of control' issue is paramount for people like you and me, who have spent our lives believing we have been in absolute control of events around us. The prospect that this may change is frightening in and of itself. I am sure that the further prospect that one will not receive support from within an emotionally sterile environment must be close to mind-shattering.

I think we cope with or without emotional support from home or elsewhere because we have an inherent compulsion to survive. Up to a point.

I am hopeful that you have other avenues of support and care, children, siblings, neighbors, friends, co-workers. I am hopeful, too, that you love life enough that this is a sustaining sort of internal support for you, all by itself.

I am aware that pancreatic cancer, when diagnosed, is very bad news. Please be advised that you have not been diagnosed. There is hope in that. Please be advised that even if diagnosed, there is time, and there are new treatments that I read about almost daily. Where there is time, there is hope.

But back to your question: we cope because we have to. Do not assume, and I say this kindly, that yours is the worst situation in the world. I have read of many within just the last week or so that would certainly compete with your situation for the most dire.

We cope because we have to and we cope because we can. You can, too. And, if you do not have support elsewhere, you have support here.

I am hopeful that your worries prove groundless. If they do not, know that we are here for you.

Best wishes and take care,


bluerose's picture
Posts: 1102
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello CT, I know exactly how you are feeling because at this time I am in the same position, more or less, with no support and investigation underway for a possible cancer. I had NH Lymphoma 18 years ago, twice, so I know what I would be in for if it came back now although if it turns out to be cancer it probably won't be the same kind. I also have no support at home, divorced, and thinking of going it alone this time if God forbid it turned out to be cancer is just frightening.

However, until I know for sure what this is, even though I get anxious and seize up once in awhile with fear of that 'what ifs' I do come out of it to deal with the daily life stuff and I know you can too.

I hope that you have other support avenues though, like friends or other family members to help you through this and if not hope you can at least talk with a minister or counsellor to get you through. If not then you will find this site very helpful if you need to vent and discuss, I'm sure.

I don't know why it is that you feel that this might be cancer that you have now, did they find a lump or did the doctors suggest this? You didn't say. Have you had cancer before and that's why you think this? If none of the above apply it could be other issues that could be plaguing you so please try and not get ahead of yourself but I know how it is as I am struggling with this 'possibility' as well.

I try and keep myself busy as I can and that seems to help. I can't do alot out of the house but between the computer and just regular household things the days pass. The anxiety comes and goes. Now grant you, like I said before, I have had a long stretch with cancer twice so they are taking my symptoms seriously so again if you haven't had cancer before or the docs don't really suspect it then hopefully you will be fine.

As far as people 'accepting you in any other role' than the caregiver to them well that's their issue I guess and maybe it's time they gave some back to you when you need them? But again here, we are getting ahead of ourselves - this might not be cancer at all and if it is, God forbid, then it's a step at a time as to how we all get through it. We all need a reason to live and push on and I am sure if you look at your life you will find reason to rally your strength and get through whatever lies ahead. Are you a spiritual person? I don't know how I would have gotten through my first 2 bouts with cancer if it wasn't for my faith - prayer is a very powerful force indeed - of that I am sure.

Keep us posted and I wish you health and happiness. Blessings, Bluerose.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

There is always someone who cares. Complete strangers, friends, US. Sometimes they don't know what to say to make you feel better, so they say nothing. But they feel the fear too, they just don't know what to do to make it better, so out of fear of saying the wrong thing, they say nothing.

Reach out to someone, a family member, a co-worker, your pastor. Talking about it helps so much. Don't give up, because we are here for you.

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terato's picture
Posts: 383
Joined: Apr 2002


Following my 2-year protocol of combination chemo for testicular cancer, I began to test above what is regarded as "normal" in my AFP tumor marker. Follow-up CT scans and pelvic and abdominal ultrasounds revealed nothing. Constant stabbing pain the area of my liver was discovered, following upper and lower G.I.s, to be a case of duodinitis. Bloody stool and lower abdominal pain, after three colonoscopys, turned out to be a combination of diverticulosis and angio-dysplasia of the colon. Two cranial MRIs revealed severe headaches to "mere" migraines and not brain tumors. Yeah, I'm a real mess, but, at least, it's not cancer knocking on my door for a return visit.

You don't really know, until you KNOW for sure. Wait for the jury to deliver a verdict, before you sentence yourself.

Love and Courage!


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Posts: 1942
Joined: Oct 2009

I'm starting to rely on places like this web site for support as all I have is my girlfriend, who has her own mental and physical problems. My sister is a selfish piece of s--- and my brother has yet to go out of his way for me(I have colorectal cancer, been thru chemo/rad/surgery and face more chemo soon)as he acts as if I have a sore thumb!!!You need to be strong for yourself first. I also use anger as a motivator, to ensure I outlive my siblings,even tho I'm the oldest,I will out live them and beat my cancer. I find this web site to be very encouraging

SonSon's picture
Posts: 186
Joined: Jul 2009

Find out what it is, at least, then think about what you would or would not do.
I am hoping it something less menacing.

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2009

I'm sorry your feeling alone. I found a real nice support group in my area called co-dependents Anony. I'm a care giver also and its hard to define ourselves anyother way. Sounds like you deserve to take care of yourself for a change. Also I find staying busy helps keep a better attitude, if your able ,go for a walk daily if you can. I sew, read, garden and cook. I'm 47 and have been married for 25 years. My husband does not communicate well and is absent alot of the time because of his job. Do small things for yourself buy a new lipstick or change your hairstyle to give you a boost (I owned a hair salon for years) it does help lift your spirits, wish I could do that for you. I live in Mass. Have faith in yourself your stronger than you think, and if things get real bad, call your Dr. for help, theres no shame in saving yourself. Sincerely, KCKitty

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