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Help with Support

Donald M
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009

My wife's father was diagnosed with ALL 2 weeks ago and found out Wednesday he has the Philidelphia chromosome. The first treatment was fairly new and the side effects were awful. Luckily his body is responding. Today they started chemo into his spine. My wife, as you can imagine, is emotionally all over the board. She is a stay at home mom with 3 children 8, 6 and 19 months. I am being as supportive as I can but there is nothing I can say or do to comfort her except to be available to listen and take on as much as I can while maintaining employment to give her time to see her father.

I am having some real problems keeping quiet about how he is acting toward his family. He is not communicating and seems to be taking it very hard. It has been 2 weeks and I want to go and shake him and say "wake up". There is a life going on right now and it is his and I don't want him wasting time. There is nothing he can do about having it, but he can do something about dealing with it. He has an opportunity to take the bull by the horns and tear down the tough man exterior and tell people how he feels and let them become a part of his healing process. My wife says he does not speak to her when she is there and feels like she is just there staring at him. I want to grab him and tell him there is nothing he can do but fight and I believe attitude has everything to do with healing. His family is by his side every day and I don't understand why he is treating them this way. Can any one give me advice?

I am concerned because thelong term does not look good statiscally and I want him to cherish these moments he has.

Any advice on getting through to him and supporting my wife would be greatly appreciated

Donald M
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009

I should have said my wife's father...........sorry

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Sounds like he's mad as hell. Wouldn't you be? A friend tells the story of her sweet mama throwing a cup across the cafe floor when she was angry at the world over having cancer. Two weeks is not much time to accept a daunting diagnosis. It also can be an honorable choice to choose not to fight.

When I come home from taking care of my mother, it means so-o-o much that the house is picked up and there is milk in the refrigerator. These kinds of small things may be the best things you can do to help your wife.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I would agree that 2 weeks is not very long. Realize that he is grieving for the life he can no longer have. Now he is trying to deal with a new reality with cancer in his life. My guess is that he has always been the strong one in the family. It's not easy for him to ask for or receive help. Those first few weeks after diagnosis are tough for everyone especially if the outlook is not good. Give both him and yourself time. Just being there is helping even if you can't see that. Fay

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