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Feeling like I'm a burden

Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2011

Feeling like I'm a burden to my amazing boyfriend, who is my caregiver during this awful cancer battle. I can tell when he's stressed and sad, and when this is all is bringing him down, and it makes me feel so guilty. I feel like every day of his life is spent thinking about me and doing everything that is necessary, and I'm really afraid that he's going to get resentful of me. I almost feel like running away some days ...

Anyone else feel this way, and as caregivers, how do you cope? Is there anything I can do to lighten his load?

NayPaul's picture
Posts: 230
Joined: Oct 2010

Yes its a burden, and yes he is sad and stressed, but it is not your fault.... and your guilt will only make him feel worse. Tell my wife all the time, this is happening to her, she is a victim. Most of the stress for me is because I. Cannot do anything but assist.

R there days I'm resentful.... yes! Are there days u r resentfuk u have cancer? Of course.

Iits okay... relax and let him do the only thing he can.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Beautiful FFL,
Welcome to our caregiver discussion board. I was a caregiver for my dad. He passed in March 2010 from esophageal cancer with mets to the liver. He always thought he was being a burden. He always spoke of being a burden. He always said he never wanted to be a burden to his children/wife. You and my dad were not and are not burdens to us! We are here for one another. You and he would do the same for us if the roles were reversed! We care for one another. Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Just tell him daily how much you appreciate all that he does for you. Tell him daily how much you love him. Let him take care of you in every way...you deserve it!
Tina in Va

Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2011

Thank you Paul and Tina!!! It means so much to hear your words of kindness and support. :) Tina, you are right, I would gladly take care of him if the roles were reversed. He always tells me that he wishes it had been him or that he could trade places, so that he had the cancer and I didn't, but I honestly believe that his role as a caregiver is just as bad, if not worse, than what I am going through as a cancer patient. I just love him so much and want his happiness more than anything. :)

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I just want to second the comments of others. I was a caregiver for my husband for six years until he lost his battle with colon cancer. The caregiver role is a hard one. I, too, wished I could trade places with my husband. It is hard to watch the suffering this disease and even the treatments bring. Yet, I would not have wanted to be anywhere else. I knew he would have cared for me, had it been me. Believe it or not, even though we had been married for 36 years before the dx, we became even closer. Some of my best memories of our 42 year marriage come from those 6 years. We were a team. I had the privilege of being there for him. Don't get me wrong, I was stressed and tired much of the time. I hate what he went through and I hate cancer, but I loved him. I am sure, from your description, that your boyfriend feels the same way. It sounds to me like he is a keeper! Whatever you do don't push him away. Take care, Fay

NayPaul's picture
Posts: 230
Joined: Oct 2010

i love my wife now more than I ever could have without her getting cancer at a young age. You are so right!

palmyrafan's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: Mar 2011

I am a brain cancer patient and my husband is my caregiver. My wonderful husband wears many hats and he swears his halo is slightly tarnished.....hahaha....

My husband has an "out" that I have given him over the last 17 years. The "out" is that he is allowed, when he has decided that he has had enough, to walk away from the marriage, no questions asked, free and clear. I love him enough to let him go if he decides he just can't do this anymore.

His reply to me? "you were drafted and I enlisted and I will keep re-enlisting until you beat this cancer or until one of us dies". He is my hero.

I used to feel the same way that you do, until my husband told me that I had enough to worry about just taking care of myself and he is a grown man and can take care of himself, thank you very much. So I try to encourage him to do the things he loves to do. Go to ballgames, play golf, stained glass, play his guitar, visit with the granchildren. Whatever he loves to do, I try to make sure he has a few hours every day just for himself so he can feel "normal" and keep his sense of self.

I love my husband with all my heart, he is my best friend. I do not, for one minute, ever take for granted anything he does for me, no matter how small or how large.


Posts: 188
Joined: Apr 2011

I feel that it is an honor and a privelage to be the chosen one (so to speak). I feel as if my husbands cancer has kept us closer than ever and it sounds like your boyfriend feels the same way. It sounds like he is very proud to be by your side in this time of need, hold onto him tight. Best wishes Kim

Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

Guilt is an emotion shared by patients and caregivers alike but is such a useless emotion as it does no one any good. Try to just enjoy your boyfriend and the time you have together. My goal as a caregiver is to try to keep life as normal as possible. My husbands job is to get better and stay positive. We take care of each other and there is joy to be found in each and every day even under this cloud of fear and uncertainty. Lisa

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