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needing support as my husband's caregiver

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2013

I am a 61 year old American Living in the Netherlands for the last 13 1/2 years, a NEW wife of a nearly 77 year old man (HS) battling his prostate cancer for 12 years, 3+ with me. I met him too soon after a mostly miserable 24 year 2nd marriage/divorce and knew after a 6 month friendship that he was my soulmate. If there are any other loving caregivers of prostate cancer victims ( and/or ex-patriots in similar circumstances) that can connect with me, I would be very grateful!  I am really needing support (in my English language)with how to have healthy boundaries while keeping my heart, mind and spirit open to his growing needs. This has been extremely difficult when he is unable to appreciate all I do, is impossible to please (which, thank God,isn't yet most of the time)  or (since or honeymoon in July) cannot give any affection, ESPECIALLY when I am under the weather or tired myself.

I am concerned that if/when his cancer progresses , I will have more problems with old general issues and specific ones like feeling as if I can never be good enough (ie; as a wife, mother, step mother, etc...) which I am asking God to help me overcome! Though I have grown at times in this area, my defensive , hurt, lonley , angry feelings, still too often rear their draining heads. Because I am living in a very provincial part of Holland, the isolation from my own language, culture, ideas, and values can be overwhelming. The simplest things like making an EGG precisely the way the Dutch think is good on a warm plate, etc... can seem like a daunting task.

Anyway, since I am writing this while HS adn BOTH have the flu, it may sound a bit victimy. Please believe me when I say that there are many times I feel quite positive of being his caregiver 24/7, but sometimes, I truly get claustrophobic in our home and need to connect with someone who truly understands my situation, especially when I cannot get out - when sick myself.


Thanks for reading,


ralph.townsend1's picture
Posts: 359
Joined: Feb 2012

Hope and prayer's is all I can give.

God Bless


Posts: 80
Joined: May 2012

I can really symphathise with you being in much the same position except a reverse of ages. I have prostate cancer and I am fighting it with some sucess and I am 82.

But at the same time I have to look after my 65 year old wife who has very bad diabetes. Every day I have to make sure she takes all her medications and injections.

I have to cook all my owm meals and generally run our household. My wife's high blood sugar makes her very tired and very bad tempered.  The diabetes has affected her mind so much so that I must do everything for her. She is very forgetful and abuses me. But I know she is suffering. I have had life theatening pneumonia and a heart attack last year and I had to fend for myself during this period. Sometimes I want to give up but I know if I do my wife will not survive. Like you I live in a foriegn country and nave communication problems. No health insurance and no government help. My pension goes mostly on medicine and doctors bills. We have been married 40 years and now my life is a misery compared to what it was. But I just have to carry on whatever.

Please feel free to correspond with me

good luck


VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 2523
Joined: Nov 2010


I am not so sure if you are at the proper forum to get help on your feelings. You may be anxious due to your husband's case with prostate cancer and such could be driving your  emotional state or reaction.

The fact that he as been battling against the illness during such long period could also create stress in your relationship. You need to "drain" those years under pressure.

Can you share his history of diagnosis and treatments, and his present status?

You might get answers from the many survivours and find that "missing piece" that can give you peace of mind.

Just hang in there and let us know what is worrying you.



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