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How cancer may cause stress

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

haha...a spinoff on Laz's post about stress causing cancer.   I'm finding it's the opposite.    The stress since my husbands diagnosis has taken its toll - strangely enough he seems to handle things better than the rest of us.  I'm not sure how or why or if he's just pushing it deep inside, but he says he's not wasting 1 day thinking about cancer or stressing about what may happen.  

We've lived a fairly "charmed" life.   We were raising our kids in the way I always wanted to.  They have not been spoiled, but very loved.  I don't think they've ever questioned coming first in our lives.      We are the "poor" folks in a rich town - we sacrificed to move here for the good school system - knowing that our kids wouldn't have all of the stuff many of the other kids had, but they'd get a good education and hopefully learn that the stuff wasn't important.    One of the things I HATE most about cancer is how it has changed us.   I want to rewind, go back and have carefree kids again.  I hate the fact that my 13 yr old son, who is dealing so well with his new diabetes diagnosis, can sense when I am getting stressed and picks up some slack to make my life easier.   I don't want the kids worrying about us but it's so hard to not show it when life just gets overwhelming.    The 16 year old is stressed - I thought she was doing better but she wants to go for counseling.   Being a junior in HS and having a sick dad, and sick grandparents is taking its toll.   I don't know why it hit me so hard, but I hate the thought of my kids in counseling.   I just want them to worry about getting good grades, not about whether dad will be at graduation.  I don't want them to have to talk to a stranger because the stress is too much.  

I HATE cancer - I know others are able to find the positives in it, but I can't find any positive in cancer.   To see so many losses and to have so many struggling right now just makes me angry that we don't have a cure for this. 

very worried husband
Posts: 88
Joined: Feb 2011

I know where you are coming from. I am exactly in the same boat as you, when the love of my life was diagnosed with colon cancer in Jan 2011 just a month after our wedding. she was just 25!!We both love kids to unmatched levels and were thinking about starting family just after our wedding. My wife just had a little discomfort and begged few drs to do her colonoscopy. ( she wanted perfect health before pregnency). After a long struggle, when it was done, NO one ever thought it could be cancer... It changed our lives permanently.Life can never be the same again after Jan 2011. I think about the cancer 24 hours.  

I also feel the same anger as to why we don't have a cure for this stupid disease.if billions upon billions can be spent on wars, why these can be spent for the betterment of humanity..... Life is so unfair.... When I think about Dictators killing thousands, murderes, rapist roaming freely, it comes to my mind that why they don't suffer from this stupid disease???? why poor like us...... 

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

25 :(  That is horrible.  I'm sorry you and your wife are dealing with this too.  Life is unfair and I find it hard not to be anxious and angry.   I do think it's the stage 4 diagnosis that bring such anxiety.  I didn't feel this way after my husband's first cancer - it was removed, treated and we got on with life ... didn't give it much thought.  It's hard not to dwell on this, but my husband is adamant about not letting it be our focus. 

How is your wife doing?

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

Cancer has stolen so much from us all.  I find NOTHING good about a cancer diagnosis.  4 years and 8 months of 'what if's'and 'when', reading about painfilled deaths and children and spouses who went through the horror of watching their loved ones die.....   Some days it's more than I can handle. 

Posts: 503
Joined: Apr 2013

I guess you could look at cancer as bringing your family closer together.  It is also teaching your children humility and understanding.  This will be a priceless attibute as they start their adult life.  Yes, cancer sucks, but you can't let it run your life. I know - easier said than done.  I have had to go on anti-depressants to help deal with my husband's cancer.  I thought I was stronger than that, but my doctor called it a form of PTSD.  You and your family may need counseling or medication short term to deal with your situation.  Kids are pretty resiliant, they tend to adapt to even negative situations easily.  Wishing you all well


marbleotis's picture
Posts: 714
Joined: Mar 2012

You'd be surprised how strong you really are.  Cancer takes ALOT from the patient and the family.  It will consume you if you allow it.  You stay strong for your husband and most importantly talk as a family with the kids so they understand what's going on.

That will help with the stress.  If you have a bad day, allow your self to have it and move on.

I have an appreciation now for life that I did not really have before.  The truth is no one knows how long they will have, what we do with that time we have control over.  You do not get a do-over for today.

I am a stage 3b signet cell with 2 years NED in Jan.  I am building the "new" normal life.  I see things with very clear eyes now.  I enjoy the sunshine, flowers, rain, clouds, air and just life. 

Do not give cancer any more power than it already has taken.  It is a greedy and sneaky vulture.

Keep posting!


Posts: 49
Joined: Apr 2010

First-- There is NOTHING good about cancer---period. There Are, for some, good things that come from their relationships developed, things that they learn, a renewed, newborn or strengthend Faith. For many tho, there just isn't anything good in the experience. However, we who are there know that attitude, a measure of acceptance and the development of a bit of fight can go a long way with dealing with what we have been dealt. I am sure that just as each responds in their own way to treatment, we too, in our own way develop our own way of dealing with all that we and our loved ones face. For me it has been a child like faith, a wonderful woman, supportive family and friends and their prayers and an accepting but curious, confidence in those professionals treating me. Good Bless You, Yours and all others traveling this rough road.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

is beyond stressful, imo.  It's difficult enough being a parent, esp of teens, without adding in the terrifying thought that one parent may die, along with the basic complications and difficulties that it adds to daily life for the whole family.   My girls have really felt the impact of my illness, and experienced depression because of it (I mean, they may have struggled with that anyway, but obviously my illness plays a pretty big role).  

My middle kid did ask to see a therapist this year, and started working with someone a few months ago.  I would recommend it.  She has a ton of anxiety, and the therapist (who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is very good at giving her practical ideas for managing it.  And you know, Jen, probably the best thing about the therapy is that Joanna can CRY with this woman, in a way that she won't with me.  She's always claimed that my cancer hasn't affected her, because she doesn't want me to feel responsible for her issues, but that is of course a big load of bs.  We've been to some very dark places as a family in the last few years, probably the worst in the fall of 2010, when we were told that I could have surgery only for palliative purposes, not curative.  My kids had to come and see me in the hospital for two weeks straight, when I was skinny and frail, on TPN because I couldn't eat...anyway, I can't imagine how traumatic that would be for them.  And I'm sure your kids have had many of the same experiences.  It can't help but leave its mark.

I guess the only "good" thing about it all (and it's a good that I would gladly give back in a heartbeat, in order to have our old life again) is that I do feel my kids have gained some compassion and depth that they might not otherwise had.  My oldest is going into a nursing program, and I'm sure that's partly influenced by what we've gone through.

And my son, who is only 9, is a very special kid.  Our regular checker at the grocery store says he has an "old soul in a young body", and that's very true.   He's so kind and sensitive (and not in a bad way, more in a "wow, he's going to make some lucky girl a great husband someday" way).  And I do think that too is partly a result of our experiences.

That said, I'd give a lot to be able to go back about 5 or 6 years, to a time when cancer was an unknown in my little family.  Wish we all could.


Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks AA - your posts always touch me.   I appreciate your sharing and it makes me feel a little better about sending our daughter for therapy.  I'm not sure why it bothers me so much - I guess because I want to be able to fix all of our problems.   It will be good for her to open up with someone not involved.    My 13 yr old is much like your 9 yr old - just a great kid.    I'm not sure the little guy will be the same - he is a Wild Man!  Thank God though that he is here to distract us from our worries.   Just a funny little guy.

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I wish I could go back 9 years before cancer was a part of my life but take the wisdom and personal growth I have gained from the cancer experience.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

double post

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Obviously and understandably cancer is a horrible thing effecting us and our loved ones in so many ways: emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, professionally and relationshipwise.

But I tell you something. My bad marriage and divorce caused a thousand time more demage in me, my ex and our daughter in every way. I had many times more anxiety, lost many times the money then in the cancer fight. It ruined my relationship with my daughter that is actually getting much better since my diagnosis. 

I opened up emotionally much more, I'm not to proud to cry or express my feelings. I thought I had to be a certain way before, now I can be myself. I can't afford to put up with crap and crappy people anymore, so I cleaned up my closet literally and otherwise. I can be much more true and genuine to myself and others.

I don't have an established new way of seeig my new reality yet, but I see things much more the way they are instead of the way they should be. Being broken gives you a certain kind of calm that most things are not in your control and actually they have never been, you just thought so.

I'm scared an's worried of course. This is no joy ride. But I got through some stuff already that scared me just as much and now it is a distant memory.



Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts - it's nice to have some place to come to vent to those who get it!

Sandi1's picture
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

Yes Stress is probably about the hardest part of this whole ordeal.  My husband who was diagnosed in 2008 and still continues to fight to this day is taking this well, me on the other hand am not.  I have outbursts of anger and sadly they are directed at my husband, with a quick apology.  His 4 children from his first marriage don't talk to him and they said to him the day the stopped talking to him that it is because of me "the wicked stepmother". they said i never paid any attention to them and have always hated them - which is not true.  I thought as they got older they would realize what had actually happened in their parents marriage - but alas they have not.  they think their stepdad is the most wonderful dad in the world, because he works 2 jobs to support them, when they get 1/2 of my husbands pay every two weeks.  they don't realize that he is supporting their mothers extravagant taste in cars and house furnishings and clothes. Hopefully one day they will figure it out.  His youngest is mad because she will be forced to get school loans to go to school, which i am confused about because she was given a full scholarship to the school of her choice.  Anyway, my husband just said it is what it is and i'm not going to worry myself over it if they don't want to talk to me. i'm here if they need me.  My son who is 24 still lives at home and works full time (meaning anywhere from 50 - 60 hrs. a week) comes home on Saturday's after work and does all the yard work without being asked and insists on paying us rent for his 1 little bedroom and fixing our cars using his own money. I don't know what i did with him, but obviously i did something right.  He is a wonderful kid and thinks the world of my husband - his stepdad. He never knew his own dad.  So, yeah stress is difficult, stress is hard, and we have to think of ways to handle the stress or we are going to end up in the hospital from it.  And we can't have that because then there will be no one to look after the ones that need to be looked after.




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