A friend and former colleague whose wife died of cancer a few years back came to see me the other day. He now lives interstate so I haven’t seen him since my wife’s secondary liver cancer was diagnosed last year. We had a long chat about how I am coping. The conversation made me realize (yet again) that only those who have been through this really understand. Amongst other things my friend reminded me that those of us caring for a loved one with terminal cancer are also victims. I know what he means. Our suffering is different of course: we don’t face deteriorating ill health, growing discomfort and increasing pain, nor do we face our own impending death. But those close to someone with terminal cancer do it tough. It is hard. Hard because you have to stay strong and provide comfort when in fact you feel helpless and totally useless yourself. Hard because you have to keep things ‘normal’ when in fact the situation is anything but normal. Hard because you known that your involvement, help and advice are absolutely essential, but also know it can so easily be misconstrued as interference. (I still vividly remember the time my wife screamed at me to stop interfering it was her cancer, not mine!) The hardest thing however is the shame (guilt) I feel when I allow myself to recognize that deep down I want it all to end. For nearly 12 months now my wife’s cancer has dominated every waking hour of my days and much of my subconscious sleep. This is the hardest thing, the guilt and shame I feel when I reluctantly admit to myself (like now, at the end of a tense day when my wife has taken the pain killers that allow her to sleep, and the children have retired to their bedrooms) that the tension and the waiting has worn me down and I just want it to end. The guilt I feel at having such thoughts is without doubt the hardest thing.
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I understand how you feel. Having no control is hard. I feel guilty every day. My mom has cancer and I know how this is going to end and I almost just want it too. We need to remain supportive and remember that our loved ones probably feel guilty for being sick
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I understand how you feel. Having no control is hard. I feel guilty every day. My mom has cancer and I know how this is going to end and I almost just want it too. We need to remain supportive and remember that our loved ones probably feel guilty for being sick
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It is not your fault that you feel guilty, John K. My wife also had secondary liver cancer that was palliative on dx. My heart goes out to you and your family. We always think our loved ones, being so precious to us, are going to live a long and healthy life, but when cancer crashes through our door and takes over, it all changes in a heartbeat. I have been through what you are going through and it has broken my heart. We did our best but it didnt work. Dont wish for it to be over, because when it is, new emotions arrive and they are devastating, even with anticipated grief, it tears your heart out. wombat4
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i to understand exactly how you feel.. my fiance has terminal cancer and everything revolves around that and him.. i to feel guilty at getting angry at him for taking off and going overseas without me.. i feel like im left here on my own to pick up the pieces.. i know he has every right to do watever he wants but i to am involved.. its hard some days i honestly wish it was me.. how will i ever cope without him? its a thought that a lot of people think.. i know its silly and i shouldnt think like that but sometimes i wonder if emotional pain is worse than physical pain.. at least you can take something for physical pain.. emotional pain is longlasting... i hope you feel better soon xo
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Thanks for your kind words and sensible advice. It is just that at the moment I feel worn down by it all. I will get up again at some stage and I know I have to, but gee it is hard.
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I hear you! Hope and peace coming your way from a carer tonight....... PA
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