Looking for advice

Jon
New Contributor

Looking for advice

Hello to whoever finds the time to read this.

I'm posting here, looking perhaps for some guidance or advice.

My wife's ovarian cancer has recurred after a 4 year remission. It spread to her omentum and she's just had surgery and will soon commence chemotherapy.

I'm terrified. For her and for our son. For our life together.

From what I understand, this is a fatal disease over a long enough time frame. It is effectively incurable.

The dread this fills me with is overwhelming.

I am trying to remain calm and positive. I'm trying to provide her with the support and stability she needs. I'm trying to reassure my son that everything will be ok. He's only 7. 

But I'm so scared. My thoughts keep straying to dark places. I'm haunted by the idea of losing her. Of watching my son lose her.

I feel helpless.

Please, if you've experienced something like this, how can I cope? What should I tell my son? How can I protect him? How can I remain positive for my wife?

Thank you if you find the time to respond. 

 

 

9 REPLIES 9
sch
Super Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

Hi @Jon ,

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's illness.

Being terrified in these situations is perfectly normal. Everybody is.

 

You said "from what I understand, this is a fatal disease over a long enough time frame".

Just to start the obvious, but everything is fatal over a long enough time frame.  Try not to assume the worst case if you don't have the facts.

Is this what the doctors/surgeons. have told you?  If not, ask them directly.

I'm not trying to suggest you wife isn't ill, but it can all be over whelming, and sometimes we can just forget to ask the right questions of the doctors/surgeons.

 

How old is your son?  When I was diagnosed with cancer we had a relatively direct conversation with my primary school aged children.

 

thanks,

s

 

Tonia
New Member

Re: Looking for advice

I am sorry to read your post. You have described my feelings exactly as I am going through the same except with my husband being recently diagnosed. My children are older and I just told them the truth. I also told them that we don't know timeframes because we do not know how he will respond to the treatments. It is helping me to try to think only of today and trying to focus on just getting through each day.  

Wegotthis
Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

Tino and Jon

 

Thanks for your post and reply. 

I'm so thankful that it's me with cancer and not my wife. We are very fortunate that our 4 kids are in their 30's. I haven't been able to talk to them for over a month now. I know that if we talk they will start crying and then I'll start to cry.  For some stupid reason I feel if they see me crying it's a sign of weakness. 

I  honestly believe cancer is harder on the people who loves someone with it.

There are times now that things my wife says or does that makes me mad.  Before I had cancer I would have thought differently about it. I don't allow myself to get upset at her because she means well. 

My only advice I can offer is please don't take anything personally if your loves act out. 

I honestly don't mind dieing.  I just wish at times I was alone and didn't have to see the pain my family is going through. 

My Aunt Sandy has always been the strong female family leader. The other day she became speak less because she started crying over me. I freaking hate this part of cancer..

 

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Jon
New Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

Thanks for your reply.

The doctors have made it clear that the disease will continue to return. Clear cell ovarian carcinoma is essentially not curable once it recurs. 

It responds poorly to chemotherapy. 

It is now about time frames. We may get 5 years, but statistically, that is unlikely.

My son is 7. He's very young. He's a sensitive, caring kid. At the moment he just knows that mummy is sick. He has no idea how sick at this stage.

I am scared to tell him. He's so young.

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Jon
New Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

Thanks for your reply. I try to stay busy, and keep my mind occupied. Then sometimes it just hits me like a wave. It often happens after we return from the hospital.

It floors me. 

I'm trying to find some philosophical way of dealing with it. It's just that I thought we'd have more time. 

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Jon
New Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

I'm sorry to hear that mate.

It's so tough.

Honestly my wife is amazing. Still positive, still resilient. Despite everything, she forges ahead.

I have to stay strong and so far in front of her I have. I have held back the tears and pain from her because she doesn't want pity.

But inside my heart is broken into a million pieces.

I hope you manage to find the space to talk to your kids. When you're ready. 

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stirling
Occasional Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

Hi Jon,

thanks for sharing your story. I sincerely hope things work out for you and your family. I have two girls and I find them extremely resilient, it amazes me. There is a number on the top right of the screen. I have had reason to call it a few times when I didn't know what the next steps should be. The people on the phones are extremely professional and you can go at you own pace, divulge  however much you want to share with total discretion.

Sincerely, Stirling

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KatWat
Occasional Visitor

Re: Looking for advice

Hi Jon 

Like you my partner also has ovarian cancer, diagnosed in 2013 at which time it had already spread to her omentum. Like your wife my partner is also amazing, resilient and I am constantly in awe of her positivity. Although we don't have children I completely understand where you are at, it completely floors me at times too, yes mostly when I get back home form the hospital and am faced with an empty house. Lately I have using the Smiling Mind app, and breathing exercises to just settle myself when the anxiety gets too much. 

 

We have been lucky, if you can call it that, we have always had a surgical options but she is again in hospital post surgery for a bowel obstruction and we have now been told that there are no futrther surgical options for her.  Its so hard to stay strong at times,  but don't be so hard on yourself,  you are obviously doing a great job. My partner and I have resolved to deal with it together even if that means ocassionally falling apart in front of each other, sometimes you just need to do that, and it's not about pity, it's just part of the shitty rollercoaster ride. My partner tells me she thinks its much harder for me as the person who will be left behind,  so you need support too. I know  it sounds cliche but sometimes it really is just about coping one day at a time (sometimes minute by minute), taking the wins where you can get them, having fun and enjoying the time you spend with your wife and son. 

 

you have probably seen these but if not it has some advice:

https://www.cancer.org.au/assets/pdf/talking-to-kids-about-cancer-a-guide-for-people-with-cancer-the...

https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/cancer-information/for-family-and-friends/talking-to-kids-about-can...

 

 

Wegotthis
Contributor

Re: Looking for advice

KatWat

 

Great reply. It makes me even more thankful that I'm the one with cancer and not my wife. 

I don't tell her enough about how much I appreciate all she has done for me even before we found out about me.

I 100% agree with your wife that cancer is harder on the people who loves the one with it. As a husband I have always made sure to protect my wife and family for harm and pain. Especially my wife. I can't handle seeing her cry.  The only thing I ask her to do is not to cry in front of me because of what is happening. So she's crying behind closed doors and it kills me that I can't stop her pain and worries. For some stupid reason I can't get over not having my family seeing me cry. 

The best I can do for them is to stay positive and happy. I'm hoping this will turn into a positive life experience for my family by watching me handling this. I believe me having cancer is going to be a blessing for us no matter how it goes. 

I'm very fortunate that our 4 adults children are amazing. I have a great chance at beating this.  But if not our oldest son is more than capable of being the family leader. My wife well be taken care of. 

My heart hurts for you. The thought of not having my wife around is more painful than having to deal with everything that comes with cancer...

I'm glad to see that you are there for her. I have read stories about people leaving others because of health issues. I just don't understand how someone can do it...

God bless you for being a true husband to your wife. 

I have prayed many times that my wife will out live me even if it's one day. There's no way I can do everything she does and work a full time job. 

Wife's are definitely a gift from God and we husband should treat them like it...

 

 

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