I'm 31 and have 2 little girls aged 4 and 6. My husband is 42 and has incurable cancer. I'd really like to get in touch with anyone out there going through this journey who has young children. I went to the cancer council support group for the first time last week and there was only one other person there who wasn't a grandparent.
So it you are under 50 and have young children, whether you are experiencing cancer or the partner/carer of someone with cancer, I'd love to hear from you.
I am nearly 41..... Have a daughter who is 8 and a son who is 5. My husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer six years ago next month. Unfortunately, he departed this world in February this year.... And the last year of his life I would not wish on my worst enemy.... It was awful watching and being unable to do anything!
But..... I have been supported by friends, neighbours, family, work colleagues, the kid's school/ pre school communities and at times total strangers..... I have certainly found the good in people!!
Best of luck to you....... It is hard going!!
Feel free to ask any questions..... I'll try and answer them!!
Take care of yourself and your kids!! Take each day as it comes and don't be scared to cry!!
Thinking of you and sending positivity your way!
Thanks for your response. It is good to know that there are others out there who have gone through the cancer journey with their partner while their children were young. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I am the only one on the planet with a partner diagnosed with incurable cancer and also dealing with young children.
I had planned to go to the cancer council support group again next week (it will be my 2nd time). I have organized to bring my husband with me this time. But now I am having second thoughts, as last time I found it incredibly emotional, during and afterwards. I found it difficult to listen to other people's painful experiences and journey with cancer. I found it difficult to be the only one with young children and to experience the great empathy of the other people there, most of whom have been diagnosed with cancer only since becoming older, and who's children are grown up with children of their own. So mostly the other people are grandparents, or even great- grandparents. I am getting a bit sick of being told that I am a strong lady, that I am a strong woman (by everyone that I know!)
I feel like when all is well and we are having a good week, I just want to pretend like everything is going to be ok and I don't like to think about cancer or talk about it, or listen to other people talk about it.
I have to go and run the bath, would like to keep talking though!
Thanks again xxx Symphony
Haha! I had to laugh with your comment about the bath..... Yes...... Life with small children marches on so normally in some ways....
Have you thought/ heard about the cancer councils telephone counselling? They have groups and individual counsellors who call you at a suitable, convenient time. My husband had an excellent one who called him fortnightly and offered not only emotional support, but practical support too..... Maybe you could give that a try instead of the support group face to face....
I too am often told that I have incredible strength- which we do- but occasionally you would love someone to take the burden...... Although that is impossible...... It is quite a unique experience we find ourselves on.....
Check out the young adult section too..... There may be a support group in your state....
I'm on the NSW/ QLD border...... And I don't know of any young adult group here or on the GC...... Doesn't mean there isn't one..... I just haven't looked hard enough!!
Yes, having the kids keeps me (us) grounded, and I think stops me from totally losing the plot. Of course, some days it just makes it harder. Like today; i would have liked to just go to bed at about 4pm and read a book and had red wine and chocolate for tea. No such luck! Thankfully hubby was well and did the dishes and reading stories at bedtime so I managed a cup of tea and some time out online.
I have called the Cancer Council helpline a few times, when I was desperate. I do see a psych in person every 3 weeks at the moment but the helpline is great when something hard comes up unexpectedly. I didn't realize that they could call you, or that they had groups. Thanks, I will look into that- I'm in WA.
HI Guys ,
New to this website and it is my first post. My husband was diagnosed 12months ago with stage 4 bowel cancer with mets to his liver and lungs and was classed inoperable/incurable. I am 33 he is 42 and we have 3 small children 10,8 and 6. We have been given a very small time frame and all I can say is it SUCKS. As a mother I feel it is my job to fix it , I am the one with bandaids and special cream that will cure all and yet in this when my children need me to heal their hurt I cant.To make matters worst I know it is happening and I still cant stop it. My heart breaks at the thought of their little hearts breaking. I hear you when you say you are sick of being told you are a strong women, im pretty sure if I hear it again someone is going to get hurt! hahah. What if I dont want to be strong? what if I just want to fall in a heap? anyway so much more to say but I think I have said enough for now, I too feel like the only one i n the world going through this and feel nobody else gets it! nobody else feels what I feel! and it is so hard.... hope to hear from you both soon ox
Thanks for posting. Welcome!
I hear your pain. I'm right there with you- my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer with 3 mets to brain in March this year. We went from being fine and cancer-free to emergency brain surgery to palliative care. Non-small cell carcinoma (non- smokers lung cancer.)
The more I learn and the more I talk to people, the more I believe that doctors do not have the power to give you a certain length of time to live. They can give you averages and guesses but that is all. Many people (that I have met in the last 6 months) live much longer than the doctors have "given" them.
We were given a very grim time frame, but did some research and discovered that this prognosis was based on data where the average age of diagnosis of this type of cancer was 70 years old! Only 2 percent of people with this cancer are diagnosed under the age of 50 and my husband is one of the 2 percent. We believe that he will live many years yet.
We did 4 cycles of chemo designed to shrink the lung cancer, and then we decided to stop. The doctors wanted to do "mainentance" chemo every 3 weeks for the rest of his life, and they said that it would give him an extra 6 weeks to 3 months of life.
The 4 cycles of chemo he had did a lot of damage to his body and caused extreme fatigue and nausea. He has had no symptoms from the cancer since the largest brain tumour was removed. All of his ill health in the last 6 months has been from the treatment.
I hate telling new people who don't know what has happened. They ask, "what are his chances?" "Has he gone into remission?"
I hate seeing aquaintances in the street who I haven't seen for 12 months, and who don't know. They are busy with their children and I am busy with mine, so when they ask, how are you? I lie and say "fine!" It is too much and too hard to get into for someone I hardly know.
And about being strong... is it a choice? I do not see it as a choice. The children must be fed. The clothes must be washed. My husband must be cared for. When you have children, and a sick husband, can you afford the luxury of throwing in the towel and saying, no, I can't deal with this? It does happen. I did it yesterday! But it lasted a couple of hours. It passed. If I don't do these things, who will? What is the alternative to being strong most of the time? My counsellor says that this is a marathon. I must take time out and look after myself, so that I can look after everyone else. I am getting better at doing it.
I am getting better and better at being open with my feelings, sharing what is happening with supportive people who want to help. I am always pleasantly surprised at how understanding and supportive people are, even complete strangers.
My children understand that Daddy has cancer but they do not know the prognosis. We do not say that he has a certain length of time because we do not know how long it will be. We do our best to keep life as normal as possible and keep to the daily routine. The only time this breaks down is when I am not up to doing it.
I have to go as Miss 4 has cut her finger and needs cream and a band-aid. This I can do. :)
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. . Wow so much you said is so true. I always say to people that I didn't realize there was an option b! I didn't see the other box to tick, this is what is happening and we just have to deal with it the best we can. We have been on fortnightly chemo for the last 12months so I have no idea what cycle we are up to. We have done radiation for 6weeks too. Our kids are the same they know daddy has cancer but don't know we have limited time. I very much believe routine is the key and I do my best between them, hubby and working full time. I too find myself retreating from public appearances as I too hate telling the story over for those that only want to sticky beak and pretend they care. Anyway miss 6 has fallen asleep on my lap best be putting her in bed. Although I do enjoy the cuddles. Thank you again so much I allbof a sudden feel like someone else actually understands. Hope miss 4 is ok 🙂 ox
Oh you poor girls.
By your standards, I'm geriatric. I'm 49 and my 52 year old husband recently died of brain cancer after living with it for 13 months. Our children are 17, 18, and 20 - much older than yours.
I just thought I'd make the comment that brain cancer kills many young people, many of whom have very young children. Sadly, the prognosis is only 14 months so these families know from the outset the condition is incurable.
There are many international online forums out there where young families discuss living with cancer. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention them here because it will take traffic away from this one.
To find them just search for your type of cancer and young children.
I discovered one when my husband was first diagnosed and I gained a huge amount of support from them. So many of us have transitioned to widowhood so we've moved onto the bereavement page their site offers. The age of people we chat to is about 30-55. There's one lady who's 64 but she's young at heart!
New people ask about dealing with young children all the time.
I wish you all the very best.
I have 3 young children 8,3 & 2 I'm 35 & hubby (52) has pancreatic cancer. I can't believe I'm not alone! Thankyou so much for posting. It really sux hey. Everything you said is true. The thing I would l would love most is if I woke up & it was all gone. We got our life back. Initially I found it hard that our once 'normal' life got totally turned upside down so suddenly. It feels like we live in a different world compared to our friends. Speaking of friends I have found most of them to have found it all too hard so they have chosen to keep away. Right when I need them most. I see there comments on facebook (their lives go on normally) & it hurts that they are not there for me. Actually I don't really have much support from anyone. You have to keep going tho. It's awful seeing your loved one so sick from the treatment that's supposed to help them isn't it. It makes u wonder if they would be so sick if u had of done nothing? Do you do any alternative treatment? I hope u get some much needed time to yourself. Take care Selly
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.