Hi, Looking for other carers or people who have stomach cancer. I noticed annielo on the list, would like to chat if she wants to...
Newly diagnosed just this month dec 2009, finding it hard. We have 2 young children 6 and 18 months, deciding on treatment options...
Sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. It comes as such a shock and turns your whole world upside down.
Finding a balance between the role of wife, mum and carer, in a nutshell, it's bloody hard work. I found that my children were my number one priority, simply because they are more dependent on me. Naturally you are a wife too, however hopefully your husband has a little more patience and understanding than your children do! Sometimes I found that I simply had to be wife and mum and take the carer hat off for a while.
You will need to be sure to take care of yourself, as you are the one caring for everyone else.
It is really hard to accept, but when help is offerred, take it. In small bits at first if you have to.
Taking care of your children is obviously a priority, I found it easier to accept offers of help that related to the children, eg. playdates, picking up from school etc. You know your children best and trust your instinct, even when you feel like you're not sure, you are probably closer to the mark than you think.
I found it really hard to ask for help when it came to something for me, I thought I was being selfish, but it is all part of the coping strategy that you will need to develop.
One thing I did after my husband's diagnosis, was to make up a spreadsheet/register of people who offerred help. When they said, "If there's anything I can do, call me anytime" I asked them to add their name to the list, with all their contact numbers and when they WEREN'T available, eg. weekly sporting committment, work etc. Whilst most of the people were people that I already had a number for, or could have easily got their number, I felt it showed them that I was taking their offer seriously by getting them to write it all down AND it was one less thing I had to do.
I carried a clipboard around with me, with the register in it and then got people to complete it as soon as they offerred to help. I take it with me whenever I am out, so that I can easily contact people if I need to.
The reason I asked them to put down when they were not available, is I didn't want to make 10 phone calls to people who were busy on a Wednesday afternoon. I could look at the list and say OK don't bother ringing that person, try this one first.
Sometimes, no........ lots of times, you are going to feel over-whelmed and isolated, that there is no-one that you can talk to who understands how you are feeling. When cancer enters your husband's body, it enters YOUR LIFE and that of your children. Everyone has to learn to adjust because life simply is not the same as it was.
When you are feeling overwhelmed and/or isolated, come online here, post your feelings, no-one will judge you and it makes such a difference when you can express exactly how you are feeling, warts and all, no need to put on the brave face or the 'be positive' front. There are people here who understand the range of emotions you are likely to experience.
I wish you and your family all the best at this very difficult and challenging time.
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.