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Hello @bbams. I am Scott Phillips and I, too, add my best wishes to you and your husband and family as you continue this journey. As @colleenyoung said, while my wife had brain cancer, I was her caregiver for the 14 years of her journey. When she was diagnosed, we were told the 'average' with her type of tumor was 7 years. She lived 14+. When she opted for home hospice care, she was given a prognosis of six months or less. She was in home hospice for over two years. She, too, had many swings in her outlook and attitude. All I can say is, as I am sure you are, just be as supportive as you can of your spouse's feelings. Good, bad, up mood, or down mood, whatever he is feeling is valid to him. Often times, especially during the bad mood times, I wanted to be a cheerleader for my wife, but that was not what she needed. She told me she just really needed me to be with her and acknowledge her feelings as being valid to her.

Not much help, I am sure, but I hope it helps at least a little.

Peace and love,

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Replies to "Hello @bbams. I am Scott Phillips and I, too, add my best wishes to you and..."

Hi @indianscott, that actually is incredibly helpful. Oddly enough it never even crossed my mind not to be a cheerleader to try to bring him out of his slump. But I think you're right. I need to acknowledge it. Maybe he'll open up more if I do let him just be sad and support that. Thank you so much... how did that not even cross my mind!? Ugh. Still learning as I go and as new things come up.

Speaking of! Can I get your advice @IndianaScott @colleenyoung @hopeful33250? What I'm dealing with now is just torturing me. It's gotten worse than when i wrote before. Is it normal that he took his frustrations out on me? He blew up over something that wasn't a big deal (talking about when he's planning on going on disability. he works from home so he's been working way longer than he should be... stresses him out too much). Now he hasn't spoken to me for THREE days since he yelled and stormed out of the room. THREE!!!! it got worse 2 days ago when I calmly told him we need to resolve it by talking... which he refused to do. it's completely irrational and degrading especially when I do SO much for him. He already told me I won't be getting an apology, am I being stubborn wanting one? Is this kind of over the top irrational behavior normal? I feel like its gone too far, its not normal, and he's just mean and ungrateful 🙁 I don't even know how I'll get over this if he just ignores it and acts like nothing happened (pre cancer bigger issues he does the juvenile silent treatment then pretends nothing ever happened but it has never been this bad). Do I let this go and write it off as displaced emotions and I'm the punching bag? Or do I stand my ground for an apology? I'm so confused :*(

Good morning @bbams! Sorry to hear what you are experiencing and while everyone's cancer journey, and caregiving journey, are unique, I will give you my point of view on this. By the way, you can take it or leave it 🙂 I have thick skin (I used to be a fundraiser) and I realize this is just my opinion, also based on my unique experiences as a caregiver.

In my wife's case her tripwire was never some major issue, but rather often a small item or small, perceived slight on her part over something I did or did not do. I was told by our hospice nurse this is common. She said patients often lash out at the person they feel the most at ease with as they are the person least likely to react in ways unknown to them and they have the most frequent (24-7 in my case) interactions with them.

I did notice one pattern. My wife's anxiety, which was always a monumental issue her whole illness, always peaked (and so did her times of anger directed at me) before her appointments with doctors, nurses, etc. I realized it was due to her worry over being told some more bad news. Also when (and I would only come to realize this in hindsight) when she was experiencing some change she had not yet verbalized to me, her nurse, etc.

Hard as it was -- and there were days it was WAY hard -- I had to steel myself to the fact I knew I would be the goat to her anger (actually her fears) and as it was always just verbal, I learned to let it slide off my back. I would use the mantra that it was the disease yelling, not my wife. I worked very hard at overcoming it and pretending it never happened. That said, it still did hurt! I will say though many times I would go into the downstairs, close all the doors and 'voice my opinion' into an old pillow I kept there to help me let it go 🙂

Not sure this will help --- so if I missed the point, etc. let me know --- ask more --

Sending my good thoughts and strength to you.

THANK YOU THANK YOU. I actually cried when I read this. Seems like you've been through a lot of the same things. Read it before I got out of bed and struck up sort of a half conversation with Chris this morning. I'll let it go. You're 100% right Scott. He is the same way before appointments and I know he's been anxious about treatments because we don't even know what's going to happen next - 3 options their thinking of. So that's probably it since he's been getting himself so worked up over that. Chris's fear always manifests itself as anger too. 🙁 THANK YOU!! I'll let you know how it goes. How are you doing lately?