← Return to Colon cancer metastasized to lungs: Husband severely depressed

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Thank you for your response .
The whirlwind feeling is of life flying by and I know life will never be the same as it was pre cancer. Probably just feeling sorry for myself. Plus the fact I didn't get any sleep for 3 days. My little brother died of a massive heart attack. The covid didn't help …just feels like things are piling up!
To make it worse my husband told me he is not an invalid and I dont need to remind him of appts and tests etc.. He will let me know if he needs my help. That hurt. I'm a person who wants to take care of ppl so I feel helpless. He doesn't want me asking how he is feeling. He doesn't breathe hard when talking to someone.but he walks around the house breathing hard and talking about his feet and hands hurting so bad. His mouth and then yet sometimes he will just reach out hold my hand. It is all confusing to me. I don't know what to say or do cause it is never correct.

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Replies to "Thank you for your response . The whirlwind feeling is of life flying by and I..."

@lah, My sincerest condolences on the death of your little brother. COVID has complicated every aspect of our lives and none more so than those of being unable to grieve in the usually accepted manner and with rituals so many of us have depended upon until now.

I am so sorry you are going through these very turbulent, unsettling times due to your husband's changeable behavior during this battle you are both daily confronting and trying to deal with as a result of his cancer.

I recently lost my dearest friend of decades and am still reeling from the shock and reality of her death. During the months leading up to her final days, I was often frustrated and even resentful by the behaviors of both her guy and my friend. They were passive when I encouraged them to be much more proactive about her immediate health decisions, their changing of legal documents like wills, durable power of attorney, and living will, etc. Her protracted illness and their ages and mild mannered natures all contributed to almost unendurable family difficulties toward the end of her life.

Long a primary family caregiver, I can identify especially with your feelings of helplessness, confusion and distress in wanting to help but being rebuffed as you deal with your husband's sometimes unpredictable behavior.

My inability to be physically present or to have my friends act sooner on some issues that could have spared later grief has been incredibly hard for a "doer" who cares so much about their welfare.

Maybe it might help in some small way if you can tell yourself as I did myself many, many times that some of this hurtful behavior or inability to take action is all a part of the daily nightmare being experienced by these dearest ones meeting the new everyday challenges and changes in their lives.

Being a very sensitive person, it is harder for me than many not to take things too personally. Maybe reminding yourself that your husband is striking out at the person who he knows loves him best will help because we only strike out at those we feel closest to and safest with?

Our situations are far different but I want you to know that I am thinking of you and your beloved during this most stressful of times in your lives.

@lah, you have had and still have a lot going on. I understand your whirlwind feeling better now. Lack of sleep really affects everything.

When my father had end-stage colon cancer, he, too, said some similar comments to me. When he first told me he didn't want my help, he was quite cruel about it. It hurt, a lot. I was grateful for a later conversation when he was hurting less himself (possibly both physically and mentally), he took more time to explain that my type of help wasn't helpful and why. He didn't want information. He didn't want to know about potential side effects. He didn't want to be a patient. These are the things I clung to: research, information and prevention of unwanted side effects. For him, he knew he had limited time and he wanted to spend it living, not hearing about what might happen. He'd deal with it as it came. Writing this I see his point of view so much more clearly. But at the time I felt helpless and hurt that I couldn't do more. After he shared with me, I turned my focus of help to my mom. I supported her while she enjoyed life with him as much as was possible. This gave her an outlet to talk about her fears and ask for information as she needed it even if he didn't. This arrangement worked well for us. They spent some of the most meaningful moments of their marriage in those final months. For that I'm grateful.

Lah, I'm not sure if my story helps. I wonder if your husband would like to be more partners and less patient and caregiver. His charade of everything is okay with others might be the one thing he feels he can control. His reaching out to hold your hand says volumes. If you're like me, you want to fill the silences with questions "How are you?" "Can I get you anything?" "Do you feet hurt?" etc. Perhaps he just wants you to be with him. Don't be afraid to talk about all manner of things besides the disease. Talk about things that bring you both joy. What do you think?