Grieving over time

My wife is 37 and currently being treated for bowel cancer stage 4, inoperable with a prognosis of 2 to 3 years if we're lucky. 

It feels like watching a car crash in slow motion, and because of this I feel like I'm grieving everyday for what's to come. 

Is this normal? I feel that I may be better than expected by the time the end arrives. Which is both harrowing and relieving.

I feel so conflicted.

  • Hi

    You are totally normal - so much so we sometimes refer to this as pre-grief - the loss of the life you expected.

    My wife never wanted a prognosis for her cancer and I struggled with that. I do not think anyone could have guessed though that her treatment would render her cancer stable and that six years down the line we would be living with rather than dying from cancer.

    Do you have any support for you? The benefits of talking about cancer are well known but it can be difficult to find who to talk too. I am so grateful to have found the community because here we just "get it" so do post whenever as someone is always listening.



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  • Hi Steve.

    That's refreshing to hear. I have friends and family but no one who really gets it, luckily I suppose. 

    I'll keep an eye out on here, and post when I feel need to.

    Many thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Player 1,

    im so very sorry to hear about your wife’s diagnoses. I know exactly how you feel and that is an excellent way of describing it. My husband has bowel cancer (found out last September) and we were told in April that it is terminal. With chemo they will only give him up to the end of next year. 

    It took about a month for me to process all of that - crying uncontrollably in secret daily. Devastated just didn’t do it justice.

    All I can say is to take each day as it come. Let the tears flow, the numbness, the shock. All of it. There is no magic trick to deal with this, but this forum helped me enormously as it felt like my world was closing in on me and I felt so utterly  alone and lost. everything I looked at tore me to pieces as I would see it without him. It was just awful. This form made me realise I’m not alone. It is so supportive and comforting to be able to share feelings her without judgement and receive love and support on return. 

    Feel free to message me anytime as we’re going through it too. We’re both early 40s. 

    take care x

    • Hi Bim07

    Im so sorry to hear your news. That's most upsetting.

    I hope you both get the most our of your time together. 

    There's no rules to this game, I'm struggling with so many topics that seem to have ethical and moral implications that people not in our situation can't begin to try and help me process them.

    I hate to say it, And I'm probably wrong, but I feel emotionally dehydrated. In the beginning I would break randomly. Normally a song or our daughter whose under 8 would push me. Or worst of all telling someone new about our situation who I haven't update yet. But other than that I'm worried that I'm so focused on her inevitable end that by the time it happens, I'll treat it like a puncture and just sort it all move on, because I've been grieving silently over months/years.

    My wife was diagnosed in January this year with a 2 to 3 years prognosis with chemo 5 years if very very Lucky. They misdiagnosed her rectal tumour for internal haemorrhoids. She was pregnant we chose to terminate at 17 weeks to focus on saving as much time as possible. She was doing so well on chemo, up till 15th June she then ended up in hospital with low neutrophils leading to sepsis due to an infected picc line. Watching her suffer during this period hammers it all home. But looking after a small child forces you to grab life again which adds to my fears I'm losing my emotional connection to her upcoming end. 

    Life is complicated.

    Kids make it more so...

  • You hit the nail on the head. There are no rights or wrongs. Feelings just are, and we are all triggered by different situations, sights, sounds, smells, thoughts, conversations… As difficult as it is, for me I find it helps to live in the now and not think about the after. It doesn’t work all the time, but does help me get through the now.  

    It sounds like you’ve had some heartbreaking decisions to make and nightmares to go through, for which I am so sorry. Dealing with your hound children as well can’t be easy. Just remember to be kind to yourself. At the end of the day you love your family and will always do the best for them. Feelings are part of life, but they don’t mean you care and more or any less. Just remember to fine time to look after you too if you can. Even if it’s one small thing every day. Easier said than done I know, and it may make you feel guilty but you’re an important person too. 

    will stop rambling at you now! Hope today is a good day for you all

  • Sorry for the random typos - always happens on the phone!!

  • Hi Bim07

    Yes absolutely. No walk in the park. Annoyingly I'm a planner. So living one day at a time only lasted a few months. Then I went back to type.  Now I'm stuck and just trying to do both. Which I will say is a pleasant distraction. 

    Never mind the typos. I know the feeling.

    Have a pleasant weekend. As best you can

  • Hi, sorry to hear the diagnosis. What you feel sounds completely normal. I have decided that what I reel does not change the outcome, so what I feel is every day is a blessing, normally we do not have a countdown timer, now I know there is one I don't look at it but instead think think each morning, thats another day to celebrate. But whatever you are think it is not right or wrong so just be you and be present x

  • Keep the faith let her lean on you when she's weak don't give up on her support her and give her the strength to get through always here if you need to talk fella

    God speed