Carers only

Looking after a loved one with cancer? This is a safe and supportive place to share your worries and emotions. Please remember when posting that this group is for Carers only.

how to cope ?

Posted by

Hi, new here so hope this is the right forum..... my husband been diagnosed with stage 3 /4 prostate cancer about a month ago. We have a one year old daughter and I know I have to be so strong and positive for both of them. Just wondering though how people cope with the fact that we can now never feel tired / overwhelmed / pissed off etc etc. I feel like it is not fair on him for me to say I am feeling bad, or I have had a bad day.... do we just have to hide our emotions and keep a smile on our faces all the time ? I suppose we do have to as they need our support so much but just wondering how people do it - I suppose it is just inner strength but I am a little bit scared by what is to come...... 

Posted by

you don't and shouldn't feel like you need to hide your emotions. showing your partner how you feel can bring you closer and your partner will appreciate your honesty. also, you will get really exhausted really quickly if you try to keep a happy strong face on. you will learn little things to conserve your own energy, get other people to help with your daily life, it all helps.

good luck 

Posted by

Hi blueeyes74

Welcome to our club, and sorry you had to join. 

The reality is that unless you're  well - physically,  mentally,  emotionally  - you will be useless in supporting him.

We found that being honest but kind in sharing our emotional ups and downs helped us to grow closer as a couple. 

Others find it easier to spare their partner and vent here or to a trusted person.  

There's no right or wrong, except what works for you and your relationship, and keeps both of you as healthy as feasible under the circumstances. 

Am I more snappy because I am more stressed? Definitely.  But I am also quicker to apologise and he is quicker to forgive (I think mainly because 'roid rage - the irritability that is a side effect of cortisone and other steroids that form part if his treatment  - is a very real issue *he* has to control currently). 

It's not an easy road. But I have learnt more about my husband than I thought was possible after 20-odd years together through this process.

And although there have been times I could quite cheerfully have killed him myself, so far, the experience has brought a closeness that I treasure. 

Biggg hugs. We're here. We understand. We allow venting. 


Posted by


I remember when we where told that my OH had prostrate cancer, it felt that my whole world stopped and everybody carried on as normal, your mind goes into the what ifs and I could not get beyond how the future that I thought we had might never happen, we are now almost a year on from that and although my OH gleason score was 3+3 and not 3+4 like your husbands we have learned to cope, yes there are tears occasionally, he has been on AS and now it is time to take the next step and am scared but I got the toolkit from Prostrate Cancer Uk site and found it really helpful have a look at their site, I looked around it and read other people profiles and their experiences and how they coped it helped. I took me a while to ask anything on there but when I did they where really helpful.  Hope this helps

Posted by

Hi. My lovely fiancée was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last week and it's been hell. We're still waiting for more tests to get the full diagnosis and hopefully treatment plan. We've both been through every emotion, shock, heartbreak, regret and anger. As you say resentment too for what we won't have. But we have had a lot and still have each other and every day is another memory and a blessing. Life is too short and it makes you appreciate what is important, having a smile, having a hug. We're each other's best friend and finding it good and liberating to talk a bout how we're both feeling. Personally I've found this and another FB closed site very supportive and that in itself is a blessing to have virtual friends with me. We'll most likely need each other in the coming weeks and months. Take care.

Posted by

Hello, I'm new here too.......wondering how and why.

We have been married for only 3 years and it's the 2nd time for both of us and we had so many happy plans, hopes and dreams for our life together, our retirement and our old age.  Now we are both 60 and my husband is terminally ill (and very poorly at the moment) with prostate cancer that was diagnosed when we had only been married 21 months.  We initially hoped it would treatable and we are real fighters, but now we're facing the horrible truth that this savage disease will win in the end. I'm just so angry, sad and scared and my future without this wonderful man is something I cant think about right now, but I think it'll help knowing that others will know how this all feels.  Sometimes I feel so tired and lonely - no, I think I mean alone, like no one could ever have felt this isolated. Of course I know it's not really the case, I know I'm really feeling sorry for myself, for us and I hate this feeling ..........How do we keep going when we know what we've got to face??  

Posted by

Jeez, I identify with everything you're all saying - the fear, the loneliness, the stress, the isolation, the anger, the incessant crying.

Thank goodness for this forum. Don't know how I'd cope without talking to others who get it. Everyone in my real life seems to be living in a different universe to me !

We are none of us alone.

Love to all,

Lucy x

Johnno hull
Posted by

I'm feeling lost,  I'm feeling down,  I'm confused this evening. 

I have Prostate Cancer diagnosed almost two years ago.  I have skin cancer diagnosed more than two years ago.  I am 67 years. 

I am also the carer for my wife who has a long-term degenerative diagnosis.  She is 72 years. 

I have a cleaner who comes to our bungalow every two weeks.   I have no other help.  I'm not offered help cos everyone tells me I look too well. 

Both of us lack motivation.  It's caused by her illness but for me is side effects from my medication.   But I'm frustrated that I'm not achieving anything in life.

I'm getting to the end of my tether.   In my sane moments I know I will cope.   But when I feel can't cope I get so depressed. 

Posted by

Hi b_b_e, 

The night times are always the hardest. Tonight is one of those nights when we won't share our bed. I swore i would never do this but he's too restless and uncomfortable and he has to use the bathroom every half hour at least, so he insists I go into the spare room. He thinks it allows me to sleep, but it doesn't. It just keeps a peace and we keep up a pretence that it's ok. Of course we both know it isn't and when I'm alone I cry a lot too (and I know he does too). I also cry during the day, in Sainsburys, when I'm driving, when I'm doing the dishes, at the dentist! But I don't worry about it, crying is ok.....we have a lot to cry about and for our own mental health it's best that we let it out.

I hope you can find sleep and some peace tonight. Tomorrow is another day - take care.


Posted by

Thanks so much - trying to get other people to help out is good - it is just hard when i have always been such an independent woman - i hate asking for help !! However i think things must change in circumstances like this.

Best wishes

Posted by

Hi there,

Just read through these posts and have some very similar feelings. Totally agree that it's hard to accept help from others when you're not used to it but people genuinely want to support you in your time of need. 

My partner was diagnosed with stage 3/4 non Hodgkin lymphoma in October, 2 weeks after giving birth to our son (we also have a 3 year old). It was a total shock and juggling life with the kids and the emotional rollercoaster of chemotherapy and other complications along the way. Sleep deprived from having a newborn and busy with a pre-schooler we find little time to ourselves but we do manage, we are honest with each other and talk about things day to day. There's never a good time to hear the C word but I feel lucky to have 2 beautiful children before my partner is almost definately made infertile through the treatment. 

If you have young kids it's hard enough to protect them from seeing the rough times when you're feeling down. And when I need a little cry or comfort I do turn to my partner as they want to support you through this too. Just as much as if he needs to have a moan or offload his worries we talk it through that evening. Neither of us are burdens on each other, we are a team and we will fight through this blip in our life journey. Talking to friends and family about things can do wonders, again the people around will want to help. Have things to look forward to, a special lunch or even a walk together when the sun shines those moments are so important.

 For those in the early stages, it does get easier and a lot has to be said for thinking and being positive as much as you can. We are 5 rounds down now- he may be having 6 or 8 if need be, a recent scan has told us that tumours have shrunk significantly and making good progress. The goal in my head (and his obviously) is to get the all clear and start rebuilding a normal life for our family!

Sending lots of love and positive thoughts to everyone,


Posted by

B, I know what you are saying when it comes to protecting the little ones when it comes to the rough times - that is one thing I am worried about with my little girl, but I think she just has to always see a happy face , and then if we need a little cry we have to do it when she has gone to bed !

I like the way you talk about it as a little " blip " - and yes, working together as a team with your other half is so important. We are also determined to fight this thing - my husband is heading off to India ( we live in Kenya ) next week for further tests and possible surgery out there - the cancer care out there is far more advanced than here, so we have everything crossed that his body can be back in harmony soon, instead of being at dis - ease......

best wishes XX

Posted by

Hi, sorry to hear about your problems, I can relate to how hard it can be with children around and the desire to try and protect them but it is often easier said than done. Our biggest heart rending moment was when we drove out to the hospital just to introduce Michael to the people in the support centre and he said "are we coming to leave mummy".

There is a lot of advice on here about talking to children and on the links at the bottom you can get hold of some of the printed/download information too.

If they are of an age to be at school it is also worthwhile letting the teachers know so that appropriate support can be arranged and any questions they might ask will be handled sensibly.



Posted by

Dear Johnno

I'm afraid no one will in the public sector will offer you help, they arel hard pressed dealing with people who have asked. but there is help out there

 Ring the helpline this morning and ask them how you find out what help is available and how you access it. I'm sure you will find they will know all about it.

On the non professional side, I'm afraid you may again have to ask for it. If people ask how you are, tell them that you are struggling. Try to think of someone who would do something for you, just a small thing which they are able to do, like sitting having a chat with your wife while you go out for a walk,  or down the pub, or whatever you fancy.

I have found that at least half the people you ask , will try to do something for you. If you get the wrong one first don't despair,  try again. You will get some support.

And ring the helpline this morning.

Please come back and keep us informed! People here are interested.

Kind regards


Posted by

Hi Johnno

Just because you look okay does not mean that inwardly you are okay who can really tell how you are feeling.

I am just a but older than you and slightly younger than your wife and afraid our generation was at the front of queue,when we were younger, when they handed out pride and now is probably the time for you to swallow your pride and seek help.

Please consider your own health and think for a moment if you become ill, for any reason, who would look after your wife, quite a sobering thought but it is something that you must address soon.

As Niobe rightly has said you must ask for help if not for yourself certainly for your wife who depends on you.

So where can you go,

firstly your local town hall or council offices or GP surgery and ask what they are able to do to help, if they tell you nothing just ask if they can suggest someone you can speak to and, if you can, be persistent don't get fobbed off keep asking until you get someone who will listen. It might even be time to show your emotion and have tears in your eyes as you ask for help.

Secondly for someone to come to your house to chat to you and your wife you could contact AgeUK who have community befrienders, it is only a chat service they don't do home help.

Or what about your local church could they give some assistance or the Rotary or Round Table or some similar organisation.

Maybe there is a club in the local area that could pick you both up and take to a hall for lunch if nothing more just to get you out the house into the company of others.

Please ask for help, believe me, they will not be queueing outside your front door with offers, you need to ask for help, it's out there its just finding it but someone is holding the key to the information you need urgently.

In the meantime make sure you look after yourself and especially now that we are having a cold snap keep yourself warm.

Don't be afraid to ask for help from anyone.