We have been married for nearly 34 years, I will be 58 in February and my wife Shirley will be 58 in March and we have a 33 year old married daughter pregnant baby due in early March.
My wife has primary breast cancer and secondary lung cancer both are untreatable without the option of surgery. Since her original diagnosis in December 2012 she has had six different types of chemotherapy and and twenty treatments of radiotherapy and approximately six surgical interventions around her breast area. At the beginning of December last year there was an option of more chemotherapy but because of the build of fluid around her lung she now has a chest drain, the chemo option was taken off the table because it was extremely unlikely that it would be of any benefit to her.
We have some fantastic support from the community nursing team that come in every other day and drain the fluid which does make her feel better although she is on oxygen almost permanently to help her although her mobility is very limited and I am now helping her with personal care. Despite all this and even the fact that it is unlikely she will get to meet our new granddaughter (Shirley’s own outlook) we still manage to have some laughs and that helps me cope.
Since Shirley has been diagnosed as terminal I feel in a kind of limbo stuck in between and dreading the vacuum she will leave in my life. This in some ways make me feel a little selfish I’m not sure if that is a common feeling with others in this situation. She keeps giving me advice on what I should and shouldn’t do after her death and she has given instruction to our Labrador ted that her can have her side of the bed and not to let any other woman sleep there. As I write this at 4:35 am he is asleep and dreaming at the side of me, since just before Christmas Shirley is now sleeping in the spare room in a hospital type bed with oxygen machine working away.
We have had the most amazing support and care from all of the staff within the Sheffield Weston Park and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals.
It doesn't sound at all selfish when you think of 'the vacuum she will leave in my life'. My husband has had three different cancers and is going to the doctor today with bone pain. I often think about how I would manage; there are things I just don't have the strength to do and others I don't know how and, yes, the vacuum. It's perfectly normal to feel like this and I completely understand the limbo as well.
It's so good to hear that you have had such good support. Love the labrador's instructions. I have a dog too and she would be my pal and my support, the one who would help me to feel still needed. Your wife sounds very brave and lovely that you still 'have some laughs'.
Thinking of you,
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