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Mum to a baby and coping with husband's cancer diagnosis.

Mountains2019
Posted by

Just wondering (and hoping) if there are any group chats for partners of those affected by cancer, with young children?

My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer two weeks ago (aged 44). We have a 7 month old baby and I'm not coping too well. I need to be strong, positive and cheery for them both, but I feel like I'm about to break. I know this is not about me. He is the one with this dreadful disease. So, I have to find a way to be the wife and mum they need me to be -with some urgency.

Hearing any advice, signposting, or chatting with people with similar experiences, would be greatly appreciated. 

Carolyn28
Posted by

hi

welcome to the online community sorry you've had to come and find us

there are plenty of groups and it might be worth taking a bit of time to click around, I'll have a look too.

I just thought I'd send a hug and say hi

Carolyn

xxx

 real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/115457

Dr Peter Harvey

https://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf

 

latchbrook
Posted by

Hi and a second welcome to the online community at what sounds like a very difficult time for you and your family.

Having a loved one with cancer affects everyone and not just the person with the cancer and it can be difficult to always be cheery and positive. You might like to take a look at this information from Macmillan about looking after someone with cancer. As well as practical information like your rights at work it also has a section on the emotional affects of caring.

Whilst there isn't a group specifically for partners with young children I'm sure you'll find lots of support if you join the carers group. You might also like to join the bowel cancer group as you can their ask questions and share experiences with those who have been diagnosed with this type of cancer.

To join either or both of these groups just click on the links I've created and then choose 'join this group' on the pages that open. You can then introduce yourself and ask questions after selecting 'start a discussion' and join in with existing conversations by clicking on 'reply'.

When you have a minute it would be really useful if could pop something about your husband's journey so far into your profile as it helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.

Sending a virtual ((hug))

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

What is a Community Champion?

Mountains2019
Posted by

Thank you for your kind reply. I'll have a good look around for the most appropriate group. Really interesting to read about the drug access issue you write about. x

Mountains2019
Posted by

Thank you latchbrook for taking the time to create the links for me. I'll have good look at them. Will also provide information on my profile about my husband, as I can see how useful this can be. I love your quote. 

Carolyn28
Posted by

hi

I've send a friend request

A lot of bowel cancers have very good outcomes. My brother was checked for bowel cancer recently.

What have you been told so far ?   

it's all a massive shock initially, don't feel bad about feeling overwhelmed 

Carolyn

xxx

 real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/115457

Dr Peter Harvey

https://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf

 

Mountains2019
Posted by

it is so completely overwhelming and unexpected. It changes you, doesn't it?

All we know is that he has a large, slow growing tumour. We don't know what type, stage etc of cancer it is and will have to wait until after the surgery in January to find out. It's absolutely terrifying. 

x

Carolyn28
Posted by

hi

we plod along day to day, we have a bit of a moan about random stuff

cancer strikes fear into our hearts

My GP said, it's not usually as bad as we think it's going to be.

I knew I'd had a problem because we'd put the 2012 scans next to the 2015 scans but I went away that night in complete denial.  It wasn't until the following weekend that I'd been promised the results and then couldn't get hold of either of the consultants that I went into meltdown. 

I Googled everything and nothing was giving me anything like good news. 

I'm fairly certain I dug out my will, looked at various life policies and insurances, fearing the inevitable. 

When I actually got to the results meeting it was largely good news but that gets tempered with the surgery and implications and statistics. 

statistics ...

love them or loathe them they can help get you through this first phase

Carolyn

xxx

 real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/115457

Dr Peter Harvey

https://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf

 

Mountains2019
Posted by

You have such admirable inner strength to have found a way to.cope with your cancer. My husband seems to find statistics a useful way to deal with his diagnosis and to help him make plans for his treatment. He's honestly being amazingly positive and practical (which makes me feel even more pathetic). Google and statistics are currently scaring the pants off me! I wonder if you could tell me how your loved ones supported you the best through the initial diagnosis? x

Carolyn28
Posted by

hi

I always said I was much happier going through treatment than having to watch one of my kids go through it, I would be in pieces. 

my husband was frankly a bit useless and ran off to be with another woman pretty much immediately ... but didn't leave, so we're still having to work through that one

he was scared

he panicked

he found someone is a sort of similar situation and they 'escaped' together

He can't bring himself to admit he's in the wrong, therefore can't apologise or attempt to reconcile our relationship 

He didn't want to tell anyone but I saw no reason to keep it all a secret

I told my kids, oldest nearly 30 and youngest 14 at the time, as soon as I had something sensible to tell them, which was that initially I was told my cancer was 'nothing to worry about'.  I had what's known as ductal carcinoma in situ, that's cells that are turning into cancerous cells but haven't developed the invasive components. 

Surgery is usually the most obvious form of treatment and a mastectomy was recommended. Angelina had just gone public with her decision to have a double mastectomy and that's what they said, just like Angelina Jolie, and I was able to say yes, and that was it.

Then of course the post surgery results showed Her2+ invasive cancer so I went through chemo, that was harder for them because you look different. 

My youngest son and my daughter, especially my daughter was very good, we'd have a little joke about whether I'd taken my temperature for the 20th time, if I coughed she'd say are you dying and we'd laugh and I'd say not yet !

it was our way of coping

my husband and I just drifted further apart, I didn't realise he was off with this other women until after I'd finished chemo, frankly I had enough on my plate, hauling myself out of bed in the morning, getting the youngest to school, cooking, cleaning etc

we thought my husband was just busy working, now when I look back I'm just f*******g furious.

So that's how not to handle it.  

Anything that just helps him get through treatment is going to be a bonus. 

What is his treatment plan, do we know that yet ??

Carolyn

xxx

 real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/115457

Dr Peter Harvey

https://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf

 

Carolyn28
Posted by

hi

I just had a read of the story on your profile

Our local hospital is a centre of excellence for colorectal and my brother went in for a polyp removal and was treated very well. 

Do you know which sort of surgery ?  My brother had keyhole surgery.

The waiting is the worst. Is your husband working ? Is the baby keeping you busy?  It's largely about distraction techniques at this stage. Some people don't like to read up on procedures but I found it helpful, just stick to the tried and trusted sites.

Which health area are you ??

Carolyn

xx

 real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/115457

Dr Peter Harvey

https://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf

 

Mountains2019
Posted by

So sorry for not replying sooner. I have no words for the way your husband treated you. Absolutely unbelievable. It sounds like your children keep you strong.

We're in South Yorkshire. The hospitals have been great so far. He's been offered keyhole, or a radical surgery called CME. He's so confused as to which to go for. I do read a lot about everything', he doesn't. It has to be his decision in the end. He's self employed and hasn't been able to work for the last month and possibly for the next 4-6months. We're hoping his life insurance might pay out something. It's a very worrying time financially too isn't it.

Our baby has been a great distraction - visiting father Christmas etc. He is such a blessing at this awful time. Are you keeping busy'? x

Carolyn28
Posted by

hi

no worries on the time it takes to reply, I'm here and get a notification when you tag me

I strongly feel that the self employed community need more help and I don't really know how to address it

If you work and pay PAYE tax and NI and fall ill you are supported but for the self employed there doesn't seem to be a safety net until you exhaust your savings and wind up your business. 

This was a bit of a theme in the breast group as some of the ladies had their own businesses.

Please call the helpline and see if you can find some financial help and also contact everyone you pay on a regular basis to let them know, even the gas and electric companies. Credit card companies can be flexible. 

If he has critical illness cover then that might be an option. 

0808 808 0000

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/getting-support/talking-to-us/macmillan-support-line.html

Carolyn

xxxx

 real life success stories to remind you that people do survive breast cancer

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/115457

Dr Peter Harvey

https://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what.pdf