As a husband and caregiver of a wife battling cancer, times have been real hard. For the most part people have no idea. I want to make sure that I document things not for pity, but for the opportunity to help anyone else that is or might have to go through these things.
No one is ever ready to deal with cancer. As a caregiver, a husband, and a father it took us by surprise to find out that my wife had cancer. I had no idea what to do next. The first thing that came to my mind was “How am I supposed to raise my daughters without my wife?” The second thing was “How can I go on by myself?” Then anger and next a million other questions flooded my brain.
If you know anything about me you know that I have been 14 years clean and sober. Now on that day, I thought about having a drink or two. My heart was broken and I could not stop anything that was going on, I had lost total control. The best part of me (MY WIFE) took me by the hands and we fell on the floor and started to cry. This was the best thing we both could do.
After what felt like an hour we started to plan how we were going to tell our daughters the devastating news. How can you tell your kids when there is no playbook to go by? We seemed lost and confused as we spoke to one another. This was the day our world as we knew it, changed.
At times, it will seem like there are not enough hours in one day and not enough days in the week. I had to continue to work while my wife was getting her chemo treatments. For me it meant leaving work in the morning and meeting my wife at the clinic. In about six to eight hours later we would be heading home to our girls. I had used all my sick days and most of my vacation time to tend to different things like chemo, surgery, and doctor’s appointments.
Coworkers and friends do not really understand what an emotional rollercoaster life becomes. People always say if you need anything you can count on me. The truth is that unless you have gone through this you will not understand it. Most of the people I know were not even aware of what mesothelioma was. However, I was and still am extremely grateful for their kindness. No one can ever prepare you to deal with a loved one after their chemo treatment. This is the moment when you get that feeling that you wish you could get inside the body of your loved one and take away all their pain.
I prayed a lot and I still pray a lot. I have all my faith in God. I speak to a selected few and I try to ignore the other people who think it’s ok to make fun of people who do not have any sick days left. Yes, I am the lucky one!! I have that not so funny coworker. As much as it hurts I have realized that some people just don’t care since this is not happening to them. I can only pray that they will never have to deal with anything like this in their life.
Stay strong and positive. Don’t let others dictate how you feel. Smile and laugh as much as you can. It does help. Other people do not have to understand or care what you are going through. Be there for your loved one. Let no one fight alone. God Bless You and Your Family. AMEN