• Am I abandoning my husband if I go back to work?

    Asked by RebeccaW on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Am I abandoning my husband if I go back to work?

    My husband is 50 has stage 4 cancer that spread from his colon to his liver. He has had very little side effects and is responding very well to chemo. He is honestly looking at his life and is considering going on permanent disability so he can enjoy "some" kind of retirement as we have seen more and more people around us come out of remission after 8-15 years from their first fight with cancer. But if he is considering going on permanent disability, that means I need to go back to work in order to provide for our family financially and medically. Though it saddens my heart to leave him in the middle of his fight. He has been becoming self sufficient more and more but I don't know what he needs. He says he's doing fine and to go back to work but I read on here so many patients who depend emotionally on those who assist them at home. I want to spend time with him but I also need to start planning ahead as well - yet without feeling like I'm leaving him behind. Any suggestions?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • mamajltc's Avatar
      mamajltc (Best Answer!)

      Hi. My husband has stage 4 colon cancer, now in his lung. He was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago. I remember that after the shock of it all, panic set in because he could no longer work: so many dr. appointments, colostomy bag that he had to get used to, side affects...etc. I had to choice but to work. He is 68. I am 52. And I am a nanny. When he got diagnosed, I was working about 30 hours/ week. I have since moved on to another family and now am gone about 55 hours. I completely understand how you feel, but know that my job as a wife and mom (of 2 teens), is to take care of my family and working is one way that I do it. When I accepted this job, I did make sure that if there were ever an emergency, there was a way i could get home (ie, emergeny contacts, etc) and also, I have save my vacation time, etc...I get the complete support from my husband and it is all good...
      Please know that part of this whole package, includes many things...being there in person, working, etc...and yes, finding time for yourself (the hardest part, but important)...and know that you are never alone in this journey
      Sharon :)

      about 9 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I would say it's the opposite of abandoning, but supporting. Your going back to work to help the family so he can enjoy life a little more. It's a gracious move on your part.
      Best of luck to both of you!

      about 9 years ago
    • ttisme's Avatar

      I agree with the other posts! But want to add, that I don't need to be tended to 24/7. I just need someone to make sure I eat during treatments! If your spouse is OK, in doing for himself while you are working and has a back up if something comes up...I say go for it.

      I hate feeling like I have kept someone from doing something they want, or have to do, in order to wait around to see if I'll need something!

      about 9 years ago

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