• Helping my wife cope during my transplant evaluation which lasts a week.

    Asked by steve70x7 on Monday, May 21, 2012

    Helping my wife cope during my transplant evaluation which lasts a week.

    We go to Dallas Baylor Medical Center for a transplant evaluation June 4th. They will be doing everything from cat scans to endoscopy, tread mill to psychological workup. By the time we finish they will be able to decide if I go on the wait list.

    This is going to be (and already is) a difficult time on my wife. Any ideas on how I can keep her spirits up?

    1 Answer from the Community

    • CherylHutch's Avatar

      Steve... not to sound uncaring, because I don't mean it the way it might sound, but right now YOU are the patient. It is YOUR spirits that need support and your well-being and health that needs nurturing and care. You will be getting a lot of information during this evaluation (any evaluation that takes a week or more to do, will involve a lot of information sharing from your health care team). A lot of it can seem overwhelming just in terms of how much information is being shared, discussed, etc.

      I'm making an assumption here but am assuming that throughout your care/treatments while you are waiting for a transplant, your wife will be your primary caregiver? So as your caregiver/advocate, she is going to have to put her own "spirits" aside and focus on what you are going to need, how to maintain all the information that you will be getting from various doctors/surgeons/specialists, as well as being your positive, upbeat spouse. It's a really tough job for anyone and obviously she is very concerned about you... but you can't make worrying about others and how you are going to support/care for them be your priority while you go through this personal battle.

      I know there are Caregiver support groups out there and it would be a good idea to see what groups/support is offered by Dallas Baylor Medical Center. There are also probably groups she could join that are offered by your local Liver Transplant Association (or something similar). If she is not comfortable joining an actual group where it would involve meeting face to face, either on a one-to-one basis or in a group situation, there are oodles of support forums here on the Internet, where she can be involved from the comfort of her own home. I think she (and you) would be very surprised just how comforting and how much hope and help there is when you/she meets other caregivers/spouses going through exactly the same thing she and you are going through. It is amazing what a huge relief it is to find out that what you are going through is the same thing many, many others are going through and that you are not alone.

      You have found this forum, which is great because there are so many wonderful people on it. I just did a quick scan of the various boards here on WhatNext and there doesn't appear to be one specifically for Caregivers... but I could have missed it. I know the Cancer Support Network (http://csn.cancer.org) is also another good one. There will be others, and ones specific to Liver Cancer.

      There's not too much you can do other than tell her you love her and that the two of you can fight this battle together. But it will also be up to her not to let her worries be a burden/stress on you because you are going to need all your energy focused on healing... and ridding yourself of any stress, since stress is a major stumbling block to healing :)

      Good luck, my friend!

      Cheryl in Vancouver

      over 4 years ago

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