My Husband of 37 years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2011. It has impacted every fiber of my being. Initially, I thought I would not be able to deal with it, but somehow, I guess you find a way to do so. Instead of focusing on planning our retirement together, I am now focusing on trying to find ways to regain his health and prolong his life. To date he is cancer free, but is suffering severe effects from the radiation.
I have always been the eternal optimist, but now view optimism in a different way. Unlike many other people on this site, I do not feel that maintaining a positive attitude at all costs is necessary. I believe optimism should be tempered with realism and that cancer patients and caregivers should both be allowed to grieve, without being made to feel guilty for it. I grieve the loss of lives the way they were and our future as we had planned it.
That is not to say there aren't also positives. I have found strength I didn't know I had. We have received love and support from so many. I have made a very dear friend from this website. I've learned to take advantage of every minute he has that he feels well, and to value every precious moment in life.