• How has your family life changed since being diagnosed with cancer?

    Asked by CarolLHRN on Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    How has your family life changed since being diagnosed with cancer?

    Family is in mind now with the holidays upon us. Anything thoughts about how family life has changed. I know many traditions ended and started with my cancer diagnosis.

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • Harry's Avatar

      For the most part, no real change for me. My mother, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last winter, is thinking of going to a senior living center soon, but that's more a function of her age. The cancer enters into it primarily because she doesn't have the stamina she used to have. That will make a large change.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      In mhy case I was diagnosed more than 8 years ago and just two years (2 years and 15 days to be exact) after getting married, thus fighting cancer has become one of the main focuses of our marriage. It means that we could not do a lot of the things that we had planned and have to plan a lot around treatment. We hope for periods of remission (the longer the better) and an eventual cure but have to always remember that it could come back. My stepsons are both grown and have good careers so we do not have to worry about dragging childern through the daily cancer battle which is a blessing. Since we had so little time together before cancer it is hard to know what would have been without cancer, but I do know that cancer has hurt much more than it has helped.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I have been on the "journey" since last November. Yes, I do believe that cancer has changed my family
      life. Basically because I have little energy and don't participate in all of the things I used to.
      Sounds odd; but my cancer seems to be the elephant in the room at most family events.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      Since I was diagnosed Nov 2011 and had surgery Dec 2011, my cancer dominated the 2011 Holiday Season. This year, there seems to be an appreciation within the family for a much happier holiday. In fact, the family has moved on -- with their busy routines. Of course, the memories and fears remain with me -- but I do not share them ( except with my husband who is a wonderful confidante). With my energy returning, I am able to do so much more. I have even taken an interest in cooking again which I had lost years before diagnosis. However, my "chemo brain" does interfere at times -- like when I was trying to make the perfect stuffing for Stuffed Pork Chops -- and forgot the sage. Oh well ----------------------------------

      almost 4 years ago
    • Debio's Avatar

      The everyday things have not changed for me. What has changed is how much my children have to do around the house to help out. It has helped them become more considerate and caring towards me as well as other ill "handicapped" people they come in contact with. When I get a cold or when I have to go get a transfusion, they do worry a bit. Since I have been in remission, I guess we all are waiting for the other shoe to drop. The question lingering in the air is "when will I relapse". In a strange way this has brought us closer together. It has helped bring perspective and an appreciation for every moment.

      almost 4 years ago
    • kenw's Avatar

      I finished all mt treatments for SSC base of tongue on 6/27/12 (45th wedding anniversary!). My life has changed in so many ways it is virtually indescribeable. I am not sure if it is age (67) or the after effects. I feel fine, just fatigued all of the time. I do force myself thru my daily activities, but the "get up and go" has "gotten up and went". I had a final (I hope!) biopsy done earlier this week and am hoping for a good and clear result. My lower dentures should be finished in early January. Then I can have this pesky PEG tube removed and start chewing some real food. Maybe then I can start to regain a bit of the ~40 lbs I have lost. Energy and stamina hopefully will return with better tasting nutrition. My spouse has been my "rock" throughout this ordeal. I will never be able to express my gratitude for her bearing up under such a tremendous strain this demon has placed upon her.

      almost 4 years ago
    • kiki1875's Avatar

      Relative to the holidays......I think the biggest change is realizing exactly how little energy Dad has these days. We've decorated the Christmas tree together every year since I was 3. Kinda silly, but that was our tradition and he just doesn't have the energy this year. That hurts.......

      almost 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Surprisingly little for others.... I think. I know many wrapped me in cotton (not really) but treated me different for a while. I think now that I'm almost 7 years clear of cancer .... I'm treated almost normal. But then, sometimes someone will slip up and hug me and tell me they are so glad I'm here! There's a look in their eyes that say... "still here".

      almost 4 years ago
    • Lavonne's Avatar

      I can relate to your response so much. No, it is not silly to feel sad about not being able to carry on the traditions with your Dad. I feel the same way about my sister in law. The last 2 years even with chemo we have been able to do so much fun Christmas things together and this year it has changed so much. She just doesn't have the energy to do what we use to and it is does hurt.

      almost 4 years ago
    • kiki1875's Avatar

      This is our first Christmas after Dad's diagnosis and while the body is weak, the mind is very strong. He is particularly fussy about anybody touching "his" tree so my mother and I are prepping for the attitude we will get while we deck the halls. I will tell you this....I am immensely grateful he still has enough energy to fuss! :-)

      almost 4 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      My husband and son's family think I'm still too fragile to do much, even though it's now 3 months post-chemotherapy and 2 months post-port removal. My distant family in another state think I can do everything that they do, and they're pretty active. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle of these 2 positions. Hopefully longer-term recovery and a "cure" will someday put me where distant family think I am already!

      almost 4 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      For Thanksgiving, we were at my brother's house close by for 3 hours. I was just plain wiped out by the time we got back home. All I had to do was show up and be a guest.

      Wondering how to get through the Christmas holidays which are almost upon us with my body's muscles screaming at me with everything I seem to do lately. Is it just me or are other folks' bodies worse after chemo then during chemo?

      Add on to the stress list of the holidays that I have my 1st 3 month checkup on Dec 14th.

      almost 4 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar

      No big changes, just subtle differences. Some avoid certain topics. Some treat me as if I were fragile. And some are still all wrapped up in their world and are unchanged. I find that I tend to throw myself into the middle of things a bit more than before. I'm trying to experience all that I can while I can. Thanksgiving was great as the whole family assembled and I (yes I'm a guy) cooked for 14. Everyone seemed to like my turkey, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, dressing, and rice. I was beat after the weekend and really knew what my wife meant when she said that it was really nice when everyone was happy to say good bye.

      Keep it positive and smile :)

      almost 4 years ago
    • acalltofaith's Avatar

      My family life changed dramatically since my cancer diagnosis. To make a long story short, cancer put a real divide into our marriage and I'm sure it overflowed toward the children. Where I use to have a full family of support around the holidays, often I find myself alone. I still cherish every day, but this time of year is particularly hard. I was watching a re-run of the Jimmy V ESPY award speech last night and it helps put life in perspective for me. I am a 4x cancer survivor and learn to move on for the best! Merry Christmas!!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Johneen's Avatar

      Things have changed for me and not so much for the better. My mother can't see past my cancer so everything is about cancer, I ask her please let's not discuss it every time we talk but she can't seem to help it and then we get into an argument. My sister who is almost 3 years older seems to treat me as a fragile baby when is am in better shape then her cancer or not. It is very frustrating and I am at my wits end with them.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      Cancer made me a more compassionate person. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from my family and friends (many who had already gone through breast cancer), and I took that compassion and paid it forward to my family and friends who were eventually diagnosed with some sort of cancer. It helped me to know what my husband was going through when he was diagnosed with leukemia and his subsequent death. I don't think I could have dealt with what he went through without having gone through it myself.

      almost 4 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      After 4 years of remission, my family life is better than ever! It was a long haul though with many bumps (trials with kids, feeling them separate from me, my husband had an affair...but it was a catalyst that brought us back together and made us deal with underlying issues we had for many years) in the end my "new normal" is better than my old. We all do more giving - community service, Relay for Life, etc. I'm now closer to my children and they aren't afraid to tell their friends I had cancer (or mention it in our conversations either). We still stick with our old holiday traditions, and celebrate more birthdays - like diagnosis day and remission day. We all "don't sweat the small stuff" anymore and count our blessings each and every day....our family motto: Life is Good!

      almost 4 years ago
    • ScrapbookerKay's Avatar

      My big change was losing my job. I couldn't prove it, but I know the insurance premiums for a small business drove the decision. But it was a very stressful job and I'm sure it wasn't good for me. I now have a great part time job. I spend very precious time with my 2 wonderful grandchildren. I tend to be more easy going and don't worry so much about the things I can't change or control. Hope you enjoy your holidays.

      almost 4 years ago
    • reddingfemale's Avatar

      I was the odd ball out till , I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin Lymphoma , then i fit right in. But, I come from a long line of cancer patients. Not to sound like this is a joke but, I never been closer with my sisters in a sense but, then they all up and died on me so here I sit alllllllll alone no one to talk to and not even my mom she died in 2012 , but, i have three brothers but, no one will talk about how I am doing or how I am feeling . that is the only thing that has changed since my diagnose and my siblings / mom passed away .

      almost 4 years ago
    • jgrin10's Avatar

      I think I am much more mindful. So I live in the present moment. With a 10 year old daughter I am more patient with her and she is more patient with me. There is a clarity that has come with my cancer, for that I am thankful. I am even more likely to "do" things and not say . . . "someday". Someday has come.

      almost 4 years ago
    • jgrin10's Avatar

      My husband has been extremely supportive. The diagnosis was quite a shock. I was an active healthy 50 year old woman with no family history of cancer. It is a cliche, but it has brought my husband and I closer, we operate on a much more emotional level.

      almost 4 years ago
    • maralyn's Avatar

      i have found that through every tramatic (at the times anyway) situation we have been through in a 'lil over a year, there was always "blessings" that shone through the messes!!! now with me having cancer, i am sure there will be great things to come from this, too. i met a man not long before i was diagnosed, he hasn't left me yet!!! this will be our first Christmas together and i guess there is always room for new traditions and different ways of celebrating!!! i just want us all together this year,,, which did not happen last year,,, i just hope and pray we all will get along and everyone makes it a special time together!!!

      almost 4 years ago

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