• How to get husband to realize I am still recovering from my cancer treatments. Nothing has changed. I still have all the resposibilities, ch

    Asked by lou3863 on Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    How to get husband to realize I am still recovering from my cancer treatments. Nothing has changed. I still have all the resposibilities, ch

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • Debbie's Avatar

      louLou3863 - you are at the right place for support! Can you be a bit more specific in your question?

      almost 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Looks like you may have hit enter before you finished typing.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      If you find an answer, DON'T TELL MY WIFE! :-)

      almost 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Hugs. Maybe you and your DH should speak to a third party where you both can express what you need from each other.

      almost 8 years ago
    • JenniferC's Avatar

      I think SueRae1 has a good suggestion in going to talk to someone, but I also know that is easier said than done...have tried to get my husband to go to counseling with me in the past and it's not easy to do. I also struggle with feeling like I do everything around the house and for my two small kids while still recovering from cancer treatment/surgery. Wish I had answers for you...but know that I can sympathize and am thinking of you.

      almost 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The old adage "if you keep doing what you have always done, you will continue to get what you've always got" comes to mind. If you "still have all the responsibilities", why would you expect that to change post treatment if it didn't change before or during treatment? Spouses aren't usually mind readers. If your husband need to take over some responsibilities that you have always had, then you need to tell him so. How else would he know?

      almost 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Have you asked your DH to do specific chores? Maybe he doesn't know what to do? Sit down with DH and tell him what you need....if you feel you need help with this, ask an inpartial 3rd party to help you...such as maybe your oncologist, pcp, clergy or mental health therapist....

      almost 8 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I have never been comfortable asking for help -- regardless of how I have felt, I have remained my stubborn self and will struggle. However, I am blessed with a wonderful husband who has become tuned into me. He has learned that I will not ask -- so he has taken the initiative on his own. He has always loved to cook so that was a help. After surgery, he took over vacuuming and running the laundry through (I fold) -- I am feeling better now and getting my energy back but he seems to be in the routine and who am I to stop him -- lol! His understanding of my nature is not the case with all husbands. I think that we have to remember that they are also on a "journey" - that of the caregiver. They are also devastated by the diagnosis - they feel helpless because they cannot make it better - they may hesitate to take over chores in fear of making the patient feel even less adequate. They may need to know that help is not only okay but much needed and appreciated. The key is to swallow our pride -- let go of the stubborness -- to be open & honest -- and tell him what our needs are. The fact is - he may appreciate knowing what he can do to assist in this battle. Not sure if my thoughts are helpful but I wish you the best.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Crash's Avatar

      As a man, I can tell you that we are often clueless. You will have to sit him down, look him square in the face, state that you are still not up to being your regular self, that you need more help from him, and that if that help does not materialize right now, he is going to lose his marital privileges!

      If that doesn't work, you're going to have to start calling his family and state to whoever answers the phone, let's call your husband "Bob", Bob isn't helping, he's being a dick, and you have cancer. If you have brothers, tell them, have them sit at a table with them, and have him explain to them why he hasn't been helping. If that doesn't wake him up, you might need a lawyer.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Mindfullness' Avatar

      I think cancer and cancer treatment are still difficult to discribe to significant others or to freinds. Even most of the doctors are merely functional people. I am a cancer patient and it is second time for me. "Oh you look good" or they "how do you feel" Most of your friend and family only see the external part deep down most of the cancer patients goes through very personal, hard to explain deep emotional isolation. However, the best way to overcomme is to engage in the community and read St, Benedict Rules, Meditation, deep breathing, Auto biography of a Yogi and whwereever you go there you are" if you can take a walk and pray there is a greater power out there. There, I belongs. It is a mystry. I found Lords prayer and G reading of Gita is helpful.


      almost 8 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      One of the biggest thngs learned from this whole process this year is that you have to communicate, tell people what you need. I found myself so tired at times and yet because we are not visably "sick" or seem to be looking better after all the treatments, it is hard for otheres to know that we need support. I actually ran into this and joined a support group at our hospital. Everyone goes through this! Good to know. But, I've learned a valuable lesson.. work on myself! I never knew how to ask for help, and then became so exhausted I got nasty when I really needed help. Instead, now I admit I'm tired, ask nicely for help and really let others know that I'm stretched. Don't get into the bad cycle of getting so tired, feeling used, etc. Not good for your overall recovery and stress. But, learn not to blame others for things they don't know or understand and when you communicate with them, do it only with Love. Works so much better!

      almost 8 years ago
    • gmorcutt's Avatar

      If there is a counselor or a nurse navigator at your cancer treatment center, they might be a very good person the two of you could visit with. I agree; a third party could be helpful.

      From my experience I was told that it would take at least two years after my treatment was completed before I had the energy to assume a "normal" life. They were absolutely right. I still need to have a rest once in a while.

      Maybe attending a support group for caregivers might also help your husband understand a little better. Best of luck.

      almost 8 years ago
    • ScrapbookerKay's Avatar

      Sometimes guys are clueless, but it is partially our fault because we think it's faster or better just to do everything ourselves. If your husband isn't the type to pitch in and help, ask him if you could possibly hire a cleaning lady or someone to do laundry or run errands or babysit just to help you during the week. Maybe that will get the point across that you are still recovering and need help.

      almost 8 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      This is a tough one as no one knows how you feel inside except you. And male caregivers are not always as sympathetic and understanding when the side effects linger longer than they think they should. My husband thought I was taking too many naps, sitting in the chair all day long, would come home and say "what did you do today?" It used to bug me so!! What helped me out is simply asking...it's very hard to do, too. When I was too tired to cook dinner, I asked my youngest son 12 at the time, to cook something simple....like Mac and Cheese from a box, or heat up some soup. It helped him out (he's a great cook now!) and me, too....and the family had something decent to eat. I also had my husband go with me to my Docs appointments...He was able to ask some questions like "why is she so tired all the time?" and got answers like fatigue is the last side effect to come back to normal. Turns out I also had sleep apnea. Encourage him to go with you to appointments and get a better understanding of the recovery process. And ASK for help - we made a plan, that I would dust, he would vaccuum, he cleans 2 bathrooms, I clean 1. Stuff like that...share the responsibilities...and maybe counseling would even help. We've come a long way in our journey together and counseling has helped us with our expectations of each other and to communicate much better.

      almost 8 years ago
    • janabel681's Avatar

      My husband says he is not a "mind reader". When I was first diagnosed, nothing changed until we saw a therapist connected with the chemo center. We met with her together and alone. I have gotten to the point that I will tell how I am feeling and that seems to make realize that I need his help. There are times when he is not well himself. Neither of us don't like to ask for help from anyone. I think the real answer is to just open your mouth and ask for what you need. The more you do this the easier it becomes!

      almost 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Just tell him.

      Say that despite the very appreciated fact that you look beautiful and healthy in his eyes, you feel weakened, you are struggling, you are foundering, and you need his help with this and that until you are more recovered from the cancer treatment ordeals.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Russ' Avatar

      Hi Lou, I don't know that there is anything you can do. Regardless of how hard our family and friends try to support us...they just don't get it! You have to have gone through chemo and radiation treatments to understand how much it takes out of you and what the long term side effects are. That is why there are places such as "WhatNext." These people get it, because they have been through it before. There is a place called Gilda's Club, named after Gilda Radner from Saturday Night Live. It is not for everyone, but I am still a member and volunteer. It has soany free things available such as Wellness meetings, and Family & Friends. Both of these groups meet once a week at the same time as Wellness Group meets. The Wellness group is people who are currently going through treatments, or are 1-2 years past their treatment date. Of course the Family & Friends Group meets at the same time...they are the milor friends of those in Wellness. If you could get your husband to Family & Friends, and you to Wellness I believe it would a huge help to both of you. In most of the meetings at Gilda's Club it is about 75% women. I have often thought that women have it more diffcult than men. It seems as though their responsibilities never stop, especially if they have younger children. I don't know where the Gilda's Club may be in your area but you can reach the Program Director:
      [email redacted]. They are located at: 120 Longwater Dr Suite 104, Norwell, MA 02061. Give them a try if they are close enough. I hope all works out for you, but also it requires a lot of patience on both parties to understand what is going on...it is not easy.

      almost 8 years ago

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