• I need help dealing with my husband's cancer diagnosis. any suggestions for coping with this devastating disease?

    Asked by Madison on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    I need help dealing with my husband's cancer diagnosis. any suggestions for coping with this devastating disease?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Ask his oncologist's office what local support groups are available in your area. Also ask about a social worker, case worker, or peer advisor/advocate. You can also get support from ACS by phone. There is also an online support group for caregivers, caregivers.org It is not cancer specific but it is caregiver specific rather than patient specific.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      My bad....link in previous post is bad. It should be:


      over 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      One strategy that has helped me cope with my own cancer is to take it One Day at a Time. And live in the moment for that's really all any of us have, each moment by moment.

      over 4 years ago
    • CaptainBob's Avatar

      There are very few ways thee than the one day at a time approach. The loss of control over your plans and future can ne quite frustrating and upsetting. I usually just take a deep breath and remember the serenity prayer. Even if you are not a spiritual person you should be able to understand that there simply times when you are not in control and have to accept that things will work out the way they will and you will need to accept the reault. Find a cancer center and oncologist you trust and have faith.

      over 4 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      Dear Madison:
      Here is a question I would ask - how is your husband dealing with it? As a caretaker, you have to operate on two levels - your own and his. You have to find a way to accept the fact that your husband has cancer. You also have to cope with his reality - treatments, side effects, facing his own mortality. And over all of that, your husband has the greater need and your own needs will be pushed into the background.
      In dealing with your relationship with your husband, you have to take your cues from him. If he is being brave, then you, too, should act bravely. If he breaks down and cries, then cry with him. If he mad, let him be angry. Men so often turn into anger, so make sure you give him space to express anger if that's what he wants to do. He's not angry at you - he's really just afraid. So let him let it out, don't take offense, and just be there for him.
      In processing this diagnosis for yourself, find someone to talk to. There will be times when you can talk it out with your husband but not all the time. No cancer survivor wants to talk about it all the time, and remember, he is processing his diagnosis himself and may be struggling. It takes time to work through the reality and get to a state of acceptance. So talk to a friend, a counselor, a support group, other caretakers, or all of them. Talking it out helps a lot. You can come to realize there's a lot of us out there going through the same thing and there is hope and ultimately peace.
      Blue is right - you have to take it one day at a time and every day will be different for a while.
      When I was diagnosed, my husband had a difficult time with it. There was one time when he gave me a cross to pray with (he's not terrible religious but he knows I value my faith) so it touched me deeply that he did this. I cried when I opened his gift, and he held me and cried, too. It was quite cathartic.
      Early on, when I could see my husband was having difficulty dealing with all of it, I sent him on a vacation to Montana for two weeks. I knew he needed time alone to think, and fish, and relax. When he came back, things were the best they have ever been. He needed his time to come to grips with things. Once he did, he was free to help me. Some time and space for yourself may help you and don't be afraid to take it - even if it's just a few hours. You can't help him until you have helped yourself.
      Fight On,

      over 4 years ago
    • joey's Avatar

      You've gotten good answers from all the people who have responded. And all the fear and pain you're experiencing now will be the roller coaster ride throughout your loved ones cancer journey. When my husband fought his cancer, having my sister's shoulder, emotional support from my friends and eventually hospice helped. I guess the only words of comfort I could give are, how fortunate to have loved and how wonderful life has been. And as attypatty said, take time for youself because it will be your strength that provides support for him.

      over 4 years ago
    • Madison's Avatar

      thanks for everyone's answers. You're right Joey, I have gotten many good answers to my question. I am very grateful.
      It's wonderful to know I am not alone in my struggles. I always knew that, but my efforts to connect with cancer support groups haven't been very good. I appreciate everyone joining in to help me.

      over 4 years ago

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