Helping my wife through this cancer thing

Hanging out with my wife

Cancer sucks. It not only affects the person who has cancer, but also many family members and friends. In my case, my wife has taken on the role of my primary caregiver. Being a caregiver for a loved one is hard! In this post, I’ll briefly discuss how I am trying to help her help me.

I’ll help you through this

Back when I received my cancer diagnosis, I remember visiting with my wife on our deck. I could tell she didn’t know whether to be angry, to cry, or scream. I remember telling her, “don’t worry, I’ll help you through this.” She just stared at me and said: “but I’m supposed to be helping you!”. That is a moment I will never forget.

Looking back, I think we were both right. In so many ways, my wife has been the perfect caregiver, especially when I go through treatments. She spent hours sanitizing our house when I had to go through chemo. My wife continually goes out of her way to keep sick people away from me. At every medical appointment, my wife is there. Of the very few appointments my wife hasn’t made, she sets up someone to be with me and worries the whole time. It appears to me that my wife spends more time worrying about my health than anything else. 

I’ve tried many ways to care for my wife while she is taking care of me. The only thing that seems to work is to spend time with her. When I think about it, I reassure her I am not going anywhere anytime soon. I try to let my wife know just how much I appreciate everything she is doing for me. That even includes the times she nags me to be careful when going into a public event, such as a concert. I keep trying to assure her I will be there for her.

Assuring her I’m here is the key

Part of me wishes I could do more for my wife. And yes, I do try to do more for her. But in the end, all she seems to want is an assurance that I am not going anywhere. If anyone out there is in a similar situation, I would let your caregiver know just how much you appreciate what they are doing. If that caregiver is a spouse or family member, I would recommend assuring them you plan to stick around for quite a while. Fighting this cancer shit can suck at times, but with the help of a great caregiver (especially a wonderful wife), the battle doesn’t have to suck quite as much.

Song of the day: Stand By Me

I think this classic song performed by Ben E King says it all.

Bonus Song: Lean On Me

Another song that I think says it all. A few good remakes have been recorded of this song, but I’m sharing the original from Bill Withers. It’s just such a great song with an important message.

My wife thought chemo went differently yesterday

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The wife fretting over me.

Yesterday I blogged about my third round of chemo. Overall I felt it went well, even with my blood pressure dropping quite a bit. My wife Mind however remembers yesterday differently. In this post I will briefly blog about how she though this round of chemo went.

 

First off Mindy agrees that my blood pressure was dropping. But she doesn’t see it as being no big deal. In fact her and one of the nurses were worried a bit because my blood pressure was dropping much quicker than it had the previous two rounds of chemo. My initial blood pressure was 130/68. It was 99/52 the last time it was checked. Telling her this is a known possible side-effect doesn’t make Mindy feel any better. It is just one of the things my poor wife has to worry about while I am on chemo.

Another thing other thing Mindy worried about yesterday was my dizziness. During this round dizziness seemed to be a larger side effect that it had been in the past. Even if I got up slowly to go the bathroom I would experience some dizziness. Mindy said it looked like I was about to fall over and I was very unsteady walking to and from the bathroom. I really think she wishes I would have called the nurse. But I couldn’t see calling a nurse for doing something so simple as walking to the bathroom. Mindy might have been right though…

Finally Mindy mentioned I was not sleeping as hard as I had during the previous two rounds of chemo. The Benadryl definitely knocked me out. But this time she said I would keep sitting forward in my chair and it would look like I was about to tip forward out of said chair. I don’t recall doing this. But I expect I was doing so because my back pain has been getting worse over the last few weeks. The shot I take to rebuild my bone marrow probably has something to do with my back pain getting worse. Sometimes the shots of pain I get are debilitating. But it doesn’t last long at high levels of pain and usually settles down to about a six on my pain scale. Mindy was definitely worried about this happening during chemo and me possibly falling forward onto my face.

I’ve said it before that chemo is hard on my body. It is also hard on my psyche at times. But I think in some ways Mindy is under much more mental stress due to my cancer than I am. It doesn’t help matters that we have a son with medical problem just as bad if not worse than my own. Hopefully I can find a way to reduce some of the stress on Mindy. She really has been a large reason I have coped so well with cancer so well.