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Can't hold a conversation without breaking down crying 
Started by RichardH2014
18 Jan 2014, 5:05 PM

I am looking after my married partner at home in palliative care. He is the love of my life and the whole thing is tearing my heart out. I am going to return to work on a part time basis starting this week but I'm having such a hard time talking to anyone about the situation without breaking into tears. It's getting very embarrassing. Any suggestions?
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Reply by KathCull_admin
18 Jan 2014, 6:23 PM

HI RichardH,

Welcome. Although each person’s story is unique, there are many people in our little community, like Marstin, NatR and Mark99, who can relate to what you're going through.

I can only imagine how difficult it is for you to talk about your partner with others. Each conversation reminds you how ill he is – that is sad. Tears are a normal response to sadness, but I hear what you are saying about being embarrassed – it’s hard when we can’t control those emotions. Is the thought of going back to work hard too?

Can you tell me a little more about your partner’s health? Will you have increased support when you go back to work? 



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Reply by RichardH2014
18 Jan 2014, 6:55 PM

My partner is suffering from a recurrence of colon cancer. The cancer is aggressive and has so far also spread to his bladder. From the onset he decided to forego treatment other than palliative at home. At present, he spends most of his day sleeping in a chair in the living room.  We take things day to day. He has nephrostomy tubes, a catheter, and an osteomy. 

As as for my return to work, his daughter has taken a leave of absence from her work and will come over to the house on the days I go to work. This, on top of our regular visits by homecare.  As things progress I do worry about my not being there all the time. 
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Reply by NatR
18 Jan 2014, 7:04 PM

Hello RichardH

as Katherine has welcomed you, so do I.  This is a place where you will be able to share your thoughts and concerns and get non-judgemental support from those who have similar experiences.

firstly I am so sorry for the curcumstances you are in - and especially for your partner.  It's a wonderful yet difficult thing that you are doing - by caring and supporting - and now we need to help you keep going. 
Many will respond here and undetstand

it rips your heart out to deal with a diagnosis that shakes your world.
it is very hard to be in your spot and keep up normal conversations and relationships at work etc.

i hope you will feel free to share the things that are bothering you the most - stressing you the most - do you have health professionals that are supportive?  Do you need any extra help  with support at home? Meals, companionship for your spouse, etc?
Are you able to find a counselling group in your area?

we are here to listen and help.  Situations that are overwhelming become more manageable when you are able to relate to others who have been there.

although I have not lost a spouse I have lost several family members - my parents included.  I have an understanding of the overwhelming weight of grief impending loss and how to deal with it.  I know you will feel comfort when you find you are not alone.

can I ask how you found the forum?
its a pretty special place with wonderful people ready to support you.

please know you are not alone
sending you a virtual hug,
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Reply by RichardH2014
18 Jan 2014, 7:53 PM

Thanks for taking the time to add to this thread. I found the forum by googling bereavement in edmonton. I was hoping to find somewhere I could go, maybe just to vent my emotions. 
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Reply by NatR
18 Jan 2014, 8:15 PM

Hi again Richard,
glad you found us, glad that it's on Google;)

yes is ventung is very helpful.
there are many of us who feel as you do...just needing one person to talk to, to answer, to validate our feelings.

it doesn't matter who we are, or where we live, but so many times in real life communities and neighbourhoods we are unable to let down our hair, really let things out, and get a response that helps.

there are #caregiver chats on twitter at times! not sure if you Twitter at all, but you can find @VirtualHospice there - with informative links, articles and thoughts for the day.  Also conversations happen under hashtags like the one above...there are groups that discuss #cancer and so much more.  The incredible support network available online is so important for families at home, struggling on their own.

thanks for finding us, and please just write what you are feeling, whenever you are able to...it's a big help to send a question, or voice your emotions in a safe place.  It's a journal of sorts...it helps to write things out:) 

i was glad to read that your partners daughter is going to help out at home, but I sensed that you returning to work are feeling guilty that you are not able to be at home too.

perhaps there will be a way that you and your partners daughter will be able to work out a schedule between you, so you are able to feel you are doing what you can as well.

I can understand your thoughts will be turning homeward while you work, I hope you are able to balance time at home and away.
matters of the heart, of love must be honoured I think...and I know you want to do it all, but it's not possible.  There are ways to compromise...wishing you well in that effort.
Sending best wishes,

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Reply by Xenia
20 Jan 2014, 4:47 PM

Good Morning Richard:

My heart goes out to you.  My brother passed and his partner was devestated.  We as a family supported the partner as much as we could as brother had a massive heart attack and this was so sudden.

Since they lived far from many of us we knew his partner by mail and such.  I know he was heart broken and sister visited him and spoke highly of their relationship.

There are so many circumstances in our lives that we are not prepared for and it is hard to comprhend and bear.  My circumstance is that my husband is on palliative care and was given a time period before passing.  This has been hard as I wonder if there should ever be a time period when persons are ill.  He has been ill for a number of years in and out of hospital so I have been grieving for a long time but now am at the stage where I carry on and am happy for each day we have with him.

I do believe you will find comfort in this discussion forum as so many of us have been through or are going through what you are feeling now.  We cannot know the depth of your feelings but we do share your fears, your tears and sadness.

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Reply by KathCull_admin
21 Jan 2014, 3:07 PM

Hi Richard,
Was thinking about you and wondering how the first days of this week been for you and your partner? 
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Reply by marstin
21 Jan 2014, 4:40 PM

Hi Richard,

I am glad that you found us. This is such a safe place to share your emotions and your fears.

We cared for my partner of 23 years in our home for about two months. He had bladder cancer. As it was his wish to pass away at home, we wanted to support him in making this happen. This came with many challenges and the hardest part was watching this person we loved, slowly fade away before our eyes. It is a very painful thing to witness. I don't think we are ever equipped to deal with something like this.

It's okay to cry. You have to be able to release your emotions somehow. I would hope that the people you work with can understand how difficult this all is for you.

This site is filled with many people who you can talk to about your fears and your sadness and know that we will all do what we can to help you through this. I came to this forum so broken after losing my partner followed closely by the loss of my mom. I had nowhere to go and didn't think I would get through it. It has been a year and a half now and I have found so much compassion and support on here. Although still broken, I know I have a network of caring people to help me face each day who I am proud to call my friends.

We are here for you.

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Reply by Tian
31 Jan 2014, 4:24 AM

Hi Richard

It's now been more than a week since we've heard from you and I'm wondering how you are doing. And having difficulty talking about your partner I would think that it has also been difficult for you to read about the experiences of the other posters here. Does that have anything to do with why we haven't heard from you? I want to assure you that the emotions you have are perfectly justified. And crying should not be a source of embarrassment. It's natural. If people take offence from it then I would say they suffer from a lack of compasssion. If it brings them down, well that comes with the territory of being in the presence of someone who is grieving. Is it absolutely necessary for you to get back to work? Perhaps you could take more time off. How is your partner? You can say as little or as much as you want here.

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