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Reply by Saara
18 Mar 2017, 7:33 PM

Cherel33 and MaryMary, my heart  goes out to you both. It takes incredible strength to stay calm and to forgive, and to go forward even though you are being hurt by the anger of the very person you are caring for.  Cheryl, you mention the release that could only come with his death--I can relate to this and I am sure it is far more common than any of us might think, but not something any of us would probably dare to say. No one wants to hear that, and very few can understand it, yet at some point, the burden of care becomes overwhelming and there is no getting better, only a long, slow decline towards death that I watch every day. Forgive yourself if you do feel guilt--there should be none. I have come to realize that when a husband/partner is diagnosed with cancer, society expects the woman in his life (current or past) to drop everything and take on the role of caregiver  uncomplainingly; any sign of frustration tends to be met with displeasure and disapproval, yet few likely asked after your health or emotional well being. Know that you have given of yourself beyond what many will ever have to experience, with no road map, no sign posts, no end in sight until perhaps the very end. Who would not be depressed at some point, or angry, or fearful, or lost? 
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Reply by Cherel33
19 Mar 2017, 11:55 AM

Dear Saara,

Thank you for hearing what was said. I lived through a terrible experience, floundering and questioning. Searching for help, searching for someone in a similar situation. I was depressed, angry, fearful and lost. Tired beyond reasoning, and then tired of hearing of my “great” loss. I feel no quilt or shame with my thoughts and feelings. I gave of myself, I loved and I respected. Who could ask for more?

As I lay in bed last night, I questioned who truly understands denial in a loved one and the hurt it can create, but those who have been through it. Why is it not spoken of clearly? Are we ashamed of our thoughts? Are we afraid to be judged?

It’s hard to think clearly when you’re in the situation, moving from moment to moment, experiencing every nuance of the journey. I feel for those who come behind me, hoping to ease their passage through this terrible experience.


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Reply by Marymary
12 May 2017, 5:45 PM

My oh my both of you Cherel and Saara, you both get it, my perspective I hold now WOW.  So funny, people you are close too or family so do not get it or understand but strangers do but as you both stated we are in it or have gone thru it.  

People who are not there have /no clue whatsoever and my own sis told me when I have shared things with her, this is NOT about you, your being selfish, he's the one dealing "c" as she puts it.  i couldn't believe it, oh I told her straight out I am NOT being selfish, I am scared big difference and you who lives in another house and doesn't even come to visit because of his "C" has no right to tell me I'm selfish.  You don't live it and I'm scared for his own life as well maybe moreso that my son is losing dad, so ya eff off.  We talk but I no longer share and if she asks I tell her to ask him how he is doing.  I don't bring shit up no more with her.  Thats family wow huh. 

They (other people) are afraid!  Anyone they know who has cancer is a major reality for them, its a negative aspect of life.  They definitely do not visit, no calls no nothing - WHY because if it is not right there in their face they don't have to face it.  Weird but it is almost like its contagious even though we all know it is not.  But facing someone who is going thru it well that's just too much of a reality for them  -  my own perspective anyway.

Society did that?  Society did NOT convince me or show me or coerce me to jump right in that would only be me caring and loving my son enough to step in and as it is his dad who i care and love (not intimately he's my ex), so compassion, caring because I am so much a non conventional person I can honestly say it was and is not society's peer pressure but that is ONLY ME I can speak of in this situation.  But i get the society perspective thing though.

So many questions, not enough answers LOL.  I can pray for him, help where I can but that is it, I'm at the point I want to wash my hands of it all even though I know I won't.  I am stepping back a hell of a lot more mind you.  That I have been doing and will continue to do for my own well being, my sanity LOL.  

I am even getting some healing / help from others for me - so if someone would like to say I am being selfish go right ahead.  I particularly do not care what your opinion of me is, what you think of me is none of my concern!  I know what I'm doing and why and do not need to explain any of it to anyone else.  I am all that I am.  

So yeah I am feeling pretty darn good now - so thank you both - thank you 
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Reply by Saara
09 Jun 2017, 1:54 PM

Marymary, you sound like you are getting back on your feet!  I can't imagine having a heart big enough to see an ex through cancer, so hats off to you for being such a generous soul.  You could not possibly set a better example of caring for your son.  

It is such a painful experience that other people often just don't know what to do or say, and I suspect that they don't want to burden us, knowing we are exhausted and grieving already, but it feels like being abandoned.  That hurts.  Your sister is like many.  I have been so incredibly fortunate to have found friends who understand and support me, but it seems like society as a whole expects caregivers to give up their lives entirely to care for the sick person, with no thought that they (the caregiver) need support as well, that they might still enjoy life, given a chance.

I wish you well, it is a hellish journey, and your ex is so very fortunate you continue to support him. Remember that you can and will go on living, and that you do NOT need to accept abuse, and make it clear that you will not.  

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