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Husband is in total denial and depressed as well 
Créé par Mala
08 févr. 2017, 22 h 19

My husband is dying after 2 1/2 years of battling Stage 4 colorectal cancer, with numerous co-morbid conditions (diabetes, pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thromboses, peripheral neuropathy, chronic kidney disease, and at least one more I have forgotten).  At this point, he is hospitalized and is admitting to being deeply depressed, but remains very much in denial, as are his two adult children.  His doctor would like to open up a conversation about palliative care, but feels that until his depression is adequately treated, it would not be appropriate.  His children are very angry with me, because they feel I am making too much of his illness, and that he simply needs some rest and exercise.  How do I help my husband come to terms with his death?  Is it even possible for me to do that?  His denial is making this so much harder for me, because he will not engage in any truly meaningful converations, or make needed plans.
Réponse de KathCull_admin
09 févr. 2017, 4 h 35

Welcome Mala.

I am glad you found us. It sounds like your plate has been full particularly over the last few years. 

DJ 74 started the thread Boyfriend/partner now has cancer his denail is a lie...   On it you will meet others who have had similar circumstances like DJ 74 and Marymary.
I thought you migh also find article that Glen Horst wrote, Hope and Denial helpful. 
You are in a tough spot - are you able to talk with his doctor on your own? or other healthcare professionals? Do you have friends/family who can support you?

Look forward to hearing from you.
Réponse de Mala
09 févr. 2017, 15 h 51

Thanks Katherine. I am so glad I found this site, as this is a subject few people can relate to or wish to. Thankfully I do have my own sons, as well as friends and neighbours who are supportive, and am blessed in working in a very warm and nurturing environment in my professional life. I have spoken to the doctor in private, as well as the social worker and home care coordinator assigned to my husband, and glad that I did; while he is now acknowledging the need for help, he was clearly unaware that he was not keeping up with his medications and injections, and neither was I, until I found pills scattered in his bedsheets, under his chair and on and on. I have been trying so hard to leave him his dignity and assume competence, but the hard truth is that we are in a new phase in which his ability to think clearly is being affected by his physical decline. Heart wrenching for a brilliant, intelligent man who once could look at a sheet of mathematical data and "see" the error in seconds because it would "float"...then spend the day figuring out why it was wrong. 
Réponse de Marymary
09 févr. 2017, 22 h 14

Hi Mala - so sorry your family is going through this.  It makes it so much harder on you, when others are in denial.  Believe you me I know all about that.  

Can I highly suggest the dr's speak with the kids & explain to them he will be going into pallative care and why?  Not your place to convince them, you already have enough on your plate.  

As for your hubby its is easier for him to NOT accept his situation because that is where his HOPE is.  It looks to us like it's denial & it most likely is but the depression is a sure sign that he is knowing and accepting more than you realize that is why he's depressed.  We can only hope and pray that he will come to some understanding on his own.  Pushing it or telling him he has to accept is so not going to help - I also know this from experience, it just makes him farther from you and speaking openly to you or your family.  He has to come to terms with this on his own and he wll just not right now which is something you have to acknowledge and accept. 

Yours is trying to tell others how bad it is and makes you look like the bad guy or Ms. Negative but you are in the reality of the situation and want others to know now so its not such a shock but you have done what you can do and you have to move on from trying to convince them one way or the other for YOUR OWN state of mind.  

Make sure you take time for yourself - I can't say that enough.  Your health and your state of mind so needs this - a time out if you will.  I was real sick last year for 2 months and then this fall our son got quite sick - stress just catches up to you, not resting properly or sleepng properly or no fresh air.  ALLOW others to help out if somone offers say yes thank you so much.  They offer because this is their way of HELPING to show support and take away from your stress and strain so please allow that.  There way of showing LOVE.  

Get two of your kids to be with your hubby and the other two take you out for dinner and movie - destress for a bit.  Take baths, take a long walk.  You do not need to do it all by yourself some think this way - liek I'm the one who knows him best or I'm the closest one to him etc. everyone loves him not just you.  I'm not saying that is what you are doing for I do not know the situation but we all get into this I have to do it on my own or no one else can do it but me - also from experience too (LOL).

I sure hope you realzize what a great job you are doing so far and it is a lot, so please give yourself a break ok.  LOVE YOURSELF enough to do so.  Your hubby and all the kids are so lucky to have a person like you they truly are and all will come to realize this jsut some not now ok.  Not that they have to mind you but they will.

Please give update ok.  Take care of your preciious self

Réponse de Mala
10 févr. 2017, 4 h 29

Thanks for your kind words, Marymary. I appreciate your comment about his depression perhaps being the beginning of acceptance, that makes sense to me. I have done my best to be open and honest with his children, and from here, they can get the information, when and if they want it or are able to hear it, from the doctor.  I am done with it. Home care support is being put in place, which will be hugely helpful, and I am understanding that at this point, he is unable to think clearly as the toxins build up in his blood as his kidneys fail. I dread having him home again; it has been such a relief to have had him in hospital for two weeks where he was safe and cared for at all times, but having home support will pick up much of that burden. 
Réponse de KathCull_admin
20 févr. 2017, 20 h 43

Hi Mala
Just wondering how the last week has been.  I hope all support is in place for him and you before he is discharged home.

Your worry about having him home makes sense to me.

Réponse de Saara
27 févr. 2017, 5 h 33

Hi Katherine. After a full month in hospital, I brought my husband home Friday. Home Care support is now in place twice daily, and a wonderful help, although it is a whole new routine and it seems like there are so many details to plan. How will they get in the house if I am at work and he is sleeping? Will they find the cups?  On and on. Four visits so far by home support--four different workers, all very good, but the lack of continuity is a bit unsettling. So many appointments too, nephrologist, oncologist, infectious diseases specialist, iv clinic, the lab for blood work, CT scan, family doctor for follow up...back to St. Pauls at some point, a long drive with a very sick man.

I feel a little more settled--it was so stressful knowing that the hospital would send him home at the first opportunity; they tried three times but every time something came up.  He had a fall, tests revealed a massive abscess, his white blood cell count went through the roof, and on and on. Sometimes I think I am being negative, but he has incredibly complex needs, and I have to act as his advocate, and my own. I am gobsmacked that he was sent home with iv antibiotics to administer on his own, even though the training was thorough. He suspends his iv bag from a three inch screw secured to the wall--how red neck is that? 

I would say he he is still in denial, but far, far closer to acceptance than he was. He is beginning to recognize his limits, and to accept help. Last night he told me, for the first time ever, the story of his good friend's death when he was just ten, a story I had never heard. I can only think he is beginning to process the notion of death, broaching it in a round about sort of way. What would you make of that? 

Oh, and I need to say that I lost my password and the "forgot my password" function on the website is not working--I requested a new password several times without success, so ended up making a new account, as I do find this so valuable. 
Réponse de Wingman
01 mars 2017, 17 h 47

Hi Saara. Just wanted you to know I am thinking about you. I understand how the focus of your world changes and I send my thoughts and support your way. I also know how denial can be a compunding challenge. 
I hope for you today to steal a peaceful moment ....Just a  small minute whereby your mind is satisfied.
Steps forward..... one at a time.
Hoping for you to be as well as you can in unimaginable times- sending you my strength today
Réponse de Saara
05 mars 2017, 2 h 25

Thank you, your kind words are appreciated. It is such a long journey. I am grateful to be working still and to have moments now and then to myself, but I am boggled by the complexity of managing appointments, home support and all the rest.
Réponse de Cherel33
06 mars 2017, 12 h 20

Hi Saara,

My heart goes out to you. I too was in a similar situation and your words have struck a chord within me. My husband was in denial almost until the end and incredibly depressed. Hope is what sustained him, but I knew it would not be enough. He was given his prognosis and I later realized he was beyond acceptance. Our adult children were angry with me as well, railing against the circumstances, unable to see the situation as I did. How could they though? They weren’t me.
This is such an incredibly difficult time for you. Waiting and hoping to speak with him about your time together and his final wishes. I truly hope that you get what you need because this is about your needs too. I don’t know how you can move your husband to accept his death. He’s living in hope.
Marymary spoke of his hope and has said it far better than I could.
Know that you are in my thoughts as you travel this extremely tough road.



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