getting nervous :(

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RE: getting nervous :(

by ErthWlkr on Mon Apr 23, 2012 08:24 PM

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Hi Mrs. Green and Mrs. Wife!

Nervous is most likely an understatement - frightened is probably closer to the truth. Cancer is an incredibly terrifying word - but as you can read here from the veterans, current patients, and caregivers, cancer is a disease that's treatable. And that's the plan for your husbands and we plan to help you get thru.

But your roles are not to just stand by - you are a critical part of the healthcare team since you'll be closest to the "patient". Your observations and your opinions are most important - it's going to be difficult, as strong as your husbands are, for them to do much self assessment. That's where the role of "caregiver" comes in - actually, it should be more "care provider".

It's not something you're necessarily prepared for - and your husbands probably aren't well prepared to be cancer patients. As I've often said - this ain't the flu and the doc ain't gonna clear this up in ten days with a shot. It's going to take time - a day at a time, a month at a time.

Follow ChrisMD's lead above - he has some great suggestions. Stay on top of your husbands' nutrition, pain mangement, and communication with the doctors. When they do their followups as they're going to treatment, try to be there to take notes and express your observations. My wife was with me all the way - and this was not a woman that handled even simple medical emergencies well. It's amazing how a sense of purpose can marshall your strongest forces.

Ask for help yourself - if you have a network of family and friends, let them pitch in - maybe with trips to the supermarket, transportation to treatment, maybe even a cooked meal or two. If people ask if there's anything they can do, tell 'em. Here's what you need.

Make notes and take notes. Write down questions and make sure they get asked of the doctor. And make sure you get answers. If they don't respond with what you need, don't leave the exam room or hang up the phone call until they do.

Keep an eye on side effects - there will be to a greater or lesser degree than the folks here experienced. But don't be hesitant about bringing attention to the issues. Some may be generally anticipated - but the degree will be unique to your husband. If you're worried, express it. And don't ever let anybody minimize your concern.

We'll do our best to guide you along the way. But the medical advice and guidance should come from the physicians - we can't and shouldn't diagnose here. But - we can provide you the support you need with some solid patient experience.

You've got a bit of a road and it's been well traveled. But you will get thru.

Onward we all go - hoping for a continued recovery for your husbands and long lasting health to follow!

- Jeff

RE: getting nervous :(

by Dlynn1210 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 09:47 PM

Quote | Reply

On Apr 23, 2012 8:24 PM ErthWlkr wrote:

Hi Mrs. Green and Mrs. Wife!

Nervous is most likely an understatement - frightened is probably closer to the truth. Cancer is an incredibly terrifying word - but as you can read here from the veterans, current patients, and caregivers, cancer is a disease that's treatable. And that's the plan for your husbands and we plan to help you get thru.

But your roles are not to just stand by - you are a critical part of the healthcare team since you'll be closest to the "patient". Your observations and your opinions are most important - it's going to be difficult, as strong as your husbands are, for them to do much self assessment. That's where the role of "caregiver" comes in - actually, it should be more "care provider".

It's not something you're necessarily prepared for - and your husbands probably aren't well prepared to be cancer patients. As I've often said - this ain't the flu and the doc ain't gonna clear this up in ten days with a shot. It's going to take time - a day at a time, a month at a time.

Follow ChrisMD's lead above - he has some great suggestions. Stay on top of your husbands' nutrition, pain mangement, and communication with the doctors. When they do their followups as they're going to treatment, try to be there to take notes and express your observations. My wife was with me all the way - and this was not a woman that handled even simple medical emergencies well. It's amazing how a sense of purpose can marshall your strongest forces.

Ask for help yourself - if you have a network of family and friends, let them pitch in - maybe with trips to the supermarket, transportation to treatment, maybe even a cooked meal or two. If people ask if there's anything they can do, tell 'em. Here's what you need.

Make notes and take notes. Write down questions and make sure they get asked of the doctor. And make sure you get answers. If they don't respond with what you need, don't leave the exam room or hang up the phone call until they do.

Keep an eye on side effects - there will be to a greater or lesser degree than the folks here experienced. But don't be hesitant about bringing attention to the issues. Some may be generally anticipated - but the degree will be unique to your husband. If you're worried, express it. And don't ever let anybody minimize your concern.

We'll do our best to guide you along the way. But the medical advice and guidance should come from the physicians - we can't and shouldn't diagnose here. But - we can provide you the support you need with some solid patient experience.

You've got a bit of a road and it's been well traveled. But you will get thru.

Onward we all go - hoping for a continued recovery for your husbands and long lasting health to follow!

- Jeff

Jeff has provided you with a wealth of information but I would like to relate my personal experience.  I was in the same position as you when my first husband was diagnosed with lung cancer 20 years ago.  He was 58 and I was 45.  He had always been my protector and his illness meant trading places - I now had to take care of him.  Twenty years ago there were not many successful treatments for most cancers and my husband passed away nine months later.  I did whatever was necessary to take care of him until he passed away.  A little less than five years ago I was diagnosed with tonsil cancer.  This time it was the reverse.  I had always been the strong one but now my second husband was forced into a caregiver role.  I saw him take over responsibilities that had always fallen on me.  He really stepped up to the plate including cooking (even if we did have a few burnt offerings)!!!  Caregivers are like young mothers who have never had any training or experience - after giving birth our instincts kick in.  As for being scared - no matter how young or old you are, cancer is very scary but the majority of us find an inner strength when it is called for.  I have all the faith in the world that you will find yours in the days and weeks ahead.      

Diana  

   

RE: getting nervous :(

by Helpforhiswife on Tue Apr 24, 2012 02:53 AM

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Thank you !!! everyone with your kind words,....Cancer is a scary word and when first diagnosed, we had been absolutely devastated...as I am sure each and every one of you who have heard the words said to you or a loved one... It is a journey... My favorite quote is. " if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans ". .I know once he has the surgery, I will have so many more questions, and SOS...I was amazed to find a place to vent..cry, read stories of hope, sugestions... Thanks again.. Mrs. wife ;)
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