My new friend Liz, who I have met on a Kidney Cancer Board, has posted the following to that board. I believe this is the best advise that a caretaker can give and learn.
Liz’s husband has been diagnosed with Renal Cancer (Kidney Cancer) and her father with recurrent, advanced prostate cancer.
” From a caergivers perspective, I had more challenges coping with my
> husbands illness then he did. In the beginning of dx I was obsessed
> with him dying and not living the life we planned together and him
> seeing our children grow. In my obsession, I shut down, constantly
> researching, paralyzed with fear of him not being here 5 yrs from now
> that I could not get through a day without crying.
> At some point I relaized that I was creating for my family what I was
> trying so desperately not to happen.
> I was living as if he was dying, vs. living as he is living, here with
> me now, loving our kids. I was not spending any time with him or the
> kids while I focused on research. so in my fear of not having him in
> my life someday, I was causing it to be the reality by closing myself
> up and not being engaged with him and the kids.
> I doubt this makes any sense. But I just had to wake up and realize my
> fear of waking up to not having another day with him by my side is not
> today. I shouldn’t be wasting the days by not living them by his side.
> Again, just my way of dealing with the fear. When I find it consumes
> me I chant to myself “its not today”
> As Sally Oops wrote shortly after I joined the list “I am not going to
> let this cancer have one more day than it has to have”
Liz, Thank you for this wisdom
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW