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  • FIRST POST
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
    • 219Posts
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    JayJay100
    OH is struggling
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
    OH is struggling 8th Mar 18 at 11:15 AM
    Over the last 2/3 years, we have lost quite a few friends and family, and most have them have been on my side. The OH has been an absolute rock through all of this and handled everything incredibly well. Our best friends are another couple, who have been my OH's best friends since school, and were kind enough to welcome me with open arms. We go out socially together a couple of times a month, call in on each other frequently, and have been on holiday together a few times. They're a great couple.
    The man of the couple, I'll call him George, has had a few minor health problems, and he's gone through a few tests. They came round on Monday on their way back from hospital and told us that George has cancer, which is treatable, but not curable. He's due to have the first surgery next week. This was a curve ball, as cancer has not previously been mentioned at any point.
    George has suggested that we all go away for the weekend, as he wants to do normal things and try to forget what is going on. We went ahead and booked it there and then. When they left, the OH took himself for a soak in the bath, and I didn't think anything of it. For the rest of the week, he's been terrible. He won't talk about the situation. He won't talk to George. Twice George has called, and the OH has asked me to tell him that he's stuck at work. This morning he's decided that he's got a sore throat, and a cough, which is moving on to his chest, and it wouldn't be a good idea to expose George to it, with an operation coming up.
    I know he's struggling with this, and the news has floored him. I appreciate that everyone has a breaking point, and this must be his, but how do I help? I've no idea what to do.
Page 1
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 8th Mar 18, 12:13 PM
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    mgdavid
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:13 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:13 PM
    Tell him how you've realised how lucky you both are to be in good health. Suggest that you owe it to yourselves to make the best of your lives given the present opportunity you have when compared to others. No point in feeling guilty about anything, get out there and enjoy it, while you can.
    Or to put it another way, you make the best of the cards you are dealt, you don't just throw away a good hand and curl up in the corner.
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 8th Mar 18, 12:16 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:16 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:16 PM
    As somebody with terminal cancer, it's a response I've seen from a minority of friends since sharing my news. I understand it.

    For now, my life is still of a good quality and despite some bone damage I've remained fairly normal. Fairly mobile. But I know I'm in decline.

    The best thing others can do for me is carry on as normal, spend a little time with me when available and try to come to terms with the inevitable outcome however difficult that may be.

    Ultimately, distancing a good friend will only lead to regret later.

    How you get your OH to understand this, I don't know. Perhaps show him my words.

    What I do know is that as I've exhausted various wonder drugs I've been a lot tireder. Maximising my opportunities for holidays and being with people in my post-diagnosis aftermath was the best thing I could have done. Now that I'm on treatment four within eighteen months it's a lot tougher.

    I hope that helps.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 8th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
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    ska lover
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
    Tell him how you've realised how lucky you both are to be in good health. Suggest that you owe it to yourselves to make the best of your lives given the present opportunity you have when compared to others. No point in feeling guilty about anything, get out there and enjoy it, while you can.
    Or to put it another way, you make the best of the cards you are dealt, you don't just throw away a good hand and curl up in the corner.
    Originally posted by mgdavid



    Great post there
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • svain
    • By svain 8th Mar 18, 1:43 PM
    • 338 Posts
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    svain
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 1:43 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 18, 1:43 PM
    As somebody with terminal cancer, it's a response I've seen from a minority of friends since sharing my news. I understand it.

    For now, my life is still of a good quality and despite some bone damage I've remained fairly normal. Fairly mobile. But I know I'm in decline.

    The best thing others can do for me is carry on as normal, spend a little time with me when available and try to come to terms with the inevitable outcome however difficult that may be.

    Ultimately, distancing a good friend will only lead to regret later.

    How you get your OH to understand this, I don't know. Perhaps show him my words.

    What I do know is that as I've exhausted various wonder drugs I've been a lot tireder. Maximising my opportunities for holidays and being with people in my post-diagnosis aftermath was the best thing I could have done. Now that I'm on treatment four within eighteen months it's a lot tougher.

    I hope that helps.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters

    Brave post there
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 4:30 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    JayJay100
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:30 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:30 PM
    Tell him how you've realised how lucky you both are to be in good health. Suggest that you owe it to yourselves to make the best of your lives given the present opportunity you have when compared to others. No point in feeling guilty about anything, get out there and enjoy it, while you can.
    Or to put it another way, you make the best of the cards you are dealt, you don't just throw away a good hand and curl up in the corner.
    Originally posted by mgdavid
    This is the approach I've tried, but it's falling on deaf ears at the moment. I think that part of the problem for me, is that I never expected him to behave this way; I always thought that he was the strong one, that got everyone else through tough times. Not so in this case.

    As somebody with terminal cancer, it's a response I've seen from a minority of friends since sharing my news. I understand it.

    For now, my life is still of a good quality and despite some bone damage I've remained fairly normal. Fairly mobile. But I know I'm in decline.

    The best thing others can do for me is carry on as normal, spend a little time with me when available and try to come to terms with the inevitable outcome however difficult that may be.

    Ultimately, distancing a good friend will only lead to regret later.

    How you get your OH to understand this, I don't know. Perhaps show him my words.

    What I do know is that as I've exhausted various wonder drugs I've been a lot tireder. Maximising my opportunities for holidays and being with people in my post-diagnosis aftermath was the best thing I could have done. Now that I'm on treatment four within eighteen months it's a lot tougher.

    I hope that helps.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    This is an incredible post, and thank you. I'm more determined than ever to keep things as normal as possible, and to be there for George, no matter what. George with cancer is still George. I think I will still go away with our friends, and leave the OH to make his own mind up. Hopefully, he just needs a bit of time to work things through, and find a way of dealing with it.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th Mar 18, 4:44 PM
    • 1,714 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:44 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 18, 4:44 PM
    Brave post there
    Originally posted by svain
    Couldn't agree more. Fantastic post.

    OP. It may be a matter of giving your OH a bit of time to get his head round it.

    A few years ago my best male friend was diagnosed with bowel cancer. It hit every one hard - especially as he was the one of us you would have been the most surprised to get it. Doesn't smoke, eats healthily takes a lot of exercise etc.

    I was the opposite to your husband. I just wanted to see him (we live a distance away) but he is very self sufficient and resisted attempts at visits. But we sorted it. I was so gobsmacked that I was a little out of kilter for a while. It may be that is what has happened to your husband and once he has processed it he will be back on an even keel.

    I wish all of you, especially George, the very best.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 8th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
    • 8,320 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
    George with cancer is still George
    The wisest of words.

    Brave post there
    More pragmatic acceptance of a grim reality.

    I quit work when offered redundancy. Travelled until they stopped me flying. Caught up with long lost friends and made a point of becoming a lad who lunches most days.

    Most people diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the same time are now dead. I'll hang on happy as long as I can but the odds of a long survival are massively against me. Making the most of what I've got are what it's all about now.

    For what it's worth, I've never smoked.
    Last edited by PeacefulWaters; 08-03-2018 at 5:20 PM.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    JayJay100
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    Couldn't agree more. Fantastic post.

    OP. It may be a matter of giving your OH a bit of time to get his head round it.

    A few years ago my best male friend was diagnosed with bowel cancer. It hit every one hard - especially as he was the one of us you would have been the most surprised to get it. Doesn't smoke, eats healthily takes a lot of exercise etc.

    I was the opposite to your husband. I just wanted to see him (we live a distance away) but he is very self sufficient and resisted attempts at visits. But we sorted it. I was so gobsmacked that I was a little out of kilter for a while. It may be that is what has happened to your husband and once he has processed it he will be back on an even keel.

    I wish all of you, especially George, the very best.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    It's a similar situation for us; George is the one that eats sensibly, does a lot of sport, rarely drinks and has never smoked. He looks so fit and healthy, it all feels a bit surreal.

    I thought my other half would be like you. I thought he would want to see him all of the time, and that he'd do anything he could to help. I remember when my friend sent me a picture of her swollen arm, after chemo. He had my coat in his hand before I'd got off the phone, and we spent the entire night at the hospital with her; he was so patient and sensible, when we were both panicking and a bit useless.

    I hope you're right, and it's just that he's out of kilter.
    • svain
    • By svain 8th Mar 18, 5:27 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 614 Thanks
    svain
    The wisest of words.

    More pragmatic acceptance of a grim reality.

    I quit work when offered redundancy. Travelled until they stopped me flying. Caught up with long lost friends and made a point of becoming a lad who lunches most days.

    Most people diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the same time are now dead. I'll hang on happy as long as I can but the odds of a long survival are massively against me. Making the most of what I've got are what it's all about now.

    For what it's worth, I've never smoked.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    As a widower when in my 40's i have seen how this scenario is dealt with by the person and the people around them.

    Personally, i had no time for anyone that "struggled" dealing with the prognosis (my wife herself and immediate family excluding). I have little tolerance for people that made it about them, who wallowed in self-pity and preferred they stayed away. Positive people who interacted normally was what my wife welcomed and looked forward to. Was great for her own motivation to battle on as long as she could.
    Last edited by svain; 08-03-2018 at 5:33 PM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th Mar 18, 5:35 PM
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    NeilCr
    It's a similar situation for us; George is the one that eats sensibly, does a lot of sport, rarely drinks and has never smoked. He looks so fit and healthy, it all feels a bit surreal.

    I
    Originally posted by JayJay100

    That adds to the shock. It did with my friend.

    I think a lot of us are better at helping others than dealing with problems that impact directly on ourselves. I certainly am. I do quite a lot of advising and I can say things (the right things) that I know I'd have difficulty with if the roles were reversed.

    You sound a great couple. I am lucky - my OH is sorted and down to earth - before her the same was/is true of my best friend and they've encouraged me to open up and talk about it. Perhaps, when the first shock is over for your husband the same may work with you two. There will come a time when he will want to start discussing it with someone

    Genuinely. The best of luck with this.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th Mar 18, 5:40 PM
    • 1,714 Posts
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    NeilCr
    As a widower when in my 40's i have seen how this scenario is dealt with by the person and the people around them.

    Personally, i had no time for anyone that "struggled" dealing with the prognosis (my wife herself and immediate family excluding). I have little tolerance for people that made it about them, who wallowed in self-pity and preferred they stayed away. Positive people who interacted normally was what my wife welcomed and looked forward to. Was great for her own motivation to battle on as long as she could.
    Originally posted by svain
    I agree - especially about the "acting normally". And re wallowing.

    But I do know how knocked back I was with my friend. I have no family so friends become even more important. I don't think it is unreasonable that it might take a little while to get your head round it. But, beyond that I am completely with you. It's not about them.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 5:40 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    JayJay100
    The wisest of words.

    More pragmatic acceptance of a grim reality.

    I quit work when offered redundancy. Travelled until they stopped me flying. Caught up with long lost friends and made a point of becoming a lad who lunches most days.

    Most people diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the same time are now dead. I'll hang on happy as long as I can but the odds of a long survival are massively against me. Making the most of what I've got are what it's all about now.

    For what it's worth, I've never smoked.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Thank you for the wisest words; it's just the way I see it. When he told us, it was so strange; it was like watching a piece of film with the wrong voice over.

    Your approach to the situation is amazing, and I do think that can help. It sounds as though you've beaten the odds so far; long may you continue to do so.
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 8th Mar 18, 5:51 PM
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    happyandcontented
    I have been where your husband is and I had to get over it. It wasn't about me, it was and still is about her. My best friend is terminal and I had real difficulty coming to terms with it in private, for her I was there and hopefully said the right things, but when I was alone it was very different.

    It has changed my life, now, I don't get irritated by very much and if I do it quickly falls into perspective when I think about her. I also feel that we are very lucky to have no issues like that ourselves. I do, however, feel as if the hand of fate is hovering and understand much more how precious life and love is. All her close friends have been similarly affected.

    She is much closer to the end now and enduring yet more debilitating chemo to buy a short amount of time. I have no idea how I will cope when the inevitable happens, but I will cope.

    Your husband just needs time and space at home to process the information. Deliberately staying away from his friend is a coping mechanism to prevent him breaking down and feeling he has somehow made the situation worse.

    It can't go on indefinitely, and he will know that, so if it hasn't improved in a few days perhaps a chat about what has been said by others on here might show him that his reaction is normal, but one which has to be overcome.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 5:54 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    JayJay100
    As a widower when in my 40's i have seen how this scenario is dealt with by the person and the people around them.

    Personally, i had no time for anyone that "struggled" dealing with the prognosis (my wife herself and immediate family excluding). I have little tolerance for people that made it about them, who wallowed in self-pity and preferred they stayed away. Positive people who interacted normally was what my wife welcomed and looked forward to. Was great for her own motivation to battle on as long as she could.
    Originally posted by svain
    Thank you for this post; it's made me feel defensive of my OH, and helped me to think about it in a different way.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 6:11 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    JayJay100
    That adds to the shock. It did with my friend.

    I think a lot of us are better at helping others than dealing with problems that impact directly on ourselves. I certainly am. I do quite a lot of advising and I can say things (the right things) that I know I'd have difficulty with if the roles were reversed.

    You sound a great couple. I am lucky - my OH is sorted and down to earth - before her the same was/is true of my best friend and they've encouraged me to open up and talk about it. Perhaps, when the first shock is over for your husband the same may work with you two. There will come a time when he will want to start discussing it with someone

    Genuinely. The best of luck with this.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    It certainly does add to the shock, I'll agree 100% there.

    I'm lucky, and it's usually my OH who is grounded and has the 'we'll get this sorted' attitude. I think that's part of the reason why I'm struggling now; I'm trying to do the same for him and it's not working.

    I agree - especially about the "acting normally". And re wallowing.

    But I do know how knocked back I was with my friend. I have no family so friends become even more important. I don't think it is unreasonable that it might take a little while to get your head round it. But, beyond that I am completely with you. It's not about them.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    My OH is closer to George than he is most of his family; they have been best friends for nearly 50 years and that friendship has never changed. I don't think my OH is wallowing, or making it about him, but I do think he's struggling to accept the potential reality. It's only been a few days, so I need to cut him slack: he's never let me down, and I don't think he will now.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 6:17 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 443 Thanks
    JayJay100
    I have been where your husband is and I had to get over it. It wasn't about me, it was and still is about her. My best friend is terminal and I had real difficulty coming to terms with it in private, for her I was there and hopefully said the right things, but when I was alone it was very different.

    It has changed my life, now, I don't get irritated by very much and if I do it quickly falls into perspective when I think about her. I also feel that we are very lucky to have no issues like that ourselves. I do, however, feel as if the hand of fate is hovering and understand much more how precious life and love is. All her close friends have been similarly affected.

    She is much closer to the end now and enduring yet more debilitating chemo to buy a short amount of time. I have no idea how I will cope when the inevitable happens, but I will cope.

    Your husband just needs time and space at home to process the information. Deliberately staying away from his friend is a coping mechanism to prevent him breaking down and feeling he has somehow made the situation worse.

    It can't go on indefinitely, and he will know that, so if it hasn't improved in a few days perhaps a chat about what has been said by others on here might show him that his reaction is normal, but one which has to be overcome.
    Originally posted by happyandcontented
    As always, the posts on here really do help me to clarify my thoughts. I think you are spot on with the part I have quoted in bold; this makes sense to me. My OH would hate to break down and he would definitely feel that he was making things worse; ironically, that's exactly how I feel too.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th Mar 18, 6:23 PM
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    • 2,294 Thanks
    NeilCr





    My OH is closer to George than he is most of his family; they have been best friends for nearly 50 years and that friendship has never changed. I don't think my OH is wallowing, or making it about him, but I do think he's struggling to accept the potential reality. It's only been a few days, so I need to cut him slack: he's never let me down, and I don't think he will now.
    Originally posted by JayJay100

    Please don't think I think your OH is wallowing. He's not.

    But I do know exactly what Svain means. I am not going into details but I am still a bit p****d with how one particular friend acted when they heard about my mate's illness
    • svain
    • By svain 8th Mar 18, 6:32 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 614 Thanks
    svain
    It has changed my life, now, I don't get irritated by very much and if I do it quickly falls into perspective when I think about her. I also feel that we are very lucky to have no issues like that ourselves. I do, however, feel as if the hand of fate is hovering and understand much more how precious life and love is. All her close friends have been similarly affected.
    Originally posted by happyandcontented

    "Perspective" - This is possibly the strongest, lasting emotion i was left with. It changed me also
    Last edited by svain; 08-03-2018 at 6:34 PM.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 8th Mar 18, 9:15 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    By the way, if George is expected to survive at least a year and is over 50 he could rake in a few incentives (topcashback, nectar, gift cards) from taking out over 50 life assurance plans and set them up in trust to ensure quick payouts when the end comes.

    The nailed on certainty of return amused me after my 50th last month. If I'm going to die I'll beat the system!

    Money back if he misses the year.
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