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    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 8th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
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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 2
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 8th Mar 18, 10:16 PM
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    Detroit
    In your position, I think I would tackle it head on.
    I would tell him I understood that it must be very difficult after what he's gone through to be facing it again with George, but that he seemed to be avoiding him, and this would soon be obvious to George.

    I would be clear that i did not feel it was an option to continue to sidestep the situation, and that he must either gather his strength to either be there for his friend, or be honest with George that he couldn't do so.

    If he refused either, I'd be inclined to explain to George myself.

    As difficult as this would be, it's far preferable to ignoring the man when he calls, leaving him confused and hurt at a time when he has enough to deal with.

    If you feel your OH is at breaking point, it may be useful for him to consider bereavement counselling.


    Put your hands up.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Mar 18, 8:42 AM
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    Pollycat
    I think your OH needs to sit down and think about how he would feel if he were George and his best friend of 50 years was suddenly unavailable when he called or rang.

    Regardless of how difficult he is finding the situation, it must be many, many times worse for George.

    Have you spoken to George's wife?
    • Pdbaggett
    • By Pdbaggett 9th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
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    Pdbaggett
    Tell him he's being a selfish nob and to get over him self and be there for his friend.

    Sorry harsh but true
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 9th Mar 18, 9:21 AM
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    JayJay100
    Things came to a bit of a head last night. George's wife asked if I'd go for a drink with her, and as I walked out of the house, to get in the car, George walked in. We never made it into the pub. George's wife broke down in the car-park, and as much as I'd like to say I was the strong and comforting friend, I ended up bawling my eyes out, too. Not quite sure how you can end up laughing and crying at the same time, but we managed it.

    As for the OH, well, we had a gloves off conversation when I got home. It appears to be an accumulation of things, with George being the last straw, and a bit of 'when the hell is this rubbish going to end' creeping in. The last two to three years have been tough for a variety of reasons, and it's my OH who has got me through it all, relatively unscathed. I think I've been so wrapped up in what has been going on for me, and the people around me, that I've forgotten about the toll it's taking on him, too. Stepping back and looking at it now, I can see it, but living it at the time, it didn't even cross my mind. I feel so awful about that.

    Anyway, the good thing is that we're all going away this weekend, and we'll all be supporting each other. The one who appears to be in the best shape at the moment is actually George, but the OH was brighter this morning, and more like his old self. He's dug out some paperbacks that he thinks George will like, so I'm taking that as a good sign.
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 9th Mar 18, 9:25 AM
    • 219 Posts
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    JayJay100
    Tell him he's being a selfish nob and to get over him self and be there for his friend.

    Sorry harsh but true
    Originally posted by Pdbaggett
    Have you ever been in the situation?

    If anyone's been a selfish nob, it's me. I've taken a lot of support from him, and not given a lot back.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 9th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
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    gettingtheresometime
    Things came to a bit of a head last night. George's wife asked if I'd go for a drink with her, and as I walked out of the house, to get in the car, George walked in. We never made it into the pub. George's wife broke down in the car-park, and as much as I'd like to say I was the strong and comforting friend, I ended up bawling my eyes out, too. Not quite sure how you can end up laughing and crying at the same time, but we managed it.

    As for the OH, well, we had a gloves off conversation when I got home. It appears to be an accumulation of things, with George being the last straw, and a bit of 'when the hell is this rubbish going to end' creeping in. The last two to three years have been tough for a variety of reasons, and it's my OH who has got me through it all, relatively unscathed. I think I've been so wrapped up in what has been going on for me, and the people around me, that I've forgotten about the toll it's taking on him, too. Stepping back and looking at it now, I can see it, but living it at the time, it didn't even cross my mind. I feel so awful about that.

    Anyway, the good thing is that we're all going away this weekend, and we'll all be supporting each other. The one who appears to be in the best shape at the moment is actually George, but the OH was brighter this morning, and more like his old self. He's dug out some paperbacks that he thinks George will like, so I'm taking that as a good sign.
    Originally posted by JayJay100

    I'm so glad that this has been sorted out, to a certain extent.


    I did think that whilst the people who were saying that it wasn't about your husband were a tad harsh....as you say you've both had a couple of years of tough times and as its been your hubby that has been the rock, it didn't sound as if he was the 'woe is me' type. Sounds as if this was the straw that broke the camel's back.


    Don't forget you and your hubby are going to have to look after your health and wellbeing whilst you're helping George and his wife.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Mar 18, 10:17 AM
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    Pollycat
    Things came to a bit of a head last night. George's wife asked if I'd go for a drink with her, and as I walked out of the house, to get in the car, George walked in. We never made it into the pub. George's wife broke down in the car-park, and as much as I'd like to say I was the strong and comforting friend, I ended up bawling my eyes out, too. Not quite sure how you can end up laughing and crying at the same time, but we managed it.

    As for the OH, well, we had a gloves off conversation when I got home. It appears to be an accumulation of things, with George being the last straw, and a bit of 'when the hell is this rubbish going to end' creeping in. The last two to three years have been tough for a variety of reasons, and it's my OH who has got me through it all, relatively unscathed. I think I've been so wrapped up in what has been going on for me, and the people around me, that I've forgotten about the toll it's taking on him, too. Stepping back and looking at it now, I can see it, but living it at the time, it didn't even cross my mind. I feel so awful about that.

    Anyway, the good thing is that we're all going away this weekend, and we'll all be supporting each other. The one who appears to be in the best shape at the moment is actually George, but the OH was brighter this morning, and more like his old self. He's dug out some paperbacks that he thinks George will like, so I'm taking that as a good sign.
    Originally posted by JayJay100

    Great news.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Mar 18, 10:20 AM
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    Pollycat
    I'm so glad that this has been sorted out, to a certain extent.


    I did think that whilst the people who were saying that it wasn't about your husband were a tad harsh....as you say you've both had a couple of years of tough times and as its been your hubby that has been the rock, it didn't sound as if he was the 'woe is me' type. Sounds as if this was the straw that broke the camel's back.


    Don't forget you and your hubby are going to have to look after your health and wellbeing whilst you're helping George and his wife.
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    But it really wasn't about the OP's husband.
    It's his friend who has cancer and it's he who needs support - or at least needs to know his friend of 50 years isn't avoiding him.
    It's (I'd guess) not George's fault the OP and her OH have had a rough couple of years.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 9th Mar 18, 10:30 AM
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    need an answer
    Read this thread with tears in my eyes.

    Such inspiration and such very wise words,if ever there was a "best thread award" on MSE this would certainly get my vote.

    Thank you to all those who spoke honestly and all the best going forward to George and his friends and family x
    in S 28 T 20 F 42
    out S 35 T 24 F 32
    2017 -32
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 9th Mar 18, 10:33 AM
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    PeacefulWaters
    I can't speak for George, but for me a terminal diagnosis has been a liberating experience.

    The ongoing hospital appointments are a PITA but knowing the end is nigh has certainly changed me, improved me as a person and encouraged me to use every opportunity to enjoy life where possible.

    The BBC documentary "A Time to Live" may still be hovering around online and is well worth an hour for anybody seeking to understand how such a diagnosis can positively affect people.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 9th Mar 18, 10:46 AM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    It's not actually uncommon for people who are rocks to others in a crisis to be floored by their own crisis. People deal with horrific news in different ways, and not everyone is keen on opening up and talking about it. I've also heard it said that you're in mourning from the point of a terminal diagnosis.

    Hope you have some good memories from the weekend away.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 9th Mar 18, 3:49 PM
    • 8,027 Posts
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    Primrose
    I wonder if part of the problem is that your husband may be secretly projecting this diagnosis on himself and worrying that somehow he might one day find himself in a similar position and not be able to cope with it.


    A dying friend once said to me "Everybody is happy to cheer you on while you're living. Nobody wants to cheer you on when you're dying".

    I think there's a strong truth in this, but it is the terminally ill, as well as the other cancer sufferers who need moral support. It's rather cowardly to think only of our own emotions at times like this. Some people don't know how to deal with those suffering severe or terminal illnesses, but we have to stop being selfish worrying about our own reactions and support those who need cheerful positive people around them as they deal with their battles.
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 9th Mar 18, 4:16 PM
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    kerri gt
    Sounds like some of the air was cleared last night, which is a good step forward. I was going to post this but wasn't sure about my wording, however here it is;

    I suspect your OH may be trying to be strong and inadvertently cutting you out. As you say, he's always been the rock and now is struggling with coping (or not) with this news and still trying to perform what he likely sees as his role as the strong one.

    Although the illness itself is indeed all about George, the diagnosis isn't and rightly or wrongly will affect all the people who know him differently.

    All you can do at the moment is let your OH know it's ok not to be ok and be there when he needs you to be like he has for you. x

    I hope you can all enjoy the good times you have left with George, and support each other through the hard times too.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 11th Mar 18, 11:13 PM
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    Smodlet
    George sounds like a wonderful person. Your OH is probably feeling he cannot bear the pain of losing such a great friend and has started the mourning process already, almost as a survival tactic. "The sooner you start to grieve, the sooner it will be over" kind of scenario, as if distancing oneself from the loved one you know you are going to lose will somehow diminish one's agony when it happens. The trouble with that is, the guilt he will feel for not being there for his friend when he was really needed will be crippling. He will beat himself up over every dodged phone call, every pathetic excuse he made.

    Fortunately, your OH has time to rectify the situation; you are going away together for the week end. I hope you all had a great time and please don't beat yourself up for not being the rock for your OH he has been for you. I bet you give him far more support than you give yourself credit for.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 12th Mar 18, 7:45 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Sometimes, even the best, nicest and kindest people need a kick up the bum.

    If it happens again, maybe a 'I love you, you have been wonderful all these times and I'll always be grateful for it - but I am not going to let you let George down because you will never forgive yourself. I am here for you and I always will be, just like you were when x, y & z happened. Now, get on that phone and see what he's up to today' would help?
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 16th Mar 18, 10:55 PM
    • 219 Posts
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    JayJay100
    Thank you for all of your advice; as usual other points of view have helped to clarify my own thoughts, and have helped more than you know.

    A quick update. There was a problem with George's initial surgery, because of the placement of the tumour, which ended up with three trips to surgery in a thirty-six hour period, and a stay in intensive care. He turned a corner this afternoon, and things are looking a bit brighter; they're talking about transferring him to high dependency unit within the next couple of days, if he carries on as he is, and, in their view, there's no reason why he wouldn't. The OH has a mask firmly in place. While we're at the hospital, or with George's wife, he has been nothing short of amazing. At home is a different story; he's very quiet and withdrawn, but I think we're all emotionally shattered, so perhaps that's to be expected.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 17th Mar 18, 12:07 AM
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    teddysmum
    'treatable but not curable' does not necessarily mean terminal.


    It must be some 20 years ago that someone we know was diagnosed with a form of throat cancer and he was told they could treat but not cure him. This involved an initial operation, then follow ups to remove any extra growth, which could safelybe removed.


    I haven't seen him for a long time, but my husband spoke to him,on the phone, around Christmas time.


    He has been on DLA for a number of years, not because of the cancer,but other health problems he has.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 17th Mar 18, 7:30 AM
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    Detroit
    Thank you for all of your advice; as usual other points of view have helped to clarify my own thoughts, and have helped more than you know.

    A quick update. There was a problem with George's initial surgery, because of the placement of the tumour, which ended up with three trips to surgery in a thirty-six hour period, and a stay in intensive care. He turned a corner this afternoon, and things are looking a bit brighter; they're talking about transferring him to high dependency unit within the next couple of days, if he carries on as he is, and, in their view, there's no reason why he wouldn't. The OH has a mask firmly in place. While we're at the hospital, or with George's wife, he has been nothing short of amazing. At home is a different story; he's very quiet and withdrawn, but I think we're all emotionally shattered, so perhaps that's to be expected.
    Originally posted by JayJay100
    The effort of keeping the mask in place is exhausting. He probably has very little left afterwards and needs to recharge in his own way.

    You sound very supportive and strong and that will be a huge help to him.

    You seem like lovely people, carry on taking care of each other. Hoping for better times for all of you.


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