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Something’s not right

Senior Contributor

Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

This week has been a really tough one.

On Monday I learned that my Mum has advanced breast cancer already spread to the lungs and likely the bones.  The prognosis is very poor.

Then on Wednesday it was confirmed that my husband has lung cancer (multiple nodules) which has metastisised from either the kidney cancer he had 6 years ago or the melanoma he had removed 18 months ago. Either way the outlook is bleak.  We are now going through the process of blood tests, needle aspirations for a sample to determine the origin of the tumors, bone scans, physician apts to determine whether his overall health is good enough to undergo possible treatment or surgery, etc. Once thats all done we will see the Oncologist armed with all the necessary information in order to determine where we go from here.

I am carer for my husband, who has PTSD, anxiety, depression, alcoholism and a number of other physical health issues.  The diagnosis this week has hit him hard, he has had no symptoms, so it was a surprise.  Only picked up due to the routine annual scans that he has had since his kidney cancer 6 years ago.  Apparently it is not unusual to experience no symptoms with metastisised cancer of the lung.  

He is now deeply depressed, extremely vague and forgetful, and is obviously feeling really vulnerable.  

I have personally had a really difficult year and a half with loss of an 11yo niece through a car accident, my brother being suicidal, my own PTSD being triggered by a series of incidents.  And now, the two most important people in my world (Mum and Husband) are both going through the ordeal of likely untreatable cancer, both within a two day period.  I feel like my whole world has come crashing down, and I am struggling with everything.  

My mother and other immediate family lives 6.5 hours from here, so it is not easy to be there for her.  And I cant leave my husband anyway as he has to be my priority. So many appointments over the coming week or two. So I am feeling very frustrated and useless all round.  Its so hard when there is simply nothing I can do for either one of them.

The best I can do is to try to remain positive for both of them.  So far hubby is fairly positive, but I dont think he is fully aware of the ramifications of his diagnosis. But I am feeling far from positive myself.  So how do I remain upbeat and positive for him, when I am personally crumbling under the pressure?  I know how important positive thinking is when it comes to physical health issues, and I guess mental as well.  But right now .... I am struggling to find a way through my own misery. Intense anxiety symptoms have once again descended.

Any advice would be appreciated.

@Shaz51  Tagged as requested in Friday Feast.  Also the other mainstay in my support team @Faith-and-Hope.  Heart

553 REPLIES 553

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

one step at a time my friend @Sherry HeartHeart

we are here for you my awesome friend xoxoxo @Faith-and-Hope 

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

Hello @Sherry

Thank you for sharing all of this with us, that must not be easy. I cannot imagine how hard it is for you stay positive right now through all of this, but I can see that you are reaching out for support which in itself is such a helpful thing even if it does not feel like it. I think the most you can do is try to look after yourself right now, give yourself a break from so much stress even if it is for 5/10mins by going for a walk, meeting a friend, having a cuppa in the sun. And getting as much support from friends and family, we are here for you and thank you again for telling us what is happening Heart

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

I agree with  @Lunar, @Sherry, remeber to do self care for you during the day and to remember thatwe are here for you , so if you need to talk or just need a hug we are here Smiley HappyHeart

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

Just organising dinner over here @Sherry, but I will be back in later tonight with more of a reply.

I hear you ..... ❣️

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

Hi @Sherry .....

One of our married kids was here last night, and that resulted in extended time around the dinner table, which was good for all of us, but I fell asleep quite promptly when I did get to bed.

I am so sorry to hear about these awful challenges that have emerged as a cluster for you ..... it is an incredibly overwhelming situation.

Can I ask my first question regarding you ?  What support facilities are available to you ?  Who is caring for the carer here ?  The mods may help to work it out according to the state and area you live in.

Big hugs @Sherry



Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

Thanks everyone, your support means a lot.  Even just knowing I can come here and vent to an understanding audience is a big help.  @Faith-and-Hope @Shaz51 @Lunar

Yes its all devastating news to have to absorb, and in the short term it means lots of appointments and organsation of things.  But we will get there.

A Cancer Patient Coordinator attached to the Oncology Dept of the local hospital is thankfully doing most of the necessary referrals and appointments needed in the leadup to seeing the Oncologist.  She is very good, and I am happy to leave all that up to her.

I was thinking about asking at the Hospital next time I'm up there, about local Cancer Support Groups.  I imagine there would be one somewhere nearby.

Faith - I'm glad to hear that you had a lovely family dinner last night.

As for my own support - I have my psychologist who I saw this week. And she is keeping in touch with me via email most days.  She is very kind and I appreciate her support.  She told me to make an appointment to come in and see her when I can.  But everything is just too much up in the air right now to even consider doing that.

Other than that - I have the Forums, which is a big benefit.  I dont have any friends or family nearby, and I wouldnt want to bother them anyway.  All my husbands family are in WA.  We're in NSW.

Dont worry, things will work out.  I'm okay.



Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

💜💐💕 @Sherry ....

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

Re: Supporting an already Depressed Partner through Cancer diagnosis

Hey @Sherry
Thinking of you with the Swannies having another win.

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