On being a Carer… My wife has Mesothelioma

I have been asked by Cameron to share an article with you about his role as a carer to his wife who has Mesothelioma. Often the partners and carers of those of us who have cancer are neglected and the wonderful role that they take on. We do not hear them complain but at times it must be very difficult. His blog and other articles are also insightful, bringing awareness to  his role and his wife’s surgery.  In sharing he hopes to build understanding of Mesothelioma  and how it feels to be a Carer .

English: Mesothelioma of the left lower lung.

English: Mesothelioma of the left lower lung. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This a link to Cameron’s Blog … Please take some time to read it…

What Cancer Taught Me and My Family

“My wife has said on many occasions that she doesn’t know what I went through when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. It was three months after the birth of our daughter, Lily. We were so overjoyed and happy with our daughter, full of excitement at the prospect of what the future might hold for our new little family. We had no idea that all that would change when her doctor looked at her and told her she had cancer. I watched as Heather cried at the news, and I wondered how in the world we were supposed to get through something this awful. I was on the verge of a breakdown when the doctor’s comments about medical decisions forced me to focus on our terrible reality.

More than anything, I was so angry. I was angry that my wife had cancer, and I spent a great deal of time and energy on angry outbursts of profanity. It took me a little while to realize how selfish I was being, and I realized that the last thing my wife needed was to see how scared I was. I knew I had to get my emotions under control. It wasn’t easy, but eventually I was able to get to together, and from that point on I did my very best to be nothing but a source of hope and optimism for my family.

I had such a long to-do list that included everything from my job, to making travel arrangements for doctors appointments, to taking care of my family, our pets, etc, that I almost couldn’t handle it. I was overwhelmed. I had to learn to prioritize and create a plan. I also learned to accept all of the generous offers of help that came from our loving community. I realize how blessed my family is to have such amazing loved ones in our lives.

In February 2006, Heather and I traveled to Boston for her extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery. While we were in Boston, Heather’s parents were caring for Lily at their home in South Dakota. We had a decision to make. I had to work, and I couldn’t give Heather and Lily the constant care that they needed while working full-time, so after the operation Heather went to South Dakota to stay with her parents while she recovered and prepared for the next phase of her treatment. They were gone for two months. It was so hard being away from them, but it was necessary.

I saw my family one time in two months. I drove through a snowstorm on a Friday night after work and had to do it again on Sunday so I could be at work Monday morning. The drive is 11 hours one way. It was hard, but it was so good to see my family. I don’t regret making any of the difficult decisions we made, because they were decisions we were lucky to be able to make. This is something I learned throughout Heather’s diagnosis – never regret the tough decisions that cancer forces you to make. Instead, take comfort in the fact that you retain the ability to make decisions at all. I also learned that you just have to accept the help that is offered to you if you ever plan on making it through these difficult days. I am forever grateful to those who helped us overcome this time in our lives.

Heather has now been healthy for more than six years, and it is such a blessing. I hope that this story, and my experience can help someone else who is suffering from cancer to get through this very difficult time”…. By Cameron

I would like to take this time to thank everyone who has ever taken the role of Carer… You make it possible for us to focus on getting well.. Thank you

This is a link to a story from Susan who’s husband died of Mesothelioma … I have been asked to share this in his memory and to help others… Thank you Susan


3 thoughts on “On being a Carer… My wife has Mesothelioma

  1. Mahalo/Thank You for sharing this insightful post.. especially having only recently realized just how much my diagnosis affected my friend helping me..
    Ano’ai kou alahele.. May your way be blessed

  2. Pingback: On being a Carer… My wife has Mesothelioma | My Lymph Node … | Your Mesothelioma Treatment

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