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Husband's anticipatory grief

jodyj
jodyj Member Posts: 51

Big sigh. My dear husband is not coping well with my worsening disease. I've had progression of my lobular MBC, previously in bones and now to peritoneum, omentum, GI tract. I am finally going to have a laparoscopy/biopsy next week and then begin weekly Taxol. My mood is better now that these things are finally scheduled! My husband's mood is not so good. He won't do support groups or counseling, he says. Instead, he keeps muttering "We're...[effed]." I want to say "Hey, I'm trying to enjoy my todays! Button it!"

I love my husband. He loves me. But his untreated depression is so tough to live with. Can anyone relate? And if so, my heart goes out to you.

Comments

  • irishlove
    irishlove Member Posts: 422

    @jodyj I'm so sorry for the progression and your husbands' mental health challenges. I can speak only for my own mental health and it's not great. But I did see a neuo who started me on an anti-depressant. It's helped but somedays, not quite enough. As for counseling, everyone is backlogged or doesn't accept my insurance. If you can get him to his primary doctor to talk, perhaps he could be persuaded to seek help. He needs to be mentally healthier to support you!

  • jodyj
    jodyj Member Posts: 51
    edited November 2023

    Irishlove, thank you so much for your response and kind words. I'm sorry that you haven't been able to get help for your own mental health challenges. It really stinks that insurance issues stand in the way. I hope that changes very soon! Your suggestion that my husband talk to his PCP is a good one, because he loves that guy. Hoping he sets an appointment soon. Must find a way to suggest that without nagging. Thank you, again.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,691

    Hi @jodyj!

    Perhaps your husband would be open to joining our virtual meetup for MBC caregivers — less of a support group, more of a gathering of loved ones of MBC folks sharing their stories and expressing their feelings. Many of our MBC meetups' partners have found it extremely helpful, as the group is very supportive and welcoming. He might want to give it try. It's free, no pressure, and he can do it from the comfort of your home!

    Alternatively, maybe he would like to make an account here and join the MBC Caregivers forum, where he can write out his feelings and get support that way?

    These podcasts might also be helpful to him:

    Just some thoughts. We know MBC can be so hard on all we love. Sending hugs!

    —The Mods

  • jodyj
    jodyj Member Posts: 51

    Wow, Mods! Fantastic. Thank you for these links - and the hugs! I've shared them with my husband. He usually does check out what I send him in email. I may listen to the podcasts myself. Will report back on any positive response...

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,896

    jody, others have mentioned several good leads that may help your situation. Hopefully your husband is open to some advice and it may help for him to know how other men in the same circumstances cope. Please know that even tho you both have great love for each other, you are allowed to have boundaries to protect your own well-being. It’s not unreasonable to have a short, heartfelt conversation with your husband to say that you know he’s having difficulties but you’ve chosen to try and make the best of your days. And maybe you could talk about how together, you both could do that while still acknowledging the seriousness of the disease. I understand you are concerned for your husband’s well-being; be sure to advocate for yourself as well.

  • jodyj
    jodyj Member Posts: 51

    Thank you, divinemrsm, for this good advice. Sometimes the advocating for myself does not go as well as hoped. But I agree that it's the reasonable thing to do here. My usual way of coping is to spend lots of time alone, which isn't terrible, but I'd prefer to have his company more of the time. We're in a transition period right now, and I'm hoping my new treatment leads to what I've been calling my next happy plateau. I know my husband understands this. He's full of fear. Or seems that way to me. And maybe I'm projecting my own fear onto him, too. Sorry, this is getting way too psychoanalytical! Just mainly want to say thank you for sharing your wisdom and tips.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,896

    jody, I mention boundaries because it’s something I’ve had to work on. At first it was just with extended family but it wasn’t long before I realized I needed better boundaries with even those closest to me, like my husband. It’s been a process, but worth it, and I can honestly say having clearer boundaries has improved all my relationships. I feel less drained, less resentment and more in control of situations. I stopped waiting for others to change. The change had to happen with me. Not always easy, lol! But worth sticking with it and learning to show up for myself.

    If you’d prefer to have your husband’s company more of the time, let him know. I mention having short conversations because my own dh is not one to discuss deep things for hours at a time. Maybe your husband is like that, too. I think keeping things brief helps dh process what I’m saying and keeps him from being overwhelmed.

  • jodyj
    jodyj Member Posts: 51

    Divinemrsm, The words "I stopped waiting for others to change" jumped out at me as if they were in blinking neon lights. I think I should reread your entire post several times each day. I need to change my own behavior and my expectations of him. The "Keep it brief" advice is also valuable. I do want to find a new way to approach him throughout this rough time. A friend of mine used to ask "What's me and what's not me" as a way to see what's going on in relationships. I could try this with myself - and try to keep it brief! Thank you, again.