Monday, November 1, 2010

Caregivers have feelings too

I have been pondering this one for a few days. A woman who has had breast cancer twice and had one mastectomy followed by another wrote into an advice column. She was writing about how her husband wouldn't have sex with her since her last surgery 3 years ago. The advice column said she was right in going to counseling because her husband was probably still upset about her second round of breast cancer and surgery and it wasn't about her loss of breasts.

Readers also commented on it. One said said he's having an affair. Two said counseling. But overall the answer was he was too scared of losing her and traumatized by it.

I have been on both sides of the cancer diagnosis. It is traumatic. If you are the patient, its mostly focused on you. Very little is focused on the caregiver.

Once the physical healing is over, the emotional healing is still going on. My husband and I have had many conversations from both sides of the diagnosis about life insurance, what if one of us dies, what would you do, that end of life conversation, and more. all the taboo topics are no longer taboo when you the c-word shows up in your life.

The woman who wrote in said her husband has his own business and works 7 days a week so he doesn't have time for counseling. Maybe his work schedule prevents him from seeing that his wife is doing okay these days. Maybe if he saw how well she was doing that would help him lose the feeling he might lose her. Maybe burying himself in his work he is hiding from his feelings?

I am no psychologist but he needs some care too.

2 comments:

1 School 1 Cause 1 Goal said...

I thought you might be interested to see what our school is doing to help fight breast cancer. We have raised over $10,000 and 80% of our students are considered in poverty. It's a very inspirational story that might help your spirits.

www.1school1cause1goal.blogspot.com

Samantha said...

I'll never forget what my dad said after my mom passed away, and he, in time, started dating again (my mom's sisters didn't react so well to it, so it was in response to that). "What they don't understand is Mom and I stopped being husband and wife years ago and became a Patient and a Caregiver." I never once questioned my parent's sex life-- what child would ever want to! ha-- but I never even gave that any thought. He explained to me that, although they were very much in love, their relationship came so solely based on cancer that they had lost the other parts of what makes a marriage so wonderful.