Cancer Patients and Spouses Living With It
It is a June spring day. Your future wife or significant other dressed in a beautiful white wedding dress with lots of lace and embroidery is going to walk down the aisle to be with you at the altar. As you stand there, she comes up, holds both your hands while the man of the cloth is going to have you recite the vows that you and your bride have written for each other. Part of those vows is that you're going to have and to hold, in tears and laughter, love and cherish and honor each other through sickness and health. What does this mean? It means in the sight of the Lord that you have signed a contract that you will take care of each other in this world and the next.
A shocking diagnosis
In October 2015 is when I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, Gleason scale 10. I was totally inoperable and I was going to die in 4 months. My entire family came together for me and I had this one doctor talk to me for a whole hour while I was laying in the bed the hospital. He said, "I'm going to try to help you get through this."
My wife never left my side
My wife spent every single night with me in the hospital for 7 days sleeping on a bed that nurses made up so she could be near me. In the morning she would help feed me breakfast and then some lunch. She was always there. After I left the hospital I start going to the infusion clinic so they could start my chemo and my wife was right there every single moment all 4 hours. Even doctor's visit she was there because she wanted to hear what they had to say.
They had to do a major operation on me. It was about four hours long but they kept me asleep throughout the night into the next day before they woke me up. My wife stayed with me the whole time. And still going in for radiation she was there. When I had my spine worked on she was there. There were times I couldn't even get off my bed without help, she would grab my arm and I would use my hand against the bed to try to lift myself but my spine was hurting me so much and she tried everything to help me. I went through a lot of narcotics to help with the pain. She would get my walker and help me to my reclining chair. From there she would get my breakfast for me.
Caring for me at home
But she had to go to work. A lot of times she would leave a sandwich maybe some chips next to me and drinks in a cooler next to my chair. Then when she gets home after a hard day from work she would get my supper for me too. They didn't want to let me near the stove in case I slip, pass out. And before I go to bed I would use my walker to go to the shower get cleaned up but I can't bend down past my waist area because my spine, pelvic area, and my hip area has cancer all over it. My wife would have to come in and help me dry off because I can't do it on my own and because the neuropathy in my feet is so bad sometimes I can't feel the bath mat which confuses my equilibrium and I can easily fall. My wife makes sure that she's there every time.
She helps me get from here to there
The one good thing I did was go to my primary doctor. She knows that I had a lot of problems walking so she put paperwork in and 6 months later I got myself a scooter. Now I can go to the doctor's office or to the hospital. At the hospital, of course, the area I need to go is way on the other side, so the scooter really comes in handy. And the scooter comes apart really easy. She'll walk me to the car get me sent down and then she'll go to the back and pull the scooter apart in 4 pieces put it in the trunk and off we go and then when we get to our place of where we going to go, she just put it back together in about 30 seconds drives it up to me, I jump right on it (literally) and off we go. Where I live in Florida I live in a development that has nothing but asphalt everywhere. Some mornings I go out for a drive on it. It'll take me about three hours but just being able to get fresh air makes me feel much better.
Thankful for my supportive wife
There was no way I could have made it with the cancer I had without my wife. It was very aggressive and it took a lot to get this far. If it wasn't for my caring, diligent wife, there is no way I could have made it.
Your partner or caregiver should be there for you. And it really does not it matter what kind of cancer you have -- prostate, colon, lung, etc. Being a caregiver is a delicate, personal subject and not something to be taken lightly. You're dealing with their life. Give them understanding, warmth, compassion, and the big thing...Love. Let them know that you're always going to be there. They're scared enough. My advice for the cancer patient is don't give up, don't give in. There are people out there who loved you and want you around.
Home is not where you live,
Home is where you're loved.
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?