Caring for my partner, sole mate and father of my children

  • Posts: 4
    Edited by: Satlady - 20/06/2017 09:57

    My partner went into hospital in April with suspected pneumonia and within 21 days was at our local hospice diagnosed with terminal cancer (melanoma) in four locations in the body, he spent 3 weeks in the hospice before being stabilised and is now how with myself and our three children (10, 11 and 13) with his eldest daughter and grandson visiting along with family when they can.
    I am caring for my partner along with trying to come to terms with all of this for him, for me and all the children at the same time as trying as looking after the children and myself, running our home and trying to decide what to do with our business.
    I am totally overwhelmed by all of it and am certainly running on auto pilot and adrenaline.
    We have been told that while my partner is able to amongst his medications and tiredness that if there is anything we want to do, do it sooner than later when he is able too.
    Where do you even start with what you had planned and wanted to do as the children grew up and we grew old disgracefully together.........
    I want to wake up from a bad dream and that is not going to happen.


  • Posts: 4
    22/06/2017  19:34

    I've just joined, as my wife has terminal cancer. Keep strong, don't blame yourself and try to be emotionally detached. I wish I could help.

  • Posts: 4
    22/06/2017  20:17

    WGCman sorry to hear about your wife, thank you for replying, it's hard to stay detached with him being at home with us currently and three young children asking dad to do things that he is no longer able to do that he used to do.

    He asks why me and I can't answer that other than to say they take the best ones first which is something our youngest came out with the other day.  It is so hard.  I hope you are looking after yourself and staying strong.

  • Posts: 4
    22/06/2017  21:34

    If you haven't told the children he is dying (let's call a spade a spade, that's what terminal illness is), should you now do so? I'm not saying it's a good idea, I'm saying it might be a good idea, so think about it. We are all brought up (as much by our peers as our parents) to believe that life should be "fair". As we get older we learn that it's anything but fair, and it can be a very hard lesson to learn. Perhaps your children are learning now, and, worse, blaming themselves for what is happening - illogically blaming, of course, but logic is never plentiful in these situations. We live in a world where there is a culture of blame - and the media always seem more concerned with pointing a finger than finding solutions. Cancer is a terrorist. It has no respect for age or lifestyle but attacks at random. It's like being in the wrong place at the wrong time and blame doesn't enter into it.


    My wife and I are retired, and I am coping at present with her care. I don't think I could manage if I had three children to think of, too, as you have.  Is it possible to get the children to help? (Here again, I'm just suggesting; it might work in some cases but not yours or might be a lousy idea anyway.) You're all in it together, and doing something positive might focus their minds differently. As a parent and grandparent, I know how difficult it is to accept that our sprogs grow up. Yours are approaching adulthood (although there is some way yet to go), and if you take them into your confidence, share your feelings (to some extent), and discuss with them what the four of you can do "as a team", you might be pleasantly surprised. However you know yourself and your children better than I do, so trust your own judgment on this! 


    My wife was fit and healthy until in April a severe pain and fainting made me call an ambulance. The following day she had a major operation and we were told that she had cancer which had spread. This week they confirmed our worse fears that it is terminal, but it has not yet fully sunk in to me. It seems possible that you are well and truly in shock, and if you have the time and haven't done so already, a trip to your GP to discuss yourself could help. There may not be anything practical, but even a chat should help and will do no harm. 


    Whatever, I wish you well.

  • Posts: 4
    22/06/2017  22:41

    I have told the children, I sat with all three of them on my own, two days after we were told it was terminal and time and explained to them, they know it's cancer (not the actual type as they google everything and it may not be such a good idea for them to be reading right into that at the moment) and they know Dad is going to die and that we need to make the most of the time we have with him and we need to do special things now and not wait for another day so that we can all build special memories to take forward (I was advised not to give them the timeline i had been given as they would be day and week and calendar watching which would be harder for them).  We are building a memory jar that we are asking everyone that knows us before and after the children that if they have any happy or funny or odd memories that we can add to the jar to let us have them so that on down days we can dig into it and talk about things that have been done and said over the years.

    We had no knowledge before him going into hospital that he had cancer so like yourselves it was a total shock.

    The children are helping where they can and I answer question truthfully maybe sometimes with slightly different wording that you would with an adult.

    Our oldest son says that cancer takes no prisioners and hes right, they all question at times why dad, it is hard and we are working to build a stronger bond to support each other going forwards.

    We have no idea how long we have with left with him, part of his cancer is in his brain, hence doing things sooner than later.

    The local hospice have been amazing at supporting us so far and we have had some lovely ladies and gentlemen helping with him at home along with marie curie nurses too.  He spent three weeks in hospital, followed by 3 weeks in the hospice before we could bring him home.  The local gp's have been out to see him and I have access to them as well as a couple of key people that I can speak to.

    Like yourselves we always tell it as it is where we can.

    Do you have support for yourselve and your wife.

  • Posts: 4
    24/06/2017  22:26

    My wife has been given a timeline of 3-6 months which could be extended by up to 2 years more if she responds to the chemotherapy which she is about to start. She has recovered well from the major operation to remove the primary bowel cancer, and is not yet suffering from the secondary tumours which will slowly kill her. As yet the prognosis seems unreal so we don't perceive a need for support. 40 years ago I lost my 6-year old son (by my first wife) to asthma, and looking back, can't understand how I survived. But survive I did, and it remains to be seen whether that awful experience has toughened me up for what is to come, or whether the impending tragedy will bring terrible memories rushing back, It is different for my wife - "Why me" she says, rather like your children. Don't try to answer - there are no answers!


    You seem to be doing all the right things - and you are absolutely right not to give the children a timeline which is probably only a guess anyway - and I am not sure I can help. If it helps you to post to the forum I can "listen" and respond, but tell me if I am intruding into your grief.  

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