When the diagnosis comes, the world goes dark. The future, it seems, has been snatched from right under your feet. Growing old together starts to seem like a distant dream. There is a rush of emotions: anger, frustration, fear, guilt- and it feels horrible.
Happiness feels like an emotion you will never feel again.
But as many survivors of cancer will tell you, that is not always the case.
Advancements in medicine have allowed humans to treat and beat cancer. Many patients go on to survive and lead fulfilling lives.
The journey, however, is not easy. I will not lie. Things get tough not just for the patient, who has to sit through hours of chemo, and the emotional and physical pain, but also for the caretakers
As caretakers, we can become so task-oriented and caught up in the day-to-day success of getting it all done. We are motivated by quest, guilt, ethic, and “ought to’s.
At some point, for us, each day becomes a fight for our partner. We have to deal with what was thrown at us that day.
The next day.
And the day after that.
This is why today, I will share the small gestures and little acts that will help you and your spouse connect and find little moments of joy in your journey.
Talk to your spouse like you used to before. Make it a point to discuss things as you would before. Argue politics, books, movies, or literature. Don’t just talk about cancer and treatments. Tell her about the silly prank someone played on your co-worker the other day.
Joke And Laugh Often
Joke with her often. It might feel difficult but make your wife laugh and smile. It is these little acts that make a relationship special. Leave a note in her lunch. One husband used to leave post-its around the house for his wife to find when he would leave for work.
It made her feel less lonely while he was away and always made her smile.
Small gestures like a dinner date or baking her a bad cake after a great diagnosis can make special memories. If your wife loves to read, get her a book. If she likes to paint, get her a new set of colors. Dim the lights and turn the lounge into your dance floor.
Make The Most Of These Moments
Trust me; it is these little things that matter. And when you look back on your time together, even this time in the journey will seem full of magical moments.
I say this from experience. I lost my beloved Angela after a five-year-long battle with glioblastoma multiforme. She had a brain tumor.
I used to be a pilot, but now I’m determined to make a difference and provide a guiding voice that I didn’t have as I looked after my sick wife. I am now a full-time writer and cancer research advocate. I recommend you read books on being a caregiver, including my books, ‘A Husband’s Guide to Hands-On Caregiving’ and ‘Are You Prepared to be a Caregiver.’
I talk about how to support caregivers of cancer patients and how to prepare to be caregivers. I share my real-life experience to help husbands like me and other male caregivers overcome their challenges. Visit my website to learn more or purchase my books from here.