While my husband was in remission, I wrote down 10 ways for a spouse to Survive Cancer. It ended up being pretty long and I couldn’t focus much on any one point. So I am breaking it up over 10 posts, and maybe in the process it’ll turn into 20 or more ways because as my husband fights for his life again, I’m always learning new things and trying to figure this out!
Be Patient with your Spouse. Sometimes your spouse will be mad, but that’s okay occasionally, they have cancer! Even after 6 years it’s kind of unbelievable to think he really does have cancer. I can only begin to imagine the anguish, fear, and pain associated with being the person with cancer. Sometimes your spouse may need an outlet and sometimes you may be the only one there! It is important to acknowledge their pain and let them vent but also have boundaries. Try not to fight! A few times I have gotten upset and I regret it so quickly. The next time he was puking over the toilet I thought of the things I had said when I was mad, and there was so much guilt. Be so patient with them, they are fighting an incredibly awful disease and need patience!
Be Patient with your Kids. Kids are not just bystanders in cancer. They see it and are affected by it every day. Some days I feel for them more than anyone else, parents are supposed to be invincible and I can imagine that having a sick parent shatters the safety bubble and makes life too real. They may cry and not know why, just be patient. Maybe they will throw a tantrum with no explanation, be patient. Sometimes they will need to cuddle, slow down and be patient. One night our daughter lost her temper and Travis cuddled into her and said “You lost your calm, huh? Here, you can have some of mine.” What a sweet way to help her feel better and keep the entire house from escalating! I cannot begin to understand what it’s like to have a parent with cancer, but I know the kids need patience.
Be Patient with YOU! Supporting a spouse is exhausting, so incredibly exhausting. Do the best you can at all times, and then be proud of all that you do, don’t feel discouraged that you can’t do it all. Find time to disconnect, run/walk to recharge or find something you enjoy doing. Forgive yourself when you lose your cool! Or maybe cuddle with your kids or spouse to get some of their calm!
Be Patient with your Trial. If you told me 6 years ago everything we would endure I would’ve been so overwhelmed and thought there was no way we can handle it. Looking back it almost seems surreal at times and I wonder how we possibly got through certain things. I don’t think we could’ve handled it if we were told what would happen, yet the Lord gave us the strength and guided us through it despite our knowledge of upcoming events. Knowledge of God and that he knows best helps us be more patient. Life will happen when and how it is supposed to and no matter of rushing or impatience will hurry up the process.
D&C section 24 verse 8: “Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.”
In the October 1980 Ensign, Elder Maxwell wrote an article titled Patience, in which he says: “Patience is always involved in the spiritual chemistry of life—not only when it helps us turn trials and tribulations…into joy and growth, but also when it builds upon the seemingly ordinary experiences to bring about happy, spiritual outcomes. Patience is, therefore, clearly not fatalistic, shoulder-shrugging resignation; it is accepting a divine rhythm to life; it is obedience prolonged. Patience stoutly resists pulling up the daisies to see how the roots are doing!”
Copyright © Stacy Fredericks 2016, All rights reserved