10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #10

Endure to the End

Understanding this phrase has been a journey for me. March of 2010 enduring to the end meant patiently waiting for cancer to be over and for us to return to, what I believed to be our normal lives. It meant me turning down an invite because Trav2010is was not able to go out, and so I waited for him to re-join our lives. It meant I became stagnant in life for a little bit, not progressing, I was just waiting. I felt like I was enduring by doing nothing special and waiting until the end of the trial. Continue reading “10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #10”

10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #9

Be Prepared for Complications

This one is hard to write because I’ve struggled a lot with this. Preparing for the worst always seemed to be eliminating hope for something better. At the same time, being in denial of all the possible complications or even an ultimate sad ending is prohibiting myself from mourning with Travis and softening the blow before we are forced to face it. Continue reading “10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #9”

10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #6

After the kids get rid of the person at the door I curl up on the couch, realizing it’s already noon on Saturday and nothing is perfect.

Accept less than perfect

There is a knock at the door, and while the kids go through the obstacle course of toys and blankets to reach the front door I quickly hide because I haven’t even run a brush through my hair today. The kids haven’t bathed for a day or two…I think they’ve brushed their hair…wait didn’t they wear that on Wednesday…it’s Saturday, please tell me they have changed their clothes! After the kids get rid of the person at the door I curl up on the couch, realizing it’s already noon on Saturday and nothing is perfect. Continue reading “10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #6”

10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #5

2 Nephi 2:25: “Adam Fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

Be Positive

fake     My little brother had a sticky note on his wall that said: “Fake it until you make it.” I have remembered that phrase constantly throughout Travis’ diagnosis. I don’t always smile, but I try really hard to. Sometimes I want to curl up in a ball and give up, but I can’t, so I fake the happiness, and some days pushing that smile forces me to really be okay. Telling people I’m alright, makes me feel like maybe I am alright. Making someone else happy brightens my day exponentially. Cancer sucks but being a sucky person doesn’t fix it! Being a positive and happy person doesn’t fix it either, but it’s a lot more enjoyable!

Keep reading 10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #5

10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #4

This is my life and I have to learn how to live this life! My Heavenly Father has a plan for me. This is my normal!

Accept your new normal

Easier said than done!! When our oldest had a G-tube (feeding tube inserted into his stomach) we talked about the day we would be normal.

Three years later I said that things were really good and things almost felt normal. The next month Travis got sick and two months later they found his cancer, so we looked forward to the day we would be normal.
Keep reading 10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #4

10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #3

Let the kids be kids!

We have 3 amazing kids. They are the light of our lives and bring so much joy into our home! As a kid my Grandpa had cancer, but it didn’t consume our lives. It was scary, but not always part of our lives. It’s different for kids who have a parent with cancer, they cannot avoid it and they are aware their lives are different20140730_182011 than others. My Mom picked up our oldest from school early on a day our daughter broke her arm. The second he saw my Mom he started crying because he assumed something was wrong with his Dad. This story broke my heart to think of the fear that he must live in. They know Travis sleeps a lot when he has chemo, they know they get babysat a lot because Travis can’t take care of them, they know he is grumpy sometimes because of the medicine, and they know he could die. That’s an awful lot for a kid to have to deal with.

Keep reading 10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #3

10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #2

“Instead of figuring out what you need help with, tell me what you are willing to give away to someone else.”

You Need Help!

Caring for a sick spouse is so much work, it doesn’t just mean you take over their responsibilities, but there is also a great deal of work to care for their needs emotionally and physically. You may be a superhuman and able to do it all, but we don’t need to be and shouldn’t be alone in the fight. You need help!! In the beginning of Travis’ fight, I relied too heavily on my parents to help us. They were willing and my kids benefited greatly from the security and consistency from them, however, my parents are fighting this battle with me too so throwing it all on them is too much. It took me years to accept more help from others, yet even now it is not easy for me to relinquish my responsibilities.

Keep reading 10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #2

10 ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #1

“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.”

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

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!

Keep reading 10 Ways for a Spouse to Survive Cancer #1