I wrote a tweet today, about how it was hard to see my wife go from being at deaths door one day, to being up and able to do multitude of things the next, and how hard it was to cope.
I got a few responses, and comments and it got me thinking. I think one reason why I find it hard is that I crave for things to be normal, and in this case I mean before cancer entered our lives. I hate the situation this disease has put her in. The normality I want cannot return at this time, and I need to accept that.
The other reason is that I have the carer mentality, and as such feel the need to care for and look after my wife all the time. I am being over protective of her, and hate to see her wear herself out by doing mundane cleaning and so on around the house. An analogy in my mind is that of being over protective of your own children, hating to see them get hurt or upset by things.
But by doing this, am I going too far? She is doing things for a variety of reasons. First of all she wants and needs to feel useful. After all the cancer has taken away so much from her, from a career and independent mobility, and a pain free existence. She doesnt want to feel she is sitting around waiting for the end. Secondly by keeping active she is keeping some independence. It cant be easy having to rely on people for alot of aspects of your life. And finally, it brings an element of control into her life.
The cancer is in the most part an uncontrollable disease. Yes, she has had chemo and immunotherapy, but in reality these dont control the disease for long, or at least havent for us. The disease is the one in control of her life, and so by organising other aspects of her life, my wife is sticking two fingers up at cancer, and telling it that it cannot control everything.
So I need to be mindful, and stop trying to look after her all the time. I need to learn to know when to step in, and went to back the hell off and let her get on with things. After all, mental health is vital to keeping fit to face whatever comes next. Like my children analogy earlier, I have to stand back and see what happens, and if she gets tired and crashes out for a few hours, so be it.
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