Category Archives: positive relationships

How Did My Breast Cancer Affect My Husband?

Me with my wonderful husband at Paige's wedding, January2010
Me with my wonderful husband at Paige’s wedding, January 2010

Being a caregiver as a husband

Cancer – When we first heard the news one thing I remember is that my oldest daughter (21) came to me and asked, when is mommy going to die. During this time when we heard the “C” word it was a death sentence. Although we were a strong, faith filled family we believed that God was in control of everything in our life. But for some reason it seemed that Cancer was something outside of that layer of faith.

There were times I encountered different people who had this disease and I remember laying hands on them and praying for them. But now the disease is in your life and for some reason it was harder to find the faith I had praying and believing for others.

What did I learn?

Through this experience I learned more about my faith and myself that I would have never known without this encounter. I use to think I know what people went through but I had no idea. Looking back I see that the caregivers go through a different emotional experience than the one that has the actual disease.

Cancer was something that brings out all the different emotions out of your spouse. Although her faith was strong there were times that she showed her real feelings. Being the husband you are the one person on this earth that she can confide in. Of course she tries to never show this side of herself to anyone else; to the outside world she tries to be strong and brave.

I would have different people come to me and ask how your wife is doing, which you would expect. That would have been my question but now I add, how are you also doing? Just remember that Cancer has a major impact on everyone in the family and it changes your life.  It is up to you if this change is negative or positive.

Added Responsibilities

Trying to carry the load of all the different family issues that needed to be completed along with my work responsibilities created an overwhelming state of mind at times.  This is such a difficult time and if you let it, it will consume your thoughts and pull you down. Stay as positive as you can. If you start thinking about all the negatives you start asking why and then the blame game starts. As men we have the tendency to try to figure everything out and if you get caught up into this process it will show in your attitude.

Your life will also change and your responsibilities as a husband will expand into areas that you are not used to. As the husband you need to try to stay strong for not only your wife but also your kids. This is not something you cannot do alone, you need the guidance and direction from the Lord and you must take time to get along and pray and ask God for help. It is not wrong to ask him why and express your feelings but know he is a loving God and He is the only one that can help you during this time. You may also need to find a man friend you can talk to outside of your family. This person should be a good friend and hopefully be someone who is spiritually ground and is of strong faith.  They must be someone you can trust and confide with and take time to fellowship together. Go have breakfast, golfing or fishing, just find the time to just meet and talk. .

As the head of the house the man takes pride in being the provider but with a sickness of this magnitude, we need to now change our mindset. I researched and read what I could but it never prepared me for what I was going to encounter.  There were people I ran into at work and in church that were facing the same situation and in two of the cases the husband refused to accept the cancer and they got bitter.

I found that when a man encounters this type of news it does one of two things. They accept it and try to do their best to adjust their life and it moves them closer to God. Then there are those that go into denial and blame God which drives them away from the one source they need. They go into denial and with this attitude it creates a non-supporting role and causes more tension on the whole family.

Be A Good Listener

I am not saying you need to be super spiritual and that you will be perfect in handling everything that comes your way.  Just do your best and be supportive and encourage her, There will be times she will say things that she does not mean but learn to just listen and not try to correct her or give advice. This is something I still have a hard time trying to do to this day. Just be there and listen to her. Hear what her needs and wants are and ask how you can help. Do not force your agenda on her, let time take its course. She is processing and dealing with heavy stuff, so don’t try to understand everything. We would not know until we were walking in her shoes. Show patience, humility, compassion and Love.

The most important thing you can do is to continue to lift her up in Prayer and be a positive conduit feeding your surroundings with words of encouragement. Find the best out of your situation and meditate on those things. Believe that God will move in your situation and you “Will Conquer Cancer”.  Doug

I hope Doug’s insight will help others who may be on this journey.

I invite you to follow me of Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Do You Evaluate Life Goals?

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Do you take time to evaluate life goals? April is a great month to evaluate the goals you made in January. Below is my post listing my goals for 2015 with an assessment after each goal.

2015 will hold many more firsts...some I don’t even know about.  My goal, not resolution, is very basic. My goal is to be healthy: body, mind and soul.

Body…I have been eating clean since July 1, 2014.  I have room for improvement in this area.  I am walking my first 5K, Race For A Cure, this month.  I hope to walk many 5K’s for different causes in 2015.  This time, I walk for all who are fighting breast cancer.  I walk to celebrate all survivors and to remember those who lost their battle to this horrible disease. It will be the first time that I will be recognized as a survivor.

  • Assessment of goal #1 BODY…
  • I did complete the 5K for Race For A Cure and received a ‘survivor’ shirt .
  • I did not realize that the survivors wore a different color shirt.  It was a very emotional day.  Complete strangers were cheering us on as we walked and after we crossed the finish line.  It was truly and amazing experience. I walked for all who are fighting breast cancer.  I walked to celebrate all survivors and to remember those who lost their battle to this horrible disease.
  • Below is a picture of my survivor shirt and medal.
  • Survivor shirt and survivor medal for completing 5K.

Mind…I want to continue to fill my life with positive influences and have the courage to leave the negative influences behind.  The words you speak over your life are very telling.  When my girls were little, I would speak into them positive statements..

  • when you go to college…not if you go to college
  • when you get a car…not if you get a car
  • God has your plan…don’t worry
  • also, you could be president if you wanted to…

The world was open to them.

  • Assessment of goal #2 MIND….
  • I have let go of negative relationships and only nuture positive relationships.  A sense of freedom comes when you surround yourself with positive influences.

Soul…For me, this is my most important area.  I want to spend more time in my devotions seeking God’s direction. I want peaceful relationships with those in my inner circle.  Finally after 3 years, I am making progress toward peace with my dad’s death.  I was going to go see him on Saturday but he died on Monday.  I missed my opportunity. (This also comes under ‘mind’) For me, my soul still aches from that decision but I know he is in heaven.

  • Assessment of goal #3 SOUL…
  • I continue to find opportunities to improve. I continue to seek God and his perfect will for my life.  I still miss my dad and things don’t get easier but I become more thankful for the time that I was given with him.

Take pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you can go. In all of life’s craziness, remember to enjoy the journey.

April is a great month to evaluate your progress on life goals for 2015. 

I invite you to follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.com.

Be Blessed.

Laura