Jump to content

I surrender - I can't do "this" by myself


Recommended Posts

Hi from Mrs. DeanCarl

It's been 6 months since Dean's preliminary Cancer Diagnosis. Time flies!

I'm so glad Dean found this board with you wonderful folks sharing and really caring. I rode the emotional rollercoaster rides of posts; have never been good at group situations; but posted a few thoughts to support others....also followed the "trails" of other's life's living through Dean's involvement. I need "help" from the Wife's/husband's point of view.

I have the word "Cancer" stamped in my brain. I am exhausted.

I try to hide my tears as some nights I can barely manage to wash the last dish or some other little chore. I am also peri-menopausal; PLUS

I am a recovering Mental Patient....had Atypical Psychosis at ages 23 and 25 (4 months of HELL each time - but the HELL ended). Met Dean at age 26 (he was 34); both Psychology Majors at City College (we're a "couple" - a Recoverying Alcoholic plus a Recoverying Nut = lots of "interesting" years - rocking and rolling for almost 20 years together!!!).

Had a slight in=home Psychosis at age 40 and Dean finally saw what my brain could do (slip away from reality; let out of one hospital while still Psychotic and then overdosed while in a Psychotic state (CA) - that I have no memory of doing) in March-April 2002 as I had a double Psychosis that darn near killed me (he is helping me by his thoughts of what he'd do if I would have died then). To add insult to injury; my Psychiatrist gave the "go ahead" to take the Supplement Black Kohash Root for the start

of perimenoupausal hormonal RAGES=tripled my Lithium Level and almost died again (kidney failure) in July 2003.

Diagnosed BiPolar (Manic-Depressive) at age 23. (Inherited it from my Dad, who is in complete Denial and is on no meds). Last May, I decided to make "amends" to my Dad - a very Authoritarian type - as he was turning 74. He's been "manic" for at least 30 years and I was sure his heart would "give" someday. He recently moved to Florida to finally retire. I felt totally abandoned when I told my family(?) of Dean's Cancer. I "lost" an older brother (may have lost him a long time ago to Alcohol) the same weekend of the Oct 3 prelimary Diagnosis. I called him (always thinking my big brother would be there for me) and he said: "Oh; gotta go. Have an appt" and hung up. I have not contacted him since. My Mom has never said the word Cancer. But my Dad HAS been there for me. It IS true the ones who have the least give the most; as he has always been on one "get rich scheme" or another (and always broke) - he sent us $100/month to help get us through our "survival mode" period from Oct - Dec. For once; he let me ramble on and actually listened to me about Dean's Cancer. His ex-wife's sister had just passed away from all sorts of Cancer. I got mad that my Mom has never said the word "Cancer". She helped a bit financially - a one time gift of $200 which I carefully jam-packed with food/freezer full; two "trips" with a Controlling Christian Woman who wants to make sure that Dean is "saved" - funny thing is she and everyone is going through me to find out Dean's beliefs. Then; food all in place for a month or two -the big So. CA Wildfires hit - The Cedar Fire - the one with the most damage; well that was us. We survived. However the power was off for A week - so much for the groceries. So much for thinking about Cancer for a week. Had a vacation from the tests at that grueling ride (70 miles roundtrip) - early morning rush hour traffic (Dean had driven the buses mid afternoon into late evening; so getting up at 6am was a challenge) to the VA. I found I found fault at everything they did at the VA. Ah ha!!! - it's the VA that did THIS to us. I got so mad everytime someone more than implied that Dean intentially set out to get Cancer.

Enough rambling. For the most part; I am a strong woman; but know when to yell HELP - the type Dean cannot give me. I started up in Therapy in Sept (before the diagnosis; Dean only(?) had pnemonia then and I wanted to get back in the working world to help out our financial situation; but had a few things to work through). This was totally unproffesional (and blind) on the Therapist' part; as I was "let go" from Therapy in Jan (the jury had been out on this lady; did not feel "any emotion" on her part; except the looks of disbelief when I told of my more than disfunctional family and my Mental Stuff - I had to tell her: "Really; I'm not making this up".) due to the fact, by coincedence Dean's daughter had the same Therapist. And with all the similarities in our life; the Therapist "DIDN'T GET IT" until Marsha and I agreed to tell of our relationship and that was six months into a very energy intensive emotion

investment on my part. I don't start out shy/slow in Therapy. So since Marsha was there first. I got "let go". Am still searching for a Professional; but how many Psychologists have lost their S.O. to Cancer? I believe in the been there, done that attitude.

I'm here now. Dean's here now. Now what? I keep reading Dean's One Day at a Time post. I totally believe in bubble baths - that became a "cliche" to a friend of mine who never tried it. I doing the best I can one day and one bubble bath at a time. Thanks for listening as I now am joining The Club. Any sugestions? Hope to boldy venture a few to you, too. Since there is no chance for a cure for Dean's Cancer (which I accept and stand by his decisions) - well; I feel like an odd one out. But now know I cannot do "this" by myself. Gay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Gay,

You have had a hard way to go...I sure wish I had some suggestions for you, I have never been where you have or where you are right now, I can only say if it helps just to have someone listen we are listening and we care..Sounds like the so called professionals have not been very helpful or professional, that has to be emotionally exausting trying to find someone who can really help..Hoping your day gets better in the meantime heres a hug(((GAY))))

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, folks for listening. There are NO support groups in San Diego for Lung Cancer patients and families. I keep searching for a "Professional"; as with my genetic "make up" is now being monitored FINALLY by a new and improved Psychiatrist (as of 2 months ago - it took me 5 years to find

him - he is young and sensitive to my/our situation; even wondered if my "plans" to go back to work with Alzheimer's patients could be depressing; for me it's a way of giving. This MD WELCOMES familiy involvement, too). So I'm still actively "searching" for "talk Therapist".

It doesn't even have to be someone with a PHD; but would help when it comes to the realm of my more than Dysfunctional Family, Mental Illness & Death & Bereavement and going back into the work world after a 6 year absence..........I was finally content to be a "housewife" - supporting Dean in that way; he was fine with it; but I found other women looked down on me that I did not work. I was ok with it; finally; started Volunteering in a Thrift Store to get a local reference base as living in CA is expensive; I thought I'd get a part time job and get more social interaction.

Now I feel "my job" is being taken away from me. Hard to be a loving housewife; if no husband.

I supplemented our enjoyment in life by playing radio contests - as Dean worked nights and weekends; got really good at them (won CD's, Event tickets, and a total of $1,193.99 in cash from various stations)


But I do get scared.....mainly about future finances....keeping our little apt in the East County; where I thrive on the "quiet" here. Scared I won't get a job right a way. I'm back and forth...Oh, so strong I'm employable - I have a Bachelor's degree from SDSU and experience in Alzheimer's and also with developmentally delayed kids, some had Autism, ADHD, SED, all with severe "behaviors" - real hard work. Then; I feel like I'll be struggling forever; emotionally (I already have a complex chemistry of 26 pills a day; can't add antidepressents; I "trip" too high, need to find something for hormonal "stuff" that I'll talk over with my new Psychiatrist - he's good - does not want to change meds that are workng now.

It's weird; when Dean was first diagnosed; I was scared outta my wits. I turned that energy outward into all sorts of creative outlets - sewing a huge quilted wall hanging to brighten up the bedroom. Baking bread from scratch (what a good pounding of yeast bread does for the soul) banana bread is easy and goof proof. I began to make more interesting dinners. Now that the Hospice Nurse comes over every Tues; I keep the apt looking good, not perfect, but we rarely have had people over due to Dean's Bus Driving hours; late night and weekends (sometimes Dean's days off were a Tues & Thurs - couldn't get connected with the 9 -5 world.)

I am happy to say that I'm on a day schedule. I love to meet the Sun.

Hope to be living life to it's fullest now; or as full as I can now.

When I almost died (twice) in 2 years; I came to appreciate most everything about being truly alive. Sure I fall into mini-depressions; but Dean's here now. We still "debate" issues. We still love. We're still taking things one day at a time; as that's all anyone has; Cancer or not.

I go to a Indian Health Council Clinic that accepts my lowly insurance. By chance that day there was a table set up with Cancer booklets and info. I was talking to the ladies (poss. support group; but more for breast cancer) and as I told her of Dean's plans to live well past his 25th Sobreiety Date in Nov; and I believe it; a much needed parting thought was verballized by one of these nice Indian ladies = "You are not in control". Ooops. Turn it over, Gay, turn it over. Sit back and ride the ride; As try as I might in my mind....I am not in control. A much needed seed was re-planted and her comment has stuck in my mind since. Life happens. Thanks for your comments and listening. Gay

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Thanks for coming back and giving us more insight into what you are experiencing.

I know what you mean about having plans and having thought things were going to be one way and then WHAM --it's hard and you are doing very well.

It's easy to know that we can't be in control--we know that with our mind, but sometimes, Gay, our hearts and emotions don't follow what we know--they follow what we feel, and our feelings have desires that sometimes can't happen. It's jsut the way it is....even if it's not the way we would ever want it to be.

Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Also maybe the hospice nurse can help you find a talk therapist who works with cancer families/patients???


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.