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Husband diagnosed with terminal lung cancer -hospice advised. I keep breaking down and sobbing . How can I get strong to copeLast week my husband went for tests at the hospital. Eventually they found he had lung cancer spreading to lymph nodes. Probably from the asbestosis. They cant operate or give him therapy so they are sending hospice nurse in. I called hospice and she will come on Friday. The problem is I was holding up well until yesterday but now falling apart. My stomach is in knots and I keep sobbing - cant think straight. I want to be strong for him but how? Is there any way like TM or drugs or something? I am falling apart.



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What is your definition of strong? Seems to me you are being too hard on yourself. Be good to yourself and feel, accept and express your emotions. This is probably one of the hardest situations you will ever go through. Pray, read Psalms in the Bible.
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rosmarin, personally I think it is OK for your husband to see you falling apart some. You don't want to do such a good job putting up a false front that he gets the idea this isn't devastating for you! But, sure, most of the time you want to appear strong because you are strong and that will be reassuring to him.

My best friend is going through this now. Her husband isn't on hospice yet but that is not far off. It is pretty unpredictable what a person who understands he is dying will worry about. My friend's husband is very concerned about finances. She constantly reassures him that he has done such a great job of setting up the household finances that she is sure she will be able to keep his system up when she has to take it over.

Take all your husband's concerns seriously, even if it seems silly or inappropriate for him to be worried about certain things. Reassure him.
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Exercise is my therapy, too. I hope you find a good outlet to help you get through this.
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I don't know about you, but meditating doesn't stop my thoughts! I need to move! Go out for half an hour and walk or run. Get that runner's high.

Or dance to the oldies in your kitchen or lounge. Does your husband like music? Mine, aged 70, loves the music he used to hate in the 50's and 60's. Frank Sinatra and Dinah Washington. It's on a music channel on our cable. Or try Pandora. Type in an artist or song name or genre and they will create a "station" just for you.

Try to keep moving. Hugs.
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Rosmarin, be patient but firm about the will and other estate planning documents. My sister was in denial (as was I) about the state of her cancer and eventually made hers after she extubated herself and was barely able to sign her name. It was traumatic for all, including our attorney.
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I forgot to say many thanks again Eyerishlass blannie and babalou for all your very supportive earlier replies. This site truly is a lifesaver! TM ( Transcendental Meditation) might be my next hope. Anything to calm the mind from these whirling thoughts and fears. Going to a carers group at the hospice next week. Hope you all manage to get the help and support you need so much.
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Sophe and Garden Artist - thank you so much for very helpful replies. Its great to have your support. Today the hospice nurse came and was very good with positive suggestions about care and day respite at our local hospice also disability aids etc She is allowed to prescribe palliative care drugs so he is to get a very low dose of morphine to help him sleep and suppress his cough. I am trying to get him to make a will which he always resisted!
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Contact the closest Gilda's Club in your area. They're a tremendous resource, and those who are involved have some connection with cancer, either having had it, cared for someone who did, or had a relative or friend with one type or another of cancer, or possibly some other connection.

Their programs can be extensive and therapeutic. I don't know if they practice TM, but as best I recall our local chapter has had some Native American type chanting. There are also groups for the specific cancers. You could join a group in which everyone is affected by lung cancer.

Also check out the magazine CURE; it's specifically for issues affecting cancer, ranging from the questions you've asked to scientific studies on particular courses of treatment. A subscription is free to someone who has cancer or is caring for someone with it.

There is an online version with a good search function for articles on specific issues.

My sister had Reiki therapy, performed by someone who came to the infusion center; it helped calm her during her last chemo sessions.

I hope you find a Gilda's Club near you; they're tremendously supportive. And I wish you as much peace as possible on this journey.
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It may be dated now, but there is a great book called On Death and Dying. It describes the stages we all go through when grieving. Also, based on sad experience, you want to do a lot of communicating with your husband now because later on he might not be able to or feel like it. Running the household, planning to live on your own, planning the memorial...what would he like, etc. Don't wait too long on that. Very sorry for this terrible development in your life...
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Thank you all so much for these answers! Very helpful. So good to know that you people understand and care!
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Dear Rosmarin; No advice really, but I'm just really sorry that you're going through this. I hope that Hospice will have support services for you...ask what they offer. They usually have a social worker and chaplain to talk to and there may be a support group you could go to.

Keep posting here; we're listening! All good things to you and your husband.
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First of all, I am so sorry you're going through this. I think you have to recognize that it will take you some time to get used to this new, very sad information. I find crying is very beneficial, as it is a way to get all of those pent-up emotions out. And then I can think straighter or do what I need to do.

Do you have any close friends you can regularly talk to, to vent and get those overpowering emotions out and "witnessed" by someone else (other than your husband)? If so, I'd be calling on them now for support. Knowing that you have someone who can listen to you is a very good thing for you mentally. If you don't have a friend, do you have a minister? If not, maybe consider counseling. Hospice can point you in the right direction - they should have support staff.

If you have a regular outlet for your emotions, I think you'll find you won't "fall apart" as much. How is your husband taking the news? My dad passed away at 92 from lung cancer. He had no pain and had hospice for the last two months of his life. His passing was peaceful and quick. I hope my mom goes as quickly and painlessly as my dad, when her time comes. Hugs to you...we're here to support you as you go through this.
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.....especially if you can't think straight right now.

I'm so sorry that your husband has to go through this. But you'll be strong for him when you need to be. Maybe you have a friend or a family member you can confide in?
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It's OK to fall apart. You've been given devastating news. Be strong for your husband but the minute you're out of his eyesight cry as much as you need to. Get it out.

I don't know what TM is but if you have questions ask your husband's Dr. It might help to make a list of your concerns, get them on paper, especially
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