Advanced Ovarian Cancer

I'm new here! For the Iast 2.5 years have been caring for my wife who has advanced ovarian cancer. She has undergone several courses of chemotherapy and major surgery but the illness is slowly progressing. She is thankfully able to cope with her personal care but can do little else and seems to have lost interest in going out or attempting to do anything. The chemotherapy's side effects are debilitating causing extreme fatigue and lately low blood pressure. We are trying to keep positive but dread seeing the oncologist and hearing the latest developments - yet at the same time want to know what is going on. The highlights of the week are our visits to clinics and surgeries! I try to get out every day and walk to the local supermarkets. Once a week I attend a tai-chi class. I worry about what may lie ahead.

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Morning Roger, so sorry to hear about your dear wife but you are doing your very best for her. Are you receiving any support at all?

I wish you strength to carry on and send hugs to you both. Xxxx

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Thanks Sassy,

Our daughter helps with cleaning occasionally but we have no other support. Not that there’s much anyone could do.

Roger

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Hi Roger49,

This is such a heartfelt post and you are both extremely brave people, coping with difficult circumstances. Absolutely no wonder that you worry about the challenges that lie ahead. As a Buddhist, I practice Mindfulness every day, and, in case you've never heard of it, it's not some strange, foreign concept, but a simple way to stop your mind from running on and trying to tackle imaginary problems that haven't occurred yet, and sometimes won't even happen at all.

We can't know what's in the future. We know about our past and we can revisit that a little with our thoughts, though it's best to recognize that it consists of things that are gone and pining for it, or wanting to change it is futile, because it's done.

And trying to visit the future is also futile, because so many things can change it. We all know it's unpredictable and yet we keep running and re-running possible scenarios and outcomes in our heads.

Try to stay in the present moment, which is real, and deal with whatever is going on, right now. Of course you can't absolutely stop your mind from trying to do its own thing, but when you find it's wandering off on one of its trips into the unknown, just gently draw it back to what's going on now. It's not difficult, but you have to keep reminding yourself as you go about your daily business, to just deal with the current problem and not one which might or might not, occur tomorrow.

Both you and your wife are doing the very best that you can in difficult and trying times. Everything concerned with severe illness is exhausting, and as your wife's carer it must be especially trying to find that your life is shrinking back as she begins to feel like doing less and less. You sound like a lovely caring person, but don't neglect to care for yourself too. Don't become isolated. Find ways to stay connected with your friends and harness any help you can so that you can take time out and take part in interests outside the home, whenever you are able.

May you both be well and happy.

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Thanks for your kind words.

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Hello and welcome Roger49 to this community.Thank you for your post and so sorry to hear about you and your wife's situation. As our members have already said in their replies you are doing your very best for your wife and it is just as important that you look after yourself too. All that you are feeling is very natural given the circumstances. I wonder is there any time of the day or week that your wife feels less fatigued and that you could consider doing something different together. Also do you have a specialist cancer nurse at the hospital that you yourself could talk to about your worries. It is good that you do a tai-chi class and if you are interested in Mindfulness, here is a link to more information from NHS Choices

nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-an...

I am glad your daughter can help occasionally. I wonder if you feel able to share your concerns with her at the moment?

Please keep in touch and hopefully other members will share their thoughts and experiences with you.

Take Care

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Hi Roger,

It is possible that you wife is so overwhelmed by everything that she is suffering from depression, Speak to your doctor about this. if she was able to have a bit more life (even just going out for a coffee) she might feel so much more able to cope with the situation. Also, can you contact MacMillan or Marie Curie to get an experienced cancer nurse to talk through the situation with her to help her cope with it. It must seem shattering to her at the moment.

Good luck.

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Hi Roger, have you got a Macmillan nurse or a specialist nurse from your local hospice, they would be able to help and support you both in many ways. I hope all goes as well as possible for you, best wishes sue

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We have Macmillan nurses in the oncology unit that are very helpful but we have not had any practical help as yet. I guess that will come eventually. Thanks, Roger

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Hi, first of all I'm so sorry to read about your wife. I hope you don't mind me sending you a message about a charity that I'm involved with called "Look Good Feel Better". It's for any girl/ woman who has had a diagnosis of cancer. The classes will probably be held at a hospital near you. The ladies who come to the workshop received free bag of cleansers, make up and fragrance and they are shown how to deal with hair loss specifically they eyebrows and eyelashes. However I think one of the most important aspects of the workshops are they are with others who know what's going on. I always say the ladies come in like flowers with drooping heads and go out happier having made new friends and been unafraid to talk about things that really matter but that they may not want to talk to their loved ones about. I sincerely hope that she gets to go to a workshop. They are inspirational and a whole lot of fun.

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