The truth is

What is the truth, exactly? Right now, I’m feeling like I don’t know and that’s extremely unsettling for me.

Yesterday continued with more of the same as the day before in terms of talking with J. I have determined that talking about his cancer is no longer safe for me to do. If I question anything, he says I’m trying to kill him off (which obviously I’m not trying to do!)

He came pretty close to saying I already tried to kill him off when he went off chemo before. He said that he was trying it my way—which he wasn’t—and that the cancer came back anyway.

I wonder now if he has more suppressed anger and resentment towards me (and his mom, who is also suggesting some of the same things that I am, although she’s also pushing a lot more of the crackpot cures.) I apparently can’t be what he needs.

He also told me that I’m not really supporting him in general during his cancer treatment, which just absolutely gutted me. I don’t know what else I could be doing and he didn’t tell me, other than that he wants me to have more faith in the chemo.

He doesn’t want me to go with him to his chemo treatments. It also apparently wasn’t the right type of support when I left him a card before his last chemo treatment, in which I thanked him for trying so hard to stick around for us.

I try to get him foods and drinks that he can tolerate. I offer to cook for him, which he never takes me up on. I deal with the fact that we can’t hang out much anymore and can’t have sex like we used to. I just really don’t know what else to do.

He said I “don’t believe in science,” which was very hurtful. I’ve spent hours reading medical journals about his cancer. Even his oncologist asked me who I worked for because my questions for him were so far beyond those of most patients.

I can also understand it a bit, though, because I think science is only partially effective in treating cancer (and many other things, but especially cancer.) Cancer treatment in general doesn’t have the best survival rate, especially not his type of cancer. They haven’t really developed any new treatments for colon cancer since the 80s.

There is some missing link that explains why some people outlive their 5-year expiration dates and I want to figure out what it is, because I want him to be around longer. But he reacts very badly to any of those suggestions, so I’m not going to offer them anymore and let the chips fall where they may. That in itself is hard.

Maybe my mom was right when she told me I needed to be more of a cheerleader for him. But being blindly optimistic doesn’t come naturally to me at all.

The truth is that I’m scared. I’m scared of what is to come. I’m scared by the signs that he’s getting worse, even if he denies that any of his symptoms are caused by the chemo.

Although he’s still working—for which I am endlessly grateful—he has gotten noticeably worse in the past year.

He’s not the one who has to answer questions from the kids about what his new symptoms mean. I try to walk a very fine line between telling them the truth—as I’m always committed to doing—and keeping my fears out of it. That’s not an easy road to walk, given my anxiety, to say the least. But I am managing it as well as I can.

Meanwhile, my son is away at college and having a hard time. From my perspective, it’s almost certainly all stress and anxiety but I’m still encouraging him to pursue trying to get diagnoses from an allergist and a GI specialist, even though they will surely be out of network and therefore expensive.

I know that my son is really worried about his dad; he told me so. That’s perhaps the hardest thing of all: downplaying how bad things look to me so that he can focus on his studies. And I’m very scared about what will happen to his own career if my husband doesn’t make it until he graduates.

I can’t type out what my honest feelings are because it doesn’t feel safe anymore but I just think we’re already on the downward spiral. I hope that his scans in a couple of months will prove me wrong and that’s what I’m holding onto.

I just feel so fucking depressed and I can’t seem to snap out of it. I don’t know how to carry on as though everything is normal because it isn’t.

Meanwhile, I talked to my middle daughter today and she’s open to leaving the country with me once my husband is gone. And while that’s kind of a relief because I wouldn’t be alone and I like being around her, it also feels disloyal to be thinking about the “after.”

I realized that I am probably much better served by trying to leave the country than by going to graduate school and trying to be more successful here. That in itself is making me a little depressed, knowing that I’ll probably never get to do what I want to with my life.

I’m also scared of the idea of leaving the country but I’m more scared of trying to continue to live here. Things just seem to be getting worse and there’s no end in sight. I wish J could go with me; he makes the scary times feel less scary. I want to be thinking about a future with J.

I don’t know what will happen to my relationships with Dylan or Amy if I leave and that’s huge. I feel very torn between doing what I want to with my life, and trying to stay here, where things are getting worse but at least I can see the kids.

But really, the truth is that it all comes back to my husband telling me I’m not supporting him enough during chemo. I’m really doing the best that I can but somehow that’s not enough. I don’t even know what more I could be doing. I’ve given him all I know how to do, especially while trying to hold myself together (mostly unsuccessfully.)

But it hurts me deeply that he needs something more from me than I can give.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over this one. It’s one of those things that I am certain will haunt me for years to come, how I was still a failure when he needed me the most.

It seems like all the things I thought were great that characterized our relationship were actually just lies I told myself and that hurts a whole lot.

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