But, I also think it is difficult for those who love us and are watching us go through this, and wanting to help...but not knowing quite what to do. Partly, I think it is because there isn't much of a support system for the caregiver. The attention is focused on the patient...and rightly so, but that doesn't make it easier for the caregiver.
Don't get me wrong...some spouses, significant others, etc. can be....well....real douche bags and idiots. They take their fear out in the form of anger at the patient....or meet it all with denial, expecting the partner to continue to do everything as they have before diagnosis and treatment.
My own experience has been a husband who tries to be supportive but is scared spit-less ...who sometimes cries because he knows that in all likelihood I'm not going to pull out of this one and time is limited. Not to mention the other stuff he has to deal with...no job...how are we going to pay for this....a kid in college....blah blah blah. I have taken the viewpoint that there's a heck of a lot I can't do anything about...so while I am concerned about those things....I'm not going to spend any time worrying about it. Maybe it is silly...but why bother? I can't hire him. I can't do anything about any of that....but I can try to straighten out my own messes, sell stuff on ebay, etc.
Sometimes I overhear things in the waiting room in the cancer center. Some of it is really touching. A couple of weeks ago, a woman who had gotten some treatment at the same time I had the week before was there with her husband to get her blood work done. While they were sitting there, the husband was trying to figure out where he was going to take his wife....he was talking to her about Lourdes, or to Fatima, Portugal to get help for her....She was largely ignoring him. It was obvious to me that he felt helpless and didn't know what to do, so he seized on what he could.....asking for help from God at the two shrines. She was rather irritated with him...and was speaking rather sharply to him.
I felt sad for both of them. We are in uncertain areas....it is hard to know what to do...and whatever we can try seems to be worth it. I often get notes from friends or acquaintances with a new miracle juice, diet, or cure. I try to look at all of this as what it is...people who want to help...people who love me and want to see me well. And that's a good thing....