Feeling Helpless as a Spouse

Feeling Helpless as a Spouse

I was so frustrated I cried. 

While Brian and I understand each other well, we do not approach things the same way. In StrengthsFinder language, my most prominent strength is Activator. Activators get things moving. We are instigators. I feel immediacy and jump on important projects. 

Brian is a Deliberator. Deep thought takes place over time before action is taken. He is quiet about the subject while he gets his head around whatever it is. Deliberators feel no rush.

So with cancer, I’m ready to queue up the Rocky theme and start fighting. I want to change our food. Start exercising more together, priming for the battle of our lives. I want to bleach the house top to bottom to ensure it’s germ-free during treatment. Make lists of things I can do to make everything easier for Brian and Ella. Every day I’m wondering how to help my husband win.

And, well, Brian is not boarding this train. He wants to maintain normalcy until treatment begins. Business as usual.

We are reading and reviewing personal and general cancer documents. Started this blog. But that’s not fighting. 

In the first days of diagnosis, a book was suggested to Brian on a cancer forum. We know now it is somewhat radical with regard to diet and other lofty ideas on how to live your life to potentially avoid cancer/cancer spread. So I was researching recipes that include turmeric, leeks and bok choy as well as how to hide hemp and flaxseed in food. I traveled to the Asian market in Dallas to find the best green tea and packed walnuts and apples in his lunch. 

Then we went to the radiology oncology appointment. Dr. Inygard spent six years at MD Anderson, the best lung cancer hospital in the nation. He said the most important thing was to maintain your caloric intake any way you can because appetite and tastebuds change a lot during treatment. Some patients lose too much weight and end up starving to death. 

Brian heard enough. It makes sense with his health that he doesn’t need radical change. I had the flu the week prior to diagnosis and Brian didn’t get it, even without the flu shot. Somehow, his immune system is still strong.  So there isn’t much for him to do right now outside of appointments. 

Yet I want to fix this. Now. I want to do everything I can to ensure Brian is okay. I want to dedicate myself to this. But I’m powerless. Adrenalin be damned; tears in my eyes. I do not like to feel helpless. However, the reality is I can’t fight this for him, just with him. 

That will have to be enough. 

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