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hi chris, i'm george and was a caregiver for my mother. my father exeperienced the same types of feelings , as well as myself.
1) take a deep breath often and try your best to keep calm, there are smooth parts and rough parts but i learned that by trying to keep calm that it let me think more clearly and that it made my mother and father less fearful. easier said than done but it works.
2) stay on your wife's side no matter what, ask her if it's ok to ask certain questions to her doctor, be a good listener and educate yourself before and after meetings with doctors. it's good to have a list of questions in writing for meetings. when my parents had their tougher moments i showed them physically and said verbally, "i'm here" and that helped alot.
3) walk this walk with your wife, hold her hand and put your arms around her, ask her how she's feeling and encourage her that she will get through it and she will win. she needs normalcey in her life too, and she can do all kinds of things and needs the freedomn to do so as she feels, but you'll be right there with her all the time. you're both stronger than you think i bet.
4) yes you will get better, the shock and fear of the future can make anyone lose their sharpness and sense of control, especially us men, who are good at fixing most things, it's hard when we can't "fix" something like this but there's something i said to myself 10 times a day that helped me, "mind over matter" i refused to let my emotions get the best of me and i became stronger day by day. i stayed in fight mode all of the time, maybe it's my military upbringing lol.
5) remember to take care of yourself too. watch your diet, try to get some form of exercise in your life, see your doctor and also tell him or her how you're feeling. don't let the doctor just throw you on some type of medication as they often do, use your inner strength to help yourself but if you need to talk to someone for emotional health you can make that decision.
6) can you share more about your wife? the diagnosis and the stage, type of surgery, type of chemo. not trying to pry but for the many people on this site who are either caregivers or patients the more we know the more we can give sound advice. also tell her about her as a person, i bet she's lovely
7) remember that we are on your side, i mean it, i have been on this site for approx 8 years and it has helped me in many ways, and i've also been able to help others and you will find that type of encouragement here, as well as good listeners. it's a four letter word call life, and there's another one called love and we on this site emphasize both.
looking forward to hearing from you buddy, you've come to the right place.