User logged in as post
One of the hardest decisions for me to make when I was diagnosed was wether I wanted to continue to work as a substitute teacher or not. After discussing it with my husband and doctor, I decided to apply for social security disability and was immediately approved. For me this was the right decision. I don't have to worry about working and can focus on getting better. By applying for social security disability I am NOT giving up...I'm saying I need a little help just until I get a little better and I am getting better!
The great thing about social security disability is that if I am only able to go back to work part time they will continue to provide me and my children with partial disability. The other great thing is that since I am now considered diasabled when I am able to go back to work the Department of Labor will assist me in finding a position that accomadates my disability.
When your wife goes to apply for social security disability they will want to know when she was first diagnosed with the stage four cancer. I brought along a copy of my pathology report and my written diagnoses from my oncologist. She will begin receiving payments five months from the date of first diagnoses. I was diagnosed in March and became eligble for benefits just this month.
My husband is having a difficult time adjusting to the additional responsibilities. I have always been the caretaker and have pretty much run things at home by myself. All he has ever really had to do is go to work and occassionally give the kids a ride to practice. Since my diagnoses he has had to take on a more active role in running the household and has expressed how difficult it is. Sometimes he gets mad and wishes things went back to the way they used to be. I can't say I blame him...if I had it easy for 20+ years and now all of a sudden had to take on all the additional work I wouldn't be too happy either!
I realize that my diagnoses has been difficult not only for me, but my family also. I try to arrange for our children to stay with their friends one weekend a month right after I have chemo. Once the kids are gone I have my husband set me up with everything I might need for the night....medications, food, remote control, phone, computer, etc. and then I encourage him to go over to his brother's for the night. They sit around drink beer, play guitar, and just be guys for the night. He returns home refreshed and ready to go first thing the following morning, usually before I'm even awake.
Are you able to squeeze in some "cancer free time?" You might find it helps you to just get away from it all for a bit.
As much as I like being in charge, I do recognoize that things are going to be a little different at least for a bit. My husband does not run things the way I would, but the important stuff is getting done so I really can't complain. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter if he doesn't fold clothes the same way I do, nor does it matter if he lets the kids stay up a little later, nor does it matter if we eat dinner in the living room instead of at the dining room table.
In all honestly I think my getting cancer has been a blessing in disguise. My husband and I have both learned to be much more patient with one another. I have learned that it is okay to lower my perfectionist standards a bit. Cancer is strengthing our marriage and for that I am thankful.