Lori J

Lori J
About Lori J

D and I started dating in April of 2017. That November, he was given the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. He was 53 yrs old. From that moment on I supported his every decision, helped him find surgeons, went to every consultation and every test. I helped him prepare for his surgery. Made sure he was ready and his home was cleaned and comfortable. I moved in with him to help him recover from surgery and made sure he had nothing to worry about. I always tried to keep his spirits up even when mine were down. I supported his choices and stood by his side through it all. After surgery it was very difficult to keep him positive that we caught the cancer and he can get on with life. He was always waiting for the shoe to drop and cancer returns. I would say let’s be happy for today. Today, you have no cancer. Today, be gratified for being able to wake up. Today, walk, eat, see, hear and speak. There were days that he was so down and negative that I wanted to walk away but I never did. 15 months later, his cancer showed it’s ugly face. He was devastated and got angry with me because I said it wouldn’t come back. But it did. So we stared to discuss options. And we decided on radiation. Again I was there for every treatment every day for 8 weeks. He did very well and I praised him each day for never giving up. Even though I wanted to. It’s been tough going through this ordeal with him because his manhood has been taken away. He was not a man anymore. I kept telling him that his manhood was not defined by his sexual acts but there is more to a man. We had our differences and frustrations were high for both of us. Feelings were hurt and disappointments were becoming the norm. We had arguments and we ended our relationships many times but I alway came back and tried to tell him I cared about him no matter what he was dealing with. We tried and tried. He is still a very angry man and at this point in time, I had to walk away. But being apart from him is very hard. I still care about him. And still will support him in any way I can as long as he lets me in. But he has pushed me away so many times. I get how angry he is. He was dealt a bad hand. But WE got through it together and I cannot see him going forward alone. Being a caretaker is one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m not a doctor but learned a lot. I’m not a nurse but learned how to change and clean a catheter. I’m not a psychiatrist but always tried to listen and understand and give support where I could. I’m not his mother but became his mother. What I was, was his best friend and lover but had to put that on hold until his cancer was gone and his manhood returned. That has not happened due to side effects of PC, that would not come back. So alternative option had to happen. He decided on an implant. Again I supported his decision and we moved forward The procedure was not what he had hoped for and he had complications. Again I supported and cared for him through all the highs and lows. Mostly lows. He is so unhappy and angry I was pushed away. I kept coming back. Staying caring for him no matter what. Cancer is not fun. Caring for someone with cancer is not fun. No one is trained for this and you are never ready for it. You do the best you can with what you have and you learn as you go. You have to have patience, understanding, compassion, empathy but most of all you have to have love. You give up on yourself in order to care for the one with cancer. You loose yourself during the process and that’s ok. At least that’s what I thought. I just pray each and everyday for his cancer to never return and finds some peace and acceptance to learn a new norm. Things will never be the same. But he is alive and that is what is important. You do what you have to do. It’s not easy but somehow you just find the strength to get things done. My story is not any different from any other caregiver. It’s a struggle, but with a caring and loving heart you find the way.

 

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