How can u care without loosing urself?

Hello all! I care for my husband who was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few weeks b4 lockdown 2020. It was a whirlwind the 1st year due to lockdowns and chemotherapy, this year we found he was getting worse and began a new course of treatment called PRRT which is him being injection with radiation, the thing is I’m finding it all too much. I had and still get altho not as bad Anxiety since his diagnosis and I’m permanently worried, every moan n groan I think the worst and recently I finished a course of councilling. It made me realise that I’m drowning in his cancer, its taken over my life so much that at times I cant breathe. My husband relies on me too much and thats probably my fault because I’m always there but I know I need to pull back a bit because I’m getting closer to that feeling of needing to end it all. Not that I will but I’m aware of how I felt last year and the signs for me slipping backwards are popping up again and I need advice. How do you balance ur caring? I have joined a women’s group to get out of the house but day to day, how do u not get so swallowed up with it all? Any advice? Or tips? I’m open to anything, thank u! Hayley x

Why are you not having help coming in to the home?
Hospice support?
Social Services?NHS Continuing Healthcare?
It’s really important that you belong to a group, doesn’t matter if it’s the WI, needlework group, the gym or the pub, but you must escape regularly.

Hayley - it’s really important that you start looking after yourself!

I think it’s reasonable to say to your husband that you’re ‘having a tea break’ sometimes during the day - meaning that you want some time to yourself without being disturbed.

Plus as BB says in her post - go out regularly - to meet up with friends and to do things you ENJOY doing.
Have you other family members you can visit/talk to?

Hi Haley,

I suggest you read The Selfish Pig’s Guide To Caring: How to cope with the emotional and practical aspects of caring for someone by Hugh Marriott

This is a great book for how to cope with the demands of caring and not lose sight if yourself. It also explains how looking after yourself enables you to be a better care.


Totally agree you need to get out of the house as and when you can. Do you have a local Carers Group? Would a telephone befriender help? I found chairing a Book Club once a month helped me make new friends and even though husband insists on coming, gives me an outlet. It is not selfish to have some life of your own - I truly believe you cannot be a carer unless you put yourself first.

It it worth telling your GP how you feel in case there is some local support that can be accessed?