I've never tried to talk to anyone about this but I'm hoping there is someone else out there that can relate.
I married my husband soon after I turned 20 and have been married to him for 10 years. He went into the Marine Corps a couple months after we started dating and was in the Marine Corps when we got married. My husband was always in combat arms which means he is one of the guys on the front line. He is a Marine through and through and always loved protecting his country! Being I was so young when I started to date him and when I got married people my age always asked if I was scared he was going to die when he was in other countries. I always said no and followed up with the explanation that if something happens to him at least he was defending our country and dies with honor. Anyway... when we got married we knew he was getting sick and something was wrong with his lungs we just didn't know what. Over the next several years his health got worse and he was discharged from the Corps because it was too bad. After a yr or so of being home his condition progressed rapidly and the Dr said at his progression rate he would only have another 5 yrs (I was only about 22 at the time). The disease he has isn't widely known especially with how he got it. The disease is called Constrictive Bronchiolitis Obliterans which is a result of his service. Somehow (thankfully) the progression slowed down and he is still with me. Some days are better than others but he is still active and works.
I have only lost one person that I was close to so I have not dealt with a lot of death. There are so many emotions I go through. Most of the time I am numb to it and have the feelings I did when he was in the Corps and healthy... "at least its for his country". . Other days I am mad at him and feel like it's his fault and sometimes I'm just mad that it happened to him.
On some occasions when he is really not doing well I wonder what I am going to do when he passes. None of my friends can relate because if they are even married they sure aren't watching their spouse struggle to breath or dealing with the real possibility that their spouse may die within the next several years and be alone at such a young age. I feel pitiful and selfish at these times because I feel like I have no business or right feeling any sadness for myself. In my core I believe it is my duty to be strong and proud for what he has given and I feel blessed to be his wife. The wife of a man this strong should not get sad for herself....
He is an incredibly strong man and tries to never show how much he is hurting but I can see it in his eyes. He tries to "protect me" which is sometimes aggravating because although he is trying to protect me I feel like it is going to cause me to be blind-sided one day which will make it all worse.
I guess I am just wondering if anyone else has been in this situation especially at such a young age?? How do I remain the "rock" that he deserves as he has always been the epitome of strong? I am also wondering if there is anyone else out there that has lost a loved one or watched a loved one die as a result of that person helping others?
I'm not in your position, but I saw my mom go through this when my Dad died. He died as a result of radiation exposure in the military from being around atomic weapons before the military knew how dangerous the radiation could be. He got a rare form of cancer from it.
The only advice I can offer you is- give yourself a break. Please don't beat yourself up for going through natural emotions such as anger and fear and grief. Those are natural emotions.
I am not as young as you, but losing a loved one is difficult at any age. My husband died at age 59 of esophageal cancer, probably from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. It was 2 years from diagnosis to his passing. It was very difficult to watch him struggle and believe he might be cured when I knew it was hopeless. I would get angry and frustrated that there was nothing more that could be done. I worried what would happen to me when he died. We'd been together for more than 36 years. That was over 4 years ago. It's hard, but life does go on. I miss him terribly, still, and I cry....just not as often. I now am able to remember the happy times and funny things and am able to smile more when I think of him. It's normal to feel all the emotions that you're going through. I would spend a lot of time in the shower just crying my eyes out so it wouldn't upset him to see me cry. You will get through this, somehow, and come out the other side a stronger person. Be sure that things are in place with the government, VA benefits, etc. so when the time does come you receive compensation. I am assuming this is a service related disability. I wish you well
Be sure that things are in place with the government, VA benefits, etc. so when the time does come you receive compensation. :
We have battled with the VA but finally they admitted he is 100% disabled from his service. Lord knows they didn't want to do it and how many more sick veterans they won't help (that's a whole other issue though).
rudiraven- I am so glad you brought up the issue of hope of a cure. I feel terrible when my husband says he is going to beat the disease and I don't believe it for a second. Maybe it's a defensive strategy on my part.
Thanks for the responses. I would never wish this issue on anyone but it's a little more comforting that I am not the only one out there watching my husband die.