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Husband recently diagnosed with small bowel cancer and has been in hospital ever since (5weeks now) Surgery determined tumour inoperable and it has been one thing after another delaying him coming home to heal. Not seeing him is so difficult and I feel so helpless. We are both overwhelmed but dealing with this terrible diagnosis on by ourselves. How do you cope day to day separated from each other when you need each other most 😞
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1377 Posts
Hi Pickle24‍ welcome to the community. I’m sorry for what brings you here.

It’s hard being separated from our loved ones when they are so sick, whether it’s while they go to appointments and tests, or if they are in hospital...Hearing everything second hand is just not the same as being there...

Does your husband have a treatment plan yet, or are they still working that out?

Have you found the forum for Digestive cancers https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewcategory/65 where you may find others dealing with similar?

and the caregivers forum? https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewcategory/35

I’m going to tag a couple of Caregivers who I lknow will respond TrilliumBrighty‍ and i am sure others will chime in.

I encourage you to seek out supports for yourself - there will be counsellors available to you through your cancer centre and they are there for your husband and his family. If you have trouble locating them Canadian Cancer society have useful contacts too 1-888-939-3333 or cancerconnection@cancer.ca

please know, that there are people out there listening, and here for you...

best wishes, Essjay
4 Posts
Thank you for your response. They are working out his treatment plan but it is palliative. At this point he is willing to take whatever offers more time but he is only so strong. I admire his strength. I appreciate the links you’ve shared I will definitely check them out.
6286 Posts
Pickle24‍ I wanted to reach out to you. I was tagged by Essjay‍ . I was a caregiver to my fiance who had stage esophageal 4 cancer but did not have covid in the mix at the time. I can't imagine what you are going through not being able to see him. Is there a way they can make an exception for spouses if you wear PPE? Just a thought. Not sure they allow it but you can ask. I would definitely urge you to seek coucelling for yourself via oncology social worker. And reach out to friends and family for support. If you need anything to make your life easier now dont be shy to ask people. Meals,grocery drop offs,6 ft apart walks with friends. .car dates....zoom card nights with friends. ..exercize, sleep. ..phone conversations...little treats for yourself to enhance your mood. ..such as ice cream trips....lattes....funny movies,anything you can think of to get out of tbe dark hole. Does your husband have access to a computer or cell in the hospital? You can have zoom or face time chats...please practice self care and do whatever you need to do. We are here for you . We will be here to support you. You're not alone. Check in with us agsin to let us know how things are going.
829 Posts
Hello Pickle24‍ - So sorry you are both going through such a difficult time. Five wks is a long time - wow, I would be losing it. Every day the pandemic restrictions are changing and I would think that in your circumstances they would let you be with your husband. Call the oncology nurse and ask them to give you permission to be able to visit your husband. Just recently my sons nurse called the hospital and set up my permission to go into my sons appointment for one of his recent tests.

Brighty has given you so many ways to take care of yourself and they are all important and I know when I was in the thick of our stress those things did not just come easy for me. I had to work hard at them. Sorry you have to go through this but we can’t stress enough the importance of finding healthy ways of what works for you to take care of what helps you cope the best you can. I could not go through what you are going through without the help of a therapist and taking support classes and the support of this forum. I have a tool box for self care bigger than my fridge and I use it everyday.

You are not alone and I hope that things go as well as they can for you and your family. Here is a link to the CCS caregiver guide.


Take it one day at a time and keep talking to us whenever you feel like it. We are here for you.

Warmest hugs
2003 Posts
Pickle24‍ We are here. So sorry to hear of the separation during a time you really want to connect. Darn COVID. Are you able to call/text/face time with him?

I see the others have provided some great resources. Having palliative support can really help - both of you - in looking at what is most important for him . They can access some medications to keep him comfortable and maybe other supports.

There are also hospice supports in many communities or even this link online:


Do you have supports for yourself? Just hoping you are also taking care of yourself.

Please let us know how you are making out.

4 Posts
Thank you all for your responses and links to more information. I really appreciate it.
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